Make It Personal, Make It Great

Now is the time to seize opportunity and make something. Whether it be an app, a comic, a novel or even a web series; now more than ever, you have the power of the internet at your fingertips to get something funded, get it up and running and have it seen by people who want to look at it. You can create something and sell it directly to those whose tastes align with what it is you’re selling, and make a reasonable living doing so.

The internet is enabling creators to self publish and self distribute their own products, by passing the conventional routes. It is enabling artists to make money in ways that weren’t possible ten years ago but, what I’m saying here, is nothing new. This has been in swing for a good few years now and there are countless examples of people who have forged careers on the digital frontiers of the internet by making something, putting it online and bang. Money floods their way.

So now, more than ever, you too can do something and get it out there. If you have an idea for something, anything, I urge you to start working on it, start shaping and crafting it. If you have music in you, let it out. If you’ve got a game idea, start designing it. A book? Get writing. The possibility of something great coming from your ideas, is an immeasurable quantity.

But, it is all well and good me saying this and, by urging you to take action, that alone is something that you’ll see other people on the internet telling you to do. By now, you probably already know about the potential of the internet. You probably already have heard, or read, other people saying “do it, get it out there, its a great idea,” and you might already feel pumped and raring to go. You might have even looked at ways to market your potential product on the internet, and have some ideas of how you are going to use social media to ‘get the word out.’

You are not alone. As you think your idea is amazing and great and will make you a lot of money, there are millions of other people who have been told the same thing and think of their ideas in the say way.

The thing in which so many of the motivational speakers, marketing ‘gurus’ and other commentators fail to emphasise is that, yes, the potential is there but also, the chances are that if you go in thinking about the money, you’re likely to not see any.

I’ve seen many people start up projects where one of their top priorities is to just make something to make money. While this seems logical, and can be all well and good, many people with this mindset create something half baked and thus, other people don’t want it (or regret buying it).

How do you ensure making any money off of your creative endeavour? You can’t. There is no guarantee your idea, or product, will make you any money. You might approach it in thinking of aiming at a niche part of a market, create something tailored to that, and try to sell something this way. Yeah, that can increase your chances, and is a very good idea to do so, but that alone is also no guarantee.

If you want to make something, anything, do so for the act of creating it. If you want to write a novel, you should do so because you want to write a story, not to do it in the hope of selling a million e-copies and getting it optioned as a film, or what ever. Forget about the chance of getting that extrinsic reward (money). Seriously, forget it. Don’t even think about it.

When you make something, focus on three things:

First, focus on making something personal to you. Make something that you would want to read, watch, play or listen to. Make something that has some of your personality in it and fill it with all the nuances that make you smile. It is highly unlikely that you are the only person on the planet with your tastes so, by making it personal, there is bound to be other people who like what you like and thus, like what you’re creating.

Second, concentrate on making it great. Work hard on this and strive for greatness in its execution. People love things that have been built with care, attention and love and people want to spend their money on something remarkable. They will want it in their life and they don’t mind spending money to do so. If you rush something out that has no love in it, people can smell that a mile away and will generally avoid it.

Third, enjoy yourself. Making things is fun, its cool and intrinsically rewarding. Remember that you’re making it for yourself first and that you will want what you’re creating. Think of the feeling you’ll have once you’ve finished, either watching what you’ve filmed, listening to what you’ve played or reading what you’ve wrote. No amount of money will ever replicate that.

And here is the funny thing. The people who set out to make something personal, to make something great and to enjoy themselves as they do it, are more likely to find an audience and make some money in the process. Maybe not on their first go, maybe not on their second, but if they keep doing things for the love of doing them, and keep striving for making something great, then eventually other people will find what they’re making and things start to fall in place. Take your time. There is no rush.

Lloyd Harvey
www.shrunkenheaddesign.co.uk


“Spore Queen,” this piece of concept work is for a personal project I am currently undertaking. It is inspired by a game I used to play years ago, that is now a direct influence on my work today. I hope to fill the game with numerous references and personal touches so that the game is a statement of my own personal tastes, and that of my co-worker who has happened to play many of the games I played.

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