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Many creative types dream of one day monetizing their passions. For a talented amateur artist, it can be overwhelming trying to figure out where to start. Knowing where to find your audience and how to market to them is your first step in turning your inventive hobby into a dream job.
Getting the Word Out
It’s no wonder so many people gravitate toward art. Studies have found that professional artists make over $70,000 per year, but before you can start demanding top dollar for commissions, you should figure out who your creations appeal to most. Entering your art into contests, getting a booth at craft shows and festivals, or finding local businesses that will display your work are great ways to get your handiwork in front of as many eyes as possible and see which demographics show an interest.
You don’t need to limit your audience cultivation to the physical world. Consider cultivating a social media presence specifically for your art. Word of mouth and shared posts from admirers and potential customers are free advertising. You can even pay some platforms a fee to boost your posts and advertise to your target audience directly. You can also create Facebook ads that target certain demographics. Simply select a template and then insert your own images, text, and design elements.
Turning a Legal Profit
As your customer base grows, you may need to navigate some red tape and form a corporation or LLC. If your medium can be industrialized, you may want to attract investors and bring on employees. If this is the case, forming a corporation would be the better option, as doing so will facilitate selling stock shares and attract investors more than other forms of incorporation.
If you make frequent sales, especially online, be sure to utilize invoicing software early on. A plethora of available services allow customers to make online purchases, schedule repeat payments for subscriptions or installments, and give you up-to-the-minute insights on what’s owed and what’s been paid. Keeping your books accurate automatically will give you more time to work on the art itself.
Making a Living
As your work becomes more popular and recognizable, you’ll find a mixed bag of positive and negative complications. It may turn out that the demand for your work is far larger than you can keep up with. If this is the case, consider raising prices or setting hard limits and turnaround times to avoid getting overwhelmed with orders.
In cases such as plagiarism and art theft, imitation ceases to be a form of flattery. If you feel your newfound clarity will attract ill-intentioned imitators, consider placing trademarks and copyrights on your works wherever possible. This will protect your share of the market from copycats selling forgeries or outright stolen copies of your works, opening the thieves up to legal action.
With a rabid enough fanbase, you may have the clout to start creating limited edition works. Artificially small batches of prints or personalized versions of your popular works can be sold at a higher price than your standard fare. Just be sure it’s not an obvious cash-grab, as that may deter the people you’re trying to sell to.
Though it may be difficult to start, many people make a decent living with their art, especially if you promote yourself on social media. Taking the time to know your audience and sell your work efficiently will let you join the ranks of these other not-so-starving artists.
Ready to take control of your budget and bank account? Join Vermillion today!