Tips For Turning Passion Into Profits
The following is a guest post by Alexis Fedor. Her bio follows.
I knew at age 22, as I graduated from undergrad with a degree in film and dance and a minor in writing that I would need to figure out how to make a living from my work, fast. The last thing I wanted was to become the stereotypical “starving artist”, not only because the label itself terrified me, but also because I didn’t want to struggle trying to make ends meet and be forced to sacrifice my art in the process.
According to the IRS, an artist is a business owner by default. We are taxed as freelancers automatically. So why were we not taught how to approach our work from a business perspective just like a business major was? I didn’t know the answer to that, but I knew I was going to figure it out.
Ten years later and one failed business under my belt, I not only figured out how to build a six-figure business around my writing and choreography, but also built an entire business around helping other artists create thriving businesses with and for their art.
The majority of those ten years were spent studying marketing, business strategies and project management techniques, all of which were valuable to increasing my skillset as a business owner. As soon as I dialed in to the business side of art, my business literally catapulted into the six-figure mark in less than six months.
Many artists tend to get intimidated by the financials, especially if they aren’t familiar with creating business plans. I’ve worked with over 500 artists and it is incredibly important that I give them highly motivating incentives to get through the financial section of my course.
There are the five simple steps I start with when advising students on how to optimize a revenue plan that will ensure their business begins to experience results:
Uncover Your Financial Baseline
To begin, create a financial baseline for your personal life and your business based on your most basic needs. Only include food, shelter and bills on the personal side and studio space, bills and supplies on the business side. Add up what you spend in both categories each month (taking the average of 12 months is the best way to go) and add 25% to it. This number ensures you will cover all your living and business expenses plus additional costs that may arise, and give you enough to reinvest in your business as it begins to grow.
Choose One Type of Offer (only one!)
It can be tempting to try to sell several different types of offers at one time whether is be pieces of art, songs, written work, acting services etc. when you’re first starting your business, especially as a creative individual. Instead, you want to focus on one and plan until it is making enough to stand on its own, and then move on to the next such as working on one book at a time, writing one playwright, finishing one set of paintings or completing one album at a time. I promise, this level of optimization is where your revenue lives, which is what will make your business grow at a faster rate.
Set Your Financial Goal
Once you have your baseline established, you just need to do simple math to figure out how many sales or services you need to offer in order to reach your goal. Let’s say your baseline is $5,000 per month, and your offer sells for $250, you need to sell 20 of that offer each month to reach your goal.
Choose One Marketing Approach
There are a plethora of great marketing strategies to choose from, and the biggest mistake I see creative business owners make, and the one I made with my first company, is to try and implement as many as possible all at once. Instead, choose one approach and optimize it over a period of time, this will allow you to create a well-oiled revenue machine for that single product or offer. Once you reach your first goal you can move on to the next product or service you would like to offer, and likely get it to that optimized revenue point in far less time.
Revise And Optimize! Hearing
Once you have your financial goal and marketing campaign using the one single strategy you designed, you will want to prepare for the launch date (usually no less than a month out to ensure you can gather enough data to assess your feedback) and begin to track your results. As you do this, give yourself the chance to revise what is not working, leverage what is and connect with your ideal clients in the process, ultimately until you reach your revenue goal.
As a creative, there is no more appealing approach to take when building a business than aligning it with your vision while ensuring your clients are receiving optimal value every time they work with you.
As a performance artist, Alexis Fedor struggled for years to discover a way to make a living doing what she loved. She began studying under successful financial and marketing experts, determined to uncover the missing link in her own business. Alexis transformed that journey into a comprehensive, online-education program focused on helping raise the financial IQ of other artistic business owners. In addition to her 14-day course, Alexis hosts the Artists In Business podcast as well as offering memberships to a Facebook group that synthesizes each of the lessons taught in her course by connecting creatives like herself with art and business experts to inspire, guide and motivate them to build businesses with their craft.
Images via Pixabay.