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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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 valuewith 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:
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!
You might be thinking that it’s time to turn your art into a business. Here are 5 crucial steps in starting to develop your new art-based business:
You might be thinking that it’s time to turn your art into a business. ‘Artrepreneurship’ is becoming more and more common and maybe you’re ready to take a whack at it. Not exactly sure what ‘artrepreneurship’ is? Take a read through Is Art Entrepreneurship? to make sure that you’re ready to take the leap. If you’ve already read through the post, then you’ve decided that you’re ready to move forward with your lifestyle or growth company.AWESOME! (If you’re not familiar with the difference between a lifestyle company and a growth company, please take the time to read through Is Art Entrepreneurship? so that you can have a solid foundation on which to move forward!)
Regardless of which kind of company you’ve decided on, there are 5 crucial steps in starting to develop your new art-based business:
1 – Understand your value
As an artist, you have a very special set of skills and people of all kinds are looking for your services. The first step to serving those potential customers is to identify exactly what it is that you can offer them. Start by thinking about the need you are fulfilling. Perhaps companies have a need to share their messages through video content, but can’t make quality videos by themselves. As a video content creator, for example, you can help to fulfill that need.
Think about your customers’ “pain points,” or things that are hard or impossible for them to do on their own. For example, maybe they can’t make that high quality video because they don’t have the knowledge to edit their videos in professional editing software, but you do. A successful business helps solve it’s customers’ problems — what problem are you helping solve for your potential customers?
2 – Decide on your message
Now that you truly understand what helpful solution you’re providing for your potential customers, it’s time to think about the best way to communicate your value with them in a relatable way. “We help bring your brand to life.” While this isn’t about making slogans, you can develop a message that underlies your creative business. Maybe it’s an internal statement that sounds something like: “I help people grow their own brands by creating killer video content for them.” Decide on what your message, your mission, is so that you can work on sharing this message with your potential customers.
3 – Think about your branding
One of the best ways to share your message with potential customers is through your branding. Your branding consists of everything from fonts to colors to slogans and logos. Your branding should make your message clear to the customer; let them know what problems you can help them solve.
There are two main elements of your brand: the visual elements, and the emotional elements. One common way to share visual elements is through a branding board. See the example below. Read more about how to create an awesome, comprehensive branding board here.
While a branding board can help you share your brand visually, you should also work on sharing your brand by focusing on relevancy to the customer — this helps to create a emotional response. One way to do this is by creating relatable slogans like the: “I help people grow their own brands by helping them creating killer video content.” Make sure you focus on your value and the problem that you’re solving. Another way is to develop a list of keywords that summarize your value and how you want to share it. “awesome video content, collaborative concept development, message sharing, fun to work with, creative business, professional yet casual, the list could go on. There are many ways to describe how your want your brand to feel. Write down as many as you can think of, then choose the top 5, 10, or 15 that really describe your brand in a way that’s relatable to your potential customers.
4 – Evaluate your resources
Alright, you’ve got your value, your message, and your brand — but how are you going to deploy them? You need to evaluate your resources. How much time do you have to spend working on your business? How much money do you have to support your marketing efforts? Who do you know who could act as a mentor, partner, or evangelist for you? Do you have all the tools you need to execute for your potential customers?
One of the best ways to evaluate your resources is by making a plan:
5 – Make a Plan
Business plans sound stiff, but the benefit you can get from prepping one is well worth the work. Making a plan doesn’t have to be hard. Strategyzer.com provides the Business Model Canvas, which is like a one-page business plan that can help you get a plan going for your new artrepreneurship endeavor. Follow me to the next blog to learn about how to create a one page plan for your art-based business!
P.S. Through each step, remember to always be thinking from the perspective of your potential customers.
You’ve probably heard the popular advice that “Art doesn’t pay the bills.” But what if it could?
You’ve probably heard the popular advice that “Art doesn’t pay the bills.” But what if it could? Turns out, there’s a new term flying around: ‘artrepreneurship’. It’s all about making money with your art, by building a brand and coming up with creative ways to monetize your work. In a world where content is more and more important, your creative skills are more and more in demand!
So… YES! Art can be entrepreneurship–it all depends on how you approach it. Before turning your creative vision into a business startup, there are a few things you need to think about:
Do you really want to turn your art into a business?
Being an entrepreneur is a full-time job with lots of overtime. You should ask yourself whether or not you want to make sharing your art a full-time commitment. Many artists want to take their creative endeavors full-time, but fail to realize that much of their entrepreneurial journey will be all business. In addition to working on your art, you’ll need to deal with marketing, business strategy, networking, and all kinds of other business-related activities. Are you interested in business, or would you rather work on your art in other ways? Many amazing companies need artists on their teams and many artists prefer to keep their creative endeavors as a soul-freeing hobby. What is right for you?
What’s your long-term vision?
So you’re pretty sure that you want to take your creative work and build a full-on brand and company. But what does the future of this business look like? There are two kinds of businesses out there: a lifestyle company and a growth company. A lifestyle company is one that can support you with monthly income and provide an opportunity to work on your art as a full-time job. Lifestyle companies are usually small businesses. A growth company, on the other hand, is one that has the potential to grow without you and become a global brand. This kind of company often requires products that have the potential to sell at massive quantities.
Deciding which of these you envision for the future is crucial to understanding how you will devise your business strategy and how you will build your brand. Don’t worry, we’ll talk about how to build your business in accordance with your long-term vision in upcoming posts!
Are you ready to embark on your entrepreneurial journey?
Okay, you’ve decided that you are ready to build your creative brand and pursue the entrepreneurial journey. Here are some thing you should consider before taking the leap: 1) Are you in a position to dedicate time every day or every week to building your brand and business? 2) Are you ready to learn all kinds of new skills that you may have never been interested in before (building a website, marketing campaigns, branding your message)? and 3) Are you ready to share your message with the world?
If your answer is to yes each of these 3 questions, it’s time to combine your art with entrepreneurship in order to manifest your vision and share your creativity! In this blog, we’re going talk all about how to develop your brand, your marketing messages, your business model, and more. Stay up-to-date by clicking the follow button below!
PS: Don’t be afraid to share this knowledge with other artists you know. The more our creative communities learn about how business can be used to share their messages, the more opportunity we all have to thrive in this growing ‘Artrepreneurship’ market!