GSM London lecturer and practicing artist, Ann Healey, has written an article “Why Creatives Must Not Leave Traditional Business Skills at The Door,” which has been published on MinuteHack – a website dedicated to sharing content devoted to providing tips, advice and inspiration for start-ups, small businesses and entrepreneurs. This piece is dedicated to making creatives aware that they shouldn’t turn their noses up at the material value of their creations. Sound relatable? Here is a sample just for you.
“Being good in business is the most fascinating kind of art. Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art.” Andy Warhol summed it up perfectly and yet for many, the business of creativity, that moment where the creative product equates to a monetary value, is problematic.
It’s not that we want to live the life of an impoverished artist, it’s just that often, we’re just not very good at the business side of things. So why is this?
Show me the money
First, we need to make sure that we get paid for producing the work that we are so passionate about. We need to put a value on our product – whether it’s an item of clothing, an advert, a piece of art or craft, or software. If we acknowledge its value, it is more than likely that others will too.
We know this sounds a bit scary at first, but it is important as creatives to know the worth of the work you produce. A potential customer, visiting Pablo Picasso’s studio was reported to have stood in front of a painting for some time before asking “So what does it represent?” Without hesitation, Picasso was said to have replied “Two hundred thousand dollars.”
But how do you determine a price?
Look at what others are charging for similar products and decide where you want to fall within that price range. Assess the significance, originality and quality of your product in comparison to what else is on offer and make sure that your prices fall within the means of your target audience.
“Intellectual Property is the oil of the 21st century.” – Mark Getty, co-founder of Getty Images.
The creative industries depend on the trading of their output, which is often not tangible. How do we stop others making money from our intellectual property? Take the case of a friend who, upon hearing the lyrics that she wrote receiving airplay on the radio, was able to prove that she was the author and receive the money that she was owed, because she understood intellectual property laws.
Within the creative industries, there are various ways to protect your output and each of these methods will depend upon the exact sector that you work in. Get educated. Find out what protection you need and implement it.
Don’t talk about your ideas until you have them registered, and if you do, have the other party sign a non-disclosure agreement. Take your intellectual property seriously!
Stand out from the competition
With the best products in the world, there are no sales without marketing. Fortunately, for those just starting out, marketing doesn’t have to drain the budget and there are many ways to get your product or brand noticed with little or no outlay.
Think simple! Think Smart! Social media has changed the way we connect to our audience.
When Burberry announced that Brooklyn Beckham, the 16 year old son of David & Victoria Beckham would be the photographer for their latest fragrance advertising campaign, the art world was outraged, and yet Burberry understood that with 5.9 million Instagram followers, they could capitalise on Brooklyn Beckham’s connection with his audience, rather than his experience in the industry.
So if you’re not the son of a celebrity couple how do you stand out in a market that is already saturated? Understand who you are, and what you stand for. Your audience want to feel like they know you and align with your voice – being consistent can help with this.
For more information and advice read Ann’s full article here.