These days, people are channeling their creative outlets into profit-making businesses, and you can too.
For starters, what is a creative business?
While the initial thoughts (anything related to the arts) does fall under that category, the scope has widened quite a bit in recent years. This means that anything related to solar technology to data science counts as creative business because it takes creativity to come up with the solutions that they provide.
The wonderful thing about these types of businesses is that they are driven by passion.
Not sure what your creative business could be?
Think about what you enjoy doing as a hobby, what brings you happiness? If you have an answer to that, that’s a great start! If people constantly tell you that, for example, you should sell your pies because your baking style is amazing, there’s the beginning of a business plan for you. Once you decide what you want to focus on, the internet is your oyster!
It’s so exciting to consider building a business online, but where do you start?
How do you start?
These initial questions can be overwhelming for many, and it is completely understandable why. There is just so much out there that it’s hard to know which direction to take. So take a deep breath, exhale and tell yourself you can do it, one day at time. Take a look at some of the most important steps to turning your creative passion to an online business below.
Related: Rise and Shine from a Career Downfal
Set up your Working Space
Be sure to create a clean space that evokes productivity and energy in your home. You need to have a dedicated area for your creative spirit to roam freely (make sure it is not your couch). Fix your desk as well!
The area you set up in your home to work will make a world of a difference in the success you are looking to find. There is no better feeling than striking the balance between an inviting and invigorating workspace. While this can vary for everyone, there are certainly some standard guidelines that can be followed for creating an optimal area for work.
Find your Niche
Let’s stick with the baking example. If you love baking cupcakes but have noticed that there are not so many sweet treats out there for dogs, this could be your niche. People love their pets and they love cupcakes, why not marry the two?
This might seem a little “out there” but you would be surprised to see the types of businesses have been started and have had successful business plans. What’s their secret? The more niche, the better.
They have established themselves as authority figures in their industry and are now reaping the benefits of that. Remember there will always be competition but there is only one you!
Create a Business Checklist
After identifying your niche, you will need to start laying the groundwork and getting organized, which means you will have to start a creative business checklist. The first item on that checklist should be your business plan. We know, it’s daunting to think about this but it has to be done!
Set aside some time to be able to really think about your business idea: what is it? What sets you apart? Who is your audience? What “solution” are you providing to them? Being able to answer questions like this will help you really understand the direction you need to be going in.
Set Realistic Goals
Within that checklist, be sure to set realistic goals for yourself and the business. This can mean anything from setting aside an adequate amount of time to creating a website, FB business page or LinkedIn page.
Don’t expect things to happen overnight. Be patient with yourself and the process and keep in mind that you may have to make some compromises that will ultimately help you in the long run. Don’t try to do everything at once, figuring out how to build something online takes time, and you want to do it correctly.
Testing 1, 2, 3
The best thing to do whenever starting a new business is testing the waters. It is the only way you will learn what works and what doesn’t with your target audience. If something doesn’t go as intended, do not get discouraged, just try another path! Always remember that at some point, everyone is in “trial” mode. The worst thing you can do is to stay stagnant.
Content is King (or Queen)
In order to position yourself as an expert in your creative business, you need to be producing valuable content to your audience. Put yourself in their position, what type of content do you like about a certain topic? What do you think is missing within that particular field? Once you identify exactly what you think the gaps are, now you know what you can bring to the table. There is always room for another seat at it!
Bonus Tip: Jot those Thoughts down
Sometimes the greatest ideas or solutions present themselves at the most random moments in the day and if they aren’t written down, they are forgotten. Take the time to journal your ideas and musings and revisit them from time to time. You’ll be surprised what you come up with!
Check in with yourself
Don’t forget to take care of yourself while getting the ball rolling on your online business! This is something that often falls by the wayside in the midst of all your tasks, but taking care of your health always needs to be a priority.
When working hard, always remember to give your body some love. Stand up and stretch, even if it is for just a few minutes, your body, mind and business will thank you for it!
Learn, Apply, Rinse and Repeat
Working online is a constant learning process. The platforms are constantly changing and new approaches gain momentum overnight.
Keep an eye for what is relevant for your business and avoid wasting time on things that are not. It’s easy to be caught up on the online noise and lose focus.
Learn with your competitors and make friends online that want to exchange valuable information and help you to grow.
Whether you’re changing careers or reinventing one make sure to invest time in your online education. Free YouTube videos only can take you so far. There will come a time when you need to invest in coaching and mentoring programs.
Just understand that investing in yourself, in your business, is never, ever a waste of time or money.
Good luck and happy creating vibes!