So how do you future-proof your art business? When you set out to be an ‘artpreneur’ or ‘art business owner’ or just a ‘practising artist’, I don’t suppose you thought too much about a massive life-changing, global crisis happening in your life-time. I know I didn’t.
The fact is, at the time of writing that’s exactly what we are all facing. The COVID-19 virus is ripping through the world and it’s on a mission. Some people believe it’s here to stop us humans destroying the planet and in time we’ll see a healing taking place that’s much larger than anything we’ve seen so far.
Whether you believe that or you believe that it’s just a nasty virus we need to protect ourselves from, the end result is the same.
Times are tough. Things are closing down. Everyone is self-isolating. Jobs are being lost, livelihoods are at risk and things are tricky.
But what if like me you had 2020 as THE year you were going to take off with your art and art business? How do you adapt now?
I’ve put together these 6 fundamentals that I hope will spark the light of inspiration and help you to make the most of this time and be fully prepared for when things open back up again.
How To Future-Proof Your Art Business In 2020:
1. Stay alert and stay flexible.
Don’t lock yourself away in the studio, stay on top of what is happening globally.
Remember that SWOT Analysis in your Artist’s Business Plan? The ‘threats’ section? Well, always having a Plan B or a way to make fast changes is going to keep you ahead of the game.
Allow yourself to be fully flexible with your plans, however, attached to them you might be.
2. Don’t have your eggs all in one basket.
Now, this goes against everything I believe in. I’m known for advocating having one core income stream and getting really good at this, before adding in your second. But right now, you may need to jump straight into the second or third option, if it’s going to be something you can set up quickly and run online. You may need to diversify a little and that’s ok. We do what we need to, to survive in challenging times.
3. Take some or all of your art business online.
Here’s where the real magic can happen if you allow it. You can create all sorts of options that are all income streams online. Let’s look at some options:
Previous live events that could be streamed via video, run on Skype or Zoom:
- Virtual studio tours.
- Virtual exhibitions.
- Virtual workshops.
- Virtual interviews.
- Virtual demonstrations.
- Virtual meetups.
Online Options that you can create at home and set up online:
- YouTube Channel.
- Membership site.
4. Learn about online marketing.
You will need to rely more on online marketing strategies like email marketing and running Ads. And this can really push you with the tech side of things, but I promise it’s all achievable – I did it having learnt from scratch.
5. Broaden your product & pricing range.
In order to create some of these online options, you’ll need to explore all the possibilities that you are happy doing. This could then involve the idea of making one image, for example, and creating multiple products off the back of this. Or taking a broader look at the topics you could teach.
For 2D/3D artwork:
- If you only work large, consider medium, small and even extra small (easily post-able).
- Create prints, cards, calendars, bookmarks or even a book.
- Use a third-party site to add your image to endless print-on-demand products.
- Could you design your work into printables?
- Turn a workshop topic onto a course with several modules.
- Create one-off 60-min lessons.
- Consider putting together a Udemy course.
- Expand on your packages, offer smaller, shorter, more low-cost.
- Do more for free up-front.
- List out all your possible topics and create a series of E-Books.
- Gather your existing content into a membership site.
6. Work more in collaboration with others.
I think this is a given, with self-isolation either driving people mad or alternatively doing more connecting now with video calling and messaging. Reaching out to people becomes your new form of connection.
But take this a step further by contacting other artists and seeing if they would like to do a joint venture online.
Here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing:
- Expert interviews and demonstrations.
- Joint virtual exhibitions or shows.
- Create a large online group event.
- Set up a Facebook Group for a virtual Summit on a specific topic.
One thing’s for sure, working with others will keep you positive, focussed and in the right mind to forge forwards. I’m also sure YOU can also come up with so many more great ideas to Future-Proof Your Art Business In 2020.