How to Start a Successful Business as an Artist

Ezra Thornton - Guest Post

As a creative, your passion is your art. You’re not a savvy businessperson, a clever marketing professional, or a hot-shot financial manager, you’re an artist.

So finding ways to make a living with your art, to get people to see it, appreciate, value it, and pay you for it, may not come naturally to you. But that doesn’t mean you can’t learn the basics and come up with an intelligent way to turn your art into a career that can support you.

Your creative life can be your business life too. Today,
Creo Incubator has some tips to help you get noticed.

Create a Business – and a Space – for Your Work


Many people prefer doing business with a company rather than an individual, so creating a business for yourself can be worthwhile. You’ll need a name for your business in order to get the proper licensing and permits. Then you’ll need to choose the appropriate structure for your business. Each has specific pros and cons, so consider your options carefully. 


You should also dedicate some space to your home office, as well. If you don’t have the space and need to renovate your basement or garage, the good news: those kinds of improvements have the added benefit of raising your home’s appraisal value when it comes time to sell!


A First-Class Website


You may already have a website, but if not, you’ll want to have one professionally designed. You can make your own using many hosting services, but be careful that it doesn’t look cheap or amateurish. This is not the place you want to cut corners. It has to showcase your best work in its best light. This is where you’ll send all potential clients to.


There are freelance web designers who can do that for you. Make sure you find one with positive reviews and plenty of examples of their work for you to screen first.


Make the Most of Social Media


Content is vital for keeping clients and potential clients coming back. You want them to stay engaged with your page, so give them a reason to keep coming back. Start with creating a content calendar, your schedule of when you’ll be posting to social media.


Consider what you want to get out of your social media site. Is it sales, reaching art critics and galleries, finding an editor or publisher, or establishing your brand? Then mix it up. Some content can be photos of your work; others can be behind-the-scenes looks, giveaways, or interesting bits of information about your creative field. The bottom line is to keep adding content, which has to be fresh and relevant.


Collaborate With Other Artists


Look for other artists or creatives whose work complements rather than competes with your own work. It can be another artist who fits your style or group collaboration. After all, the more people in your group, the larger audience you can expect to reach.


If you’re a writer, attend book launches of other writers and network with the editors and publishers there. You can host joint exhibitions to showcase your work and build an audience. Look for local events that promote community involvement or fundraising and offer to raffle off a piece of work, which can generate much excitement. Then you can use the list of raffle participants to build your email list.


Create a Resume


Your creative work doesn’t have to be a freelance-only career. There are plenty of businesses out there looking for artists and writers. Advertising agencies rely on writers and artists to design materials for their advertising campaigns. Media companies need photographers, videographers, and writers to produce content.


Besides having a well-rounded portfolio showcasing the best of your work, like photos or writing samples, having a great-looking and professional resume is essential for getting you through the doors of these companies. It should include any experience the company you’re applying to would find relevant.


This may include merging documents from your assignments into one PDF for easy emailing and attaching. Use a PDF editor to make the necessary changes more quickly.


Being proactive in building a solid online presence with your website and social media platforms and networking in as many places as possible, whether on your own or collaborating with others, will eventually get your name out there. And remember, your writing, designs, and music are not just art but your business.


Creo Incubator helps you build your business know-how and entrepreneurial skills to build your start-up confidently and develop your best entrepreneurial self. Enrol in our entrepreneurship courses here. If you have any questions, let us know!

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