by Dana Detrick-Clark
They say solopreneurs must wear many hats, but exactly how many?
Here’s a list of the 22 roles all creative solopreneurs have to fill to keep their businesses afloat.
RUNNING THE CREATIVE SHOW
1. Creative Director and/or Project Manager
No matter what area of creative is your focus, “CD” is your title. From developing concepts and products for both clients and in-house marketing, to overseeing and organizing outsourced creative, acquiring projects and leads, creating timelines, plus checks and balances for all, it is all on your shoulders.
2. Talent Agent
Any creative will be managing, acquiring, and selling talent – even if it’s just their own!
3. Web Developer
Most of us at least start out taking on some of these duties on our own. Having direct control of your web branding, site maintenance, e-commerce, and the user experience is not to be underestimated.
4. Graphic Designer
Ok, so you might already be a graphic designer by trade, but even if you’re not, odds are good you’ll be creating some visual collateral at some point (even if it’s just an avatar or simple logo).
5. Audio Producer
Whether you’re putting together your own podcasts or your specialization is in audio production, this is a consideration now. Digging into development tasks that include editing, mastering, software, and session management is the least of what you can expect to do.
6. Video Producer
If you’ve got a smartphone, you’re creating something for your business with it. Even something as small as a branded Vine or Periscope video is part of almost every marketing plan, but many are doing much more. Content creation, acquisition of b-roll or templates, hardware, and software are on your to-do list.
You are going to be hard pressed to not find some aspect of your work that won’t require photography at some point. Even if you’re just maintaining a presence on Instagram or Facebook, photos are basic components to engage your audience.
8. Copywriter and/or Blogger
The written word is your most powerful marketing tool, used at almost every stage in business life. From proposals to web copy to podcast scripts and invoices, you’ll be speaking (effectively, if you take this seriously) through every marketing channel.
SALES AND MARKETING
9. Advertising Agent and/or Marketing Manager
Such a small word for such big tasks. Overseeing all marketing efforts including branding, plans, structures, communications, collateral, branding, and vendors, for inbound and traditional advertising campaigns.
10. Social Networking Strategist and Manager
Digital Marketing tactics to get the word out about your business often fall to the solopreneur first. Controlling, developing and managing networks, online marketing plans, and contacts are all going to be part of your daily life.
11. Public Relations Specialist (PR)
Traditional public relations will be your job, too. You’ll need to develop media relationships, manage collateral and delivery channels, communications, and create press releases.
Lead generation, qualification, and conversion can be creative, too. Prospecting, networking, cold calling, and discovery sessions are part of the deal, whether it’s product, licensing, or service sales you’re after.
Every creative has to be able to get to the heart of their clients’ needs, walk them through the process, and defend their decision making. A good grasp of consulting is the way it’s best done.
14. Content Manager
Developing systems of organization, registration, and distribution for your traditional and digital content will keep the cogs rolling. Without properly having processes in place here, chaos can overtake a solopreneur’s business quickly.
You’re in charge of developing licenses, forms, rules, and policies, as well as your communications with an outside legal consultant (wouldn’t recommend completely doing this one on your own!).
Payables and receivables, taxes, growth tracking, billing, communications, and filing systems fall into this category, but like legal, it’s recommended to at least have an accountant on stand-by for the big things.
If you deal in physical deliverables at all, you’ll need to create some processes to make this as quick and painless as possible. Whether it’s a shipping and receiving routine, or acquiring channels for digital delivery, you are in charge of making sure the buyer gets their goods.
18. Customer Service
The relationship does not end when the check clears, so proactively create systems for this before you need it.
19. Clerical Worker
General filing and office management may not seem like that big of a deal – until you go without it.
20. Finance and Funding Expert
The acquisition of investors and opportunities will call for some technical writing skills, good accounting sense, and specific legal knowledge, all geared for forward motion.
21. IT Tech
Gotta keep the systems running! That includes all of the hardware and software in your office.
This is the reason you started your business. It may feel like, with all of the responsibilities on your shoulders above, your true purpose got a little lost. But when you’re in “The Zone” using your talent to solve your client’s most urgent problem, all of these other tasks will be worth it.
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Tags: Audio, Blogging, Branding, Business Growth, Consulting, Content Marketing, Copywriting, Creative, Customer Service, Development, Digital Marketing, entrepreneur, entrepreneurship, freelancing, How do I run a creative business?, how to run a creative business, Inbound Marketing, management, Marketing Strategies, Networking, Organization, Outbound Marketing, Podcasting, PR, sales, Sales Process, Social Media, solopreneur, solopreneurship, Traditional Marketing, Video Marketing, what do creatives do, what do entrepreneurs do, what do freelancers do, what do i need to know to be a freelancer, what do i need to know to be an entrepreneur, what do solopreneurs do