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!