Five tips on how to increase your profits as a creative business

Money is dirty…and artists are poor


Creatives and money…artists and money…they make such an odd couple, don’t they? We all claim to run a creative business, but I bet you most of us have (or had) big money blocks to overcome, in order to start earning a good income from doing what we love. Why is that?

I worked for the ‘not-for-profit-sector’ myself for many years, which says it all, really. Working in the arts, but not in it for the money, because…well, the salaries are rubbish, and you are dependent on public funding. Often half of your job is made up of applying for funding to pay for your own salary. I mean…(eye roll). And making money is, well, for commercial outfits, right, not for ‘the likes of us’. Anyone who has ever worked in this sector, will probably know exactly what I mean.

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But if you run your own business, you have full control over your destiny, and those old beliefs or previous experiences don’t have to define you. You can earn as much as you like. I know, scary, isn’t it?

Running a creative business means by default that you are doing business, and need to make money. Otherwise, you’d better call yourself a creative hobbyist. So let’s stop fooling ourselves about the myth that we’re never going to get rich as a creative, because, really, mindset has a lot to do with it.

What does money mean to you? Can creatives be rich? Should artists be rich?

In this week’s Thursday Live broadcast in my Facebook community, I interviewed money expert Aleksandra Kohut, who shared some amazing tips and tricks with us, on how to increase profits as a creative business. I have summarised them below.

making money as an artist
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1. Get rid of those money leaks.

See it as plumbing. If you have a pipe under the sink with a small leak in it, that produces a small drip, you will hardly notice the water leak. But if the hole gets bigger, you suddenly feel terrible and panicky, because all the water is pouring out! So keep on top of the small leaks, and repair them on time. What kind of leaks are we talking about? Subscriptions for example. Software and online subscriptions you may have accidentally signed up for after a free trial, like LinkedIn Pro, social media scheduling platforms, and of course Netflix and Spotify. But also that gym membership you took out in January and are actually not going to use. Cancel them if you don’t use them! Another leak can be those invoices you still haven’t sent for a number of jobs, or the ones that are overdue. Chase them up!

2. Go on a date with your finances.

Oh, yes baby, it’s time to get up close and personal with those numbers. Don’t hand it all to your accountant! Get intimate with your own money! The buck stops with you, after all. Go on a date with your finances, once a week, for half an hour, looking at your bank balance, and your cash flow right now and for the months ahead. What do people owe you? Do it on a Friday, so you can treat yourself to a large Gin and Tonic and feel really smug. You may even get a kick out of the numbers game.

how to make money as an artist
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3. Feel confident about your offer and adjust your pricing.

Low prices or discounts tell the customer that you are of low value. Are you thinking your prices are too high? Or that nobody will buy from you? Then you are likely suffering from a money mindset problem. It’s not your offer (your services or products are probably amazing!), but it is your feeling of self-worth. If you feel confident about yourself and your offer, and know how much value you are giving the customer by selling it to them, then you can ask whatever you want. But if you are all apologetic, and whisper the price in your client’s ear because you feel embarrassed about taking money from them…what does that say about your offer?

4. Get rid of products that don’t make you any money.

You may love to make a certain product or offer a certain service, but adding up your time and costs, how much money is this product making you? It may be hard, but getting rid of the things that are keeping you from increasing your income, is better for your business in the long run. You’ll save time, can focus on other stuff and will increase your profits as a result.

5. Read and get excited about making money

“You Are A Badass At Making Money” Jen Sincero
The 9 steps to financial freedom” Suze Orman
Ask and It is Given” Jerry and Ester Hicks
The Dynamic Laws of Prosperity” Catherine Ponder
The Education of Millionaires” Michael Ellsberg
Money: A Love Story” Kate Northrup
Overcoming Underearning!” Barbara Stanny
Price Charming Isn’t coming: how women get smart about money” Barbara Stanny
Rich Dad, Poor Dad” Robert Kiyosaki
Secrets of Six Figure Women” Barbara Stanny
Smart Women Finish Rich” David Bach
The Tapping Solution” Nick Ortner
Think and Grow Rich” Napoleon Hill
Get Rich Lucky Bitch” Denise Duffield-Thomas
The Money is coming” Sarah Askiwombe
Millionaire Success Habits” Dean Graziosi
The science of getting rich” Wallace Wattles
The Soul of Money” Lynne Twist

Watch the Thursday Live video:

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