How to Grow Your Art Career Through Multiple Income Streams
As an artist, it is common to see a rise and fall in profit from month to month. This is completely normal and common with any business. How to the stronger businesses cope? Multiple income streams. In today’s world with the rise of online selling and social media, I see more and more people following their passions and selling multiple different products and services. I find artists are often multi-passionate, and therefore well suited to diversify their income because of their ability to notice their skills and think outside of the box. By diversifying your income, you might also feel a weight lifted off of your shoulders because your income is no longer dependent on just your paintings or just your drawings. Instead you can sell your artwork but also sell another skill and lift the pressure off of both to be 100% profitable 100% of the time.
Artists often feel the pressure to make 100% of their income from their artwork. If this sounds like you then great, but I have found that most of the artists I know enjoy selling other things besides just their artwork because it allows them to showcase more skills and keep their art both their business and their passion.
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HOW DO WE DETERMINE WHAT TO SELL?
Before we can grow our income, we must first consider what is best to sell. Think about skills you have. Is there anything you do for fun that could be monetized? Is there a talent that others ask you to perform? Are there things you do for free right now that could be turned into businesses?
I start my art coaching business this way! I noticed that artists around me continually asked the same questions about growing their businesses and I decided that I could build a platform to help them. They receive the help they want and I get to use a skill I have, win-win!
STREAMS OF INCOME TO TEST OUT
Could you start selling prints, or jewelry, books, calendars or textiles? I have seen artists create scarves and trays with their skills as well. Look at other artists and start gathering ideas about what fits your style and what would resonate with your audience.
ONLINE OR IN-PERSON TEACHING
Could you teach others a skill? It could be art-related or not. We learn a lot as creative business owners. Are there any skills that others would need to know.
This is a great path to passive income. You create something once and it can be sold again and again. Options for creative include: calendars, templates, digital courses, art challenges, printable graphics or art, e-books, worksheets, and the list goes on and on. What skill can you turn into a digital product? You can view a few of ours here.
Is there a skill that you could share with others. These can be relevant to your art career like helping hang gallery walls, organizing artists’ studios, or photographing weddings or non art related like meal prepping, personal training, or freelance writing or graphic design.
This can be a great way to build a community around something you are interested in. Could you plan an art gathering or painting event and charge others to attend? Do you know interesting or successful people that you could arrange to speak at your event? Virtual events have become more and more common and are easier than ever to plan!
Similar to building a community for an event, you could also build a community through a membership. We offer an art coaching membership for artists who want to learn even more beyond our blog posts and newsletters. Could you create a membership around teaching a skill, a unique interest or something else?
Affiliate marketing is a great way to share products and companies that you love with your community. The key with affiliate marketing is to always stay authentic and only choose a few brands that peak to you and your audience. You also want to do your research and make sure you are disclosing the relationship. For example, we work with Blick (an awesome art supply company) and Tailwind (an awesome social media planner) because I use both of them all of the time and know they are something my audience would benefit from using as well. I try to share information about these companies to help you, and in turn, if you give them business, I receive a small commission at no cost to you!
The hardest part is starting. Pick one of these income streams and give it as much care as you did when starting your art career. Slowly grow this side hustle and watch your income grow and business security increase. If you want to learn more about how to grow an income stream, which streams are best for you, or where to begin, sign up for a one-on-one coaching call. I’d love to hear from you!