There is an interesting argument I have had put in front of me a few times recently. The perception of value in a business sense. Looking primarily at makeup, I have been asked why I get the work I do such as films in South Asia or the deal for the Spanish film. For me, it comes down to factors and the perception of value that comes with what I offer.
There is an element in any business of fake it till you make it.
That's a given, however, there are limits to that and I know my limitations and focus on working with the skill set I have and building on it.
So let's look at what I offer:
20 years of experience in theatre, film, TV, and fashion. There is no way to fake that, you either spend 20 years building your portfolio, CV and contacts within those realms in a broad sense OR you focus on a specific area.
Willingness to travel. I have been willing to travel long distances, India, Holland, Germany and of course across the UK including London.
Risk taking: I am not afraid to open the door and walk through, meet new people and open a dialogue with a telephone call or email.
When I talk about my skill set and background I keep it within the bounds of what I know is plausible and possible, so I don't have to go onto social media in a panic and look for advice. I already know what I can and can't do.
Here's how it breaks down. When a client approaches me from South Asia (for example), there are multiple factors that come into play:
- Skin color. Perception of skin color is still a valid concept there. Light skin and of course European accents are seen as better.
- Skillset. My portfolio matches what I say I can do.
- CV: Again, my CV is verifiable.
- I am willing to communicate, negotiate within reason and know my craft because I have earned it.
- I know what I can bring to the table.
- My portfolio reflects the work they are looking for, social media and "selfies" are not my primary source of work, I have a diverse book of Commercial work.
My perceived value lies in a mix of skill set, marketing skills and my background that I have worked for and earned.
By contrast, if you have zero experience and work in shop But really want to break into the same market as me, the way to do that is earn it, by undermining it you will damage your own skills and detrimentally affect your future business as well as the people coming up behind you.
The perceived value lies in what people are willing to pay for what you bring to the table and what you value yourself at. If you do not value or trust your own skillset and undercut the market rate to get the job, then your value goes down and the skillset becomes moot, you are setting a low bar for your own business.