7 Valuable Tips To Start Your Successful Creative Business

Are you thinking of taking your talent, or hobby to a whole new level by going full-time with a creative business? I wish I had had some of these valuable tips to put into motion when I started my creative business and art studio! I hope you find this helpful!

1) Your Creative Business – What’s your Niche?

This could very possibly be the hardest part of creating success with your business! I mean, let’s face it, we artists love all “the pretty things”, right? That’s why we want to do what we love full-time! The further you can “niche” down, the more focused you will be and the less confusing you will be to your customers.

My advice is to ask yourself, “Why am I doing this?” For instance, for me, my “why” is completely for the love of up-cycling furniture, creating art, and supporting the makers of art! So when I’m looking for items for my space, I ask myself, “How does this relate to art and my art studio?”

I have a long-time love affair with candles…. I burn them, I want to use them, but do they sell well in my studio? Nope! I even had my awesome local soy candle maker (who I adore) create labels with my branding to help me make sense of my why. But, there they sit, me burning most of them until fall/Christmas season rolls around. So you get where I’m going with this right? If it’s not working for your “why,” you have to let it go.

So what are the primary items I look for? I’m a painter, so it makes perfect sense to carry paint! Ahhh yes! Find yourself brands that line up with your creative business model and that you can stand behind. What’s important for me is that of course items are beautiful, but I’m also concerned about safety and environmentally responsible products. With those guiding principles, the paint product I’ve chosen to carry is the DIY Paint. The DIY Paint products are all-natural, only have 9 ingredients, are highly pigmented, have NO VOCs, and have strong durability! So for me and my brand, that is a match made in heaven!

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2) Turn Off Your Brain!

Yeah, you read that right! Because we’re creatives, we have the tendency to overthink every little flipping detail! So much so that we get nothing done! Who can relate with me here? So I want you to get a general business plan written down and get started! Those names you keep thinking of for your business? Just make a decision already so you can get to the meat of your creative business! Something a coach once told me was “done is better than perfect,” so get “that thing” or decision you’re ruminating overdone tonight! Yep, I just gave you some homework 😉 You’re welcome!

3) Are You Connected?

So you’ve started your creative business – congratulations! Now what?
Reach out to the various brands of the products you’ve chosen to showcase and interact with them and show support for them! You love them enough to sell them, how can you collaborate with them? For instance, are you able to teach a class using their products on their social media page? If so, this gives you social proof and builds trust with the viewers. This will bring customers to your door and to your website to purchase those products!

I am currently doing some collaborations with Dionne Woods using her brushes and Water Girl products and with The Turquoise Iris Journal and MadeTV. I’m also one of the key artists for Debi Beard’s new line of artistry paint called “Painterly”. I am showing and teaching people how to use this beautiful vibrant new medium both on their furniture pieces as well as on canvas paintings. I’m so genuinely excited. Plus, people will get to watch the excitement live in real time which will get them excited too!

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4) Ask For Help!

Asking for help is always so difficult. It seems to shine a light on our vulnerability and makes us think we seem weak to others. But hear me out, all the smartest most successful people I know in the creative business have at least one if not a few professional business coaches. Do yourself a favor now and get a coach early on in your business!

These are people who have already been where you are now and they are happy to teach you what worked or what to avoid to get you where you want to go way faster than if you try to figure it all out on your own. Let them help you!

I’ve had several coaches while on my journey of growing my creative business and I have no regrets! They will have ideas and advice for you that will save you so much time and money! Coaches have a way of seeing things you have never considered because they are not emotionally invested in your business and they are on the outside looking in with unbiased advice.

I recently had a client that I coached about a business plan that included joining forces with another person who wanted to start a boutique. After going over all the pros and cons with her my client realized this partnership was not the best fit, she was able to avoid a big mistake that would have certainly drained her mentally, physically and most definitely financially. She was able to take time to think about the business plan and stay on track growing her art techniques as she developed her own branding.

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5) Create What You Want Locally

As a young girl I always thought I would move away to some cool artist-vibe community. But I found myself dating a local guy, getting married, and settling in our beautiful countryside here in Ohio. When I considered creating what I wanted in my own town, the phrase “be the change you want to see” entered my mind.

Get involved with your local community and find out if there are any other creatives or art communities in your town or even a surrounding town. Are there places that offer gallery hops, open houses, or shop hops? What about community festivals and other events? Could you get involved with your local farmers’ markets or holiday bazaars? Do you have a place to host one of these events or even at your own store or studio? This will bring fresh new faces into your space while also promoting others who set up for the event! It’s a win-win situation!

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6) Be Social with Your Creative Business!

If you have a business of any kind you have to be on social media! Let people get to know you! Allow them to connect to you on a more personal level when possible. It’s a well-known fact that people buy from people they know, love, and trust! So just pick a couple of places online that you enjoy and put yourself and your work out there. Be real, be yourself and you will attract your tribe! YOU are your brand, keep showing up diligently and you will start to see the customers that show up for you!

7) What Problem Can You Solve?

Lastly, figure out what problem you can solve or what value you can give to your customer. What’s coming to your mind right now? For me, I like to give samples of classes (like the photo below) so people are filled with confidence when they achieve a finished painting!

I offer that through an email opt-in, which means, if people sign up for my email list they often get a sample of a class or something of value such as that. This is a great way to grow your email list with people who honestly are interested in what you offer. These are the people that are invested in you and YOU are invested in them.

Collecting and growing your email list is essential in communicating more personally with those who legitimately want to be on the inside track of your creative business and what you’re doing.

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Did you find this valuable? You may like to check out Kelly’s post on Cultivating Your Creative Space

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Kelly Wiler
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Kelly Wiler

Kelly Wiler is an Ohio artist that has been creating and practicing art since she was a young girl inspired by her art teacher. Kelly teaches many different styles of paint classes and workshops, she specializes in the Intuitive Art process as a way to push her students to new levels of awareness in their own artistic journey. She lives with her husband Jeff and their daughter Cassidy. View Kelly’s Full Bio

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