A Mission Statement Creates Clarity For Your Target Audience And Focus For You
Crafting a mission statement may not even be on your list of things to do when getting started with your artist blog or creativity site. But, from my extensive business experience, it’s a very important step for many reasons. (See my infographic here, Part 3).
As time goes by and the excitement of a new business wears off, I have found that a well-planned mission statement can remind you of all the reasons you started your business. You will also find that people take you more seriously as an entrepreneur. A powerful and accurate mission statement can take your business to the next level.
Not all that long ago, logos, branding, and mission statements were for large corporations like Johnson & Johnson, Bayer Aspirin, and Marathon Gas Stations. Entrepreneurs were usually Mom & Pop Restaurants, Plumbers, and Auto Repair Shops. My, how things have changed!
Who could have foreseen the millions of online businesses that exist today? What a great time to be an entrepreneur! I consider the mission statement your first step in creating your brand.
I first heard the term, ‘internal branding,’ by Wendy Maynard of Kinesis Inc. It has stuck with me. This should be a familiar concept for you: Taking what is within and bringing it out to share with the world. So, internal branding is where you begin your entire branding process.”
Mission statements for large corporations are created by a hand-picked group of people who brainstorm to come up with just the right statement. But, if you are a sole proprietor or single-member LLC, how do you create your own mission statement?
Preparing a mission statement can be quite challenging. If you don’t have any partners or investors, then seek out those that you trust their opinion. Only confer with people that are positive, supportive, and want to see you succeed. Let me give you some easy tips so that you can create a powerful mission statement quickly.
Organize Your Thoughts And Refine Your Mission As An Artist
As an artist, you may or may not be familiar with artist statements. For those of you that are unfamiliar with the term, an artist statement is where an artist writes a description or representation explaining their work. From an artist’s standpoint, the statement should tell about and be in support of their body of work to assist the viewer in gaining an understanding of what the artist’s message is.
A mission statement is different from an artist statement, which I will cover in another post. If you keep reading and follow through with creating a mission statement, this will actually make creating your artist statement easier!
If you’ve been creating art, writing stories or songs, recording music or videos, then you probably already have a good idea about who you are and what your message is. Knowing yourself is essential to this process.
- Be Prepared. This process should not be rushed. Choose a date and time to work on your mission statement. If you are involving others with the process, make sure they are available and ready to share ideas.
- Location Matters. Have a relaxed, quiet location with water to keep you hydrated and refreshed. Have snacks together so hunger doesn’t interfere. Turn off cell phones, messaging, notifications… anything that could break your concentration.
- Be Patient. There is no set time limit for creating a mission statement. To get it right takes patience, planning, research, and focus. From my experience with assisting clients, it typically takes 2 to 4 hours to get it right. But, don’t worry if you put it together quicker or take a few days. There is no right or wrong time frame.
- Record Your Ideas. No idea is stupid. Often doodling, sketching, using word association… all of these techniques can lead to solid ideas you can use later.
Take A Look At Benjamin Franklin’s Value’s List
For some, this example will be a big help. To help ignite some ideas within you, start by creating your own list of values.
Ask Yourself Or Your Organization Questions To Get Started
- Why are you here? (starting or operating this business)? To craft a powerful mission statement, you should have a strong purpose and values in mind.
- What is your higher purpose? This will be very important as your business grows. This will be the very heart of your business and the very center of each marketing campaign. It may even be the heart of your body of work. People are more likely to connect with you/your brand if you stand for something they can relate to and want to participate in. What do you truly care about? Help your potential buyers and target audience feel they are part of something bigger than themselves. Bring them in close and have them help you achieve your higher purpose.
- NOTE: If given some challenging business decisions to make, would you choose your cause/higher purpose over your bottom line? I’m not suggesting you financially harm your business, but take a smaller profit. All I can say is that if you do tend to choose the “greater good” over your bottom line, employees and your buyers/collectors will notice and believe in you and your cause even more. It’s helpful to decide at this juncture as this could affect your mission statement. It could be a positive factor you may want to use.
- What is your dream? Like Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1963, if you were giving a speech that begins with, “I have a dream…”, what would you say? Don’t just focus on short-term goals, like increasing sales and your bottom line. Think way down the road. Keeping the end in mind and revisiting your business plan, start at the end and work backwards. What does your dream and your plan say about you that you can use in your mission statement?
- What would you do differently if given the opportunity? Like Erma Bombeck, nearing the end of her life, she made a list of things she would do if she could live her life over. What would you include?
- If you were to create a list of daily actions that begin with, “I shall, or “I will…,” what would your list look like? Mahatma Gandhi‘s mission is captured in a short list of active statements.
Try A Free Online Mission Statement Generator
This mission statement generator only took me about 10 minutes to complete. I had all of my ideas written down ahead of time and I am very experienced so that gave me an edge. If you get stuck, I find that a tool such as this can be a real time saver. Give it a try!
You will find that over the years, your business focus and life circumstances will change. Change is something you can count on! This is how life is. Hopefully, with hard work and good management, you and your business will grow. This means that over time, you will need to revisit and rethink your mission statement. This is normal.
Be prepared to continually ask mission-related questions—about what truly matters to you as an artist, a brand, a business. Be mindful of what’s needed in the marketplace if you see yourself as providing a service to the world.
Life is a journey, not a destination. Use your mission statement as your map and your guide to new places without getting lost.
Congratulations on your new mission statement! Now, share it with the world. 🙂
Have you created a mission statement? If you have, what tips can you add to help others with the process? If you haven’t created one, why not? Did you find this information helpful? Love to hear your thoughts. Please comment and share.