Art (whether you’re a painter, sculptor, writer, musician, etc.) is incredible, but tends to either be highly lucrative. . . or not. Even great actors, for example, who have practiced their craft for years may struggle with auditions or never truly find a market for their particular niche. However, art and creativity is more commercially viable than ever. Gone are the days of solely trying to pitch yourself to a larger recording label, company, or deal in order to get noticed. Now, you can self-host, create your own content, and grow an audience independently. It’s exciting and challenging. But one truth remains: creatives can better sell themselves (and they should!).
Here are some suggestions:
Know Your Financial Worth
If you’re a creative person, one of the most important (and often most challenging) aspects of your profession is knowing your worth. Oftentimes, this confidence (and the subsequent pay rate) comes with time and practice, but there’s something to be said for market research in your profession to help you determine what’s typical/average for people in your field before you even start asking.
You also want to think about your personal value add. What can you offer or do differently? What do you bring to the table that your competition doesn’t? As you ask yourself these questions, you can also empower yourself—regardless of how ‘new’ or ‘inexperienced’ you are—to not settle for less than what you deserve.
Along with asking for pay is considering your long-term options. Where will you go/what will you do next? If you’re a freelancer, perhaps you’ll want to open a small business. If you own a business, maybe your next move will be investing in a physical space (or expanding your current space). Even if you aren’t in the best financial position at the start, there are options (like loans for bad credit online or crowdfunding options where you can generate additional revenue to support your creative pursuits.
Bottom line, creatives can better sell themselves through keeping their worth, their integrity, and their focus sharp.
Don’t accept less than you deserve, don’t sell yourself short, and don’t apologize for saying ‘no’ to something that just doesn’t make sense. Be confident in how you quote. This confidence will help others see you as someone worth investing in.
Learn To Promote Yourself
It’s important to learn how to market yourself as a creative because this is what will help you secure jobs from now into the future. Having an active social media presence and website can be a great place to start this, as it gives you the chance to become more of a public figure, one that can be referred to immediately, or present your reviews, testimonials, and most importantly, your portfolio in the best possible light.
Use The Right Platforms
Using the right platform to showcase your work is invaluable.
For instance, Adobe’s social image network “BeHance” is often used by creative professionals such as graphic designers and illustrators to showcase their work. You may find that sites like Upwork provide you the chance to write in a freelance capacity at your own time, while keeping an active Twitter account to post acting clips and network with people might help you develop more than you know!
Don’t be afraid to experiment – you can always close your presence on the platform, and you can always adjust should you need to.
These are just some suggestions for how creatives can better sell themselves! The more you develop in this area, the stronger your business (and professional self!) will be.