When you work in a creative field, it’s important to stand out from your competition. You need to give your audience a reason to follow your work – and pay money for your work. As Neil Gaiman, the bestselling fantasy author has said, “Start telling the stories that only you can tell, because there’ll always be better writers than you and there’ll always be smarter writers than you. There will always be people who are much better at doing this or doing that – but you are the only you.”
A style helps you distinguish yourself from the masses of other creators. It encourages your audience to go the extra mile when it comes to supporting you because they won’t be able to see what they get from you anywhere else.
Here are a few ways that you can develop and create a personal style in your work:
1. Choose the right topics to cover. Don’t follow industry trends in the hopes of reaching success. It’s better to focus on topics you’re passionate about pursuing. Your audience will be able to tell whether you’re committed to a topic or whether you’re only exploring it for views. It might feel intimidating to delve into a topic you haven’t seen anyone else reach success with, but you could be the first. If you do something different than everyone else is doing, it sets you apart. It gives you a unique edge over your competition.
2. Create a unique voice. When you’re an author, it’s important to expose yourself to others in your genre. It’s important to learn from the greats. However, you should never try to copy the people who inspire you. You can get ideas from them, but you should never try to replicate them. Create your own unique voice. Tell a story in a way only you can.
3. Give yourself permission to be different. If you’re pursuing photography, you should play around with different editing styles. You don’t have to recreate the most popular styles you see across Instagram and art galleries. Standing out from the crowd is scary, but it is also rewarding. It will give customers a reason to choose you over their competition. If your work looks exactly the same as everyone else, then customers will pick the person with the lowest price instead of the person with the most talent.
4. Look back on your own work. Look back at some of the art you’ve created in the past. See if there are any themes or repeated patterns. You might already have your own voice and haven’t realized it yet. Once you’re able to recognize what you do well, creating more art and maintaining your brand will be easier in the future.
5. Listen to your gut instincts. You don’t want to disappoint anyone and you don’t want to end up losing money, which is why it’s tempting to do what you think your audience would want. However, it’s better to do what you actually want. Follow your heart. Photograph and draw and write about whatever makes you the most excited. You entered a creative field out of passion. Don’t let that passion die because you’re worried about making a pretty penny.
There are millions of other artists out there who are just as talented as you. You need to set yourself apart from them by developing your own unique style. Make sure your audience knows why they should be following you, why they should be paying money for your work. Don’t allow yourself to become a copy of everyone else. You’ll be more successful once you find your own voice.