ArtBiztic Mindset: Don't Be Starving, Be a Sellout
It's not what you're thinking. I mean sell everything you put out. This way you can avoid being a clichéd starving artist and be a sold-out artist, instead.
One of the first things that come to mind when trying to sell any kind of art is, "Will I become a sellout?" What is a sellout anyway? One of Dictionary(dot)com's informal definitions is: "A person who compromises his or her personal values, integrity, talent, or the like, for money or personal advancement."
But another definition, which is Dictionary(dot)com's more formal definition, is: "An entertainment, as a show or athletic event, for which all the seats are sold." If you have an art gallery showing, don't you want to be a sellout? If you wrote a book, don't you want to be a bestseller? If you put up a music concert, don't you want sold-out tickets?
"To sell is above all to master the art and science of listening." ―Tom Peters
One thing all those events have in common is a form of the word "sell". The other thing they have in common is they theoretically all make money. So you’re doing what you love to do and making money. Isn’t that the ultimate dream?
The ArtBiztic mindset is all about that. We want to get into the thinking of how can others benefit from what I make? And how can I get them to pay me for it?
Know Your Target Market
From the dawn of time, artists didn’t just make art for the sake of making art itself. Painters were commissioned by royal families or rich merchants to make still-life pictures of their patrons. Illustrators conveyed different objects around them to record what those things were like before photography existed. Bards sang of heroic stories from town to town to carry on folklore and culture. Even those artists who were able to create anything they liked were still able to express their art enough so that it evoked an emotional reaction from their buyers.
One of the main mistakes I made as a younger artist and entrepreneur is believing in the old quote, “If you build it, they will come.” This simply is not true. I labored over my songs, spent weeks in isolation writing, and worked together tirelessly with my business partners to create an amazing store once. But, did these projects always pay my bills? Sometimes, yes. But not consistently.
What I failed to keep in mind consistently was my buyer. Who are they? Where do they live? How many of them are there? Do they have the purchasing power to buy my art? Do they need or want my art, in the first place?
Your buyer in business terms is called the target market. They are the absolute key to any successful business or project. And here are the simple steps you can follow to figure out your target market:
- Think about and research what kind of person would really appreciate what you’re offering (market research).
- Then find ways to talk to them and tell them about your work (marketing and promotion).
- Consistently keep giving your target market what they want or need (branding and being you, the artist).
Now, it’s all good and well to know your target market, but then we still have to change our own way of thinking. At the end of the day, we need to take the right actions with the right mindset to become an ArtBiztic Sellout. Here are four more things to keep in mind as an artist/entrepreneur or artrepreneur for short.
I don’t agree with the familiar saying, “Good things come to those who wait.” Become the type of starving artist who isn’t literally hungry, but figuratively hungry. Be hungry for success. Be tired of the way things have been and as I state in my book: hate your life now! Think of the glory and financial freedom that awaits you when you succeed in putting out a great artistic product or service that your target market just eats up. Every morning, when you wake up, visualize what success looks like to you for five minutes. You’ll be amazed at how much this will change your outlook for the day. It will not only make you work harder and smarter, but it will make you hungrier to reach your ArtBiztic goals.
Lose Your Fear
Do you know what being hungry also does for you? You also lose any fears holding you back. When you’re really hungry physically, you scramble for any food to take the hunger pain away. You don’t think, you just do. Same goes for when you’re hungry figuratively for success. You just do what you have to do day in and day out. You may have other responsibilities, but whatever free time you have, you’re no longer afraid to go after what you really want. Think of the five top things you can do to succeed in what you’re doing. Do one of those things every day and move forward with confidence that you are getting closer to your goals one step at a time.
Get Rid of Your Weekend
Free time needs to become building time. Once you become impatient for success and lose your fear, extra stuff like blowing money at the bar/club or random vacations sound like a waste of time and money. While your competition has a good time—wasting time, you are hustling and having a good time. You know why? For every weekend you spend on your ArtBiztic goals, you become that much better than that other guy competing with you. And do you know what you do when you become a success and are at the top of your game? You celebrate! But this time, it’s because you can afford to go out and feel good. Plus, now you’re not free-loading off of friends, you’ll actually be able to afford that table at the club or an even better vacation.
Become A 1-Track Mind
This is hard for most people. It’s hard for me even. Right now, I have two companies going, am a mother, a wife, and have several things to do to get my ArtBiztic book where I want it to be. But as far as creative ventures, this is it. I want to keep making content for my fellow artists who want to become entrepreneurs. I’m not singing, dancing, acting, designing, or getting into anything else that gets in the way of my ArtBiztic goals. I need to take care of my family, so I need to keep my businesses growing, but writing and sharing are what are feeding my soul. And, for however long it takes, ArtBiztic is the only lane I’m driving through. You need to do the same: FOCUS. Focus on creating the best product or service for your target market.
All those factors can be the difference between a starving artist or a sold-out artist. Which one do you want to be?
If you haven’t already, get my book, ArtBiztic: The Artist’s Guide to Starting A Business. There we explore in more depth how to find your target market and everything you need to know about taking your artform to the next level of entrepreneurship. It’s a super short read, yet will benefit you for the long-term in your art career.
Remember, don’t be artistic and starving. Be ArtBiztic and thriving!
With Love, Life, and D’Light,
Let’s connect! Find me here also:
- Instagram and Twitter: @cheloaestrid
- YouTube, SoundCloud, and Spotify: Chelo Aestrid