I love being a freelance writer and an artist, but you have to be good at promoting yourself and marketing your creations if you want to make a living as a creative. It’s definitely not easy, but there are some things out there that can help if you know about them and use them on a regular basis. Sometimes you’ll get to market yourself for free and sometimes it will cost some money (just make sure you save your receipts for tax time).
Use Social Media
Depending on what your business is and how you are using the sites, different social media sites can do different things for your creative business. You’ll find some work better than others, but it’s all a learning curve. You have to try first to find what works best for you and your creative endeavor.
You also really want to consider paid advertising when you’re on social media sites that offer it, like Facebook and Twitter. It can often give your business a good little boost to get your products selling and your creations onto people's screens.
Get your art, crafts, books, music, whatever it is you’re making online. Sell through Facebook (that’s a thing now). Set up e-commerce on your website and get a shopping cart so that you can sell what you create right from your own website.
Even if you don’t want to do either of those things, but you still want to sell online, there are lots of other options. Going through Amazon, eBay, and even Etsy can get you sales and new customers. You’ll pay fees, but you will be selling your stuff on popular e-commerce sites that have been around for years.
Have A Blog
Blogs are the one way you can show your inner workings and your expertise to people. You can get down and dirty in your blog and you can let people know the things you know. If you are a sketch artist you can share posts about how you got started and ones about your creative process.
Some people enjoy a blog that feels more personal, and as a creative, you want to be relating to the people that are going to be interested in your work. Instead of writing in the third person make it conversational.
Network Online And Off
You’re on social media, do something with it. Join groups that have something to do with your creative endeavors. If you are selling on Etsy, join an Etsy seller’s group on Facebook. Send emails out with links to your sales channels and info about your business. Reach out to bloggers and reviewers.
You should also be networking offline. Start by making some calls or going into businesses that sell what you make. Find out if local entrepreneurs are getting together at a local coffee house once a month to network and get out there and meet some people (don’t forget to take your business cards)!
Get Out There
There are a lot of places to sell crafted and artistic merchandise. Consider local farmer’s markets or artisan markets. Join the local arts community and get your stuff into art shows. Talk to local galleries, bookstores, and other places that might sell your books and handmade items.
Never be afraid to enter your creations into contests. Submit poems to literary journals. Maybe even try out for some creative grants so you have money for your next book or your next gallery exhibit.
You are your business so make sure you’re making it look good. Keep your personal social media clean. Promote yourself and your creations. It’s the only way you’re going to turn a hobby into a career.