Are you ready to launch your creative business?

Yes! Yes! Yes!

Why do I think you're ready when I have no idea where you are with your planning? Because there is really no time like the present! Almost everyone is guilty of waiting until they have put the finishing touches on every aspect of their dream creative business before they actually launch. And you know what, it will never be perfect! Trust me, I know from years of experience. Heck, Pink Spark Creative launched at the end of 2014 and I still haven't finished writing my "About Me" page. And I am totally OK with it because I launched, I started my business and I got moving in the right direction. I want to share some of my hard-earned wisdom about launching a creative business and let you know why it's OK if you aren't 100% ready.

Your creative business will never be perfect.

I have said this twice so far so it must be true! The fact is our creative businesses are works in progress. We adapt to the marketplace. Our skills grow. We add revenue streams. Our vision changes. We evolve. Every day our creativity is changing and our business changes right along with it. So it will never be perfect because our business will never be completely stagnant so that we can catch up with all this perfection we think we need.

It's awesome if you have a business plan developed before you launch, but even that bundle of documentation is bound to change over time, thus it will never be perfect either. I do recommend having a plan or vision that will serve as an overall guide to the general direction of your business. Allow yourself to be flexible with this plan. It's just a plan and we all know that plans can change. 

Even though your plan may change it is a good idea to look into the future. (I'll give you a moment to grab your crystal ball...) In all seriousness, looking to the future can help you launch today. Visualize where you see your creative business in 1 year, 5 years, 10 years and beyond. If you are continuing to grow as an artist or are someone who enjoys working in different artist disciplines, then your future may be very different than what your are envisioning today. For example, you may be creating watercolor portraits of pets, but one day paint a portrait of your best friend and her husband on their wedding day and your fans go wild. Your business just changed. Did you have this change in your plan? If not, are you going to add this type of portrait as another product offering or will you stick to the plan.

You are afraid of success. Yes, you. Bet you didn't think I noticed, did you. We're all a little bit afraid of the success that could come if people love our creations. But isn't that what you want? Don't let the possibility of greater than expected success keep you from launching. What if it doesn't happen and you wasted time worrying? I'm not being negative with that statement, just honest. Worrying about something that might not happen, whether it be good or bad, is dumb. And it wastes valuable time you could be spending on deciding what to watch on TV. Or figuring out your pricing.

You are afraid of failure. But you are actually more afraid of success, but you pretend it's failure that is the bad guy. Because failing is bad and success is good, right? So many times I have a client say "But what if nobody buys my stuff?" and I say "But what if they do?". Stop putting so much negativity into the process of launching! Worrying about failure is bad for your business and it's not putting any money in your pocket. Change your mindset and focus on success. 

It's too hard to launch. Hey, that's why I am here! As a creative business mentor and consultant, I help you figure how to launch and guide you through the process. Of course, there are other mentors and consultants that can help you, but this is one of the most critical times in your business to get help. Let someone who has been there and done the work show you the ropes. 

You are lazy. Let's be honest, this is probably the number one reason why most creatives don't launch their business. It's going to take a lot of work to launch this business and keep it running. If the plan you've created has a future outlook beyond next week, you're going to have to put in some serious time and energy. Launching and running a successful creative business is rewarding but difficult and it isn't for everyone. It might not be for you. What are you more excited about, the idea of having a creative business or the idea of building a creative business?

If you aren't afraid of success or failure, don't think it's too hard to launch and your aren't lazy, then what are you waiting for? Launch already! Once you've launched you can work out all the little details and get it closer to perfect. Don't let anything hold you back, except for the few things I listed below.

There are some tasks you should do before you launch because they will affect your marketing message and audience.

Spend some time determining who your ideal customer or client is before your launch. What? Yes, I do want you to consider a few things before you do launch, but only because they are detrimental to the success of your business. If you don't understand who your ideal customer is, you won't know how to get your message to them. Knowing who you are marketing to will ensure you are getting the information about what you create to the right people.

Decide what type of on-line presence you need. Do you need a stand-alone e-commerce website and a blog or could you get started with an Etsy shop and free Wordpress blog? Thoughtful planning could save you a lot of time and money and get you making sales more quickly. Don't forget about social media too. While you don't have to utilize every social media platform, analyze which ones might be best to get you started. And then, get started!

Often as creative entrepreneurs we start off in one direction, but then find ourselves way off over yonder. It's not that we all have ADD, though that would explain a lot, that's just how creatives function. Too tight of a focus on what we do and we have to break free and do something different. This is why many artists end up teaching their craft. But the real reason you should look to see which directions you can take your business is that you have to keep a roof over your head, food on the table and art supplies in the studio. Almost every creative will have that time of year that is slow or that time in their career when they aren't really charging enough for their work (that is another whole blog post) and they need more revenue. What sorts of additional revenue streams could you add?

So are you set to launch? You should be! I'd love to know your thoughts about launching a creative business and any tips you may have. Also, leave a comment if any of this post hit home or struck a nerve. And let me know too if you make the decision to just launch the dang thing after you read this!

For a limited time I am offering FREE 30-minute strategy calls to work through your number one burning issue and give you an action plan to give your creative business an instant spark! This is a great opportunity for us to chat and see if we'd be a fabulous fit to work together. Schedule your strategy call today! I can't wait to ignite your spark!

Email Pink Spark Creative
Call us @ 865.406.3870
Follow us on Twitter
Find us on Facebook
View us on Instagram
It all started with a pretty little notebook. And a dream.

The first time I did an art show about 8 years ago, I decided to put a pretty little notebook out on one of the tables with a hand-written note asking folks to leave their name and email address. I knew a little bit about marketing a business, having started a photography business with my husband a few years earlier, but I wasn't really sure what I would do with the names and email addresses once I had them.

And then it hit me! I could send them a snazzy newsletter crafted in Publisher that would tell them where I would be next, what sort of fresh fused glass goodness I was creating and if and when I would be teaching fused glass classes. (It is still hard for me to believe that folks have been asking me to teach them how to create their own fused glass goodness since my very first art show, but it is true, and it makes me smile.)

From my humble beginnings, I have upgraded my information delivery system to MailChimp and my pretty notebook to a sheet of paper on a clipboard. While I consider MailChimp a major upgrade, in all honesty the notebook was a lot prettier than the clipboard. Maybe it's time for a change! But my point here is that over the last 8 years, technology and information delivery have evolved in ways that make it super easy to keep in contact with people who like your work or want to know more about you. For one thing, you can have multiple mailing lists for different kinds of information, like a newsletter just for sales or when you will be teaching classes.

So, for the last eight years I have been telling my fellow artists, creatives and crafters to put out a pretty little notebook or dull, boring clipboard and collect up all this valuable data, but they don't. Well, most of them don't and the few that do, don't really do anything with the valuable data even though it could help them grow their business, which is what lead me to write this post. Let me know if you find this information helpful or if you have some ways you'd like to add to the list, I'd be glad to share them!

1. Treat your subscribers like the gold they really are!
Make sure everyone who subscribes to your newsletter either at an art show or craft fair, or online via your website or Facebook, knows they are special. Don't hammer them with too many newsletters. Make sure the content is useful or important to them. This is where different lists for different types of customers comes in handy. Maybe some folks want to know where you will be set up next and other may want to know what new soaps you will be offering for the holidays. Set expectations and follow through! If you promise a newsletter once a month, deliver on it. If you say it will be sporadic, don't suddenly start sending a newsletter once a week. Never give people a reason to hit 'unsubscribe'!

2. Give people a compelling reason to sign up for your newsletter!
Sometimes it is easy enough to just put out that pretty notebook or dull clipboard and ask folks to leave their name and email address, other times you might need to give them some incentive. If you are collecting your names and email addresses at events, then you will have to enter them into MailChimp (or whatever mail program you decide to use) and you probably won't be able to autogenerate a message with a nice thank you discount or special offer, but don't despair! I find it is very easy, using MailChimp, to send a specific message to anyone who has been added to my list after a certain date. Again, set expectations and follow through! If you promise a discount when they sign up, deliver on it.

3. Make the content count!
Content is important no matter what the delivery method. If you are blogging, content is important. If you are posting on Facebook, content is important. If you are putting up images on Instagram, you guessed it, content is important. Great content is probably the best way to grow your creative business with a newsletter because if your subscribers love your content, they will share it. Even better, you can encourage them to share it without seeming pushy. For example, if your newsletter features several different types of information such as a calendar of events, new products and upcoming, you can encourage subscribers to share the newsletter with anyone they think may be interested in this information, sure to encourage them to have their friends subscribe. When your subscribers pass along the information they are endorsing you, so their friends will be more likely to hit 'subscribe'!

Since I am such a huge fan of newsletters I will be doing a more in-depth post soon, with some of my best tried and true examples of how my creative business has grown with newsletters, so be sure to check back with me!

Share your tips for suggestions for using a newsletter to grow your creative business in the comments or tweet them to me at @PinkSparkCr8ive and I will share them! Spreading the love!

For a limited time I am offering FREE 30-minute strategy calls to work through your number one burning issue and give you an action plan to give your creative business an instant spark! This is a great opportunity for us to chat and see if we'd be a fabulous fit to work together. Schedule your strategy call today! I can't wait to ignite your spark!

Email Pink Spark Creative
Call us @ 865.406.3870
Follow us on Twitter
Find us on Facebook
View us on Instagram