How to Build a Business Model Around Your Art

VLOG: Thinking about building your very own art-based business? Here are 5 steps for getting started, in under 5 minutes!

No time to watch? Here’s a RECAP:

1. Identify the product or service you can offer

Depending on what kind of art you create, you may need to make adjustments in order to make your art a sellable product or service. Think about your art and interests… What products or services can be created from them?

2. Think about why people would want to buy your product or service

Once you’ve discovered your sellable product or service, you must ask yourself: Why will people buy my product or service? Think about “pain points”–these are things that your potential customers either can’t do on their own, or it’s really hard for them to do on their own. If you can solve a problem for your customers, or fulfill a need or want that they have, you’re in good shape to move on to step #3.

3. Ask yourself how you can deliver your value in a unique way

You’ve found your product or service and your best-fit customers, now you need to think about how you’ll offer your value in a way that’s different from your competitors. This is called your differentiation. Without it, you’ll struggle to capture the attention of your potential customers.

4. Look around for organizations or individuals who can act as your strategic partners

Now that you’ve solidified your value and how you want to deliver it, think about others who can help make your vision a reality. Who can help you create your product, market your product, and sell your product? Who can you partner with in order to make your artrepreneurial journey easier?

5. Visit this article to flesh out your creative business model

If you’ve gotten this far, its time to flesh out the details of your creative business. Visit the One-Page Business Plan for the Artrepreneur to finish developing a creative business model around your art!


Best of luck in your artrepreneurial journey! Follow Artrepreneurship – where ‘art’ and ‘entrepreneurship’ meet to get more straight-to-the-point information that will help you develop your very own art-based business!

Peace, Kayla

The Importance of Execution

You know the famous Nike slogan – Just Do It! Execution is all about just doing it, and doing it strategically.

You know the famous Nike slogan – Just Do It! Execution is all about just doing it, and doing it strategically. Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Business plans? Crucial. Marketing research? SO helpful. Financial projections? Yes!

But in order to accomplish the things you plan, or to put that research to use, or to meet those sales projections, you must be able to execute. Sounds obvious, but execution can be one of the hardest parts of artrepreneurship.

Businessmen Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan co-wrote an entire book about execution. Let me paraphrase some of the most helpful tidbits of information below, so that you can spend your time executing instead of reading! Much of what they discuss revolves around two common execution struggles:

#1 – You don’t have the necessary time, resources, or partners to execute what you’ve planned.
#2 – You don’t have the habits or system in place to help you execute timely and well.

So how do you overcome these struggles?

#1 Robust conversation: You must be willing to have conversations with your partners (or friends, or yourself) that revolve around digging deeper into what the situation is and how it should be approached. Honesty is key here–you must be able to face reality. In order to set goals that are achievable, you must truly understand what your capabilities and resources are. 

#2 Set clear goals and prioritize: Be explicit in what you want to accomplish. Create deadlines for yourself. Think about what actions will result in a successful project and prioritize those actions. Try thinking both long-term and short-term here. And by short-term, I mean even one day. What will you execute today?

Some other things to think about:

To-do lists
Writing down your tasks for today, or even for the entirety of phase one of your plans, can be so helpful in helping you get past slumps and lazy days. Don’t get me wrong, rest is important. But on those days when you’re feeling lazy but really want or need to get something done, to-do lists can make it easier to choose where to start. Plus, it feels great to cross something off your to-do list, which can give you motivation to tackle the next item!

When’s the most productive time for you?
You should also think about when and where you work best. Although at its core, execution is really all about doing things even when you don’t feel like it, it’s also important to know when you do feel like it. These are the times to take advantage of. Remember, these aren’t necessarily the times when you are used to working, but rather when you are truly most productive. For example: I’m used to working in the evenings, but I really get more done in the late morning. In accordance with #2 above, execution is really all about knowing yourself.

Align your planned tasks with your strengths and interests
Often, we have to do things we don’t want to do, and this can cause us to procrastinate. There’s no real way around this aside from will-power. However, you can plan your tasks around what you know you like and dislike. For example: I plan to do things I like on the weekends. Otherwise, I’ll procrastinate, cram my least-favorite tasks in on Sunday night, and dread it the whole time. If I plan to do things I like on the weekends, I’m way more likely to wake up in the morning and be excited to get to work on a Saturday or Sunday.

My husband and business partner always says: Eat the frog for breakfast. For him, doing his least-favorite things in the morning gets them out of the way and sets him up for a productive afternoon of executing tasks he really likes doing. Again, it’s all about knowing yourself. 

Remember:
– To truly execute a larger vision, sometimes we have to do things we don’t love doing. Do them anyway.
– You must know yourself in order to set goals that are achievable. That means we can’t shy away from the reality of things.
Direction is more important than speed. Having a plan makes your time working worthwhile, because you’re working on things that are truly going to help your plan come to life. It might take you a while to reach your goal, but all that matters is that you reach it.

Challenge: Make a plan for today or tomorrow. List one or more things that you’ll accomplish, and make a note about why those things are going to help you reach your larger goal of becoming an artrepreneur. Then, execute!

Peace, Kayla

P.S. Follow Artrepreneurship – where ‘art’ and ‘entrepreneurship’ meet to get straight-up information on how to make your artrepreneurial journey a success!

One-page Business Plan for the Creative Entrepreneur

We’re going to go through an easy-to-complete one page plan that will help you strategize for your future creative endeavor!

By now, you’ve already decided that it’s time to start your own creative business. If you have a good understanding of your value, message, brand, and available resources, it’s time to get into your first business plan. Don’t worry! We’re going to go through an easy-to-complete one page plan that will help you strategize for your future creative endeavor!

Remember: This one page “plan” is meant to help you develop a business model around your art. A business model is a strategic plan for how your business will operate, and is based around what we discussed in the last blog. (Make sure to revisit this page if you’re not totally clear on your value, message, brand, and available resources.)

I’m going to present you with 8 questions on which your business model relies. Try to answer confidently and succinctly. Your compiled answers will create your first strategic business plan!

Based on your value, message, and brand:

Who is your ideal customer? Mention demographics (age, gender, location, etc.) and psychographics (their interests, their career choice, etc.). Is your target customer a person or a business? Be as descriptive as you can. If you think you might have multiple target markets, write down each one so that you can test out your expectations in the first few months of operating your business. Learn as much about your potential customers as you possibly can!

How are you going to communicate with your ideal customer? Think about what channels you’ll use to make them aware of your services. Channels can be: social media, website, traditional marketing like billboards, word-of-mouth through referrals, etc. Also think about how you are going to communicate with your customers once they are already your customers. How will you work with them? Maybe it’s online, over the phone, in-person, or something else. Don’t forget to think about which methods will help you share your value and brand most clearly.

How are you going to deliver your value to your customers? If you’re selling a product, how are you going to deliver that product? If you’re selling a service, how will the customer receive that service from you? What does the process look like? Customers will want to know what working with you looks like, so plan out your process strategically.

What skills do you need in order to create and deliver your value? Most likely, you already have the skills you need to create your art-based product or service. Try describing them. Also think about skills you will need in order to promote and deliver your value to others. You might need website-building skills, networking skills, etc. Try to think outside of the box here.

What resources will you need in order to create and deliver your value? You’ve already evaluated the resources you currently have. Are there any others that will help you to build the art-based business you envision? Think software, partners, space, etc.

What is it going to cost to create and deliver your value? You’ll need to consider materials, travel, your own labor, and more. Write down all of your expenses, so that you can decide on how much to charge your customers. Your prices should be higher than your expenses, so that your business can make a profit. (If you’re pursuing a growth company, you may need a large amount of money in order to start-up. We’ll talk about potential funding sources in future posts. If you’re pursuing a lifestyle company, costs generally come about for every new project you work on.) Understand when your expenses will appear and how you will pay them.

How are you going to make money? Will you have multiple product or service offerings? How much will you charge for each? How will you collect the money you’ve earned?

What does the competition look like? It’s crucial to understand what the competitive landscape looks like so that you can know if: your prices are attractive, your value and branding are truly unique, how others communicate with your potential customers, and so much more. Start with a Google search, ask around your creative community, and learn as much about your competitors as you possibly can.

So… that was a lot, huh? Don’t worry. Creating a strategic business model takes lots of time and thought, but these questions will help put you on the right path. Look at your written answers and see where gaps exist. This is where you will want to focus your attention before officially starting your business. You might want to get going right away, but these gaps can cause you to be unsuccessful in the future. If you want your business to succeed, building a solid strategic business model is key. It’s like they say: If you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail.

This blog is going to cover each of these questions in more depth, so that you can do your best to prepare your art-based business. Follow below and continue building the creative business of your dreams!

Peace, Kayla

P.S. You’re building a brand that’s going to last. Be patient.

P.P.S. Strategyzer.com’s Business Model Canvas is the method from which this one-page plan was derived.

5 First Steps in Building Your Art-based Business

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.

MARQUE ONE brand board
Branding Board example by Krishna Solanki

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!

Peace, Kayla

P.S. Through each step, remember to always be thinking from the perspective of your potential customers.