How I Influence People, without Talking

Money in Music, for Creatives

We do not want money.

No one wants more money.

You might be thinking, “Is this a joke, Grace?”

Isn’t money important?

From starting in music, to moving into design, then coming back, I’ve learned valuable things.

I design graphics that help people earn more, not because money is my entire world.

It’s simple. You have to be smart about it, but you can use this in your own life, too.

How I influence people with design

People who just have money in mind, have recipes for failures.

My designs can help people increase their incomes.

When you have a goal, the design will help you reach that goal, with psychology. I call it functional design.

My favourite analogy:

If someone invites you to a party, would you rather go to this house:

or this house:

The second, right?

The first looks sinister, with its dark trees and weathered exterior. The second is a small candy-banana-yellow house.

When I ask that question in my design workshops, there is always a reaction from the audience, a collective murmur. Most people pick the second house if they don’t want to be murdered.

At this point, people always try to figure out why that house looks more attractive, while I stay silent. I love witnessing the process of learning, the untangling of threads and reshaping of ideas. The discussion.

Some people in my workshops are executive directors in their 50s and 60s; I am impressed– I want to keep learning at every age of life, too.

Using psychology to reach your goals

Design matters. It’s psychology.

Money should never be your first goal. It’s obvious when someone wants to suck money from you (think of the sleaziest, cheapest ad).

In design, anyone can scribble something and call it a logo. That’s not the point.

You want to create an identity, something that defines you or your business. You are more than some lame graphic.

Making Money, for Creatives

Lululemon logo (Image source)

Lululemon’s logo is a squiggle. They have amazing clothes (sometimes-trendy, always-comfy) and the squiggle represents their message: stay healthy. People remember the company and its message every time they see the logo. A good logo is memorable and iconic.

Same with a website. It’s easy to make a website now; most websites don’t get much attention, because everyone has one.

Websites should serve a purpose. Online stores give you unique products that come right to your door; social media sites connect you with your friends; portfolio sites help the right people find each other (e.g. students find piano teachers, companies find designers, etc.).

Many websites look like they’re from 1997 or have no central purpose; people can’t trust bad websites, so people don’t trust you if your website is bad.

If you can’t have a good website, then make a social media page. Although, be warned: you’ll have little control over its changes. Remember Yahoo Groups? That used to be a hot space.

A good website will get you to your goals. Like, you can get a job, sell music, or get music students. If your website convinces people that you’re worth it, then people will trust your service or product. You will not seem sleazy; you offer a valuable service or product and people know it. That’s functional design.

One trick is to give fewer choices. Have one main path and entrance to eliminate overwhelm. I wrote about practicing less to get better in music, but that psychology applies to design as well.

I help people reach their goals– leading to higher income— because people who are passionate about what they do, deserve to be noticed.

Design is compelling; there are ways to influence people with psychology and design. It’s not sleazy, and money comes as a result.

Moving forward in the rich, happy road

In music, sometimes we let the negative bits overpower the good. There was a time when I was too caught up in expectations.

When you’re trying to sound like a gentle hummingbird on the piano, it’s easy become a woodpecker.

Sometimes, music students forget to practice (let’s face it: new students keep coming to me, and my name starts with G, but it doesn’t end in OD).

With the studio business (payments, records), it was a blur of stress.

I didn’t know where I was going, whether that direction fit my personality, and how to move towards my goal.

After testing different strategies, I just discovered a sweet formula for staying at the top of my game.

I’m going to share it with you soon.

Right now, I want to know:

What have YOU done to be richer or happier, in life, business, or music? Join the conversation by leaving a comment below.

7 Comments

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  • Forrest Halford October 30, 2013 at 10:31 am

    I took the MBTI (Meyers Briggs Type Indicator) and discovered that I was an INFP, heavy on the I (Introvert) … actually nearly off the charts on the I part.

    So part of my plan for emotional health is leaving my job as a retail manager.

    • Grace Miles October 30, 2013 at 10:46 am

      I’m an INFP too. INFPs don’t like conflict or managing other people’s relationships, so it would be good to do something that feels more meaningful. Of course, the switch can be terrifying, but it’s worth it.

  • abby October 30, 2013 at 10:59 am

    I’m an ENFP but just barely an E. I love teaching music but I still feel like I’m a fledgling business owner. I’m in the third year of paying the mortgage with my piano income! I should really have my systems down by now! We are moving and I have to hit the ground running with a much better “business” or teaching in our new place. I’m looking forward to hearing about your keys to success! :)

    • Grace Miles October 30, 2013 at 3:06 pm

      Thanks, Abby! It’s so cool that we’re talking about Meyers-Briggs. I don’t know a lot of friends who are interested in MBTI. I’m always reminded that I wouldn’t have met you, and all these amazing people, if I didn’t write a blog.

  • Adegoke October 31, 2013 at 11:23 am

    I’m still an undergraduate student, though I still work with a security company; those i am doing to be richer. to be happier I stick to playing Keyboard, I am not good yet and it brings me sadness instead. oh Lord help me

  • Christine October 31, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    Another INFP here. Now I’m wondering if this is the magic combination for piano teachers. :)

    • Grace Miles October 31, 2013 at 11:02 pm

      You may be onto something. Or maybe most people who come to Artiden are -NTPs (creative types). It would be interesting to find out!