Fund Your Creative Pursuits with These Tips
Working as an artist, musician or writer can be fulfilling, but it's often filled with financial struggle. According to Artnet, the yearly income is under $30,000 for 60% of those in the creative sector. However, there are ways to boost your earnings while honing your craft and building your audience. The following advice from the Auburn Hills Chamber of Commerce can help you get there.
Register as a Limited Liability Company
Registering as a business lends legitimacy to your efforts, as prospective clients can confirm the validity of your company with the state. It also offers tax and liability benefits since it establishes your business as a separate legal entity.
A limited liability company is one of the easiest business structures for solo creators, as it requires relatively little paperwork and functions similarly to a sole proprietorship. The registration process varies by state, but many business owners file the paperwork themselves. If you need assistance, you can hire a formation service or a lawyer, but be sure to read reputable reviews of the formation services before you commit to one. You want to find a company that is a good fit for you and your business.
Update Your Resume
Plenty of companies are interested in hiring musicians, artists, writers and artisans, so you can certainly pursue your passion in a corporate position. However, to get that job, you need an impressive resume. The following tips can make yours stand out in the best way:
List past employment in reverse chronological order.
Pay attention to employer instructions.
Proofread your resume for typos.
It’s a good idea to have someone review your resume before you make it public or send it to a potential employer. A great way to do this is by saving it as a PDF and then asking your friend to use a PDF editing tool to provide feedback right on the document. With this tool, they can use virtual highlighters, markers, note tools, and sticky notes to indicate what they like and what they suggest you change.
Post on Social Media
Social media is an excellent way for creatives to get discovered. Platforms reach people all over the world, and all it takes is one viral video to skyrocket to stardom. Of course, building a social media following is more often a gradual process, one you can support by utilizing your analytics, posting regularly, and finding the right platforms for your niche.
Join a Networking Group
Sometimes it's about who you know, not what you know. Joining a guild, association, or even an online group can help you build relationships with others in the industry. Artist Shops recommends that when networking, remember you're not trying to sell your services — you're trying to make friends. It's fine to exchange business cards when you find someone you click with, but focus on getting to know people, not exploiting them.
Collaborate with Similar Creatives
Once you find people you work well with, you can collaborate on projects. Collaborations force you to get out of your comfort zone, helping you grow as a creator. It also exposes your content to a broader audience, who may become fans.
If you need to fund a specific project, you can try crowdfunding. This funding source relies on small contributions from a large number of people, so it works best if you already have a sizable following. You can crowdfund through several online portals, such as Indiegogo and Kickstarter. These sites charge fees for the service, so take that into consideration when planning your project budget.
Look for Grants
The government and nonprofit organizations offer support for the arts in the form of grants, explains Instrumentl. These are competitive, so you'll need to track deadlines and upgrade your portfolio, but they offer several benefits over loans:
Bestow prestige on recipients
Don't have to be paid back
May include accommodations
Make Connections and Lay a Strong Foundation
Making a living as a creative requires passion and hard work, but getting to pursue your dreams is worth the effort. Your registered LLC can flourish with the proper care, giving you a solid foundation to expand your endeavors. But remember that people are incredibly important to your journey. Network for camaraderie and grow your social media following. And when a job becomes available, ask one of your new industry friends to review your resume with a PDF editor to ensure it is clear and truly represents your work. Once established, you can make your mark on the world and live comfortably.