You know, the clients that you really want to work with. Clients that share your interests, sensibilities, and that truly align with the type of work that you like to create. But how do you attract your dream clients? Or, even better, how do those clients find you?
Like the name suggests, a personal project is assigned by you TO you. There’s no real client involved and there’s definitely no tangible paycheck that comes along with doing these, but we think they’re an indispensable tool in your business arsenal.
Remember, you want to use personal projects to attract your dream clients. So, come up with a fictional dream client and then imagine what project or service they might want from you. For example, you’ve been wanting to break into a more editorial style of photography like fashion. You could do a series of fashion shoots with a common theme and style to one another. If you are a designer that wants to focus on the beauty industry you could create a full branding suite for a makeup brand.
Sure, you won’t get paid for the great work you produce, but the benefits of these projects far outweigh that one minor downside. One of the best parts of a personal project is the freedom that it affords you as a creator. When making up the project on your own, you can create without constraints or parameters! So go ahead, choose the industry you most want to work for. Start doing personal projects for fictitious or even real companies in those niches. You’ll have more fun than you think.
This is a really important question since your time is one of the most precious commodities to protect in your business.
The important thing to keep in mind here is the ideal client, so start there. Make a list of some of the brands, companies, or style of client you’d love to create for or and brainstorm dream projects for these faux clients.
Make it personal! Think of things that you LOVE, things that you are passionate about. Adding your personality will make your work stand out even more.
Once you’ve decided on a specific project to attract your dream clients with, run through your client sequence as if it were a real, commissioned project. Treating every step of the process with intention and care will show in the end product. We also recommend scheduling time on your actual calendar to work on the project. It’s all too easy to brush aside work like this when you’re tired or creatively drained. But if the work is penciled in your day already, you’ll be more likely to take it seriously as a task that will propel your business forward.
So, you’ve got your personal project done. Now What? You share it – everywhere! Personal projects will only move your business forward if you actually share the incredible work you’ve done! Start with the easy ones. Post your personal projects to social media and of course, your own website portfolio. If you blog and email, you could create a post about your inspiration and the process.
Always have a range of visuals from 3-5 projects that you can share at any given time, especially if you’re low on fresh Instagram posts or as a way of directing people to your website.
Now, to make sure your work is getting in front of the right accounts, research existing businesses on Instagram and use them as your muse. Research what hashtags they’re using and take note. Then once you’re ready to share your work, include the industry specific, relevant and niche hashtags to reach their account and similar.
Ideally, your time spent invested in personal projects will result in powerhouse clients and projects that make you love this career even more than you do already. While you’re waiting for those killer connections to happen, though, focus on the fact that creative pursuits like personal projects also help to stoke the fire of your creativity.