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What is a Career Plan & Why Should I Care?
A career plan tells you:
- What type of career do I want to have?
- Who are your target clients?
- What are the slow times in your industry and how to plan accordingly
- Where do I see myself in five year or ten?
- What do I want to be know for and who do I want to know me?
- How much will it cost me to get to where I want to go (ie - self-promotion expenses)?
My advice is to envision where you ultmately want your career to be and work backwards. In other words, if you know what you want then its easier to formuate a solid plan on how to get there. A career plan will help you navigate and stay a float through the good times and the bad. Planning is the key to any successful career.
This is a one to two page highlight of key ideas/ plans in a career plan. The summary should give you a clear understanding of the type of work you want to do and what your career goal are. Although the Executive Summary appears first in the final document, it will be written last after you have answered the questions below.
Description of your work
This section should give a brief history of the business. If you are just starting out, this section should at least address questions 1-4.
1. What is the business name? (What is your DBA or "Doing Business As" name for your checking account)
2. How is the business organized (sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation)? *More than likely you will be a sole
3. Write a bio of yourself including your education and work background
4. How long has this business been organized or how long have you been working as an artist?
5. What accomplishments have been achieved to date? (resume experience, clients, goals achieved, awards, press etc)
Description Of The Type Artistry Service You Will Have
It is critical to give a clear and concise. You should emphasize what makes you stand out to your targeted clients.
1. What services does your freelance business provide?
2. What are the features and benefits of your service? ie - what do you specialize in?
3. What solution do you do that makes you stand out from everyone else?
4. What are your rates?
5. Where do you ultimately want your career to take you? Do you want an academy award or do you want to be a personal
artist to the next pop sensation? Do you want to be a spokes person for a national cosmetic line?
6. Where do you see yourself in five years and how do you plan to get there?
In this section write a clear description of your target market and include their needs and wants. Your product or service should offer a solution to the target market or provide a benefit to your customer.
1. Who are your clients? (Are they film/ tv or print and celebrity? What are
the average budgets of your clients and where are they located?)
2. What do the clients need or want?
3. Where are the clients? Are they in Los Angeles, Miami, New York, nationwide?
4. How does service satisfy clients needs? ie - what do you provide that other don't?
5. How much will it cost you to advertise your services?
6. How will you advertise?
7. How many photographers or productions companies are there in your
area? (You need to know what the likelihood is for you to get work)
8. What are the slow times in your industry and what are the busy times?
9. What things occur in your industry that could effect your income? (strike,
holidays, elections, etc) - understand what effects you so you can be
prepared for survival when these things occur.
This section identifies competitors providing the same or similar solution to your target market. For each competitor, you should define strengths and weaknesses and in conclusion define how you will position yourself in the market. Understand how many other artists are competing for the same job, how they got to where they are, how much money they earn, and what makes you have the competitive edge over them.
1. How do producers, directors, photographers, celebrities, ect find artists for
projects and events?
2. Choose five artists you admire that are similar to the service you offer?
3. What are the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors?
4. How will your artistry business be positioned with the competitors?
5. What makes you stand out from your competitors? Do you do hair or skin care as well?
In this section, you should define how you will get your services to your target clients. This includes networking, taking people to lunch, cold cards, senting out your work, public relations, and internet marketing.
1. How will you reach clients? ie -how will you contact people to get work
2. Who are the people who will hire you and how will you contact or
advertise your services to them? Will you go through workbook, LA/NY 411, Lebook, join networking groups?
3. Where do your target clinets hire for services? Los Angeles, New York, etc..
4. What is your marketing plan to get your name out there? (Trade shows,
advertisements, direct mail, directories, phone books, Internet, periodicals,
websites, advertising, publicist, etc...)
5. How will you know if your advertising is working?
6. How much will it cost you to advertise, monthly, yearly, ect?
1. Where is your business located? (Los Angeles, New York, Miami,)
2. Will you work out of your home?
3. Does your business require special licensing such as a cosmetology
4. Who will you get your supplies from?
You will need some sort of a business support team. No one can do it all. Be clear on who your support team is. This will help you define your map for success.
1. Who will be doing the business management/ agent? (Industry and management experience)
2. Who will be doing your marketing?
3. Will you have a webmaster?
4. Will you be doing all the work or will you hire an assistant?
5. Accountant/ Tax Guy
6. Attorney/ Prepaid Legal
8. Public Relations Rep
This section should include past financials and future projections based on sound and reasonable assumptions. If the business plan is being presented for financing, the source and use of funds should be defined here.
1. How much money is needed to start your freelance business?
Most of the money will be used for kit costs, networking, and advertising
2. How much money can be raised by you the freelance artist?
3. How much additional money is needed?
4. What is the money needed for?
5. Keep a record of your financial history.
6. How much money do you plan on making each year? And what is realistic
for someone to be making at your career level?
7. How much money will be spent on your kit or supplies?