Just a while after I graduated from high school, I began on the journey of talent discovery. I grew up to discover a number of talents, but wasn’t sure if anyone would pay someone of my age for those things I called talents. I was part of a teenage assembly which actually served as a ground for my self-discovery then and while I was still seeking admission, I was also busy trying to refine the talents. I could write, sing, play the keyboard, use a number of computer soft-wares, etc. Although, the feeling of being talented got me some self-esteem, but the issue of How to get people pay for your talent was really on my mind.
I began to ask questions and for so many occasions, I got the wrong answer. Some would tell me to just face my studies since I had a parent who still cared so much for me and provided for my needs. They thought I wanted to make money out of poverty, but my craving was borne out of my burden to able to understand what it means to be responsible, to be able to meet needs around me, to be accountable and to be able to give God out of my own sweats. It wasn’t because I lacked something that no one was there to give me.
Well, did I give up? Not at all! I eventually found the answers and that is why I am using this post to also teach you if you’re interested in knowing how to get people to pay you for your talent.
How do you get people to pay you for your talent?
Refine your talent into a skill
Being talented is not what makes you valuable and nobody gives you money because you’re talented. People only give you money because you’re valuable. So, how do you transit from being talented to being valuable with your talent? It’s simple. Locate the problems that you can solve with that talent and learn the professional ways of solving that problem. For instance, you love drawing. The question to ask is, “what are the problems people can have that drawing may be able to solve?” You may then think of portrait painting as gift items, greeting card designs, drawing characters for animators, etc. The next thing is, “how do people solve these kinds of problems in a professional way?” Do you have to learn a skill, a computer package or something?
These are the things you do with your talent. Talent is cheap, but skills and expertise are expensive. It takes sacrifice and that is why they are hugely appreciated. No one appreciates a talent more than just giving a clap. When it comes to money, they want to see your expertise and professionalism in display.
Network with your skill
Now that you have started to build a relevant skill in line with your talent, you need to begin building networks. Let people know what you’ve got. If you don’t blow your trumpet, no one will do it for you. One effective ways of building networks with your skill is by strategically doing it for free. What do I mean by that? Locate people who have got some influence or know big people and can easily connect you. Give them your skill for free in exchange for their recommendation or publicity. Of course, you must give them something really valuable that will definitely sell itself such that when people see it, they already want to know who did it for them. Also, use your social platforms to showcase your expertise. This is not negotiable.
Own your talent anywhere you find yourself
Don’t just sit at one place, priding yourself of being talented. Go out! Introduce yourself and anywhere you’re introducing yourself, include your talent that you’ve turned into a skill. Let it be a part of your identity from henceforth. Don’t be ashamed of telling people about it. If you can share the story of how it came about, beautiful! By all means, own it!
Never start by placing a price
I learnt this from a big friend. When people start making demands on your talent, don’t start by fixing a price, you may risk under-pricing yourself. Let your increase in demand be the one to tell the price and how much relief it gives each time you serve people with it. As a matter of fact, try to learn how much people charge by industry standard and always charge within that range, but in a case where there is no standard to follow, one easy answer to give is, “what is your budget?” With that you open the ground for a round table discussion and after bargaining, a set price is arrived at.
I still have more to share, but for now, I will stop here. If you would like to learn more on how to grow in value and profits with your talent, join my virtual group here.