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How Creatives Can Earn From Their Craft

Albert Einstein was quoted to have said, “Creativity is intelligence having fun.” True enough, creatives are a breed of unique and experienced individuals. Their skills, vision, and passion for their craft are admirable. That’s why people often pay to get a hold of their creations.

However, it wasn’t always like this; decades ago, being ‘creative’ was synonymous with a struggling or starving artist.

When the internet took over, the awareness, interest, and need for creatives rose alongside it. These days, creatives have several tools and strategies at their disposal to help market and sell their products. Suddenly, searching for gallery space for rent in Amsterdam or uploading a sample of your demo is no longer a tedious and costly exercise.

As a ‘creative’, you don’t always have to struggle with turning your craft into cash. But if you are, read on as we discuss actionable ways to earn from your passion. Let’s start by learning the basics about creatives.

Who are the ‘creatives’?

The most common types of craft include painting, wood carving, jewelry-making, paper craft, metal works, tattoo-making, and many others. Creatives can have tangible creations, intangible ones, or both. For instance, an entrepreneur who launches a small crafts business has tangible items, a graphic artist generates digital products, and a modeler could have digital creations that can be translated to a physical form.

As such, there’s no one-size-fits-all definition for creatives except to describe an individual capable of producing something that another person may be interested in. Creatives can be loosely defined into two major categories.

  1.     Traditional artists

Most artists can practice their craft by producing decorative, applied, and fine arts using traditional media. As practitioners of the visual arts, they focus on skills involving a wide range of materials such as paper, textiles, glass, metal, wood, and ceramics.

Applied arts enthusiasts aim to add beauty to everyday objects. Fashion, graphics, interior designers, and architects are the most commonly skilled professionals who put applied arts into practice.  Some artists make works of art purely for aesthetic reasons, and they primarily practice fine arts. Painters, photographers, and sculptors are common examples of skilled artists who subscribe to fine arts.    

While traditional artists are associated with traditional media, they can also use digital tools to showcase and market their art pieces.

  1.     Digital creatives

The Internet Age has spawned another breed of artists known as digital creatives. These individuals produce content mostly for online consumption.

Below are the most common digital creatives:

  •   Marketing directors: Marketing directors ensure that their clients effectively reach their prospects amid the fiercely competitive digital landscape. They must possess the skills to attract and keep users’ attention creatively.
  •   Content writers: From writing blogs to marketing campaigns and other types of web content, writers are skilled wordsmiths who can adapt to specific client requirements for a successful campaign or advocacy.
  •   Coders and programmers: These professionals love to create software and applications that make life easier for other businesses and the general public.
  •   Graphic artists and designers: Whether producing illustrations or directing an animation, these creatives must be skilled enough to know how to make an impact.
  •   Web developers and designers: These individuals create visually appealing and functional websites.
  •   Content creators: These creatives are skilled at turning mundane events into something interesting to the public. Their goal is to create ‘viral’ content that gets the most likes, shares, and reactions from the audience.
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Like traditional artists, there is a wide variety of digital creatives based on what type of media they specialize in. Because they rely on the internet to perform their craft, they can also use the online platforms to earn.

How creatives can earn from their craft

Whether you’re a traditional artist or a digital creative, you can use your skills can complement your current income. The key is to treat it like an online business without capital except for your skills and effort. That said, start by identifying your niche and ensuring that you have a market for your specialty.

As a venture, you must also identify your market and employ digital and traditional marketing techniques. Identify useful platforms to show your art pieces, expand your network, and increase engagements.

  1.     Sell your items physically

For traditional artists and buyers, nothing beats the opportunity of looking at a painting, jewelry, or sculpture up close. You may choose to exhibit your hand-crafted goods by renting out an art gallery, taking your products in bazaars, and selling booths, depending on the art piece you’re selling.

  1.     Offer your products online

Selling your craft online is one of the quickest ways to turn your passion into cash. There are general selling channels and niche marketplaces where you can post your pieces. Post your products on popular sites to ensure maximum exposure as you try to establish brand awareness.

Whether you love knitting, making soap, or other crafts, tapping digital technologies enables you to reach thousands more customers quickly. Make sure to link your website and social media accounts in your description to increase site traffic and view more of your pieces that might interest your prospects.

  1.     Create a website to increase legitimacy

Whether a traditional artist or a digital creative, having a website is an effective way to market yourself. The website acts as your brand’s ‘face’ and gives you legitimacy as an individual and a visionary. An impressive portfolio shows how good you are at what you do. It also shows your style and whether you’re the right person for the job.

  1.     Write blogs to (subtly) promote your work

A creative must start their blog or upload a blog on niche sites to attract more buyers and establish authority in the industry. Whether a painter, writer, social media specialist, or photographer, increasing traffic and attracting leads should be your priority, and blog-making is a potent tool to achieve this goal.

  1.     Create social media accounts to gain subscribers

There are over four billion social media users worldwide. Tap into this market by creating social media accounts to showcase your artwork. Upload high-resolution photos and learn to write creative and compelling descriptions, alongside the strategic use of hashtags to target your market more effectively.

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If you can spare some cash, consider subscribing to paid ads to boost traffic to your site. The good thing about this option is that it has the potential to be effective without burning a hole in your pocket.

  1.     License your artwork

Visual artists like painters, graphic designers, illustrators, and photographers can seek companies looking to use images for their use. Some firms include image editing software makers, often providing a library of licensed stock photos.

Art licensing allows an artist or creator to give manufacturers or third parties permission to use their product or images. It’s like renting out your artwork to interested parties.

  1.     Commission your services  

This practice has been around for decades, where people hire artists to produce portraits and make other types of artworks upon request. The tradition continues today, where art enthusiasts, private companies, and government agencies seek painters and illustrators to generate masterpieces like murals, wall decorations, hand-drawn portraits, and other similar products.

  1.     Create content strategically 

To optimize your digital presence, choose niche sites or platforms where you can upload your work. These sites have a broad reach, and most headhunters, music or video producers, and studio executives maintain accounts to search for the next big star. The same goes for videographers and almost any creative who wants to optimize their reach.

Besides earning from posting viral content and advertisements, you can also profit from being an influencer. Big brands are looking to collaborate with famous social media content generators to complement their digital marketing campaign.

  1.     Provide consultation and coaching services

Creatives who’ve gained enough skills and experience on a specific subject can share their knowledge as a paid service to individuals and groups through private consultations or one-on-one coaching.

For instance, if you’re a retired or experienced art director, consider offering your services to people and teams involved in creating artistic projects. Dating and relationships, fitness, self-improvement, and financial independence coaching are a few of the most popular fields.

  1. Position yourself as an expert and sell digital products

If you’ve gained a healthy following and are confident about your skills and experience, position yourself as a subject matter expert. Start building your brand and test the waters by offering digital products for free to expand your customer base.

Creating e-books is perhaps one of the most effective ways to earn passive income. This non-expiring digital product is easy to update, access, and promote. Even better, you don’t have to spend anything to create one.

Concluding thoughts

These days, creating unique artworks to make money is not enough. You must expand your reach and let the world know what you can offer. The key is to stand out and produce excellent products and services to get noticed. By keeping the tips mentioned above, it’ll be easier for a creative person such as yourself to showcase your work and skills without drowning in a sea of competition.

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