How to Become a Creative Entrepreneur

What does it mean to be a creative entrepreneur? If you work in a creative field—photography, writing, design, film, music, etc—and you are self-employed, running a business where you have clients who pay for your creative talents, whether in the form of a service or a product, then you can call yourself a creative entrepreneur.

But how do you get to the part where you actually get to make money off your creative talents? What is the creative process for creative entrepreneurship?

CreativeLive’s partnership with HoneyBook means you’ll find new classes that give you the nitty gritty on the fundamentals of being a creative entrepreneur.

Here’s a brief guide on the best way to be a creative entrepreneur so you can set out on your own creative entrepreneurship:

Business ideas, creative and otherwise

Having a love of photography is great—but is it just a hobby that you enjoy or do you see yourself as a professional with a serious creative business goal?

Becoming successful as a creative entrepreneur is not just about having a passion for your work and strong skills in creative industries. You also need the skills and mindset of an entrepreneur. Can you get things done without someone reminding you of your tasks? Can you be your own boss and devise a business plan? Do you possess strong self-motivation to navigate the creative economy? And do you have an ability to organize your schedule and juggle different client needs and deadlines?

Honeybook: Business Solutions – Get 30% Off
From first reply to final payment, HoneyBook makes it easy for you to book your ideal client faster, more frequently, and with less legwork. Get 30% off your first year of HoneyBook with the CreativeLive-exclusive code CL30.
Start your free trial today.

Client communication is also extremely important. You’ll need good phone and email etiquette when connecting with your clients. HoneyBook, which has been designed with creative entrepreneurs in mind, allows you to set up automatic responses to new inquiries so client gets a swift reply from you.

Setting up shop

A professional-looking website is the first thing you’ll need before you begin to promote yourself. Get it done right so potential clients take you seriously. You can study the business websites of other creative entrepreneurs in your field as examples.

Of course, before you can have a website, you’ll need a name for your business. Ashlyn Carter, a HoneyBook educator, talks about this important process in her CreativeLive class, Branding Strategies to Ignite Your Marketing. Carter says that “clarity trumps cleverness,” when it comes to creating your business name, and adds that it’s okay to change the name later if it’s not working out. But when you finally hit upon one that feels right, be sure jump on it and grab the name for your website and for any other social media platforms you plan to use.

Almost as important as your business name is your business trademark. Christina Scalera, an attorney and founder of the Contract Shop, gives you the lowdown on trademarks and all other legal essentials for entrepreneurs in her class, Legal Steps Every Business Owner Should Take. Scalera explains that a trademark can be either a design mark, a word or a phrase, but it’s meant to bring about familiarity and a positive association with your brand.

Overcoming challenges

Marketing and promoting services and products is probably what brings up the most grumbling from creative entrepreneurs. As an artist, you don’t want to think about advertising and posting on social media and running campaigns or offering discounts. If you have the budget for it, you can always hire a branding expert like Carter to help you with conversion copy and marketing messaging.

Honeybook: Business Solutions
From first reply to final payment, HoneyBook makes it easy for you to book your ideal client faster, more frequently, and with less legwork.
Start your free trial today.

Another thing to consider is gear. The cost of professional equipment can quickly add up, so you will want to shop around. Do you need a quiet workspace or studio outside of your home? You’ll have to rent a space that is properly equipped for your small business.

What about your invoicing process and your client contracts? Yes, you do need to have both of these things if you want to get paid! You can spend a lot of time figuring out the paperwork and crunching the numbers, or you can use a program like HoneyBook. HoneyBook not only creates customized invoice and contract templates for you—it also allows the client to send you the payment with just a couple clicks.

Don’t forget about your taxes. As a self-employed individual, the tax filing process is different than working as a company employee. Talk to a tax advisor who has experience working with self-employed individuals, especially in creative fields. You can also check out our HoneyBook class, Put Your Money to Work: Take Control of Your Business Finances. Award-winning personal finance coach and HoneyBook educator Dominique Broadway is your guide to becoming a financially savvy business owner.

Most creative types don’t want to worry about the business mindset, but it’s important to start thinking like an entrepreneur and to present yourself in the most professional way possible. This isn’t a hobby anymore–you mean business!

Business Fundamentals for Creative Entrepreneurs 
HoneyBook is dedicated to helping you grow your business. Our top educators will show you how.
RSVP for the live online broadcast of this course.

Suchi Rudra

Suchi Rudra is a nomadic writer of articles, stories and songs, taking inspiration from her travels. Follow her wanderings at Tread Lightly, Travel Naturally.