1. Undervaluing Yourself
As you start to think about asking for money for your artwork, it can be hard to place a dollar amount on your value. But doing so is one of the first steps to monetizing your artwork. It’s important to strategically price your artwork–learn about how to do so here.
If you’ve never charged for your art before, it can be easy to undervalue yourself. You might sell your first oil painting for $300 and realize later that it was worth at least $1,000. A mentor once told me to start high to test the market; if people won’t buy my product because it’s too expensive, then lower my price. Do this until they finally purchase, and you’ve found your sweet spot. Unfortunately, lots of artrepreneurs (myself included) do the opposite. We price too low and gradually increase as we realize the value that we’re really providing. Save yourself some time and lost money, and make sure you are valuing yourself and your artwork fairly.
2. Undervaluing Others
Artrepreneurs are often “solo-preneurs”–people who are building a business on their own. As a solopreneur, its easy to undervalue the help and support of others. You might think that it’s easier to do things on your own, but have you tried working with someone else to accomplish the same goals? Of course, working with others isn’t always easy, but the power of teamwork makes the collaboration worth it. Instead of trying to do things all on your own, start off your artrepreneurial journey with others on your side.
3. Not Thinking About the Customer First
Being an artrepreneur is unique because artwork is often more important to artrepreneurs than other products like, let’s say, toilet paper or toothbrushes. Artrepreneurs are so connected to their artwork, that they often forgot to think about their customers first. Remember: As an artrepreneur, you are creating for other people, not for yourself. The customer must be the core of your creative business. Your art-based product or service is made for them.
4. Only Creating for Money
However, artists also need creative time that is not restricted by product limitations or the wants of the customer. As an artrepreneur, remember to take time to create for yourself, not only for your customers. Become dedicated to working on art for your business AND art for yourself. If you forget to create for the sake of creating, you risk losing the joy of creating artwork for others by burning yourself out.
5. Not Asking for Feedback
Depending on the creative product or service you offer, you may have a close interaction with your customers or you may not. Regardless, you must find a way to ask for their feedback. Understanding the experience of your customers will:
– Help you ensure that your product or service is of quality
– Help you improve the customer experience in the future
– Help you identify important changes that you might need to make to your business model
– Help you develop trust with your customers
Whether you create a standardized digital survey, informally ask your customers about their experience in person, or do something in between, getting feedback from your customers and your partners can mean the difference between building a sustainable creative business and not. Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback from others; its purpose is to make you more successful in the future.
Thinking about these 5 things early on in your artrepreneurial journey will help you avoid time-wasting mistakes. But also remember to revisit each of these points as you grow your creative business. All are important to your continued artrepreneurial success!
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