In some ways, 2021 is going to be a continuation of what the last decade has been for creatives: A loosening of the constraints and controls under which they work.
Improved connectivity making working from anywhere possible, better communication and tools enabling real collaboration (hi Wethos!), and more open attitudes to styles and types of work that flourish outside of a 9-to-5 job. I think the last year has just thrown lighter fluid on these already accelerating trends.
What’s different then? What can I say about what’s new? Or about what challenges we need the industry to address?
Well, a natural progression of portfolio work (just heard this called a “Multi-SKU Creator” by Homebrew’s Hunter Walk) means that creatives will be monetizing in new and different ways. For a small number of creatives, this has always meant some sort of menu: $X for a logo design, $Y for a creative campaign, $Z for your creative strategy during the next year.
This will become more and more common. And with that, you’re going to see a complexity in income that’s going to make a lot of the “money stuff” harder to deal with. Pricing (always tricky for creatives) is going to become more of a challenge, of course. But what I also see is the variability of types, frequencies, and amount of income making it very hard to create financial stability in your life as a creative.
Making six figures won’t protect you from the volatility. Managing your big “fixed costs” like taxes, rent, health insurance, etc. gets even more challenging the more ways you earn money. My concern for creatives is that the next year is going to be a reckoning. It will be a realization that we’ve opened all these wonderful doors of opportunity, but now we have to do the things that keep our families stable and safe in order to build wealth for the future. Especially after we’ve seen the uncertainty and risk of this year: We know that the unplanned for always catches up.
Most financial tools simply aren’t built for this sort of income. It’s hard to budget, it’s hard to get loans or a mortgage, it’s hard to stay covered with a good health plan (let alone pay for an emergency under a high deductible one!).
At Catch, we’re working to keep pace with all the bounty, beauty, and opportunity exploding around creatives right now. We just want to make sure that someone’s looking after your financial health while you create.
Here’s to a brilliant 2021!
Ready to take your one-person business to a full-service studio?
Co-Founder & CEO, Catch