Creativity & Innovation: Becoming an Entrepreneur
Becoming a successful entrepreneur is a pretty steep hill to climb, but to become a successful entrepreneur in a creative industry is a mountain. Many people try it, and unfortunately, an awful lot of them fail.
But you’re not going to fail, because you’re going to do it right. The thing about succeeding as a creative entrepreneur is that you are relying on your innovations being something that the public is willing to spend money.
If you wanted to start a business as a hairdresser or as an independent seller of electronics or something along those lines, you could be confident that there is a market for it. These are things that people have been pumping money into for decades.
Creativity is a little bit different. When we say creativity, the areas we’re discussing are the likes of freelance writing, art, or animation. Offering these as services isn’t going to run quite as smoothly.
I suppose one advantage you have in these regards is that several people believe they are talented enough to produce high-quality, creative content and are well below a desirable level.
So if you are good at something, then you have a leg up. But there are more things for you to think about, more ways to find success. Let’s have a look at some important things now:
So even though your idea is a creative one and not necessarily something that already has a very clearly defined approach to entering, you still need to understand the distribution process because there most definitely is one even if it might not be as vast or reliable as some others.
What’s important is to find out through which channels you can sell your product or service. This will come from analyzing how others are doing it. If you’re a freelancer, there are several sites, such as Upwork and Freelancer.
There are also more specific ones. If you’re a voice actor, for example, you can look to Voices or Fivver; if it’s the graphic design you do, then there’s 99Design. Writers can look to Writer Access; there are many places.
But think outside the box too. Social media can be a surprisingly right place to generate some work as a freelancer. Many artists and creatives are making money using Instagram as their main base of operations.
Scour the internet because the sources are endless. There are always people looking for creatives and willing to pay for their services; you have to put some effort into seeking those people out.
And have your website, too, with a portfolio on display up there. It’s good to have a specific place to direct people for examples of your work, and it shows a great deal of initiative too.
Focus Your Passion
What you will discover when you do that sort of research into the market and where you can sell your stuff, is the type of selling. Because while yes, you are being creative and trying to put something unique out there, a specific angle on it will be necessary.
When I use the term ‘focus your passion, what that means is that you may need to adapt your work style to suit the desires and interests of potential customers. If you’re an artist and your favorite thing to do is paint pictures of trees, that’s great, but it’s probably limiting.
The type of things that artists sell are portraits, book covers, illustrations, and other usable pieces. It would help if you accepted that you can’t always rely on your vision to make you money.
The same applies if you’re a writer. Maybe you want to write fiction, but no one’s paying for it, or very few people are paying for it. But you can use a lot of your writing ability to create web content or even to be a copywriter.
This is what creative entrepreneurship is really about. It’s not necessarily about doing what you love; it’s about utilizing the innovative knowledge you’ve generated from what you like to make some money.
Understand what it means to produce high quality content. It’s not about feeling creatively fulfilled in yourself; it’s about satisfying your customer. It might seem like it’s not a passion project if you’re thinking in terms of clicks and backlinks, but it’s still creativity focused.
Protect Your Intellectual Assets
More focusing on the business side of things here, when you create something, you’re going to want to make sure that you solidify it as being yours. Unfortunately, once you put something online, anyone can see it.
If someone wants to take it and claim it as their own, there isn’t really a lot stopping them from doing that. Unless you make sure that your intellectual assets are protected, anyone can take them.
You can make it possible for you to be the only person that can make money from what you’ve created. And funnily enough, filing patents might not be the most effective way to do that. That’s not necessarily going to prevent plagiarism legally.
It is one avenue, but there are other things you can do too, and also looking into the management of your IP can help you to recognize if there are others out there who are offering the same thing that you offer and allow you to adjust your strategy accordingly.
Understand Money Management
If you want to start a business, you are going to need money. This is an undisputed truth, but the untrue element is that you need to have a lot of money starting. This isn’t necessarily the case, especially not if you’re working online and as a creative.
What you need more than large amounts of money is effective ways to manage the money that you have. You need to make a budget that’s based on your income and factors in every single expense.
Hopefully, you won’t have to be spending on things like rent and employees at the very beginning and can focus your budget on equipment and marketing and then have some leftovers in case of an emergency.
If you spend company earnings frivolously on things that you don’t need, the well will run dry quickly, and your business will tank before it even gets a chance to get off the ground properly.
Make a strict and smart budget for your business and then stick to it at all costs. It will be tough at the start, but you will be thankful for it in the long run.
It is entirely possible to pursue creative entrepreneurship and to make a lot of money doing so. The internet has made that more possible than it has ever been before. Planning, preparation, and an active and well-thought business plan is essential if you want to succeed.