Often artists struggling to label themselves as a business person or even an artist at all. The fundamental thing is, whatever you believe yourself to be the world will also identify you as this.
So, when it comes to turning your art into a business how you view yourself matters, that’s why it’s best to view yourself as a business from the start. Below we set out some key steps to force yourself and the world to identify you as a business.
Making it official
The best way to officially showcase your business or services in by writing it on a business card. There is something transformative and empowering about having your name plus “artist” or “owner” in print. Not only this but, the first thing people will need in order to contact you is a way to get in touch with you.
Having a business card is a great way to showcase your brand and all contact information. This is the easiest way for potential customers to find you and see your work along with the ease to contact you for your services. You need a way for people to get in contact with you both digitally and physically.
Build up your contact list
A strong business card and a strong digital presence establishes you as a professional. Once people are able to contact you, you need to build your contact list and nurture the relationship as this can create your best sales leads. You can use your contact list to reinforce your business by sending follow-ups after the first meeting, checking in, and sending thank yous and updates.
Never underestimate the power of human connection
When your contacts feel valued and included, their positive experiences with you will reinforce your success. Your contacts will value both your art and interactions and remember to share your work with their networks.
Make your own opportunities
Having an online presence and business cards allows you to present yourself as an artist in impromptu situations and widen your opportunities. Likewise, constantly evaluate your perceptions about where you can potentially get new customers. Consider where your work can be presented, if you see a place you are inspired to show your work, get talking. If you meet someone you want to introduce to your art, show them an online gallery, the world's a market place for potential sales and if you do not talk about yourself no one will do it for you.
All the worlds a stage - Shakespeare
Consider all potential sales avenue. Do your research and see if there are any local or national companies that may be a good fit for your work. Remember, your art could be bought and displayed by anyone, from homes, hotels, restaurants, or businesses. Request meetings, present your work and get on potential customers radars.
Have your price lists on hand
As an artist and entrepreneur, you need to be able to make opportunities for yourself as well as be ready for opportunities. Be ready for opportunities, have openness to new ventures, and be ready with your professional tools in hand. Coffee shop? Public spaces? Libraries? All have new contacts to introduce to your art? Present yourself with confidence and professionalism.
Once you make the connection, be ready to present your work by giving a preview of your art via your website or a viewing tool. Don’t underestimate the power of networks and communities. Let people know what art you have available with an inventory report. Assert yourself as a professional with strong tools that establish you both as an artist and as competent, easy to work with, business person.
Create systems and processes that work
By creating systems and process then, implementing them part of your schedule, you allow time for investment in your art and in yourself as an artist by thinking long term. This way of thinking is about simplifying processes and making the things you need to do work for you. Whether this means adopting new software systems that help keep you organised, sell, generate and keep track of your records, or by finding solutions to needing more supplies or workspace.
Likewise, embrace organisation in the short term to boost your effect long term. It is important to hold yourself accountable and follow through on your appointments and scheduling reminders. Use tools that allow you to integrate your calendar with your art business.
Once you have a professional presence, are seizing and creating opportunities, and have systems in place for your career, make some noise about you, since you are your own best advocate, think about creating symbiotic relationships and spread the word by sharing your profile. Reduce your future stress and save time now by getting in the habit of managing all areas of your business and your finances well. Work smarter and be consistent for optimal successful as giving yourself creative parameters will help you continue to produce new work. Recognise that there are things you can do every day that will improve your business. Understand and embrace that there are many different elements that go into being a “successful” artist—however you choose to define it. These elements may also change over time depending on where you are in your career and where you want to be going with your art.
Listen To Podcast S3 E14 Entrepreneur Spotlight - Ola Jinadu