The reason many creative people never master how to make money as an artist is because they spend thousands of hours, late nights, weekends honing their artistic talent. But they spend very little time learning about what it takes to actually make money as an artist.
Creating and maintaining an art business isn't impossible and doesn't have to feel intimidating, you just need to shift your mindset from "Great art and money don’t mix" to "Great art deserves great financial support".
Having a clear vision for your future will help you create goals and stay focused in the long run. The point of the business plan for most artists isn’t just having the plan; it’s using it to optimize your business.
Think of your business plan as a map, and refer to it every now and then to make sure you are still on course.
For example, if you had planned for a certain income coming in the first 3 months of the year and it doesn’t come in then you have to find a way of making that up in the remaining 9 months.
The fact that you had a plan in the first place means that you can react quickly when things don’t look like they are going all well as you had hoped.
When you are writing your art business plan, remember one thing, there is no such thing as the perfect plan.
Strategy and tactics
Figure out where you are going to concentrate your business efforts. It could be as simple as what kind of work you sell, to whom, through what channels. Or it might be what kind of performance, and how you reach the gatekeepers. Think about what makes you different, who will buy from you, and what you sell to them.
Tactics are decisions you make about pricing, channels, websites, social media, managers, agents, stores, overhead, allies, and so forth. Make sure your tactics match your strategy.
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