Dear artist, do you run your art as a business?
If not, why do you create it? Why do you spend your precious time pushing yourself to get the tune right?
Why waste your time perfecting a brush stroke or a dance move?
Do you do it for fun?
This article is not for you. It is only written for people who have passion for their art and want to be earn from it. By earning, I don’t mean fame. Fame is a waste of time and a spoiler of creativity. I mean some damn good profits!
Who is an artist?
An artist is a follower of a pursuit where skill comes by study or practice. This is one of the explanations from the old Oxford English dictionary. It seems to imply that almost everyone is an artist.
Wikipedia indicates that an artist creates, practices or demonstrates art. The Old Oxford brings about skill and practice, therefore making the word practical.
You have no business calling yourself an artist if you cannot give form to feelings and the unknown. As you read this article, I am making solid the thoughts in my heart. I am a creator, are you?
What’s your art?
Mine is writing. Yours could be singing, dancing, spoken word, drawing, painting or playing an instrument. I may not have mentioned your art here; it is your business to mention it. (No offense)
Why should you run your art with entrepreneurship in mind?
Your art is your business. (That’s not an insult)
It is the best employer you can ever have. It is up to you to make it your source of income or risk wasting it. Make use of the opportunity with this guide now.
Can other people enjoy your art?
If yes, you are in business. Stop wasting time and feed your market!
How do you run your art like an entrepreneur?
“How will you design and run your art in a manner to absorb the risks and make profit from it?”
The word ‘risks’ indicates stepping out of your comfort zone; where you create at will.
Is there a ‘zone of no comfort’? Yes there is. It is the state where you MUST create. If you stop creating, you die! (sounds strong? Done on purpose.)
Would you dare to disobey the call of nature in the midst of your sleep? You could choose to continue sleeping and risk peeing in bed, or wake up and obey.
Your art has a tendency of walking through your mind at weird times. The feeling that desires your attention shows up in the absence of your pen or brush. They do not wait for the right moment. How do you handle that?
You must commit to writing each song that comes to mind. Push yourself to complete it or risk losing it. The same way you obey the call of nature, obey the call to create.
Let your friends call you lunatic if they must, it is worth it. Every word or move that comes to mind is important, don’t waste it. Is that not the risk you should take?
You art comes from the intangible. If you do not give it form as it creates emotions in your heart, you lose it. You have to trap the unformed words that visit you as you arise by writing them; trap them into a book. Why? They tend to flee like dreams if not contained. You must hold them captive by writing them down. It is your opportunity to make profit.
Here are the processes you need to invest your time on:
1. Form your art
Have you seen people scribbling on serviettes right in the middle of a discussion?
It is the beginning of the creation process; giving form to the intangible. As you create, you order thoughts and emotions into words and moves. This is the call of every artist.
If you want your art to make sense, discipline yourself to write your thoughts as they appear. You will summon your it to flow.
Should you feel the urge to abandon it in the middle, imagine a baby choking from saliva. If you don’t hasten to rescue it, it will die! If you stop the creation process, you kill your art.
Every day, have an ordained time to create a new baby-art. Imagine yourself as the demigod that gives life to the feelings and thoughts. Without you, they stop to exist. You stand at the border of the known and unknown worlds converting such to the known. That power is within you; apply it daily.
“I am a life giver. I breathe life into thoughts and feelings, that they may serve mankind.”
2. Compile and shape your art with added value
How do you compile and shape your art to make it worth it’s true value?
The compilation process calls for giving identity to your art; stamping your name. This is for recognition purposes. Call it branding if you wish.
You want people who see it to identify and link it to you. Think of the word ‘Coca cola’. It forces your brain to concoct thoughts of a sweet beverage meant to quench your thirst, right? What picture does your art bring into the mind of your audience?
To compile your art, have a story to it. The story should clarify these three dimensions:
- Who you are
A spoken word artist, a Lingala dancer, a writer…
- What you stand for
Feminism, patriotism, talent-based entrepreneurship…
- What you want to achieve
Liberation of the girl child, help youth use their talents to earn a decent living.
Your consistency guarantees your identity in the podium. The audience only expects a better version of you in every performance. Don’t try to change your story, it will shock and confuse them. They will not have the opportunity to rate your art’s growth. Remember, your audience pay more as your art grows.
You have a many tools at your disposal to shout out your brand. Use them to train your audience about your art. These tools will help them remember you as you share them with your audience. They include theme songs, intonation, hash-tags, colors, logo and signatures in your art. This is for serious artists only.
Running your art with entrepreneurship in mind requires shaping it with value addition. This value will ensure that your audience:
- Recognize it
Your theme song in relation to your story should entice your audience from the minute they hear it. Make your art easy to identify.
- Remember it
Your art rings a bell and calls the audience to associate it with value. If you do a shoddy job, your audience will remember that. Aim to right your wrong and the old will fade away.
- Recommend it
If your audience find you memorable, they will evangelize your art to their friends. This is the most effective way of marketing. Consider enchanting them with you art. Let them create a buzz word around it by using it as their ringtones or creating memes with it. You audience will push your brand for you eliminating the need to hire a manager for that.
(Avoid the desperation of stripping in the name of making a buzz; it is demeaning!)
- Return to it
Does the phrase, ‘We want more!’ stroke your ego! Doesn’t it make you feel like a demigod in your field? This is who you are;
your art’s demigod!
Do not freak out if they call your competitor; it is for your own good. Allow your audience to sample out without getting mad at them. This is the best time for you to create some more and make it freaking good. It is the only way for your audience to understand that your art is unique and top-class.
Your art is unique, this equation gives it value;
Tools (Compiled story + Shaping aspects) = Value
3. Tell the world you own it
If you create your art to please yourself it becomes a hobby. Profit comes from the heart of entrepreneurship, not hobbies. Your input is rewarded by the profit.
What about making it free?
There is a huge difference between a business and a hobby. Spending on your hobby is a personal affair. This article is for those who create with business in mind. It will not suit you.
Do you create hoping that someone will see your art and say, “Damn it’s freaking awesome!” Entrepreneurship demands that you do it for a profit, not just accolades.
“If it doesn’t make money, it doesn’t make sense”
Your approach to you art business will determine if people will pay or not. Do you show the business aspect or the fun bit? You must understand that words have power. There is a right way of marketing your art, one that you must apply.
- Always have a sample of your work.
How about you keep a record or a photo of it in your phone? Technology is at your disposal; have the wisdom to apply it.
(Pray for wisdom)
- Show it at request.
“Hey, have you had a chance to see my art?”
You must create opportunities to show off your work. Even the most stupid person will find it hard to say ‘No’ to that question.
What if you get a phone call and asked to sample your music? Don’t worry that your client cannot see your business card and branded T-shirt. There is no the time to stutter; hit the damn beat like you would on stage.
- Ask the right people to invest in it.
Do you think your art is worth a reward?
Take time to test and package your art for various markets. Remember, your art is not a one size fits all, you must differentiate the market. As you approach each client, prepare your words and paperwork. Keeping a soft or hard copy will show your preparedness to make profits.
Propose to various event managers to allow you show off your art. If you shy away in asking, you will starve- no doubt. Have you ever seen a shy beggar? Such do not exist.
If your art cannot meant for events, look for suitable clients and show it to them. Don’t sit and wait to for someone to discover you; your art is not a scientific formula!
Note. The words invest and acquire create a sense of value over words like buy and pay. Use the words with wisdom.
- Invest in business friendship.
The most broke artists are lone rangers! You don’t want to join them.
You must invest in business friendships; those who accompany and cheer you as you present your art. Tell your clients that your business friend will accompany you. Ask the friend to record your presentation with their cellphone. Don’t forget to return the favor as they perform.
- Form a business club.
Who else knows that you are an artist?
Don’t be surprised if your friends don’t know what you do. You might not have told them that your art is your business. It means they have a right not to recommend your services to their friends. (That hurts)
If you are in the right business club, the members will help you run your art like a real business. Share your business profile with them. (You better have one)
Your fellow members will recommend your art to those who need it. This is your first like of marketing soldiers.
- Use social media with wisdom.
How often do you post a fresh gig in social media?
You should post a minimum of three fresh gigs in a week. Try out different platforms first, you need to know the one that favors your art. Posting photos in YouTube would need you to add a theme song, a message and a few of the photos. Do you consider that fruitful? Consider Instagram or Facebook and leave YouTube for the singers and dancers. That’s wisdom.
Does it get a lot of likes and views?
Why you create and run your art? To earn likes and views?
Likes and views do not bring profits; investors do. Your target investor understands private messaging. They want to see your content and growth. Don’t hang yourself over low statistics; learn and improve your art. Create with the international standards in mind. Your reward awaits your creative genius.
- Get a website.
Why the heck a website?
It allows you to keep a collection of your art in one place. Social media does not meet such standards; new posts bury older posts. This destroys your business.
Your audience concentrate on your work alone through visiting your website. This is what you need; the undivided attention. Your growth is clear; older gigs that are uninformative and new ones that show ripe skills. Having a custom website or blog is a sign of maturity in business.
- Never miss a call.
Why would you miss that call? That’s bad for entrepreneurship.
Follow up missed call. Visit the unhappy client, it is comforting. Show up with the intention of hearing them out. Just don’t ignore them.
- Reach out to others.
Are you just starting off in your art?
You are never too small or too big to help others. ‘Corporate Social Investment’ mode will suit your growth. Don’t go blind about the business aspect; you have to bring it up in the conversation. Ask those who need your help to mention you as a sponsor. That way, you won’t be targeted for freebies only. Freebies insult entrepreneurship.
- Never stop creating!
You cannot NOT create!
No matter you field of art, it is up to you to make it work. Nobody can make it better or bitter for you, you have the whole set of ingredients to make the profits you need. Run your art like the entrepreneur you should be!