Are you an artist, or other creative who wants to turn your talents into a business? This is often challenging, since many creative entrepreneurs produce marketable work, but lack the business skills they need to run a profitable full-time business. If you are motivated, however, you can learn these skills and become successful.
Here are some basic steps to getting a product line of your work ready for the marketplace:
1. Start with a plan. Your business plan should be “big picture,” with your goals on a timeline, but also include quarterly goals which you intend to meet. Work backwards from your goal to what you can do today. This will help you to get started, especially if that’s one of your stumbling blocks.
2. Study the market. Come to an understanding of trends, and what is selling in the marketplace you wish to enter. Do lots of research – check out Pantone or The Color Institute to determine the most popular colors this year. Look at websites and catalogs of companies who sell merchandise which would compliment your work. And most importantly, know your audience. Who are you selling to? Get very clear on the answer. This will help you determine price points, style and other factors in your portfolio, as well as a marketing strategy.
3. Have a professional line ready to go. Make sure you have a substantial, cohesive body of work. Your portfolio should be in a recognizable “signature style”, and work well together as a collection.
4. Develop a Unique Selling Proposition (USP). This statement describes your business and why it is totally unique. What do you have to offer that is different, superior, or fits the needs of your customers? Stand out from the crowd.