How To Monetize your Creativity | Guest Post
As the new year keeps rolling along you may have noticed that little things have been changing around here. I've updated my site + new services + coaching opportunities. All of these things I am super excited about, but not more so then being able to open this space up to other Makers & Creatives!
I want to ensure that you are getting the most each time you come and visit KendraCastillo.com. This is a place to learn, be inspired, and hopefully encourage you along whatever dream you have been holding onto. I couldn't think of a better way to do that by sharing advice from other amazing creatives. So today I have Olivia from LivLovely sharing her tips on how to Monetize your Creativity!
When you choose to step into a creative industry and make that your life’s work, you are choosing to be a dreamer. That comes with a lot of pros, but it has its fair share of cons to go with it.
As kids we spend countless hours in our heads piecing together our dream life, but of course, we often don’t think about the realities of a what that life will bring.
I was the type of creative that found herself pulled in a lot of directions. When I was in elementary school, I wanted to be a children’s book author. I even wrote in a paper once why I felt this was the best road for me to take. I wrote something to the tune of: “I’ve got great imagination, and I hate scary stuff!” (that is actually still true, you will be hard-pressed to find me watching any horror movies).
As I got older, I participated in my school’s chorus and my church’s choir. I then wanted to become a famous singer, and I spent a few years following that dream. In middle school and high school, I added acting and playing music, I played viola in the orchestra and loved every second of it. That dream morphed into what it is today, which is screenwriting, filmmaking and photography. But I still find myself using skills I have learned in the past, today.
If you are a multi-passionate creative, I imagine that, you also use a variety of skills you have picked up throughout each season of your life. Some may look at us and think we are indecisive but I see us as dreamers, who were not afraid to allow ourselves to go wherever life may be taking us.
But because we adapt and add new skills to our repertoire over time, we can find ourselves lost in the sea of possibilities. One of the inevitable cons of an artist's life, is that it’s incredibly hard to figure out how to make a steady income off of our creativity.
One of the reasons it’s so hard to figure out, is because our work it so personal to us we often don’t know how to scale it up. Even more, if our creativity takes our individual attention (like painting, sculpting, or fashion design) there is only so much work we can do before we run into the dreaded burn out.
So how can you monetize your creativity? How can you make money off of your work without running yourself into the ground? The good news is, there are a ton of ways, it’s just a matter of finding what works best for you, which will take some trial and error, but it will be all worth it in the end.
The first step to deciding how to monetize your creativity is to think about the method you want to use. Once you decide on the method, the product or medium you choose to do that in, is almost limitless.
Teach + Coach
Teachers, especially in the traditional sense, get a bad rap. They are often overworked and drastically underpaid (if you ask me). But I’ve always seen the teacher's job to be honorable and fulfilling. If we really think about it, most of us have at least one teacher we remember fondly. The one that went above and beyond for us, or maybe they stand out because they were the only one to teach you something and you just...got it.
While we can technically teach ourselves most things these days, having a teacher who knows what they are doing (already) there to show you the way is invaluable. A great teacher can save you a ton of time that you would have otherwise wasted trying to teach yourself.
Despite society’s cynical nature sometimes, people do love to learn and to see the process of how something is done. Especially, if it’s something they are really interested in. If you are able to organize and communicate information clearly, teaching may be the way for you to monetize your creativity. Whatever your creative outlet is, you can teach people how to do it and and do it well!
If the idea of being a traditional teacher isn’t doing it for you, you can also teach through blog posts, videos, or e-courses. The digital age has opened a lot of doors for us!
I see coaching as sort of a modified teacher. Not only can you coach someone by teaching them a specific skill, but if you’re up to it, you can also help others in a more personal way. You can help to break through some of the psychological walls they may be putting up. Either way, paying attention to detail, people skills, and organization are crucial for this line of work. If you think you can do that, give it a shot!
Consulting using to be reserved for business and marketing professionals. But as our markets change, companies and freelancers are looking for people that specialize in a particular area to help them take things to the next level. This is where you can come in! If you have an artistic eye, you can help companies expand their brand or marketing efforts and they are looking for you.
Of course, the game here will be finding companies and freelancers in line with your personal aesthetic. You want to be sure to connect with people you can actually help. So if your aesthetic is more edgy or avant garde, you probably don’t want to reach out to a company that sells baby products (unless the products are being marketed to pretty edgy parents!).
I believe the best way to get into consulting will be by becoming as connected in your industry as possible. The more you network with other professionals, the better your chances will be.
This is the main choice for creatives for good reason. When you are a freelancer, you have virtually no limits. You can work on almost any project doing whatever you want to do. This is very appealing, but as with anything, there are some cons. The work isn’t steady, especially in the beginning and it seems to take a lot of work to build up to earning enough to live off of.
But, it’s still a viable option and I encourage every creative to implement some sort of freelancing into their plan. Freelancing brings the spontaneity a lot of us crave into our lives. Thanks to freelancing, I’ve gotten to work on some projects I would have never thought I’d be working on otherwise.
If your creative outlet is visual, then you may want to consider entertaining! Now, this doesn't always mean getting on a stage (unless that’s what you want to do, of course). You can oversee shows or exhibits surrounded around a specific concept. Or you can create films (my personal favorite), lookbooks, or some combination of all the above! The idea here is to dazzle people with your creativity, we’ve all seen really cool things go viral on social media just because of the creativity behind it. People love to be entertained, and if you think you’ve got an interesting concept, why not explore it?!
"To live a creative life we must lose the fear of being wrong" - Joseph Pearce
You may find in your quest to turn your creativity into profit, that you need to combine various avenues. You may decide to teach group classes and coach individually. Or maybe you will consult Monday through Friday, and play music at a fancy cafe on the weekends. The beauty is, whatever you want for your life, you can have. The only limitations that exist are the ones we create. You can monetize your creativity and you can develop a nice living off of your work. It just takes a little creativity (which you’ve got plenty of) and discipline.
Through your journey, remember this one golden rule- just put your work out there.
We can never make money off of our art if we do not have the courage to share it. The more we put our work out there, the more people will see it.
Believe in the your work and the process. The opportunity you are waiting for will present itself.