Running a creative business, whether it is a theater company or an art gallery, demands an understanding of the business side of things as well as the creative aspects. If you have the desire to showcase art, music, or any form of creative endeavor, what does it take to make your artistic business a successful one while also being true to the art itself?
One of the biggest mistakes creatives make when it comes to promoting a project like a piece of art or a song is thinking that the art itself is the only piece of promotional material. They are not wrong, but it's vital to remember that in the modern world, there are a huge variety of promotional tactics you can use.
When it comes to marketing, whether it's social media or email, content in the form of articles or videos is an essential tool that complements what you are promoting. Find any art gallery online and you will see supplementary content like articles, videos, social media posts, and a lot more. This is why you have to cover all bases when it comes to the content because it's not just about the item itself. The item is the product, so you have to promote that product accordingly.
Because your piece of art or song is a product, you have to define your level of success. Perhaps you are the person that creates and therefore you have a more vested interest in the success of the product. After all, this will ultimately determine your success.
However, if you are someone like a music manager you have to think about what that product is trying to achieve. Then, consider how you can afford a living for the creator and for yourself. It is about a career as much as it is the product. For example, independent music labels have a far better track record when it comes to retaining artists. This is because they have an interest in them as individuals, not just based on the product they create and the associated sales.
When you start to define what you are, this will help you have a clearer vision of what it takes to grow art into commerce. Many people view them as two separate entities. But, it is more essential than ever for them to be closely intertwined. Musicians starting out now have to learn to get their songs to as many people as possible. You can't pray that it will fall in someone's lap because the music industry, as it stands, is a very difficult one for artists to monetize. Spotify pays its artists an incredibly small amount per stream. This is why you've got to have a greater understanding of the business side of things. Thus, not mold your art for the purposes of a business, but just understand how the art defines who you or your client are.
This is a battle that many young creatives have: should they just focus on their art or should they “sell out?” It is more apparent than ever these days that there has got to be a healthy balance between the two. The myth of the starving artist has been debunked in recent years, especially as musicians are coming out of the woodwork to talk about their mental health and are sacrificing making money for the sake of their well-being. This is something that should be applauded, but it's also something that can be minimized if the artist has a healthy understanding of the right business skills at the outset.
A good example would be in relation to finances. An artist that has spent years grafting, but also starving and freezing, may find themselves hitting saturation point. They could have easily minimized stress if they had a bit more savviness when it came to finances. But of course, so many creatives hate the idea of being sensible. After all, this takes away the mystique of “the artist.”
The fact is that a lot of people have met their demise because they were not savvy about the business at the very outset of their careers. Anybody that is hoping to promote their own artistic endeavors or someone else's should recognize the importance of conducting business in a logical sense. But, also use business savvy as a way to protect the well-being of the creative process. You can see it with actors that do a “safe” picture followed by an “art” picture. This shows they are always hedging their bets!
When it comes to promoting any business or artistic endeavor, there's a lot to consider. However, some of these things are pivotal, especially at the outset.