Before I get started on how to make money online as an artist, I must speak on why I see artists are still struggling to make money, a mindset shift to adopt, and then my top 3 tips to make money online as an artist.
The reason why artists are starving: they don’t setup systems to make money.
Most starving artists have a 9 to 5, or two. They’re barely making rent, and struggling to pay their other bills. Sure, a 9 to 5 is awesome. The majority of our society lives within the structure of that type of work. Having a 9 to 5 gives you a space to have a system that you don’t have to think about. You show up, clock in, do the work, clock out, get paid. And, honestly, this system is there whether or not you show up, it’s been running for years.
But, if you’re like me, you aren’t fulfilled by this. Sure, you find ways to make the work meaningful, you meet interesting people, you love the security of the job but 80% of the time you wake up wanting to just spend the day making art.
Maybe you have the most epic ideas for projects while you’re working, but they’ve left your consciousness by the time you get home from work.
I get it, you might “do it for the love of doing it”, maybe you like the system of a 9 to 5 and your art is just a hobby for you. If so, this post isn’t for you.
But, if you’re like me, and want to make money by simply producing and selling your art, read on.
If you want to make money with your art, you have to understand that you are more than an artist, you are a business owner who sells art.
A friend and someone I work with, who happens to be a business owner recently shared a perspective that I wish to share with you.
In a nutshell, she had been trying to get her business off the ground, and after attending a business course she realized that she needed to shift her mindset.
She had been operating from the place of being a hypnotherapist, and making decisions from that mental place. Her mindset shift, that I invite you to adopt, was that she is a business owner who happens to sell the service of hypnotherapy. After making this mindset shift and applying things she learned in an amazing business course, her company took off.
Being an artist, myself, I am guilty of this. I am guilty of showing up to perform at shows, and having no merchandise to sell, and not getting paid for my performance; although, the promoter is getting paid off of the people that I brought to the event. Although, the bartender is getting tipped by my friends, fans and family.
I am guilty of treating my art as less than I should. Having spent countless hours perfecting songs, editing videos, performing, hosting shows, and networking with artists from all over the world, as well as, years building a fan base, clearly, my art is waaaay more than just a hobby.
Three simple systems I have implemented that have aided me in making thousands of dollars from my art.
1. Put your art online.
To some of you more advanced online geeks, this might be something you’ve already done. However, I share this as the first tip because, it’s super important, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked to hear music or see art of artists that I meet, and they do not have any readily accessible.
My advice is this: take what you have now, and create an account at one of the below mentioned websites, and share your art.
Do you make music? Use Soundcloud.com
Do you paint? Make prints? Photography? Set up a store on Etsy.com.
2. Actively Engage With Your Audience
First of all, please stop tagging 1230912 people on Facebook to promote your art. This isn’t a way to engage, it’s a sure way to get unfriended, or just ignored. Out of the 192309132098 times I’ve been tagged in songs or events, I think I’ve listened maybe once, because it was actually someone I knew and loved their art. Also, do not spam message/post on all your friend’s walls.
OK, so now that I’ve shared what not do to, this is what engaging your audience looks like:
Post heart-based, meaningful content, receive comments, comment back.
So, a challenge for you: post a photo of yourself doing something you love, explain why you love it, how you got into it, or something else deep about it and then ask others to share about what they love to do. Engage with anyone who comments back.
3. Build Relationships With Your Audience
For some reason or another, with the advent of the internet and social media websites which allow people to connect with others relationship building has gone out the window. A lot of artists and even businesses who I admire and look up to, literally, only post content that aims to make a sale, or share a recent art piece created. Rarely do I see artists or small businesses building relationships with their audience.
By building relationships, I mean, actively taking interest in the people who take interest in you. Follow them back on social media, leave them comments, add them on Facebook, send them x-mas cards, talk to them outside of wanting them to check out your latest art piece, blog post or song. To be transparent, I personally do all of these. The highlight of my last X-mas card mailing was sending a card alllll the way to Macedonia — honestly, I even had to look up where that was.
I must share that I only invite you to follow these 3 tips if you honestly, in your heart, care about sharing your art and care about your audience, and are committed to invest in yourself and those who support you.
Leave A Comment Below With One Take Away You’ve Learned From This Post.
(c) Vida Loek 2016. Permission is granted to share this article freely on the condition that the author is credited, and the URL http://www.vida.loek.com is included.
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