The Importance of Distribution

“If content is king, distribution is the kingdom.”

Distribution channels are one of the most important components to an artrepreneur’s business model. Artists are infamously reliant on distributors to share their work with the world. Becoming an artrepreneur is all about understanding how to build a system of content creation and content distribution. So don’t underestimate the importance of distribution.

Imagine building the most epic, innovative, beautiful art piece, only to realize that there was absolutely no way to share it with anyone else? Of course, the satisfaction that comes from being it’s creator is enough to fulfill the artist’s soul. But the artrepreneur is looking to create something incredible that’s capable of filling both their soul and their pockets. In order to do this, the artrepreneur must develop a strategy to share that work with others (in a way that will make them want to spend money to experience it). That’s where broadcast distribution comes in.

Author Derek Thompson wrote a book called Hit Makers that’s all about how things become popular. He looks at trends like baby names and fashion, and hits like Star Wars and 50 Shades of Grey, then develops and debunks theories as to how and why these hits became hits. It’s a great read for any aspiring artrepreneur. But for the purposes of this article, I’ll focus on one of his main points:

“If content is king, distribution is the kingdom.”

Let’s look at a popular example: Erika Mitchell, author of the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy, was a popular fan fiction writer with over 5 million readers before she wrote and released the first 50 Shades of Grey novel. When she released the book on her page, hundreds of her existing fans reviewed it on Goodreads and caught the attention of Random House Publisher. After being published by the reputable publisher, the novel caught the attention of New York Times, which further broadcasted the novel to hundreds of thousands of readers and viewers, who then talked about the book with lots of their friends. This trail is important to follow because it exemplifies the importance of strong distribution channels. Fifty Shades of Grey didn’t blow up just because of its content; it became a true hit because of its strong distribution pattern.

Challenge: Think about and write down as many potential broadcast distribution channels for your product or service as you can. Then, evaluate each with your business model in mind. Think about which are most attainable/feasible and the reach that each provides. Select 2-5 and get to work on implementing them! Consider individuals, organizations, movements, softwares, and more!

For example: At CREATIONS Film, we’re currently working on building up our broadcast distribution channels so that more people can be exposed to our work. Here’s what our first brainstorm looked like:

Potential Broadcast Distribution Channels:
Art museums
Film festivals*
“Choice” playlists (like Vimeo’s “Staff Picks”)
Relevant non-profit organizations*
Movie theater pre-movie ads/content
Artists/celebrities who support our brand/message*

We decided to focus on the three starred* channels first. Now we are doing some of the ground work to secure these broadcast channels, in order to help us reach more people than our own channels alone would allow. To do this, we’ve developed strategies to help us approach and work with each potential distribution channel.

Remember: This process can take weeks, so be patient as you brainstorm and test your ideas. The purpose of this article is to get you thinking about potential distribution channels that can help you share your art-based products or services. Remember to visit and update your business model often, and don’t be afraid to take a chance on distribution channels that might seem out of reach. Good luck!

NOTE: Before you start the ground work to secure large broadcast channels, make sure that you are ready to accept their help. You’ll want to have enough quality content to ensure that once people are sent to you/your page, they will stay, become fans, and hopefully become clients/customers.

Peace, Kayla

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The Importance of Stages in Artrepreneurship

A culture of instant gratification, 0 to 100, now or never, is becoming more and more prominent–don’t let it jeopardize your artrepreneurial success.

With false expectations of what it means to build a creative business, many artrepreneurs are left disappointed. I’ve seen dozens of clients face “failure” because of their own failure to address the importance of stages in their entrepreneurial journey. Should they have prepared properly, they could have obtained the success they were looking for.

NOTE: It’s true–not all paths are the same. Some people work through these stages one at a time, some work through multiple at once, and some jump between stages throughout their journey. Do what’s best for you, but remember to at least think through each stage during your preparation process.

PREPARATION

Study the market – Take some time to understand what’s already being offered. Don’t forget to think about competitors and target markets that aren’t immediately obvious. Here are some resources to help you.

Master the craft – Learn as much as you can about your art and the business in which you will operate. You don’t have to become an expert before you start your artrepreneurial journey, but you should work on becoming an expert as soon as you can.

Build a solid business model – Before you jump into launching your creative business, make sure you have a game plan. Better yet, your game plan should be backed by data or experience. And that’s where TESTING comes in:

TESTING

Test your product – As you’re developing your product or service, it’s important to test it as you go. You don’t want to build what seems like the perfect product, only to find out that your customers actually hate it’s design or functionality.

Test the target market -After studying the market, you should have a good idea of who your target customers are; but, its helpful to confirm your assumptions. Approach your target market, have them interact with your product or service, and ask them to provide feedback about their experience.

Test your pricing – As you’re working on testing your product and target market, don’t forget to test out your pricing, too. After you’ve interacted with customers, ask them about the pricing. Would they pay XX amount for this? If they say yes, great–you might even be able to increase the price a bit. If they say no, you’ll know your pricing is too high. Read more about how to price your work here.

LAUNCH

Take what you’ve learned and apply it – As you work through the preparation and testing phases, remember to make note of the insights you discover. Don’t forget to incorporate what you’ve learned into your future business decisions. If that means adjusting your business model or product offering, do it.

Take your creative business full time – Once you’ve gotten to a place where you’ve tested your business model and have secured your first few clients/customers, it might be time to take your business full time. However, some businesses can be launched as a side hustle, so think about what is right for you and your creative business.

Consider looking for additional funding (if applicable)Depending on your business model, you might need additional funding to start up your business. Read this article to learn more about financing and discover what’s right for your creative business.


Building a successful business is about the long game–build a good foundation and success will come more easily in the future. Take the time to work through each artrepreneurial stage and watch your artrepreneurial vision come to life.

Remember: Your artrepreneurial journey will consist of many levels. Don’t be so eager to get to level 100, that you forget to enjoy the levels in between. Levels 5, 20, and 80 all come with their own satisfactions. Don’t miss out on the journey because you’re too focused on the final destination.

For more straight-to-the-point information about artrepreneurship, follow Artrepreneurship – where ‘art’ and ‘entrepreneurship’ meet.

Peace, Kayla

Tips for Naming Your Art-Based Business

Naming your business is an important step in developing a recognizable art-based brand. Here are some tips to help you find the “perfect” name!

1. Be clear about the product or service you offer

Every see or hear a business name and have no idea what the company actually does? Be careful with creating a name that is hard to directly relate to your business. Many artrepreneurs choose a descriptor word that follows the core business name to help give customers a hint about what they do. For example: Creations Film or John Doe Design. Others select names that play on the product or service provided. For example: The Sound Station or Artist’s Cafe.

2. Reflect your brand

In this article, we talked about building a brand around your art that acts as the core to your business image. Keep your brand in mind when developing a business name. Does your proposed name fit with the messaging style that you’ve decided on?

Some artrepreneurs name their business first, and then build their brand around that name. This is a slippery slope that can cause you to lose sight of the value you’re trying to offer. Instead, think about the value you’re providing your customers and how your business name can help to enforce it.

3. Be original, but easy to remember (and even familiar)

Originality is often praised in artrepreneurship, but Derek Thompson, author of the book Hit Makers, makes the argument that originality on its own is not king. People are more drawn to things that feel original AND familiar. Familiarity makes a business name easier to remember and creates a positive feeling in the hearts of consumers. So when naming your business, think about names that are somewhat original, and somewhat familiar or recognizable. This meet-in-the-middle method will help you create a business name that is preferred by most consumers.

4. Do your research

So you’ve gone through tips #1-3 and think you’ve found the perfect name for your business. Before you get too attached, make sure you do your research to confirm that the name is not already in use. There are 4 main places you’ll want to visit:

Google

A simple Google search can tell you right away if your potential business name is already in use. Is there another business or blog that floods your search results? If so, you’re going to have a hard time getting to the front page of Google, and a harder time becoming the very first search result that people will see. Check out what already exists online so that you can get an idea of the plausibility of your new business name.

NameCheckr.com

If you don’t see any competing online presences that might threaten the success of your new business name, it’s time to check out NameCheckr.com. This site allows you to simultaneously check all top-level domains and social media sites for your preferred business name. For example: You might want to name your business: Artist’s Cafe. On NameCheckr.com, you can see if that name is available for a .com domain, and as a username on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Using this kind of resource helps you to think about name consistency across your many digital presences.

USPTO

The United States Patent and Trademark Office should be your next stop. Here, you can search all trademarks to understand if your potential business name has already been trademarked. You can search all US trademarks here (search for “Basic Word Marks”).

NOTE: Trademarks rely much on the “Likelihood of Confusion.” If your trademark is too similar to another in your same goods or services category, you may get denied. However, let’s say there is another “Artist’s Cafe,” but the associated goods and services category is Clothing. Since you want to open a Coffee Shop, this other trademark will not be a problem, because it exists in a completely different industry.
But, if there is a trademark registered for “Artist Cafe” in the Coffee Shop industry, you might have a problem. “Artist’s Cafe” and “Artist Cafe” are too similar, and are considered to have a high likelihood of confusion for consumers–so you will most likely be denied a trademark under that name.

State Business Entity Search

The last place you’ll need to visit to confirm the eligibility for your potential business name is your state’s business entity search portal. This search engine will populate any competing business names in your state. If another business has already filed a business license under your potential name, you’ll need to choose another. To find your state’s business name entity search, go to Google and type in: ‘Your state’ business entity search.

Here are the Business Entity Search Portals for both Nevada and Oregon:
Nevada Business Entity Search Portal
Oregon Business Entity Search


Naming your business is one part heart and one (large) part strategy. Work through tips #1-4 as you develop the right business name for your art-based business! Remember: There is no formula for developing the perfect business name, so don’t drive yourself crazy trying to find the perfect one. Once you find a name that checks off tips #1-4, stick with it and get started on building your very own creative business!

Follow Artrepreneurship – where ‘art’ and ‘entrepreneurship’ meet to get more straight-to-the-point information that will make your artrepreneurial journey easier!

Peace, Kayla

The Artrepreneur’s Battle with Ego

This is a blog about artrepreneurship–so why are we talking about ego?

Beowulf’s inability to control his ego and let go of his pride ultimately resulted in his death and the vulnerability of his people.
Lucifer’s hubris and selfish viewpoints disconnected him from his heavenly people and caused suffering for the world below.
King Oedipus’ prideful attempts to deny the prophecies of the Greek gods brought about the death of those he loved.

Our (real and imagined) relations with the phenomenon known as the “ego” are nothing new. For centuries, we’ve been intrigued by ego and its impacts, most likely because it affects each of us. Our fascination with ego is not unprecedented–when not monitored and dealt with strategically, our egos can cause problems for us that we never intended.

artrepreneurship, ego, successful entrepreneur
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

That’s why it’s important for us to talk about ego here at Artrepreneurship – where ‘art’ and ‘entrepreneurship’ meet. As an artrepreneur, you will be faced with many challenges related to your ego. After all, this is YOUR creative business, this is YOUR vision, and much of your success lies on YOUR decisions and actions. It’s hard not to overemphasize the importance of yourself.

However, there are some ways you can keep your ego in check during your artrepreneurial journey:

Listening to others
As an artrepreneur, its important to ask others for their thoughts and opinions. We’ve talked before about the importance of others along your artrepreneurial journey: involving others can help you strengthen your weaknesses, come up with new ideas, and see things from different perspectives. Take the time to listen to what others have to say. You might find a gem in their advice one day.

Asking others for advice (and sometimes, taking it)
This is similar to listening to others, but requires that you take the first step in initiating their involvement. When you do ask for advice from others, listen deeply and consider what they have to say. Remember: you don’t always have to follow their advice. But, if there seems to be potential in what they have to say, don’t be afraid to take their advice and give them credit for the benefit they’ve added to your creative company.

Trusting the ability of others
Sometimes, we’ve added people to our team but still don’t fully trust their ability to execute. It’s easier to trust and rely on ourselves, because we’re confident that we won’t let ourselves down. But sometimes, you have to give others a chance to prove their ability and add to your vision. If they let you down, you can re-evaluate their position with your business–but at least give them a fair, fighting chance.

Evaluating yourself realistically
We’ve talked many times about the importance of being able to evaluate yourself and your circumstances from a place of reality. Sometimes, our ego can cause us to overestimate our own abilities or underestimate the abilities of others. This can leave promises unfulfilled and opportunities undiscovered. Work with your ego by evaluating yourself realistically and acting accordingly.

When you don’t take the time to check your ego as an artrepreneur, you might face unnecessary problems, such as:

– Losing potential partners
– Losing potential clients
– Missing out on good opportunities
– De-valuing your brand

Dealing with your ego might not be the first thing you think of when planning for your artrepreneurial journey, but it’s important. Keeping your ego in check will help you build a successful creative business that will last.

Peace, Kayla

Follow Artrepreneurship – where ‘art’ and ‘entrepreneurship’ meet to receive more straight-up information that will make your artrepreneurial journey easier.

You and Artrepreneurship

Here at Artrepreneurship – where ‘art’ and ‘entrepreneurship’ meet, we’ve talked a lot about the importance of a strong business model based on a need that your potential customers have. But here’s something we haven’t talked enough about: YOU.

The probability that your business vision will actually become a successful business, without you, is 0%. Someone might do something similar, someone might even pursue the same model based on the same need, but they aren’t going to do it just like you. You’re the artrepreneur in artrepreneurship, so it’s important to evaluate yourself before, and as, you pursue your artrepreneurial journey.

Strengths and abilities

What are you good at? What are you not so good at? Understanding your strengths is important in using your abilities to their full potential. You must understand what you can do, so that you can decide what you will do. Look for fit between your strengths and abilities and your business vision.

Think about your weaknesses, too. Will you need to balance your weaknesses with others who have strengths in those areas? Will you work on improving those weaknesses so that you don’t need to? These are important things to think about as you develop a plan for moving forward with your artrepreneurial journey.

Financial readiness

Your personal financial situation will affect your artrepreneurial journey. If you have a slow start, do you have emergency savings to back you up? If you decide you’ll need outside funding to start-up your business, are you in a good position to be lent money? (Good credit score, solid amount of personal capital, etc.)

In order to build a successful creative business, you’ll need to be able to handle the business’s finances in a strategic and responsible manner. Doing so with your personal finances is the best kind of practice.

Emotional readiness

When there are struggles with a business’s finances, the emotional side of being an artrepreneur is usually hit first. In fact, there are all kinds of things that are going to affect your emotional rationale: unexpected mishaps, uncertainty, rejection, failure. As many of have stated before, artrepreneurship often resembles a rollercoaster–good and bad times following each other over and over again. Do you feel prepared to deal with the emotional effects of building a successful art-based business?

Your network

Considering your network is an important step in preparing to build your own creative business. Think about who you know, and who they know. Think about who you don’t know that you should. Evaluate the strength of your current network and make a plan for how you can expand it. Who can you learn from? Who can help you test your business vision? Who might become a potential customer?

You may want to work on expanding your network appropriately before starting your business, or you might do so while starting up your business. Either way, networking is one of the most important ways to build your brand–and its centered around YOU and your ability to communicate your value to others. Don’t forget to focus on others, too–networking is most successful when you work on recognizing the value that other people bring.

Your desire

Your dedication is going to be the driving force behind your success as an artrepreneur. However, the desire we’re discussing now is your desire for yourself and your future. What are your long-term goals with this creative business? What would your ideal future look like? What do you really want, really desire, for yourself? This vision for yourself will be what helps motivate your dedication. It’s also a way to measure your artrepreneurial success in the future. Write down or draw out your desire. Keep it with you as a “postcard” for the destination you’re trying to reach.


I’m dedicated to giving you straight-to-the-point information about how to be the best artrepreneur you can be. It wouldn’t be right to NOT bring YOU up in one of our discussions. I hope you’ll take some time to have honest dialogue about yourself, with yourself. Doing so will help you understand the fit between who you are and the creative business of your dreams. Finding this fit is one huge step toward becoming a successful artrepreneur.

Peace, Kayla

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