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Art Beyond

Asset Management: And I Don't Mean Money

We aren’t talking about estates and bank accounts, so what exactly is Asset Management? 

When you Google “asset definition” this is what you get:

as·set | /ˈaˌset/

noun : asset; plural noun: assets

  • a useful or valuable thing, person, or quality. "quick reflexes were his chief asset"

For creatives, these “valuable things” include all of the language you craft to answer questions, portfolios you curate to represent your work, and completed applications and proposals you send. It is important to spend the time organizing all of this information.

No way Esther, I’m so DONE looking at that stuff. And besides, I’m BUSY!

I get it, believe me. I’m so tired of writing and formatting and editing and finding just the right photo. I did NOT want to write this blog post… but it is important enough that I’m writing this post anyway.

See, now I'm just inserting random photos to keep your interest

This was not my first time submitting applications/proposals/RFQs and even though I kind of dread this type of work, I’m good at it. I mean, I can write pretty well and I’m good at answering questions in ways that others can understand. What I’m REALLY good at is saving and organizing information I might need so that it's at my fingertips when I come across an opportunity to apply for.

I don’t just save the information in it’s original form or original save location. I pull out the important pieces and organize them by category and by project.

For example, Elizabeth and I worked together to come up with some amazing language about her process for community engagement (seriously, if you ever need help with community engagement, just write her into your budget to run your campaign). This information was copied from the original working document and pasted into a folder with community engagement information. It was also pasted into a project sheet with other information about the specific project we were referring to.

Now that I have that great information organized, I can find it and pull from it any time I need to. In fact, I created a foam core poster for her to display at events with that great language on it and she’s already used it... twice! 

I personally use Google Drive for all of this organization. I like Drive for several reasons:

  • I can give access to others as needed for collaboration.

    • Elizabeth and I often bounce edits back and forth but in Drive we can work in the same document at the same time. Unlike emailing a document back and forth, I don’t have to worry about which version either of us is working in. 

  • I can review the past history of a document. Have you ever worked in Google Docs or Sheets and noticed this button at the top?

    • This button will show past versions of a document

    • So if you changed an answer to fit word count, but later decide you want to save the original verbiage, you should be able to find it here.

  • I can organize my files however I think best, but I can use the search function to find documents if I forget where I saved them.

    • This happens so much more often that I’d like to admit - I save things in a place that makes a ton of sense at the time and later can’t figure out what I did with it.

  • If my computer crashes, my information is in the Cloud.

    • How many of us have spilled a drink on a laptop and fried it… exactly.

HOWEVER, my biggest advice for saving your assets is to save them in a place and way that make sense to YOUR brain. If you don’t like Google Drive, perhaps save them in iCloud or on an external hard drive. Heck, you can print all of the information out and save it in a 3-ring binder with dividers separating the topics .

Esther, if we had ever met in person, you would know I’m NEVER going to make myself sit down and do this.

I totally understand, so I’ve got 2 options for you:

  1. Talk to a fellow artist or friend and set time to do this together. Sometimes just getting time on the calendar and having someone keep you company gets these tasks done.

  2. Email me and we can do it together. I would be happy to walk through this process with you and help you get your organization outlined, folders set up, and assets saved.

Oh, and click here to see a Template Asset Management Folder and get an idea of how to organize your information. This may not work for every creative, but hopefully it gives you somewhere to start.

Finally, I want to remind each and every one of you to LET YOURSELF OFF THE HOOK. If you were absent from social media because you spent all of your time writing proposals; if you submitted less applications than you intended to; if you don’t get a single call back for a single thing you put out there - you created these assets that you can save and improve on as you move forward.

As always, I hope this information was helpful.

❤️- Esther

Check out our classes HERE.

Have a specific question(s) for Elizabeth or me? Book a 15-minute "Ask us Anything" Consultation available HERE.

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