When creativity and entrepreneurship meet you are able to get out of the stereotype of “the starving artist” and really understand what and how to express yourself while perusing a passion. The passion of creative and the desire to help others understand the importance of business is what has driven the passion to create Launching Creative.
Tell us how the whole idea came to be and how the whole Launching Creative business started. The whole idea started right out of college, after studying graphic design with all the latest and greatest ideas and software. But what he did not learn was the business side of how to market. So he set off in the journey of life and picked up and moved from Arkansas to New York City. When he arrived he was lost he had no idea of how to meet clients, price his services when he was offered a freelance job and he struggled with the whole business side. During this whole time he had a lot of anxiety and realized that there were not a lot of resources out there with information like this for creative. Knowing this he found himself thinking that if no one is offering it and there is a need maybe he should.
So how did you meet your business partner and how did the idea come together? So David Rock (aka D Rock) and Nik’s wife did some work together and ended up on a double date one night. From the beginning the two of them just really connected creatively. They were talking about creative and why it is so common for creative to struggle financially and to be the starving artist. Neither of them could understand why the schools did not teach about the financial aspect. The conversations continued and became more in-depth as they went along. Until they really started getting serious about how they were going to share the ideas and thoughts that they had. They entertained the idea of writing an e-book to share their ideas and quickly realized they were going to struggle with sales since no one knew them. With that they knew that they needed to take a step back and go at it with a smaller approach so they began blogging about their thoughts and ideas. What they realized is that the social media world was very small in the fact that it was a great place to meet people and network. The best part is that once they started meeting others they were willing to mentor him through the journey. And the blog turned into a blog and a series of podcasts.
Tell us some things that have work really well for you and what you would have done differently in your business partnership. One of the biggest things that he learned very early on is that communication is a very big part of a partnership and relates it to a marriage. When something goes wrong whether it is in personal or business it usually relates back to miscommunication and mismatch expectations. The biggest struggle that he has as a creative is that ideas tend to flow very easily but do not get executed in a timely manner. It is a continued work in progress to complete a task from start to finish and not get detoured off of the path and idea that he is currently working on.
Tell us about your business model and where you plan to take Launching Creative. The business is working on its content marketing and using the Michelin Restaurant Guide model, which is derived from the Michelin tire company. However, if you are a part of this guide as a restaurant then you are known as a hit. So with Launching Creative they are putting out free content through their blog and podcasts and rolling out their own informational products. And the concept is becoming a two-fold experience as they are establishing relationships and sharing the knowledge behind the relationship.
How have you built your following, in the short amount of time since starting Launching Creative? He learned that being genuinely interested in people through social media has captured the like of the social community. In doing this really engaging in conversation with people to find out what drives them has been the best source of information.
How do you go out and find the creative to connect with and learn from? He finds that a lot of his audience is hanging out on Instagram, just because it is visual. In first joining he was following a lot of marketing people but it was not a very pretty place. Once he started following artists he was able to see the creative side of the social platform. The other great resource has been his location of New York City. Marketing the old fashion way by handing out business cards and meeting people and letting them talk and share their story. When the time is right he then explains what he does and untimely the bond is then formed that there is a need.
What are some tips that you can give for networking? A favorite take away from Dale Carnegie’s book How to Win Friends and Influence People, is “to be interesting be interested”. When you show you are interested you have taken an interest in the person that you are talking to and you then are able to form a bond and really get to know the person. Which leads to being a connector and not just being in it for you.
How much do you follow-up with people from your networking events? Rule of thumb is if he does not get a business card then he will never hear back from the person that he has had conversation with. However that being said you others can set standards that they really want to know how driven you are to become a part of their networking circle so if you want to be a part of a person circle then persistence can play into your communication.
You can find Nike at Launching Creative.com or on Twitter at Nik_Parks
More about Nik: Nik Parks is the co-founder of Launching Creative and the host of the Launching Creative Podcast, where he helps creative individuals become business savvy creative professionals. They call themselves the Anti-Starving Artists. Nik has appeared in Forbes, The Muse, Chelsea Krost, and The #AskGaryVee Show.
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