I feel like nowadays as designers and freelancers we’re told to get on the social media train as soon as possible. We're told that a lot of our issues will be solved by posting regularly on social media.
With this in mind, I found that I was concentrating on posting as often as possible. In my grand plan, I thought If I focused on daily output then surely I will get the results I desired.
But in this plan, I lacked one valuable step. The actual ability and experience to post exceptional work.
There were many times where I felt this anguish as to why I hadn’t experienced the results or the conversion I wanted. As much as I was putting in the hard work and showing up daily, I couldn’t figure out why things weren’t working as I had anticipated.
Recently I've been reading the book “So Good They Can’t Ignore you”. This book hones in as to why you should focus on the craft of what you do and nothing else. This book has an excellent method of concentrating on creating exceptional work to produce outstanding results. Rather than focusing on external factors like "relationship building", "networking" and other factors that are outside of the craft of your output.
I feel like from a creative point of view we can put our focus into so many different things to get ahead. Google ad words, Facebook and Instagram advertising and updating our SEO to get our websites to have better reach.
All of these tactics are useless if we’re not creating work of quality and value. Even if we have a fantastic marketing strategy in action, it will all mean nothing if the work we're building isn't of incredibly high quality.
Picture all this link bait that comes up through our feeds nowadays. Sure we can click through and get lured in, but when a product link comes up, and we’re in a position where the product doesn’t speak to us or isn’t of any value we’re more than happy to walk away. Though if the product is of outstanding quality, then we’re more then happy to spend our money.
Sure what I’m saying might seem harsh. In a nutshell, the point I'm trying to advocate is: “Be exceptional at what you do, and then no one could ignore you”. All though its simple in theory, it's far harder to execute. Myself included, not everyone is exceptional at what they do. A lot of us aren’t that fortunate to be blessed with talent. A lot of us have to put in a lot of work to become exceptional.
Though, we can become exceptional. We can become amazing. It just takes a lot of work. How we become exceptional is via experience. How we get experienced is we invest the time. And how we spend the time is starting with a commitment. And how we commit is we become passionate. And how we allow ourselves to reach our goals is by blending our passion with our commitment.
I’ve made the mistake of focussing on constantly “working” rather than focusing on creating quality work that resonates with people and challenges me. Which is the primary way, you essentially create great content. The biggest lesson is as hard as putting in a lot of hours and grinding away is; we need to focus on the heart of our craft and create quality work.
Which sounds painfully obvious, but I was a victim of focusing on the amount of time I was putting in rather than say “quality output”.
For anyone out there in the beginning stages, I hope this doesn’t dishearten anyone. The real way to get better at your craft is to continually keep working and showing your work to a broader audience. You’ll learn how to react to different circumstances and slowly and surely improve your work.
It’s frustrating, scary and intimidating. But if you’re pursuing it for all the right reasons, then you’ll find fulfilment from the journey rather then embedding yourself in frustration.
Focus on creating work outside of your comfort zone that pushes your abilities, and be disciplined to do this as much as possible. That’s the only sure way to become exceptional.
For anyone out there fighting away in paving your path, I hope this encourages you to keep pushing through the difficult times.