As we start off 2023 with immense confidence and ambition, we have to think and plan how we can enhance the longevity of our work and futureproof your career as artists. With the everchanging and evolving landscape of art and technology, we have to constantly be aware of what is happening out there and the skills and habits we can adopt to aid our career progression.
This blog is all about tips and knowledge that you can adopt in order to futureproof your career and adopt habits that can help you build a robust business. So, here we go…
- Your Openness to Change
In order to be prepared for the future, we have to be open to change and willing to adapt whatever comes our way. Resilience is key when it comes to futureproofing your career and being able to brace yourself for all things new. You have to be constantly learning and upskilling in order to keep up with the times. All of this can only happen, once you open yourself to change.
- Don’t bite off more than you can chew
Starting out, you would probably jump on every single commission that is requested from you. This might be manageable initially when the client workflow is at a trickle, however this would quickly become a challenge once your art business picks up and you have commissions requests pouring in. If you say yes to every request, you will not only be overworked but there is a very high probability your quality of work will also dwindle. This can definitely damage your reputation as you will not only be able to deliver on your client’s deadlines but also produce subpar commissions.
Therefore, I would highly recommend in being mindful of the amount of commissioned work that you are taking on and being on top of your client relationship management.
- Maximising on real-world networking opportunities
When it comes to finding opportunities your professional network, I have personally found that participating in art exhibitions and fairs to be an incredibly rewarding experience, as you get to connect with fellow artists and also meet art aficionados who could be potential clients. These events can also be excellent places to find more experienced artists, who can offer you mentorship on your craft and business.
You do not have to start by participating in these events initially as buying a stand can be quite an investment, you can just simply visit them and understand what the footfall is like and how well it is organized. Even initial visits can be treated as a marketing opportunity if you go out there and engage with as many people as possible. If you have the resources, it will really help if you have creative business cards and pamphlets of your art business to pass around when you attend such gatherings.
- Pay for advertising and marketing experts
If you are short on time and just would like to focus all your efforts on creating your art, then making use of advertising services involving Google ads and other social media channels will be of great benefit. Depending on your budget, you can use an advertising agency which focuses on marketing for artists that can take away the burden of marketing off of your shoulders. Additionally, you can make use of an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) expert that can help your website rank higher in search results and drive more traffic towards it. I have an incredible SEO expert that helps me with my blogs every week actually and trust me, she has done wonders for my online profile.
You can also look into reputable PR companies or freelance agents that have the right connections to get you featured in trade magazines and publications. This can instantly bring a lot of attention to your work; however, it can be quite the costly investment.
- Potential Business Partners?
Now just like any other business, having a partner or partners could be quite advantageous in spreading out the risk of embarking on a business venture. However, if caught in a partnership where there is no transparency or trust, you will really have a hard time getting your business going and also without a doubt, your art will suffer. So, be very careful in vetting out who you will be getting in partnership with and ALWAYS have a formal partnership agreement drafted to avoid problems in the future.
- Fill up the skill gaps – Ask for help and delegate!
An art business has numerous facets besides the art itself: finances, marketing, purchasing. In order to ensure you handling these parts of the business correctly, do not be afraid to ask for help. Yes, asking for help can be the most vulnerable thing to do when you are a perfectionist like I am. However, the fact remains that you can’t do everything yourself. It is literally impossible. If you are struggling or facing a challenge in your career path because of a knowledge or skill gap, then ask for help. I am sure there are plenty of people and resources out there to assist you. Also, at a certain point in the growth of your business, consider hiring people who can be delegated with tasks that are a time suck for you. Conserve your time and energy for things that actually matter to you and getting your business going.
There you go! Take all of these tips and knowledge into this year and build a future for yourself that is abundant with opportunities and success.
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