Artists evolve and grow; business people can, too

I recently heard an art jeweler reviewing the history and scope of his work, or as they say in the art world, his “oeuvre.” I am familiar with him as a jeweler who carves and incorporates glass into his work with metal, but he explained that he originally established himself as a silversmith and only after doing that for more than a decade did he transition into glass.

He is one of several artists who have shared their evolution with me, and I’ve been struck by their willingness to experiment and try new things. They were all accomplished and several of them were self-taught.

In contrast, you don’t hear so much about change, growth and risk-taking in the world of professional services marketing.

At Berbay, we say that marketing is evolutionary: You usually don’t come out of the box with the perfect website, LinkedIn profile or other aspect of marketing. But you start somewhere. You launch and then you work on making it better so that you get the results you seek. You add more copy and images, revise messages and monitor traffic to see what works best. As you polish and refine, your marketing evolves and improves.

The same is true of business development skills. You might be nervous, or you might be tired because the networking event is at the end off the day, but you head out the door and begin practicing. You evolve.

When these artists talked about their own evolution, none described it as a time filled with drama. They weren’t questioning the meaning of life or worrying whether this next step would end their careers. They basically said, “Oh, let me try this” or “I’m tired of only doing it this way. Maybe I’ll see how else it can be done.”

Too often when it comes to marketing, we don’t give ourselves time or permission to let that happen. We instead worry: What if it isn’t perfect, and what if it doesn’t work? Or, we tried that five years ago and it flopped. The truth is that 99.9 percent of professionals are smart people, and no one ever set out to develop a plan they thought might fail. Sometimes, it just doesn’t work the way you had hoped, and you can learn from that experience. If it doesn’t work, you don’t just drop your hammer and walk away. True, we all have bosses and clients to keep happy, and they may not be as patient. But even artists have someone looking over their shoulder: they have reputations to uphold and their own agents to keep happy.

We don’t grow if we don’t try different things, and you won’t experience your own breakthrough marketing without evolution. Evolutionary comes before revolutionary not only in the dictiona

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