Us creatives love to, well, create.
Whether it’s writing fiction, or drawing illustrations, or composing music. It’s the creating we enjoy doing. Coming up with something new. Expressing ourselves through the medium of art.
It’s delightful. If we could just sit and create all day long, we might just do that. Oh, how we love to wear our creative hat*. #idealistatheart
For those of us who hope to make an income from our art, there’s another hat we must put on, and become accustomed to wearing.
The business hat.
And just like there are lots of facets to the creative hat, so are there to the business hat. Marketing & selling ourselves; setting up a website, connecting with others online, guest posting… generally gathering an audience who are interested in who we are and what we have to say.
It’s not as simple as just creating, and then putting it out there. If no one knows who you are, you won’t make many, if any, sales.
Taking the time for sales and marketing takes effort in and of itself.
Some would argue that one should create 50% of the time, and connect (i.e. do sales/marketing) 50% of the time. This is what Corbett Barr advised me, when I emailed him a couple of weeks ago - he certainly knows a thing or two about building an online business.
For many of us creatives, business doesn’t come naturally. And especially when it comes to marketing and selling ourselves, that can feel strange and unfamiliar and not-so-comfortable.
We must get better at it.
Remember, it is perfectly OK to just want to write, or otherwise create, for fun or as a hobby.
But if you wish to make an income from your writing as an indie, you’ll need to learn about the business side. (Remember: you can get a publishing deal, and your published will ‘do’ the bulk of the marketing/sales; though, increasingly these days, you’ll be expected to do a little bit of this even going down the traditional route).
As an indie, it’s exciting that you’re in absolute control of your work, the master of your own destiny. But, with this comes the need to learn about sales & marketing, and incorporate that into the day-to-day activities of your business.
That’s right, if you commit to making money, you need to think of yourself & your work as a BUSINESS.
It sounds daunting at first (it did for me) but, actually, there are just a couple of things you must endeavour to do, as an indie author:
-> Find and connect with others online, authentically
There are different ways of doing this, but ultimately, that’s the core of your sales & marketing. I am a HUGE fan of the 1000 true fans principle, which really deserves a post (or a book) of its own.
-> Create things for them to read (i.e. your stories/novels/etc)
In other posts, I’ll share how one can do this stuff. A confession: I’ve learnt through the strategies & wisdom from several blogs/podcasts/authors/online business owners who’ve successfully made money, some of them a full-time income, even a 6- and 7-figure income.
It is possible. If you want it enough, and you keep at it, you can make it happen.
Thanks for being here with me as I attempt to make an income from my own writing.
Here’s to the journey.