• Claire Venus

Money Talks - a BLOG series in partnership with North East Cultural Freelancers

This is a blog series for freelancers exploring the theme of income models, feelings on value and charging money for services in the Cultural Sector.


It's written in partnership with Leila D'aronville from North East Cultural Freelancers and follows on from our February 2022 online event 'If not now then when - diversifying income in the Cultural Sector'. You can watch the recording here.


If you have any questions or thoughts of would like to contribute to this blog you can email hello@culturenorthumberland.co.uk


Investing in yourself and growing your 'company of one' business model.




Growth as a creative business is such an interesting concept. How do we move from a project by project or gig by gig model and invest more into the sustainability of our work? Can a business model fuel and fund our creative practise?


Perhaps there's a way to explore alternative income models or new partnerships but how do we find the time to do that if we feel we have to hustle to survive?


As we emerge emotionally exhausted from the post pandemic world - do we want to grow and stretch our practise and processes or keep things small and manageable?


Do we want to increase our fees and how might we do that? Perhaps we've been meaning to do that for a while?


Do we want to take on a team or a member of staff? Do we want to understand and perhaps take on new models of working that better serve the opportunities available with digital technology?




Questions for your consideration...


1. When was the last time you invested in coaching, mentoring or a critical friend?


2. Do you need new equipment or to invest time in learning a new skill set or some training right here right now?


3. Have you thought about how you connect to colleagues and start collaborations longer term?


4. How do you feel about re-investing money into your business? eg; paying for a specific skill you need?


How did thinking through those questions make you feel?


Let's unpack question one together.


I've always had professional mentors and I've seen the power of enlisting the services of a coach and critical friend. I've always written that line into funding applications too.


For me, working with a particular type of focus a coach or mentor brings can offer a birds eye view of what I've created and helps to highlight my 'grey areas' or 'blind spots'.


The impact all three roles have had on my confidence, my processes, my practise has been incredible. For me, I really think there's time to think about which is the right fit for you and when. Here are some thoughts on thinking about the right fit.





The coach - a paid for service.

  • You need some support and cheerleading from the outside

  • You need someone who is trained in coaching the 'best work' out of you

  • You want some longer term tools to help you stick to a plan in your creative business/ artistic practise.


The mentor - sometimes a paid for service, sometimes free.

  • You want someone who has experienced some of the things you have and has worked through some sticking points. You need advice and reassurance.

  • You want to find more clarity in your direction and where you're headed.


The critical friend - often free, sometimes a paid for service.

  • You need someone to be honest, perhaps brutally honest and see what you cant see.

  • You could ask them to look at your online presence for example.


Want to read more on this area and think about how it might help you develop? Here are some great articles, please let me know if you find others...



I'll be back with some thoughts in response to question 2 next week.



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