//The Business of Art

5 Common Mistakes You Are Making In Your Creative Business

Click here to learn 5 common mistakes creative business owners make and what to do about it.

When it comes to figuring out how to run your own creative business there are bound to be many mistakes along the way.  After all, that’s the best way to learn, right? But there are some common mistakes you can avoid, especially if you’re just starting out, that will save you time and frustration.  Here are some common mistakes that happen and what you can do about it:

1. You’re trying to be something you’re not.

Copying is the greatest form of flattery but you have to show others who YOU are in order for them to connect with you. If you’re copying someone else, your true personality won’t come through and you won’t make authentic connections. Don’t worry about being the funniest, smartest or coolest out there–just be yourself, that’s more than enough.

2. You’re not starting at the beginning.

A beginner’s mind is an open mind–there is a lot of fun to be had with a beginner’s mindset. Sure, it can be scary or frustrating or (insert feeling here) when you’re trying to learn something new but it can also be quite freeing to just say, “I don’t know and I want to learn”. It’s a lot easier to be receptive in a place of humility, than from a place of resistance.  And you’ll learn more information faster, from a beginner’s mind.

3. You take on too much too soon.

Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was your business or creative venture. There are a lot of moving parts when you are trying to set up and run a website, profile, blog or online shop. And hell, it can be freaking OVERWHELMING. But you know what? It doesn’t have to happen all at once. Because you have time, even when you think you don’t.  So take it step-by-step and enjoy the process.

4. You’re not connecting.

There’s no escaping the internet + social media and if you don’t jump on the bandwagon, you will be left behind. The good news? There is a place for everyone, so just a little digging on your part will help you decide where you feel most comfortable. Do you love back and forth conversation? Facebook Groups could be your friend. Are you more into looking at pretty pictures?Instagram or Pinterest may be your jam. Whatever your fancy, there is a place for you. Find your spot and dive in.

5. You hesitate to put yourself out there.

I know when I painted my first abstract painting, I was so embarrassed of my beginner skills that I didn’t want to let anybody see it. I literally said to myself, “I’m never showing this to anyone”. It was that bad!

But I put that painting aside and tried again. I stuck with it–I practiced and painted and painted. I kept trying because I really wanted to get better at it. I didn’t give up and I also didn’t let others influence my process too much. I stuck with what my heart was telling me to paint and I eventually figured out my style (and it’s always evolving!)

Then I slowly started showing others. When I started sharing my work, either on social media or in person, I learned so much from what people commented on–and that would have never happened if I didn’t put myself out there.

So there you have it, my friend. Don’t worry too much about getting everything right, especially at the beginning.  Just keep moving towards your goal and make adjustments along the way.  You can do it!

Love, Steph

PS Are you looking to connect with other like-minded creatives? Join my private Facebook Group here.

March 16, 2017|Art Stuff, Personal Development, The Business of Art|

5 Ways To Use Pinterest For Business. (Especially If You’re A Creative Entrepreneur.)

The Business of Art: In this series, I share tips + tricks I've learned from running a creative shop + blog.

Click through to learn 5 ways to use Pinterest For Business, especially if you're a creative entrepreneur. Download your free worksheet!

Click through to learn 5 ways to use Pinterest For Business, especially if you're a creative entrepreneur. Download your free checklist!

If you’re a creative person online, no doubt you have at least heard of Pinterest, if not used it personally. When I started hearing more and more about how people are using Pinterest for business, I did some of my own investigating and found that it was the second largest search engine (with Google being the first).  Say what?!  I thought Pinterest was for collecting pretty pictures of DIY projects and recipes!  Whoa, Nelly was I wrong.

To say that Pinterest has the potential to be a business powerhouse is an understatement. Here are a few basic statistics:

  • Pinterest has 100 million active users, of which 85% are women.
  • 55% of US online shoppers pick Pinterest as their favorite platform.
  • 87% of pinners have purchased something because of Pinterest.
  • Top reason why Internet Millenials follow a brand or company on Pinterest: to share their interests/lifestyles with others. (Which makes it easy to appeal to a specific market)

So basically, a LOT of people are using Pinterest to shop and to connect with brands that resonate with them.  For this reason, Pinterest is a perfect way to promote your business because you can connect with viewers in a creative, visual way.

Ever since buckling down and getting serious about my own Pinterest strategy, my site visits have skyrocketed and my email list has grown steadily.  With just a few simple moves, you can get great results, too!  Here’s how to get started:

1. Sign up for a business profile if you haven’t already.

This will allow you to promote pins as well as create Rich Pins (which add extra details to Pins from your website that ‘normal’ pins don’t.) Right now, there are five types of Rich Pins: movie, recipe, article, product and place.  That product you’re trying to sell on Etsy?  You can easily promote it with a Rich Pin on Pinterest.

2. Create boards that are in line with your brand.

Include a mix of boards specifically geared to promoting your work as well as boards that compliment your work.  (You should make it a practice to pin a variety of others pins, not just your own.)

For example:  I have a board for my blog + a board for my art, both specifically promoting my work.  But, I also have a board called Inspirational Quotes  and another called Art That Inspires Me–these both promote content that someone who is following me would probably enjoy seeing.

People are looking to connect with you: Make sure you use keywords in your board descriptions that readers will use while searching for your items/posts.  Keywords are how they will find you, so give it some thought. You can see all of my boards here for keywords I use.

3. Make sure your blog or website is pin-able.

You want to make sure anyone who is visiting your home on the web can pin your content to their heart’s content.  That is how you will get seen–the more pins that are out there of your work, the more chance you have of someone clicking through to your store/site.  The best result (and hope) of this work?  A pin of yours could go viral (that means it is pinned by a lot of people, sometimes quite quickly. Yay!)

Most website themes include a unique set of social sharing buttons but if you need to add a save it button, here is how to do it.  There are also plenty of free ways outside of Pinterest to add them, Sumome is a popular one.

Click through to get access to my free library of helpful tools, including this worksheet on how to create a good graphic!

4. Join Group Boards.

Group boards are made up of a collection of people who pin common interest content to one board (for example: art techniques board or mixed media art board).  The power of the group board is that if a pin gets repinned, it will be seen by each pinner’s individual audience–one you might not have been exposed to if you hadn’t pinned it to the group.  It expands the amount of eyeballs on your work exponentially.

The catch to group boards is that you want to make sure the boards are popular enough, but not too popular.  What this means is, you want to join boards that people are pinning to consistently, and the pins have about 5+ repins each.  Otherwise, if you’re a part of a board where people only repin once in a while, it defeats the purpose.

Once you get the hang of Pinterest and have a good amount of pins, I would highly suggest using a pin promoter like Board Booster so that your pins don’t disappear into the feed.

5. Create good looking graphics.

Sometimes getting noticed is as simple as creating something people want to look at. #truestory Pinterest is loaded with beautiful images, so you want to be sure to stand out in the crowd.  The way to do that?  Catch the viewer’s eye with a great looking pin.

What you create will depend on your brand, style and the overall vibe you want to put out there, but creating a unique look will help others remember you.  It comes down to making a graphic that contains a mix of what you like, with the message you want to convey.

The goal is to design something that people will want to click through and explore further–whether it’s to a product in your shop, a creative technique to learn from your blog or to promote a new course.  The best practice I’ve found with graphics?  Keep it simple.

Need a little help getting started when it comes to creating graphics?  Download my free worksheet below: 5 Elements of a Good Graphic.

Click through to get access to my free library of helpful tools, including this worksheet on how to create a good graphic!

Alright friend, I hope these tips help you get started using Pinterest for business!  Don’t worry about getting everything perfect from the beginning, just get moving and you can adjust as you go.

Love, Steph

December 5, 2016|Canva, The Business of Art|