ARTISTS: Do You Have a Business or a Hobby?

Musicians, actors, dancers, visual artists, and all artists can easily “open their doors for business” without a firm business or marketing plan in place. Some may test the waters to see if they attract any fans or supporters and some start out doing their craft as a side gig while working their full-time job.

So, if this is how you began your career, do you have a business or a hobby?

A hobby traditionally is an activity that brings you pleasure that you do in your spare time. A business, on the other hand, provides a service or products to clients and strives to make a profit.

Here are some questions to ask yourself to determine if you are working a business or a hobby:

  • Do you have a business and marketing plan, even for one year, which includes expected profits?
  • Do you have an authentic brand and image that highlights who you are as an artist?
  • Do you have firm business hours or are you working sporadic hours as your family or full time job allows?
  • Do you make the most of your business hours or work time, working as efficiently as possible, or do you get distracted with social media or other behind-the-scenes tasks?
  • Do you have an official website, bio and professional photos?
  • Do you dedicate time to “work” your social media by making genuine connections with your target market?
  • Do you make opportunities happen or do you wait for them to come to you?
  • Do you withdraw every penny from your account after you earn money or do you give yourself a pay structure and reinvest some of your profits into equipment, training, or other business expenses?
  • Do you spend 50% of your working hours dedicated to marketing or is it 100% on your art because you belief the art should stand on its own?
  • Do you wait for agents, managers, directors, labels, publishers or media to discover you or do you invest in consultants, coaches, and other professionals?

You should have an idea now about if your business is truly a business.

Hire a Coach to Guide You

Not everyone needs a business degree to start a business, I certainly did not; sometimes a unique product (recording, film, painting, book, craft, etc) or a strong desire to offer services (performances, producing, writing) is enough to get started.

However, learning business and marketing is necessary to set up your career to grow and generate profits. You don’t know what you don’t know and without this education, you will make many trial and error mistakes, some of which could cost you substantial money.

Instead of closing your eyes and hoping for the best, a coach will create a plan with you and will guide you through the next steps of the plan with tried and true business advice and strategies.

A good coach also serves as your accountability partner, someone who wants to hear from you about your progress and who will call you out when you don’t do as you promised. Oftentimes knowing someone is expecting results is enough to spur people into action because they don’t want to let down the coach.

Multi-passionate artists tend to have some interests that they are pursuing as a business along with multiple hobbies. Often it is a challenge to manage it all and to figure out which should stay hobbies.

I understand this challenge and help artists figure out what their priorities are and how to set goals to achieve what they truly want.

So, if you want to turn your hobby into a true business, contact me to set up a discovery call.