I learned something earlier this year that really stuck with me in terms of growing my art business—it was one simple word—ELEVATE. It’s nothing complicated, but what exactly do I mean. With art, each part of the business and the process can have so much meaning. We are able to create more value around our work, simply be elevating all the aspects around it.
As you probably know, art is so subjective and we are the ones that define its value.
Think of ANY aspect of your business, and ask yourself, how can I elevate this just a bit more? The reason I love this idea of “elevating” is that it doesn’t require massive change. It simply means improving upon what is currently there. That’s something that all of us can do, even with our hands full.
Businesses and Creators
I know most us are not only the creators of our products, but we also fill the role of photographer, web designer, marketer, social media expert, packer and shipper, customer service rep and so many more. Simply put, you’re doing a lot, I know! I’m doing it too and adding another massive to-do on my list just isn’t feasible. Thinking about it in these terms works for me and allows me to see real change within my business because it’s doable.
It’s not what you do once, it’s what you do over and over again that makes the biggest difference. So, over time, these tiny improvements add up to something big!
You might be thinking, umm, when do I have the time? And, here’s the secret, it’s doesn’t have to happen overnight. I come at this with, what can I do just a little bit better in my business each day, each week, each month? It’s those little tweaks and changes that we make that add up to big changes. In terms of our business, when we elevate each of these things, we are making the user experience better and more interesting for our customers and potential customers.
This has stuck with me because it actually feels like something I can accomplish. I didn’t say—redesign your whole website with a custom logo and professional photography, nope. Just make small changes one at a time and soon it will be natural.
3 Ways to Level Up your Creative Business
You don’t have to go out and hire a branding professional, though that’s totally cool if you want to! The easiest way to up level your branding is to keep it simple, clean and consistent across all your platforms. From your website to branded materials like business cards, notecards, email newsletters, etc.
As an ex-web designer, simplicity is never a bad thing. You don’t need a crazy logo or tons of graphics. In fact, I say simplicity is better because it allows your work to shine! And, simple is chic and timeless!
Since most of us have physical products, this is an easy place to elevate the experience for your customers. Carefully wrapped items are obviously very important as we want the final product to arrive safely, but by adding some extra special touches, you can take that to just “oh good, my piece is here safely”, to “wow, this packaging is beautiful and I am so excited to unwrap this and hang it on my wall!”
Before I package my piece up, I wrap it in kraft paper, like a present and put a piece of twine around it with a bow. I include a handwritten note and business card and then package it with plenty of bubble wrap, etc. so it arrives in perfect shape. I stick a logo sticker to the outside of the box and include some fragile stickers. It doesn’t take me much extra time, but it makes getting the package more special!
The handwritten note is an absolute must in my opinion for all of my original works. There are so many other things you can do to make the packaging feel more special without costing you much. Get creative, search Pinterest for ideas and make some tweaks!
The question you want to answer? How can I make this more special for the recipient?
As makers, our products are highly visual, so elevating the images of them is one easy way to up level your whole business. A poorly lit, bad photo of your product not only doesn’t give people an accurate representation of the finished product, but it cheapens it. A well-lit beautiful image where the colors are true is going to do wonders for you! This is true for images on your website and on your social platforms.
I had this big ah-ha moment for my own Instagram where I was posting not-so-great iPhone photos of my work and they weren’t getting as much engagement. Those in the moment shots worked great for my personal Instagram, but for my art, I realized I needed to elevate the experience. So, I aim to only use DSLR photos that have more crisp detail, and I love styled shots that give more life and context to a piece.
Lastly, do not be afraid to be in your photos, in fact, you should! People like seeing your face and feeling like they know you. My top performing Instagrams are the ones that I’m in—coincidence? I think not, people want to feel more connection and this is such an easy way to do that. This is actually something on my own to-do list this month, so we can do it together!