How To Keep Your Creative Spark During the Coronavirus

Coronavirus got you stuck at home? Stay productive and feed your creative flame!

When you’re stuck at home, it’s easy to get stuck watching TV and your favorite movies–twice. Here’s some advice on how to stay productive and feed your creative flame!

Make a list of creative projects you need to finish or want to start.

Giving yourself a written list of things to do can help you choose them over that pesky television. Sometimes having multiple tasks and projects to choose from gives you the push you need to work on your art!

Read or watch something that will inspire you to work on your own art.

If you’re going to lounge on the couch and watch or read something, choose a selection that will inspire you! For example, I (re)watched Inception, my favorite Christopher Nolan film, and suddenly remembered why my current film project is so important to me! Sometimes we need to see other people’s awesome work in order to re-ignite the motivation to work on our own.

Do a random project in your house.

Right now, you might have the opportunity to do a fun, small project that you otherwise might be too busy to take on! If you’re stressed with your larger projects, do something easy to help keep your creativity flowing! This is the opportunity you’ve been looking for to do a project for fun–not for work, for a client, or with any expectations.

Sit down and really work on your creative business.

One of the hardest things about being an artrepreneur is that you are often working on your business in your limited downtime. While you’re stuck at home, you’ve been given extra downtime to dedicate to building your art-based business! Pour yourself a cup of tea, make yourself a work space, and start working through your art-based business model!

Do something creative with those who are stuck with you!

Maybe you’re stuck in the house with your kids or significant other. Great! Pull them off the couch and tell them its time to start creating! You’ll be surprised how much creativity grows when you brainstorm and work together.

Whatever you end up doing, make sure to keep creativity, fun, and inspiration at the forefront of your activities. Coronavirus got you down? Feed your creative spark and stay motivated on your artrepreneurial journey!

Peace, Kayla

P.S. Follow Artpreneurship – where ‘art’ and ‘entrepreneurship meet to feed your creative flame and continue building your very own art-based business.

Why do you want to become an artrepreneur?

In your journey of bringing real value to the world, don’t overlook the importance of your WHY.

I want to work for myself. 

I want to share my message with the world. 

I want to be in control of my own art. 

These are all common, yet simply unfinished reasons of why you should become an artrepreneur. Becoming an entrepreneur is hard work, and you’ll need a unique and passionate WHY to help you overcome hard times. But here’s what’s wrong with these WHYs: they’re focused on ME. Myself, my message, my art.

When times get hard, it can be easy to throw in the towel when you don’t feel the motivation anymore. After all, if this is about ME, why should I continue when things aren’t making ME feel good? BUT, if you refocus your WHY on OTHERS, you’ll be more motivated to continue through tough times even when YOU aren’t feeling it. More so, customers are drawn to companies and individuals who they feel are benevolent and trustworthy.

So, why do you want to become an artrepreneur? 

Others deserve to have their voices be heard. 

Others need the freedom I can help provide. 

Others want more beauty in their lives and don’t know where to find it. 

If you refocus your WHY on others, it’s harder to give up, because someone is relying on you. Someone is relying on your creativity, your content, your art. 

So, what’s your WHY? Simon Sinek, best-seller and inspirer of millions, has an amazing TED Talk about the importance of finding your WHY. Watch for some artrepreneurship inspiration: 

Follow Simon on Twitter @simonsinek

Simon talks about how your WHY is crucial for inspiring action from your potential customers. By understanding your WHY and relating it to your WHAT, customers have a better reason to purchase your services. Not only that, but with the proper WHY, you have a motivator in the good and bad times along your artrepreneurial journey. When things are going great, a WHY helps keep you grounded and focused. When things aren’t going so well, a WHY helps keep you inspired and motivated.

Your WHY should be at the core of your value and messaging. It’s often disguised as the problem you help solve for your customers. If you’re having a hard time figuring out what your WHY is, take some time to think about the problem you’re helping to solve for others. Check out this article for some help.

By now, the importance of discovering your WHY should be obvious. Don’t fret; finding a WHY might take time, and that’s okay. Take the time to build a solid foundation for your dream brand and business. Artrepreneurship is a journey, not a one-stop destination. In your journey of bringing real value to the world, don’t overlook the importance of your WHY.

Peace, Kayla

P.S. Follow Artrepreneurship – where ‘art’ and ‘entrepreneurship’ meet to stay up-to-date on all the information you need on your artrepreneurial journey!

The Easiest Way to Create a Killer Elevator Pitch

An elevator pitch should help you clearly and concisely state your value — here’s an easy way to create one.

The elevator pitch. It’s mystified and old school… so what’s its real purpose? It’s all about being able to clearly and concisely state your value to potential customers, partners, and/or funders. It’s about sharing your value in a way that leaves people wanting more. There’s all kinds of advice out there on creating elevator pitches, but I want to share with you an easier way to develop your perfect pitch. 

NOTE: Your pitch shouldn’t actually sound like a pitch at all. Instead, it should sound like you clearly and passionately understand the value you bring to others. 

Today I attended the International Women’s Entrepreneurship Symposium and learned a new, easy approach to the dreaded elevator pitch from two amazing marketing wizards, Kay and Shi! Here’s a basic version of the super helpful template they shared: 

When TARGET CUSTOMERS want/need THIS THING, I help provide them a solution by DOING THIS.

Before creating your own elevator pitch, I hope you’ve worked through your value and messaging. If not, please revisit this article

Here’s the elevator pitch I created for myself during the Symposium

When creatives and artists want to become entrepreneurs, I help them by sharing helpful and straight-to-the-point information about how to build their brands and business models.

Here’s why I LOVE this template: It’s one sentence! Two tops. This makes your elevator pitch easy to create and natural in conversation. Ever tried developing a pitch that sounds too much like a pitch? Or one that seems impossible to remember? Me too. This strategy will solve those problems and help you feel confident about sharing your value with anyone who asks!

Try developing your own quick and easy elevator pitch and comment what you come up with below!

Peace, Kayla

P.S. Here are some more examples to get you started:

When business owners need help growing, I help them by creating tailored video content they can use to share their brands and reach new customers.

When authors and publishers need to make their work stand out on the shelves, I help them by creating eye-catching covers and graphics that perfectly capture their stories.

When restaurant-owners need the perfect atmosphere for their new locations, I help them by creating murals that transport and entertain their customers.

Your turn. Let’s see what you’ve got!

5 Mistakes Creative Entrepreneurs Make

I hope this list helps you avoid learning some lessons the hard way, like I and so many others have. But even if you do come across some mistakes of your own, remember that there’s a lesson behind every mishap–you just have to be looking!

Photo by artist Anna Shvets

Let’s dive right into it! Here are common five mistakes I’ve discovered along my artrepreneurial journey:

#1 Not tracking your time

How long does it take you to create a finished art piece? How long does it take you to develop the concept for a new project? How much time do you spend with your customers before you actually get paid? The answers to these questions are so important, because they help you understand if your pricing is fair.

For example: Maybe it only takes you 15 hours to paint a mural, but you spent 10 hours collecting materials and 15 hours developing the concept art. Let’s say you charged $1,000. If you aren’t tracking your time properly, you’d think you’re getting paid $67/hr for 15 hours. Sounds nice, right? But in reality, you’re getting paid $25/hr for 40 hours. Tracking your time will tell you how much money you’re really making. You wouldn’t work off the clock for an employer, so don’t do it at your own company. Value yourself and your time!

#2 Not being able to quickly and concisely express your value

Ever heard of an elevator pitch? It’s a 30-second monologue that can be given in the time of an elevator ride, in the case you ever get the chance to ride with someone big. In this elevator pitch, you’re concisely sharing about your value: what you do and why you do it. Feel like you could pitch Jay-Z or Bill Gates in 30-seconds? Maybe not. But what about a potential customer? This is something you should get comfortable with–practice makes perfect.

Note: It might be called a pitch, but that’s the last thing you want customers to feel when you deliver it. Be familiar enough with your value and messaging that you feel natural when speaking. Try practicing with your family, friends, and creative business partners. It will take time and practice, so don’t be afraid to mess up. 

#3 Not evaluating what has business potential and what doesn’t

Sometimes it can be hard for artists to recognize which product or service ideas have the best business potential, because the beauty in one’s work is always self-evident. But remember: the value of your product should be measurable in cash, not just beauty. Don’t ask yourself, “Would I pay for this?” but ask yourself, “Would other people pay for this?” How do you know if other people would pay? Ask them! Do some research online. Talk to some potential customers and see if they bite. With every new idea, you should evaluate it’s business potential

Remember: Testing your creative business idea, thoughts about your potential customers, and other assumptions about your artrepreneurial journey is going to be a major key to your artrepreneurial success!

#4 Not checking your ego

If you feel like you can skip mistake #3 because your idea is just that good, mistake #4 is extra-important. Ego can often cause opportunities to be missed and good advice to be overlooked. I say this from a place of humility, as this particular “mistake” comes from my own experience. You don’t want to create a barrier for yourself as you work hard to build the creative company of your dreams. Be ready to learn, ask others for help, and become vulnerable as you collaborate your way to success!

#5 Not really wanting to be a business person

This is a tough one. Because you’re an artist, I assume that you love spending time creating your art. But if you want to pursue “artrepreneurship,” you’ll need to become a business person, too. This means that you might have to go to meetings and send emails and think about your business model and value. That’s what being an entrepreneur is all about. But what’s so cool about artrepreneurship is that you don’t have to be just an entrepreneur, and you don’t have to be just an artist… you can be both

If you think being a business person might not be right for you, consider bringing in a business manager who understands your value and is looking to play the yin to your yang. You’ll still need to learn the basics of the ‘other side,’ but now each of you can focus on your favorite side of the artrepreneurship dyad. Both (or even all) of you can build a successful creative business together!

I hope this list helps you avoid learning some lessons the hard way, like I and so many others have. But even if you do come across some mistakes of your own, remember that there’s a lesson behind every mishap–you just have to be looking. 

Peace, Kayla

P.S. Follow Artrepreneurship – where ‘art’ and ‘entrepreneurship’ meet to get the straight-up and straight-to-the-point information you’ll need to be successful on your artrepreneurial journey!

Building a Brand Around Your Art

Building a brand around your art is a crucial step in developing your very own art-based business!

Whether you want to be a popular freelancer or the CEO of your dream creative company, building a brand around your art is a crucial step in developing your business. We brushed the surface on how to build a brand in this article, but maybe you need some more time developing a brand that’s truly what you envision. Good. Building a brand is one of the most important things you can do to ensure long-term success in your artrepreneurship endeavor.

As a refresher, there are two questions you must answer that will act as the core of your brand: What is your value? and What is your messaging?

Your Value = Your customer’s problem + Your solution

Your value revolves around the problem you’re helping to solve for your customers. Are you providing them a way to reach more customers? A way to share their feelings or overcome obstacles? A way to build or share their own brand? Get specific. What problem is your customer facing, and how do you help them solve it?

Your Message = Your value + Your customers’ personality

Cool. You have a good understanding of what value you provide. Now, you need to think about how you’re going to communicate that value with your potential customers. The key here is: your potential customers. To understand what kind of messaging will appeal to them, you must UNDERSTAND THEM. Who are they? What do they like? Where do they frequent? Who are their friends? Who do they ask for advice? What kind of image do they try to portray? Who do they want to be? Try to understand what motivates and interests your potential customers, so that you can communicate with them accordingly.

Once you understand your customers better, you’ll know more about how to approach them. For example, should your brand be casual or super professional? Artsy, modern, or classy? Fun, relaxed, or serious? The easiest way to answer this question is to look at your potential customers and think about their image. Are they casual or super professional? Artsy, modern, or classy? Fun, relaxed, or serious? People have a tendency to be drawn to what is like them, so you should try your best to make your brand reflect them and everything they want to be.

Your Brand = Your value + Your messaging (in action!)

Now that you have an idea of what your value is and how you’re going to share that value in a way that is familiar and interesting to your potential customers, create a document that captures the core of your brand. Make a list of keywords that relate to your customers’ key problem. Write out some words that reflect the “vibe” of your brand. Jot down some sentences that feature the popular language of your target customer. This document is SUPER important and will serve as the core of your efforts from here on out. If something doesn’t fit in or match your brand document, don’t say it or do it. This document will help guide you as you continue to build and share your brand and business.

Lastly, you should also develop a brand or mood board that features the visual elements your brand. What kinds of fonts, colors, and other visual elements capture the brand you’ve described in your brand document? Here’s an example of the branding board I created for CREATIONS Film, the creative company my husband and I founded together:

Branding Board Example for CREATIONS Film created by Kayla Banda

Remember: Building a brand is a commitment, not just a one-and-done brainstorming session. Visualizing your brand is one thing (that’s what we’ve done here). But actually creating that brand takes time as you market, work with customers, and build an online and offline community. Use this brainstorming session as a guide to help you make decisions and continue building your art-based business!

Create your own branding document and branding board, and share about your experience below!

Peace, Kayla

P.S. Follow Artrepreneurship – where ‘art’ and ‘entrepreneurship’ meet to get fresh, new content as you work on building your very own creative company!