As an artist, writer, design or creative entrepreneur, you have the skills to create great work, but do you have the business skills to get great work? When starting your own creative business, you will need to do some digging into business topics and getting to know your market. Though it might take some trial and error, by doing your homework, you can run an effective business.
No matter what creative profession you take part in, you will need to take these five steps to get your successful business started.
1. Create a Focused Product
Doing any and all work might seem like a good idea to make money at first, but it’s going to leave you exhausted and with little money. You need to choose your special area of expertise, such as web design, logo creation, blog writing, photography, etc. You can even have a specific look or style to your work. By creating specialized products, you can set yourself up an as expert and have an easier time marketing your services.
You also help your clients know what to expect from you and can focus on getting the clients and work you truly want to do. For instance, if you don’t like videography, don’t include it in your services even if you have camera skills.
2. Know Your Target Customer
To market your services and find clients, you need to know your target customer. Taking a targeted approach, instead of pitching jobs all over the place, saves you time and helps you get the best clients for your work. You need to know your target customer’s:
- Average budget
- Industry or field
- Business needs and goals
You want to be able to find the customer who is most likely to purchase your products instead of contacting any possible customer.
3. Set Fair Pricing
By setting the right price, you ensure you get compensated fairly for your time and skill. You should take into account how many years of experience you have and how long it will take you to create the product or perform the service. If you don’t set fair prices immediately, you’ll find that you are working long hours for little pay, which is a recipe for failure.
You’ll also find by setting the right prices you get the right clients who want quality work. When you set your prices too low, the only clients you’ll get aren’t interested in quality work; they just want work done cheaply. When you set fair prices, you will get clients interested in good work and willing to reward you for it.
4. Know How To Talk About Yourself
When you are in business for yourself, you have to be able to market your own skills, confidently pitch projects and talk about your pricing. You need to talk about your unique skills and how those skills benefit your clients. Practice these pitches frequently until you can deliver them easily and well. Your confidence in your own work and experience is key to getting new clients.
5. Educate Yourself on Business Topics
Finally, you need to take yourself back to school on business topics. Whether it is reading books and blogs about your own business, taking a business course or attending lectures, you should seek out education on running an effective business to increase your chances of success. At the Small Business Development Center at Portland Community College, we offer numerous courses and training seminars to help you understand business models, best business practices and more.
As a creative professional, you can enjoy great business success while doing what you love. By taking these five steps, you’ll be on your way to running an effective business--making good money with your creative skills.