If you haven’t read my How To Know If It’s Really Your Passion post, stop immediately and go read it. Before you dive into this post, you will first need to know the difference between your first passion and secondary passions as well as how to identify them. Seriously this post will be useless if you don’t. If you have already, proceed on…
As much as I hate to confirm societies stereotypes about us, artist’s are probably one of the most unfocused individuals. Not in terms of commitment or being able to meet deadlines, but in terms of struggling to find our central niche. Businesses, even if they’re creative ones, require a central focus in order to be successful and a lot of times we allow our art to get in the way. However, if you want to be a successful creative entrepreneur, you have to find a focus. So again, if you haven’t read How To Know If It’s Really Your Passion, then go read it!
Here are three ESSENTIAL key things that you will need to do to turn your passion into a creative business.
First, acknowledge that you’re a creative entrepreneur and your art is your product.
One of my biggest gripes about the music industry and publishing is that artist’s and composers rarely look at themselves as entrepreneurs. It’s even more frustrating when you’re discussing contracts or marketing concepts. A lot of artists just don’t want to know about the business aspects of things. The sad part? In 2016, the requirement to be self-sufficient and business savvy has never been a more important factor, yet, 95% of the people I meet just don’t want to deal with it.
It’s not just the music industry, it’s a lot of other creative industries, too. People fear the word ambition. They fear entrepreneurship. Is it because they’re afraid of feeling like a sell out? Maybe. But the days of discovery are over, and in is the new model of self-promotion.
Yes, you heard it right. You will probably never be discovered.
But you can become a lucrative brand through self-promotion. And that requires you to view yourself as a creative entrepreneur and start thinking like one.
Second, quit getting in your own way by denying your truth.
Just because you’re great at math doesn’t mean you should become an accountant if what galvanizes you is travel photography.
Don’t start a blog about organic recipes just because you like organic foods if your real passion is painting.
Don’t start a blog teaching others about how to create a successful blog if your real passion is creative writing. Stop what you’re doing and start writing about creative writing.
Quit taking the easy way out.
Quit following trends because others are successful at it.
Quit allowing your secondary passion to get in the way of the first.
As I mentioned in my post on How To Know If It’s Really Your Passion,
…When it comes to starting a creative business, you will want to focus on a business that is based on your first passion. Don’t worry if it doesn’t make a lot of money at first or if it’s unpopular. If it’s something that you really love to do, you will eventually find out a way to make a lot of money off of it.
When it comes to your dreams, in the words of Brandy: Just fall. It’ll Be Okay. There is no other way. Just fall in love.
And that’s what I am asking you to do. Just fall for your dreams. Give yourself the freedom to fall. Because if it’s really your passion, there is no way you can possibly exist without it. So quit fighting it and just give in. You’re empty without it anyways.
Third, Get Started On Your Brand Universe
Going from Artist to Creative Entrepreneur is probably as easy as leaving a cult–It’s incredibly difficult. There really is an unspoken rule among artists about remaining “true to the art” which is why I believe so many creatives don’t want to become business professionals. There is stigma that you’re a sellout and business just seems difficult anyways, so why bother? But if you want to be visible and if you want authority in your creative profession, you have to brand yourself.
The easiest way to start branding yourself is to first start looking at your brand as a universe.
What is a Brand Universe? Brand Universe is the concept I came up with to describe the way branding works in correlation to creative content curation.
What is a content curation?
According to EContentMag – Content Curation Definition, The formal definition of content curation is “the gathering, organizing and presenting digital content related to a particular theme or topic.” In brief, content curation is putting out information.
A lot of people have a narrow, surface layer perspective of this and often limit content curation to news reporting, article writing or blogging when in reality, ALL MEDIA IS INFORMATION. All media is content curation.
It comes in the form of video, photo, audio and it can also be in drawing, painting or written form. So if your dream is to become an actor and you put out youtube videos, you are a content curator. If you are a music video director, your videos are curated content. If you’re an author, your short or long stories are curated content. To take it a step further, if you’re a singer-songwriter, every music video, song, and photo is product and having tons of product can get convoluted fairly quickly.
Point blank, Your art is product and that product is content.
One thing we can all agree on is that across the internet there is a lot of content. Very little of it is actually quality content which is why most social media platforms are converting to smart feeds or curated feeds. It’s just really hard to sift through feeds and more feeds of goop to find gems, and social media platforms have taken notice to this.
If your brand is lacking focus, if your ideas are lacking focus, not only will you find yourself getting lost in your own content, but your audience will also have trouble latching on. Not only is identifying your first passion apart of finding your focus, but so is understanding how it all connects.
A Brand Universe
To address this problem, I created the concept of Brand Universe to help artists learn how to get a full 360 perspective of their brand and connect all of the components of their visual, written or auditory storytelling. To find out how to create a Brand Universe, head over to this post: How Artist’s Can Use Content Planners to Create A Brand.
Next post, I will be talking about What I Learned My First Month of Rebranding Natashasolae.com as a digital experience for creative entrepreneurs.