Feel Like You’re Not Making Enough Progress? Here’s What To Do About It

VLOG: We all feel a little behind sometimes. Christopher Reed shares his advice for how to move forward.

(Part 2) Meet Christopher Reed, co-founder of Creation Film–my business partner and husband. Christopher gives some insights to living the life of an artrepreneur.

Don’t have time to watch? Here’s a RECAP:

1. Understand the stage you’re in and enjoy it. If your artrepreneurial journey has 100 stages within it, enjoy stages 5, 25, and 75, because you will never be there again.

2. You should become an expert in what you do. Becoming a master of any craft takes time, so take advantage of the learning process.

3. Building a business takes time; be patient in building a solid business model and plan, and then executing them.

We all feel like we aren’t making enough progress sometimes. Let go of your expectations and do your best at staying focused and determined.
Remember: The journey of building your own art-based business is what it’s all about. Of course, you’ll always have a destination in mind, but don’t ignore the joy of actually getting there.

Follow Artrepreneurship – where ‘art’ and ‘entrepreneurship’ meet for more information that will make your artrepreneurial journey easier!

Peace, Kayla

Balancing the Life of Artrepreneurship – in 2 Minutes!

VLOG: Christopher Reed gives his tips for balancing the life of an artrepreneur.

Artrepreneurs around the world are asking: How do I balance the life of artrepreneurship? In today’s vlog, I’ve invited another real artrepreneur to share his advice. Meet Christopher Reed, co-founder of Creation Film–my business partner and husband. Christopher gives some insights to balancing the life of artrepreneurship.

Don’t have time to watch? Here’s a RECAP:

– Prioritize based on importance and time sensitivity
– Know your schedule
– Work on your art/business every day, even if only for a small amount of time
– Be consistent
– Take breaks to rest and reflect

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

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

Monetize Your Art By Finding the Blue Ocean

There’s a phenomenon in the business world that’s all about red and blue oceans. Some of the world’s leading business strategists cite the “blue ocean” as the frontier of hope for new businesses. So what is the blue ocean?

Photo by solarseven

The blue ocean is an open market free of competitors. The red ocean is a crowded market filled with competitors, or sharks, constantly attacking one another. The barbaric nature of competition leaves businesses bleeding, and oceans red. So business strategists Renée Mauborgne and W. Chan Kim wrote a whole book about the importance of finding a blue ocean.

“The only way to beat the competition is to stop trying to beat the competition.”

In saturated markets, its hard to compete on much more than having the lowest price. And as an artist, I would bet that you don’t want to just compete on price–you probably want to compete on the creativity and quality of your artistic abilities. This is where the blue ocean comes in. If you can find a new ocean to swim in, you don’t have to worry about other sharks, other competitors, driving down your price. Your value stands so far apart from competitors, that you’re in an ocean of your own. Of course, easier said than done. Finding a blue ocean isn’t easy, otherwise everyone would do it–and that would defeat the purpose.

The first step in finding a blue ocean is understanding what’s already happening in the marketplace. Ever think of an awesome invention, only to find out that its already been invented? Don’t let that happen to you in your artrepreneurial journey. Do your research to understand what other people/companies are doing, and think about how you can offer a value that’s truly different.

The authors of Blue Ocean Strategy urge readers to look beyond demand that already exists and think about how new demand can be created. Sometimes people want something that no one offers. Sometimes people don’t even know they want something until someone else offers it to them. New demand can come from many places. Think about how you can “innovate” your value to help create a blue ocean, free of competitors.

What do you think about the “blue ocean strategy”? Would you like to read more about the tools that are presented in the famous book? Leave a comment below.

Peace, Kayla

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3 Easy Ways to Build Contacts in Your Artrepreneurial Network

Here are 3 easy ways to build contacts in your creative space, even during the time of the Coronavirus.

#1 Take advantage of free resources in your community

Free? That’s right, free! In every state there are organizations that exist for the sole purpose of stimulating the local economy through small business growth. One of these organizations is very dear to my heart: the Small Business Development Center!

Myself, Kayla Banda, providing free business counseling to an SBDC client – Photo courtesy of the Nevada SBDC

Small Business Development Centers are non-profit organizations that exist all over the country. There are 13 in Nevada alone! At the SBDC, business counselors are waiting to help you develop your business model, find funding, develop marketing strategies, assist in your research, and ultimately help you grow your creative business! All you have to do is sign up and make an appointment. Not only do counselors act as your business advisors, but they can help connect you with the rest of your local entrepreneurial community. So click here to locate an SBDC near you!

Another nationwide organization that provides business advising for free is SCORE. Their team consists of retired executives who have extensive experience in all kinds of industries. Check out this site to see if there is a SCORE counselor in your area who has the experience you need.

NOTE: Both organizations are offering virtual counseling through the time of the Coronavirus.

#2 Find out who the leaders in your industry are and connect with them on social media

Social media offers a great way to stay in the loop on all things happening in your field. Find and follow your industry members and experts to start building relationships with them and learning from the content they post. Work hard to engage with them authentically.

But first, make sure that you are providing helpful content on your social media pages so to encourage others to follow you. If you’re a painter, maybe you post content about your process or mistakes/lessons you’ve learned that could be helpful for others. Give people a reason to remember you so that when you meet them in person, they’re already familiar with you and the value you bring.

Social media is a great way to learn about in-person events that are happening, especially in your area. If one of your favorite local artists is hosting a gallery, go and support them. If an expert in your field is hosting a webinar, join! Supporting your local network is the easiest way to get support back.

#3 Go to local events in your creative space

Again, supporting your local artrepreneurial community is one of the best ways to gain trust with potential contacts in your field. When you support others, they’re more likely to support you. Try to maintain a benevolent spirit, meaning that you are there to truly support them. Keep a learning attitude–you never know what tidbit of advice might be a huge learning lesson for you in your artrepreneurial journey. One of the easiest ways to find local events is to search online for people and organizations in your field and stay up-to-date with the information they post. Often they will share information on events, meet-ups, and openings.

Connecting with potential customers, mentors, and partners is a huge part of developing your artrepreneurial network–but you must stay genuine! People are much more willing to work with others who they feel are benevolent, well-meaning, and honest. So try your best to support without a hidden agenda. Ego is not welcome here!

Remember: Building a network takes time and benefits are not always immediate. Stay with it. Becoming a recognized name in any community takes time and effort, so consider this a strategy for the long-haul.

Peace, Kayla

Challenge! Visit your social media pages right now and start searching for local members of your creative field–they can be people or organizations. Then, think about the value you can offer them through your own social media page. These two steps are the core of starting to develop your artrepreneurial network and can be done now, even in the time of COVID-19.