The Creative Business Plan For Artists: Create A Thriving Business | Jamie Smith | Skillshare

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The Creative Business Plan For Artists: Create A Thriving Business

teacher avatar Jamie Smith, Artist, Teacher & Community Builder

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Your Project


    • 3.

      Create Your Vision


    • 4.

      Find Your Why


    • 5.

      Make Your Goals


    • 6.

      What Are Your Offerings?


    • 7.

      Find Your Current Numbers


    • 8.

      Find Your Future Numbers


    • 9.

      Create Your Marketing Plan


    • 10.

      Create Your Action Plan


    • 11.

      Create Your 'Not Doing' List


    • 12.

      Final Thoughts!


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About This Class

Are you ready to turn your creative passion into a business?

A thriving business is a work of art that takes time, diligence and a plan! This class is a guided process designed for artists who want to build a business selling their work or creative services. This is not the business class you took in college. This is a creative approach to building a business that reflects you, your unique work, and your values.

We’ll be walking through a guided process of exercises using The Creative Business Plan. Each exercise will help you think through the most important parts of your business and finish with a full plan for how to get started.

Get Ready To:

  • Create a vision for your business
  • Get clear on your “why”
  • Price your offerings
  • Get your financials organized
  • Map out sales targets for each month
  • Plan your marketing strategy
  • Create your goal map for the year

Who is this class for?
This class is designed for any creative who wants to build a business from their creative work. Whether you want to create a little extra income from a side hustle or do creative work full time, this class can give you tools to set yourself up for success.

Who am I?
I am Jamie Smith- an artist, teacher and founder of an online community of female identifying  artists called the Thrive Together Network. I’m a  creative entrepreneur through and through and believe the world needs more creativity and entrepreneurship. My personal motto is “Do The Work'' and this class is a guide to help you to do your important work. Let’s do it together!

You can see my personal artwork here and check out the TTN online community here

Meet Your Teacher

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Jamie Smith

Artist, Teacher & Community Builder

Top Teacher

My name is Jamie Smith and I am an artist, teacher and community builder living and working in beautiful British Columbia, Canada. 

A long time ago I went to art school and left without a clue about how to make a living from my work. Over the past ten years I have been learning how to make a living as a creative. I believe the world needs more creatives embracing entrepreneurship and making their dreams a reality. 

Here on Skillshare, I have created my classes to cover business skills, self-care and art making (all the things I care about most). So thank you for being here! 

Let's stay connected...

INSTAGRAM- Follow along on my art and business journey here. Follow me at @jamiesmithstudio

NEWSLETTER- I send out art stu... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Welcome! : The creative process is one of the most magical experiences we can ever have. To take something that is nothing and turn it into physical form. To take what's inside oneself and put it out into the world. It's truly amazing. It's truly magic. To take that creative work and share it with others is bold, and it takes courage to do that. To take our creative work and make it into a business that just takes determination, passion, and a plan. I'm Jamie Smith and welcome to my class, the Creative Business Plan. I'm an artist. I also run an online community of artists called Thrive Art Studio. Years ago I decided to leave my full-time teaching job and pursue my dream of becoming a professional full-time visual artist. I have now spent the last 10 years learning not only how to run my own creative business, but also how to share this knowledge with others. I'm really passionate about it. I did workshops, I designed courses, speak to groups of new and seasoned creatives, and I learned tons every day by running my own business at my community. I now have worked with hundreds of creatives. What I have found, no matter what part of the creative journey, whether they're just making work for the first time or they're making their whole period of living from their practice, they all want to plan and they're all looking for a path. This class is designed for creatives that want to build a business to sell their work. This could be physical items like artwork, handmade, digital art, or services like graphic design or any creative freelancer. Running your creative business has it's challenges, but making a living from doing what you love is well worth the effort. It's just a lot easier when you have a plan. In this class, you are going to be creating a vision for your business, getting clear on the why behind what you create, making a price list of your offerings, getting your business financial numbers organized, mapping out sales targets you need to reach every month, planning how to get the word out there about your creative work, like a marketing plan, and finally, getting a whole goal road-map organized for the year. I believe we need creativity in this world, we need more entrepreneurship and creatives following their dream. What you're doing is important. Let's get organized, let's create a plan so that your work can thrive. [MUSIC] 2. Your Project: [MUSIC] Our project for this class is to create the creative business plan. The class is designed for creatives who want to build a business to sell their work. This could be physical items like artwork, handmade goods, digital art, or services like graphic designers or creative freelancers. Whether you're looking to start a side hustle for your work or intending to live full time off of your work, the principles of this class are useful. All you need for this class is a pen and paper. Yes, that's it. I have designed templates in each lesson on the creative business plan PDF, and you can get that in the projects and resource section of the class. You can print this out, you can type your answers directly onto the PDF, and of course you're welcome to follow along in your own notebook or your own journal. The business plan we're creating is designed for one year. I create a business plan every year in December so that I'm ready for January 1st, but you can start anytime in the calendar year. I just encourage you to start where you are and get some things down in writing, it's going to help you so much. Making this plan for the first time is the hardest, after that it becomes easier and easier, you just repeat the system. I'm so excited for us to get started. I've seen so many creatives reach their goals by taking on this process, and it is a process. Each lesson has been built on the last, so some are going to be easier, some are going to be more difficult, but please stick with it because the end result is so worth, it doesn't have to be perfect, we're doing this together. The world needs more creatives living their best lives, so let's do this together. Let's jump in. 3. Create Your Vision: [MUSIC] We cannot create what we cannot see. We need to visualize what we want for our creative careers. Think of your business plan like a map. If you don't know where you want to go, then it's very hard to know how to get there. We're going to use the tool of visualization to map out where we are headed. Visualization is a great tool when trying to get a clear image on what we want. Many believe that this tool helps our subconscious mind to connect with what our thinking brain shows us we really want. In our busy and noisy lives it's easy not to listen to ourselves, not listen to our gut feeling or instincts. We fill our minds with what we think we should want, what we should do, how it works is that I'm going to ask you to get comfortable and then I will describe a scene for you of your creative business and your creative work in the future. As I say the words just let yourself sink into the scene and allow yourself to imagine what your life looks like, feels like, and the details that are all around you. Enjoy this process, you get to time travel. You get to go to the future and see the successful version of yourself and your business. At the end of the visualization, your job is to write everything down. The more you get written down, the better. These details are so important because they're the truth of what we really want, so get comfortable. You can sit in your chair or lay on the ground, but we're going to dive right in together. [MUSIC] Close your eyes. Big breath in and now out. Big breath in, and let the energy flow out. Feel your feet rooted on the ground or your back grounded on the floor. Relax and know you are safe in this moment. You are safe to picture yourself one year from now. You are about to enter your workspace. The place you make your work, the place where all your creative energy flows and you are so excited to open the door and walk in. You can feel the anticipation in your hand as you turn the handle. You walk in and look around you. What do you see? What does your work look like?What does your workspace look like? You see where you make your work. Look around what you have on the walls. You see the place you sit and you sit down. What is around you? What materials are there with you? What are you enjoying about the work that you're making right now? What are you known for? What achievements are around you? Awards, notes. What successes have you achieved this year? This workspace is where you make your creative work, but it's also the heart of your business. What is your business like? What do you enjoy about your business? What projects have you done?Who have you worked with this year? What business goals have you achieved over the year? What are you most proud of? What is bringing you abundance and wealth in your business? What do you enjoy spending your earnings on? As you sit in your workspace take a big breath in. You are so proud of yourself. Can you hardly believe this all happened in a year? Let this sink in around you. Feel the success, feel everything you have done. Before you come back to present time with me. Is there anything you want to say to your future self? Anything you want to say goodbye to. Take your time to look around. Take your time to be proud of yourself and sit in that. Look around yourself one last time. I'm going to count you in on the count of three and you're going to come back to your present self. One, take a big breath in and release. Two, start to become aware of your body and wiggle your fingers and your toes. and three, start to open your eyes and take in one big breath [MUSIC]. Welcome back. How was it imagining the possibilities of what your work and your business could be, so exciting. Now your job is to write down everything you saw. Take time to get all the details down. I have created a template in the creative business plan and there are prompts there to help you remember the experience, but you're welcome to journey as well. This is truly the foundation of your business plan. Remember, it's so much easier to create something when we have a clear vision of what we're dreaming of creating and we have that now. Now we have our vision of what our business looks like a year from now. Let's get our map going.The next lesson we're going to focus on the why. See you there. 4. Find Your Why: [MUSIC] Building a creative business in life is no small feat. It takes endurance, patience, and passion, but it is so worth it. Now that you have a clear vision on what you want to create, we need to be very clear on why. The why is what we're going to dedicate ourselves to, in our creative practice, and our creative career. It's why we started all of this in the first place. At the end of the day, having a business, creative or not, has an ebb and flow, highs and lows. It is our why of what we do that will keep driving us forward. It is our North Star. It is how we stay on track for the long haul because it is the long game. We're going to get to a writing exercise to figure out our why. We're going to create why statements. I have three sentences for you to fill in the end of the sentence, you can use the template provided or journal away. I make my work because, I am dedicated to my creative business because, I want my work to make people feel dot-dot-dot. The statement I make my work because is basically about why you do what you do. What's the driving force? Why did you start this long before you thought about making money this way? The statement, I am dedicated to my creative business because is, why do you want this to be a business? A business is a totally different skill set than being a creative person and you are diving right in. That's amazing, but it's important to know why you care about earning a living from your creative work. I want my work to make people feel, so this is really important. If we want this to be a business, we go from making work that's just for ourselves that we love to then asking other people to feel a certain way and purchase our work. We need to be very clear on what we want of them. There going to be times you're going to feel like you've lost your way. This is the long game. These statements are what will come back to you. I highly recommend posting them in your studio or workspace. Have them displayed somewhere, have them in a journal that you can pull out. It will just keep you going through the hard times. To sum up this lesson, all you need to do is finish the sentences. Create your three why statements. I highly suggest you post them up somewhere, so that they are the heart of your work, and the heart of your business. Thank you so much for getting clear on your why with me. The next lesson, we're going to set some goals together. See you there. 5. Make Your Goals: I find goals are often easy to set, but a bit harder to do the work to achieve them. But when you know why you want, what you want, you have a much higher chance of sticking to them and accomplishing them. I have found the easiest way to unravel the deeper why behind the goals is to turn to my grades. My grades are the people around me that I admire the most in my field. We're going to answer some questions together. Of course, you can find this in the template and the creative business PDF or journal on your own. Questions are, who's creative work do I admire and why? Whose business do I admire and why? What are my creative goals for the coming year? What are my business goals for the coming year? First, who's creative work do I admire and why? You're going to list two-three creatives that are making work that you really admire. But the important part here is why? Is it their style, is that the line work, maybe it's the backgrounds they create to even display their work. Maybe it's the scale of their work. What is it about this creative work that just draws you to it? It's super important to understand the why. Next question. Whose business do I admire and why? When we are working on making your creative work or income, it can feel like we're getting pulled into different directions, our creative side and our entrepreneur side. We need to engage fully in our entrepreneurial side right now and look at the businesses that we admire that are in our niche and really figure out what they're doing and why we appreciate it so much. Make sure we focus on the why, I am a broken record I know. Is it the easy to use website? Is it their service packages and how it's laid out? Maybe it's the voice and the newsletter , gets super specific. We need all this information because now we know what we truly care about. We know we're not making goals about what we should do, what we think is best, what our mom told us to do but we're actually looking outward. Now we're going to use that to answer the questions of what are my creative goals for this coming year. Look to that admiration list. What has that taught you? Maybe you realize, I need to make bigger work this year. I actually want to work with a different set of clients, get this written down. You're also going to use the answers for your business side. Maybe you realized that website is the game you want to up their game on the website. We're going to get this all down in writing. This process is going to help us make these goals that are rooted in what we truly want because those are things that will actually motivate us. I've written laundry lists of things I thought I should do that weren't rooted in what I truly cared about, so we want to make that a little different here. I will say it is easy in this world right now to be a jealous creative in the age of Instagram. I encourage you to think proactively over the year. I encourage you when you see something that is amazing creatively or business-wise, ask yourself, why do you feel this way about it? What does it show you that you want? Then set your goal and then go get it. We all have unique gifts and ways of sharing them. By comparing ourselves, our art is unique, what we do is unique. Why would we compare ourselves to another person? It's normal, it's natural. But let's keep focused on the why behind it. I hope you have some solid goals now. Have some fun with this. It's fun to make a list. You don't have to do the work quite yet. You want to hold onto these and we're going to use it in a future lesson about building our plan. Next, we're going to focus completely on our offers and our pricing, so I'll see you there. 6. What Are Your Offerings?: [MUSIC] It's a big shift to go from making art solely or any type of creative work solely for yourself, but then selling that creative work as a whole new level. As creatives, we have so many interests, we have so many passions. It's hard what to pick that you want to make and sell continuously, which is the foundation of having a business. A pitfall that I see creatives fall into is they want to do a million things. Their customers don't know what they do best, they don't have something they're known for. We're going to get into writing exactly what we're focused on selling this year and we're going to stick to it. I like to call the things or services we sell your offerings. You are offering your talents, your creative work, your services to others in exchange for money. We need to know how much money we're asking for each offering. You may be completely new to selling your work, or you may have many sales under your belt. Either way, creative should review their offerings and their prices for sure every year. You want to make sure that you are price competitively and it's still what you want to do. Even if you have an offering and a price list, it's still well-worth doing this exercise. There is a template, of course, and you're welcome to journey along and listen to my prompts. Your offerings could be items like original artwork or custom t-shirts, or it could be services like a graphic designer or making websites. Either way, we still need to figure it all out. If you're offering a service, make sure you list out exactly what the client receives in each of your packages. We do not want more than six offerings, even that is a lot. Less than that is ideal. Next, we need to find out what we're going to charge for them. We're going to write down all our offerings, and now we need to figure out what we're going to charge. A couple of tips for you. For handmade items, make sure you factor in your time, as well as your material cost. That's huge, that can get away from you. Do some research and look at how other people in the market are priced and make your assessment from their. Art work, no one seems to know what to price our artwork at, and no client seems to know why it's priced that way. It is so important to become a professional artist and take on that business side to have a price list. Take the guesswork out of it for yourself and your clients. You want to look at past sales for artwork, other artists that are similar career time and style. I find it very difficult to factor in time into pricing as an artist because the artistic process is so different for others. It's easiest to price by size. You're going to price by square inch as artists. Services, when pricing services you want to consider that it's all about time. Make sure you focus in prep and follow up and all those little bits of time that you're definitely going to give a client, but you're not charging for. Make sure to look at people at that similar career stage. Selling your creative work can be emotional. It can feel like your whole heart and soul went into it and now it's walking away from you. Having a price list to refer to can make the selling process way less emotional. It also is professional. It helps you go from hobbyist to business owner. Just to recap this lesson, you're going to create your list of offerings. You're also going to create a price for each offering. That is your task here. Remember, this is not set in stone, you can make a schedule and you can check in every couple of months on this pricing. I highly suggest you at least do it once a year. If your materials cost has changed, if your process has changed, you want to make sure that's reflected in the price. Thank you so much for getting focused on what you're offering your clients. I would love to see some of these offerings in the project section below, so please leave them for me. Next lesson, we're actually going to dive into our money. I'll see you there. 7. Find Your Current Numbers: Here's the part I know you've been waiting for. Let's talk about money. As creatives we are often balancing multiple jobs and projects to make our money work at the end of the month. The goal is to have your financial business paying for itself and paying you as well. It is totally possible. By tracking your monthly money and knowing your numbers, this allows you to make informed business decisions. Imagine that you will be the boss instead of your business running you every month. What we're going to do in this lesson is we're going to create a financial snapshot. This is all about where we are now. The next lesson we're going to do where we're headed to but right now we're focusing on our current financial situation. There is a template in the Business Plan PDF, and you can also follow along with paper and pen as well. We need a monthly snapshot of what you earn and spend on your business currently. I think we should look at last month as it is the freshest and I'm hoping this will create a habit because if you did last month, you should probably do this month, and the following and following. The first thing we need to know is how much money from our business flowed in. In other words, it's our monthly income. Go back to bank statements, PayPal, or however you receive money into your business and you want to write down all of these sales. If you've only had a few sales last month, then you can actually spend the time and write down who bought the actual item and create a nice little record of your clients. If you had a lot of sales last month, way to go, and what you can do is actually make categories like we did in our offerings, for example, Original Art. You want to add together all your original art sales and then total that amount under the category, Original Art. You might want to do this in this spreadsheet. I do have a template that I created, but it's totally personal preference. Next, we're going to look at our expenses. This is money that flows out of our business. We really want this number to be true and realistic, and this takes a bit of time. We want to make sure that we're really detailed on what expenses have left our business. You want to go through credit card statements, bank accounts, PayPal, especially any cash you spent, we tend to forget about that. List out every dollar you spend on your business last month. Don't forget materials and networking events, supplies, your workspace, rent, employees. All these types of things need to be written down to the penny. Pay extra attention to online subscriptions. They will get you. You sign up and you forget, and then we don't remember that we have a lot of money flowing out of our business. Now you're going to take the amount of income and you're going to minus it from your expenses. Is this N number positive or negative? Our goal is that we're living in the green. We want that number positive or at zero, but we don't want to be negative. We want to make sure that we know what is happening in our financial world so that we can make better decisions. You need to know that, that N number is actually what we are paying ourselves. So if your goal is to leave your current job, that N number needs to equal what you're getting paid in your regular job. Also, if you're full-time, this might be a sign if you can grow your business. Depending on that number, you might want to hire someone, get more supplies in, but now you can make these types of decisions. If you're in the early days of your business and you are actually lending your business money, make sure you track these loan amounts because you really want to know when your business starts to run itself and maybe pay you back, imagine that. This is a lot of work, but this is going to make the biggest difference in your business, to get a true snapshot of what you have coming in and what you have coming up. A couple of tips. If you look at your financial snapshot and realize that you need to make more income to cover your expenses, there's a couple of tips I have for you. One, sell more. Doesn't that sound easy? Of course, if you have more sales you'll have more income to cover those expenses. Two, increase your prices. If you sell the same amount but for more money, this helps your bottom line. Number 3, which I don't think a lot of people talk about, and it's my favorite, trim your expenses. If your income stays the same, but you spend less money, you have more money in the green to keep, and you want to make sure that you really think through how the money is moving in and out of your account. I like this approach because in the art world my sales can be often very unpredictable, so I keep my business super lean. I don't want to increase my prices because I'm just not sure how that's going to land in the market, and I want to make sure month over month that my expenses are as tight as possible. So look at your expenses. Is there anything you can cut? Is there any way you can become more lean? Those are easy things to do instead of trying to sell more all the time or increasing your prices. We're going to use this financial snapshot, all this hard work into our next lesson. This is going to help us so much to reach our goals of where we want to be financially. See you there. 8. Find Your Future Numbers: [MUSIC] Now we know where we are financially. Let's spend a little time looking at where we want to be financially, the fun part. There is a template in the creative business plan PDF and you can also journal along with me. From the work we did last lesson, we now know what we spend monthly on our business. Amazing. We want to write down this number. There is a spot on your template to actually put this number and it's under monthly business expenses, or you just write it on a piece of paper. The next number we need to know is how much do we spend? We are typically solo printers. It's our lives that we're trying to pay for and keep going, so what do you spend? We're going to call this number owner's pay. Just like you did for finding your business expenses, you need to find out your personal expenses. This is the hard truth, but it's worth doing. You want to look at bank statements, credit card, PayPal, any cash, remember the cash. We want to get this number as realistic as possible so that we truly know what we're working towards and why. This is our life we're trying to pay for with our creative business. Amazing. Once we know that number of truly what we spend, we actually want to go back to our goals. If your goal is to have your business pay your full income, then we want that number, the owners pay number to be written down and put right into the template. For me, I've tracked my personal expenses for over three years, and I spend, no matter what I do, 3,200 a month. Some as more, some I budget and spend less, but it always averages out to 3,200 a month. I also though, teach and run classes like this, I run Thrive, so I typically have a day job. My artwork business, my creative business is actually, my goal is for it to pay for itself plus I want a little bonus money. My goal is $200, pay for itself and $200. On my sheet, what I'm going to write down is my business expenses which I've sorted and $200. You want to go back to your visualization that we did, back to your why and make sure that you're setting a financial goal for the year that really fits into your lifestyle. If this business could pay for itself like me, and that could be a great goal. It could be a side hustle income, a certain amount, so adjust the owners, pay accordingly so that we can figure out expense number. You have two numbers. We have our monthly business expense plus our owners pay and you've adjusted that number for your goals. That now is our total monthly expenses. Amazing. How cool is that? That number is what your business needs to earn you every month to reach your goals. Let's plan how we're going to get there and we need the numbers to guide us. Instead on this hamster wheel of having to sell more, now we know why, we know what it's going for. What you want to do is you want to pull out your offerings lists from the previous lesson and your prices, and you're just going to play with the numbers. How much of each offering do you need to sell at your price point every month to hit your goal, to pay all your expenses. Depending on your goals, those numbers are going to be very different. You want to keep ingesting these math to find out how many do I need to sell to get that number of income to match your expenses. You want it either to be blown out of the water and be more, or you want it to even itself out. But when it's a negative, you want to keep going back and playing with the numbers. The other thing to remember is that you have to create this work. If you have these high numbers of what you have to sell, make sure that you look back and think, what's this year bringing for me? What do I have going on? Because you have to make sure that you can produce. But this is going to be so helpful for you. Now you have deadlines for yourself, you have a production schedule, and you want to make sure that it's realistic. The other thing you want to think about is if you get projects, if you're service-based and you have projects, do your best, guess on what every month that project would be in. Note, that this does not need to be perfect. This is a tool, it's for you to play with, adjust and tweak over the year. Do your best, have fun with it and get some real solid financial goals for yourself. To recap, you're going to write down your business expense number that we did in the last lesson. You're going to find your owners pay. You're going to assess your goals, so you're going to adjust that number to fit your goals. You're going to write down that number. You're going to add them together and now you have your total monthly expenses that your business needs to earn. Then the job of playing with the numbers. You want to get your income to be that number to even out, so that you know that you are covered. You know that you're paying for your business and yourself properly. Thank you for doing this important work. Wow, it's so amazing. We're going to move on to the next lesson where we're making a marketing plan so we actually get those sales happening. See you there. 9. Create Your Marketing Plan: [MUSIC] Marketing is one of the most important parts of your business. You can have an incredible product, but if no one knows it exists or you don't know how to talk about it, it's not going to sell. People just won't even know how to buy it. Inversely, there are a lot of not-so-great products that do super well just because of marketing and branding. Of course, your work is amazing. Let's talk about how to get it to market and for it to be successful. There is a template in the creative business plan PDF that will guide you through, but you can also follow along and journal or on paper. The key to marketing is being consistent and sticking with your message over time. People are bombarded these days with images coming at them all the time and every second of their lives. They need to see your creative work often and with consistent voice and message. Let's make a plan that you can stick to over the year. We're going again work in a monthly schedule. I do this because I want to create a system for you, a rhythm that you could do month over month because marketing, it's key to do that, to keep showing up. First what you want to do is you want to go back to our last lesson. We worked out our monthly financial goals, what we want to sell to get to our financial goals. We are going to come up with three marketing goals based on the income you need to cover your monthly expenses. We have mapped out exactly the amount of each offering in another lesson. Create three goals based on this. Look at your financial numbers. Make sure your goals have measurable numbers within them. For example, you're going to sell three ceramic vases a month or get two wholesale sale accounts this month. At the end of the month, you can review your goals, measure your marketing success based on the numbers attached to your goals. It's very important. Every month you can tweak as needed and set up new goals for the following month. You don't have to stick with this. It's a trial and error here. We're trying things out. Next step. For each goal, decide your marketing channel. Your channel is what you're going to use to reach your customer. For example, Instagram is a marketing channel, a paid advertisement is a marketing channel. Flyer at a coffee shop. This is the vehicle and what your message is getting to your person. You may try one channel one month and decide this wasn't your best approach based on the data you collected and you didn't reach your goal. You can change and try a new one. The simplest way to think about picking a channel is to look at your offering and brainstorm the best way to reach your customer. Think about past sales. How did people hear about you in the past? If you've never sold your work, this is where you use your best guess and collect the data. Next month, tweak it, see if it worked. As sales happen, as your business get going, you want to use that information to create better and better marketing routines. Now we have our three goals. We have our channel for each goal. Now we need to think about the frequency. It's the frequency of the marketing effort. If you decide you're going to sell two drawings a month, you're going to use Instagram as your channel, how often are you posting on Instagram? You need to know this because you're actually creating a little monthly schedule for yourself and how it actually is going to happen in real life. The next step is the most important one, you are writing your action steps. This is where you're going to road-map, how you reach your marketing goals. If you need pictures for Instagram, you need to get those pictures taken, how are you going to get them up there and how you're going to get them organized. You need to know if that's happening weekly, daily, or monthly. Take the guesswork out for your future self. Get the steps written down in full. Now's the time where you have a clear brain to sit down and do that. You're welcome to plan out many months. You can plan out the whole year, but I do think planning by the month is good because you can measure the results and decide if you want to stick through that channel, or do you want to try a new one. We don't want to switch around too much. Remember, consistency is our best game here. I rely a lot on Instagram and my newsletter as an artist. I use for scheduling my Instagram posts. It's less in the moment I get to actually have a real plan and I use Squarespace to do my website, but also my newsletter. Those are some resources if you need them for how to schedule things. By planning your marketing each month, you are working on reaching those financial goals that we mapped out. You want to set your goals, pick your channel, decide your frequency, and then map out your action steps. Consistency is key. We're creating a rhythm that we're going to stick to every month. Thank you so much for getting your marketing plan in order with me. The next lesson, we are putting all of this together into an action plan. I'll see you there. 10. Create Your Action Plan: [MUSIC] It always seems like there's just so much we want to do in our creative work and our creative businesses, the to-do lists never seems to end. Well, the easiest way for this all to seem manageable is to get your action steps mapped out quarter by quarter. Take all the overwhelm, and let's make it into little chunks of to-dos. In the creative business plan PDF, there's a template and of course you can follow along on your own. We want to divide the year into quarters, three month chunks. You may start this plan mid-year or mid-quarter, and that's completely fine. The best is to start where you are and just to get started. What you're going do is on a piece of paper, you're going to divide the paper into these quarters. Quarter 1 is January to March, quarter 2, April to June, quarter 3, July to September, and quarter 4 is October to December. Now, we want to set goals for each quarter, each three-month chunk. It's a lot easier than writing a big to-do list for that week or that month. Let's look at it in a three-month chunk. Go back to your goal-setting list in Lesson 3, that felt like a long time ago. You have a list of goals. Each quarter, you're going to pick three business goals, and three creative goals to accomplish during those three months. Make sure you think about what time of year this is all happening in, so example, like Christmas and what quarter that different holidays fit in that might be milestones. This also could be milestones in your own life, so if you have a fun trip planned or not something so fun like a surgery, you don't want to overload yourself in the beginning. Build in kindness for yourself. You don't have to have three goals of each either. The thing that I've left for you to help you at the bottom of the page is creating a parking lot. I love a parking lot because I have so many ideas, so many things I should do and where I put them all is in my parking lot, instead of a massive to-do list where I paralyze myself. I have my goals, my true goals of what I want done in my main part of my page, and then I put ideas that I have throughout the year in my parking lot. If one-quarter I accomplish all of my most important goals, I'm allowed to pull something from the parking lot. This discipline allows me to stay focused on my path and do the things that are actually important to my business and not just something that I get distracted by. In your plan, make sure you factor in time. Time is our greatest resource, it's also our most limited, so make sure that you think about your year, the responsibilities you have, and again, not to overload yourself. Our creative work and our business is supposed to add joy and excitement, not to burn ourselves out. The key is it takes many years to build a sustainable business in general. As a creative business, it's really the long game, but I promise you, you will get there faster if you're willing to make plans like these, they're literally a recipe for success to move forward. What you're going to do to recap, you're going to divide your page into your quarters, and then you're going to go back to Lesson 3, you're going to get your list of goals and you're going to map out what makes sense for the year ahead, for your own responsibilities, but also what's happening around in the world. Now we know what we are doing through these goals. The next lesson we're actually going to talk about what we're not doing, so I'll see you there. 11. Create Your 'Not Doing' List: [MUSIC] You have done all this important work, but now it's your job to stay on your path to stick to it. It is so easy in the creative world to be distracted by opportunities. I have done my fair share of doing free work in hopes of exposure and things like that. Now we have a creative business plan. We have a path. It is packed full of our dreams and our goals, and our real job is to stay focused and stick to it. You've done all this work, let's bring it home. To really stay on our path, there are probably some bad habits that you need to cut out. We're going to make some promises to ourselves. Some truth here is going to come out. What are you not doing this year to make room for all your goals and your big dreams to come true? They need room to thrive. There's a template in your creative business plan. You could also journal along. We're just going to complete some sentences together. You can answer these ones or you might need to write these out a few times to remember. This year I will not be dot-dot-dot. This year I will say no to, this year I will let go of, this year I promise I will not get distracted by. As you get writing, you are welcome to add more sentences, more statements. You need to write yourself some love notes here, do it. But this list is what you're going to refer to over the year when you just want to say yes to that distraction. You could put this up somewhere. You want to make sure that you are focused. Have this handy. You are putting in writing a commitment to yourself. You have worked this hard, so it's time to do the final step. I am thanking you. Your future self is thanking you and thank you so much for making a plan with me. 12. Final Thoughts!: You did it. You are already achieving your goals by doing this process. You are truly ahead of the game. You now have a roadmap to make your creative business and work dreams a reality. Stay true to your vision and the why behind your work. You have done all this work to get it on paper, stick with it. Keep working the plan, adjusting your monthly and quarterly goals are going to keep you on track. Remember, this is a living document. This is what you're going to use throughout the year. You want to have it out, you want to adjust those numbers, especially the marketing plan, making sure every month you're looking at your action steps. I highly recommend creating a business plan at least once a year. It is amazing to see how much you can accomplish in a year, you have it all written down. My old business plans are treasures to me, they show me the story of my art business, but also my life and what I went through and how things changed. In the project section, please let me know that you've completed your plan, I would love to give you a congrats because you really deserve that. You are also welcome to share one of your offerings of your creative business. I would like to know more about what you do. Community is key in doing this work and keeping the momentum going throughout the year, so encourage others, comment below. Thank you so much for joining me. We need more creativity in this world, we need more entrepreneurship and we need more creatives like you following their dreams. What you're doing is important. I hope this plan will make your creative business dreams a reality.