Why Every Artist Should Learn About Business
By Artist, I'm talking about you geeks reading this: The writer, the filmmaker, the poet, the YouTuber, etc. All of you should learn about business!
Or at least, basic business. It's a no brainer.
I'm an artist! Why would I learn about Business?
I assume you're probably one of those content creators that feels that you value more on your quality of work if you ask that.
You probably feel that you're motivated to create your content for its quality/pride rather than getting money out of it.
Well, if your hobby is creating content, Sure! Skip this article!
But if you've always wished to make a living out of your content, I believe it's crucial to learn about Business. Why?
Simple: In order to make a profit out of your work, you need to learn how to sell and to know how to sell your content, you need to learn how business works.
Makes sense? Well, you don't need to learn specifically about business as a whole but you do need to learn the basics of it
But I can hire an agent to do the business work for me?
Good point but wouldn't it be better if you don't actually have to get an agent?
Of course, you're going to need an agent one day but when you're first starting out you really to learn how to sell by yourself
"How in the world would I sell my content without a third party/agent", you may ask. You could do it by investing time to learn about how to sell your content. It doesn't have to be as direct as you buy your food from your local groceries of course.
For most of you artists out there, selling is not about just giving a price to your content. It's about giving them a solution.
How is selling giving a solution?
Lets put it this way, for example, you're a rich person who just bought a large mansion. It's all great and good, you've furnished it with your premium furniture.
The paint job is spotless and there are more empty rooms in the house that you just can't wait to fill in. But there seems to be something missing, the walls look empty.
What would you do in this situation? Well, you could add in extra furniture of course but I bet most of you would buy a painting!
So you go out into the internet and set off into an adventure to find a good painting. Then you find a painting that fits your taste. You contact the painter and poof! You have your painting.
You see, it's about giving people a solution. Don't make something that just appeases to your taste if you nobody's going to like/buy it.
"But yeah", you say, "But how do I actually sell my content? I'm a writer for god sake!"
Simple, you don't. In that way, you need to market it!
"How in the world would I sell my content without a third party/agent", you may ask. You could do it by investing time to learn about how to sell your content.
It doesn't have to be as direct as buying food from your local grocery, the way you sell your content is by Marketing it!
Market. Market. Market.
Now just so you know, marketing is not about selling your content.
It's about showing information to the potential buyers/hirers to let them know your content exists. It's not selling, it's about promoting.
For example, If you're a writer for hire, It wouldn't work if you just post your portfolio on your blog. Nobody in the right mind would read it unless you ungraciously send those pesky links to them.
Now, before you click that "Boost Your Post" button. You don't have to spend money promoting that site of yours, all you need to do is Network
You're Networking All Wrong!
"I know that!", you're probably screaming at your desk right now. Hear me out, not just to other fellow content creators in your niche, but to broader up your people.
I'm talking about Marketers, Producers, PR, you might not need them right now but it's absolutely crucial to know them.
Why? Because they usually know someone who knows someone that might be interested in your work. To be simple, They know more people than you.
If you only network to the same niche, nobody wants to buy your content. They'll most likely give you a big thumbs up but they won't buy it.
Why? Because everyone in your niche is doing the same thing!
This is where Branding comes into play.
Who Are You?
Unless you want to be known as just another aspiring writer.
Branding is absolutely crucial for your work! Branding can come from your brand image such as your thumbnail/design but it also sets up your style/voice.
For example, if you're a writer who's into every genre, it's absolutely unlikely anyone's going to notice you.
But if you niche it out a bit and pick Mystery, for example, people are going to know about you a lot more!
You need to have your own brand image. You want to know how people perceive you. You want to give them a lasting first impression so that you stand out from the rest of them.
Is that it?
No, of course not. There is still more that you need to learn in Business such as:
- Copyright: If you don't want anyone to steal your stuff or get sued by someone, you really need to learn about how copyright works
- Distribution: This is a no brainer for you of course. If you're a musician, you'd probably upload it on SoundCloud. If you're a filmmaker, you're more likely to upload it on Youtube, etc.
- Negotiation: Unless you just want to sell out your content as quickly as possible. You need to have a good price on yourself and potential buyers/hirer wouldn't be so eager to immediately work with you. So, this is where negotiation comes into play
There is still a lot more stuff but that would give you at least a good understanding of the basics. By learning the most basic stuff of business can separate you from being just another artist waiting for their glory.