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.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on

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
Photo by cottonbro on

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
Photo by Burst on

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:

Your guide to marketing your art without being pushy

Explaining to someone why they should buy your art… the horrible feeling you may come across as “salesy”, pushy, or desperate. Do you recognise that? Unfortunately, your work doesn’t speak for itself. You need to learn how to explain your work and connect it to your audience in order to make the sales you want.

Guess what, running a creative business…is just like running any other business! That means, knowing your audience, and your ideal clients, and learning how to speak to them about your work. You need to be able to write and talk about your art in a way that allows potential buyers to recognise its value, to feel a connection with you and the work, and to realise they need it in their lives.

This is marketing.

marketing your art online

Step 1. Know your audience

Who are your customers? Who are you targeting? Is it a specific age group, gender, type of lifestyle, etc? What are their interests? Outdoor life, city life, bright colours, human interest travel, etc.? The more you know about the people who follow you as an artist or maker, the easier it is to connect with them and sell to them. Think about a customer you loved selling to in the past, and what they like and why they were attracted to your work.

Where do they hang out?

Once you know your target audience, or ‘dream client’, you can start to brainstorm about where those particular people gather, both on and offline. This means you know where to share your information, and build up a connection with them. Choose those social media platforms where your potential customer hangs out. You don’t have to be on all of them. It is better to choose one, and do it well. If your audience are mainly older people, don’t put all your energy in creating funky Instagram Reels. But they may be on Facebook, or prefer a weekly email.

It is better to niche down, than to try and have “something for everyone”.

A vague message like this is confusing, people won’t know whether you have what they need or are looking for, and it is much harder to create a strong brand that people connect with. When you search for something in Google, do you click on the result that is most specific, or the one that has a very generic description? The more specific your offer, the better you can target your niche audience.

marketing your art online
Photo by Anna Shvets on

Step 2. Use storytelling in building that connection

Everybody enjoys a good story, so use these in your marketing! Stories are the ideal way to share the personal journey behind your work, how you made it, why you made it and what inspires you. Share photos of your environment, your studio, your creative process. Stop posting only photos of your work, thinking this will somehow keep the audience hooked. We want to know about you!

How engaging is a cold Facebook post of a photo of an artwork, with the caption: “Still life. 90 cm x 90 cm, mixed media. Price €395“? What am I suppose to do with that information?

Exactly. No wonder you get tumbleweed on your account sometimes. Time to jazz that up a bit! Stories are more engaging for your audience, which means they’ll be paying more attention. Tap into emotions, by talking about your life as an artist and connect on a deeper level with your audience. They will remember your story, which means they are more likely to remember your work. You want people to talk about your work to their friends, and spread word-of-mouth. Next time they need a gift or something for their home, they will probably check out what you have on offer.

art marketing techniques
Photo by Anthony Shkraba on

Step 3. Focus on their needs, not yourself

Your work is about you and how you see the world. Your marketing, however, is all about your audience. Everything in your marketing needs to be focused on your client and what’s in it for them. OK, so you sell art. So what? Why should I care?

Learn about your audience, tap into their emotions and lifestyle, and build trust. Nurture your audience and connect with them through your stories and posts, but talk about the benefits of your work to their life, when you are trying to sell. If a piece makes them happy, convince them they will want to see this work every day in their own homes. If it is a scarf, a designer brooch, a vase or other usable art, you can talk about the benefits of high-end materials, unique and handmade products, personalised design, excellent customer service / fast delivery, etc.

In every phrase in your marketing, always ask yourself:”So what?”

Step 4. You are being helpful

I get it. All this marketing-speak is quite off-putting sometimes, and you don’t want to come across as pushy. You just hope someone will stumble upon your work, like it, and buy it. Here’s a trick for you: pretend like it is someone else’s work, and you’re recommending it to a friend. Detach yourself from it, as if you are recommending a good restaurant or film, and you’re listing all the reasons why your friend should check this out.

You are trying to be helpful here! Ignore that you’re going to make money off of the transaction and instead, try to connect it with that customer or client. When you recommend something to a friend, you’re not doing it for money, you’re doing it to help them experience something you thought was great.

Hey, and isn’t your work worth recommending anyway?

art marketing techniques
Photo by Meru Bi on

Step 5. Don’t forget that call-to-action

So often I come across a great Instagram feed, Facebook page or website of an artist whose work speaks to me….only to get frustrated by the fact that it’s me having to do all the hard work finding out how to freakin’ contact them. Make it easy for people to find the link to your shop, or you will lose them. Have a portfolio available, or an online shop with your work, listing as much detail as possible, if you want them to order online. You don’t want to raise more questions, so be clear and helpful! Make sure your links and call-to-action buttons are working on all your platforms.

If you want more sales, make buying a breeze.

PS: Don’t forget to collect email addresses on checkout, you will want to keep these people close to you. For recommendations, or repeat purchases.

Download my Lazy Social Media Planner for Busy Creatives for tips on how to feel more in control of your posts, and make them more engaging.

How to use Pinterest to drive traffic to your Etsy shop

Are you an Etsy seller? Then you know how hard it can be to be visible on this huge platform. So many sellers, worldwide, so many products. How do people find you? Using the right keywords in your product descriptions is very important, of course, plus making sure your photographs are appealing and the written copy is clear and selling. Most Etsy sellers also use social media to drive traffic to their store, with Instagram being one of the most popular platforms for promoting. But did you know Pinterest is a very powerful tool to share your products and get people to buy? Here’s how.

Why is Pinterest good for Etsy sellers?

Pinterest is a very visual platform. People go there to get inspired. Whether it is ideas for decorating a room or tutorials for Christmas crafts, people save pins they like and create boards to collect images for their project. What’s more, Pinterest shows your pins to the people they think are most likely to love them, based on what they pinned before. This means, that your pins will automatically be shows to potential clients.

Some interesting statistics:

As a product-based business or Etsy store, who is your ideal client?

  • 80% of Pinterest users are women. 8 out of 10 mums are pinners! Who does the (Christmas) shopping in your household?
  • High income households are twice as likely to use Pinterest, especially in the UK.
  • Shopping has become a top priority of nearly 50% of Pinterest users.

With everyone going online for their Christmas shopping right now, you need to be on the ball and draw these people in!

Pinterest tips for etsy sellers

How do you set up a business account on Pinterest?

First things first: set up an account. As an Etsy seller it is recommended to go straight for a business account. If you already have a personal account on Pinterest but want a business profile, you can convert your personal account to a business one on a desktop and keep your Pins and followers. You can switch back to a personal account at any time.

Setting up a Pinterest business account is free, and it gives you the benefit of statistics and the option to promote certain pins through advertising, if you wish. Once you’re all set up, you can start pinning.

  1. Set up your business account: follow the prompts to complete your business profile:
  2. Enter your business name
  3. Add your website, if you have one
  4. Select your Country/region
  5. Select your Language
  6. Create boards (collections of pins)
  7. Start pinning: upload pins straight from your Etsy store
Pinterest tips for etsy sellers

Uploading images from Etsy to Pinterest

You can create and edit pins directly from the Pinterest app or a desktop site. You can make one pin at a time, or upload images in bulk.

Size matters

Using high-quality, vertical images will stand out in people’s feeds. A 2:3 aspect ratio (e.g. 1,000 x 1,500 pixels) is recommended. Other ratios may cause your pin to be cropped, or may negatively impact performance.

Add a tiny logo

To build your brand on Pinterest, put a logo on every pin you make, but keep it subtle. Avoid the lower-right corner, since that spot gets covered up by the Pinterest product icons.

Text overlay

Text overlay is another very good way to be ‘re-pinned’ by visitors. When you scroll the Pinterest feed, images with a title or phrase capture the attention and generally perform better. Text overlay is the copy that goes on your pin image to make it stand out. Keep your copy concise for readability on mobile.

Title and descriptions

Don’t forget the pin title and descriptions! People search for things, so make sure you use keywords that people are looking for. Think of colour schemes, seasonal words, techniques, tutorials, etc. Clear titles and descriptions help your pin get discovered in search. You can use up to 100 characters for your title and up to 500 characters for your description.

Check your links

Last but not least: make sure your links work! That was the whole point of setting up your business account. If your pin includes a link, check that the link is active.

More tips on how to be successful on Pinterest: How to make pins

Join our free Facebook group for creative businesses for more support:

How to look good on a Zoom call! Five tricks to impress your audience.

Until recently, we were happily working from home in our pyjamas or yoga pants, but video calling has become a daily routine. Zoom calls, Google meet, Facetime and Whatsapp calls. They have become indispensable since 2020. And although we were all complaining about it at first, planning a meeting online is so much more efficient than in person. Remember the days when everyone had to grab their agenda first and nobody could agree on a date, or half the team was “stuck in traffic” and showed up late?

Scheduling online meetings is easy, but what should we wear?

But although it no longer matters where you are, you will still have to look as if you are in the same room. During an appointment with a client or customer, you wouldn’t normally show up in your bathrobe. By the way, did you know plastic surgery was booming last year, because of the rise in video meetings? I know, crazy! Now I am not suggesting we should all run to the nearest botox clinic, but we can start making an effort and have some fun with it. And there are some simple tricks to make you look great online. So how do you look good on a Zoom call?

What should you wear? And how do you look good on screen? How do you set up that laptop? And what do you do with the background?

Here are five tricks you can start applying to smash your next video call.

how to look good in zoom meeting

1. Zoom has a filter… for when you haven’t had your coffee yet

Zoom has a secret button to hide the bags under your eyes. Say what? Yep. When you are in a Zoom call, you can click on Video Settings in the bottom left corner. Then you click on Touch Up My Appearance and suddenly your skin looks smooth as a baby’s bum. Nobody needs to know that you were up all night binge-watching the new Netflix series. Or that you were just too lazy to put on make-up.

2. Get all pro with good lighting

We’ve all been there. Looking at our mobile or laptop from above. Not so flattering, that double chin. How do you fix that? Place your computer higher than eye level, for example by placing your laptop on a stack of books. It makes a difference! Also place a lamp next to your laptop; just a little further back. Choose your “best” side of your face and place the lamp on that side. The light highlights your face so beautifully.

what to wear in video call
Photo by Yan on

3. The trick with the white sheet of A4

With the lamp switched on, now take a white plain sheet of A4 and place it on the table you are working on, in front of you. The light is reflected and gives you a healthy appearance. Try it!

4. Put on your best clothes!

Oh my goodness, how long has it been since were last getting all dressed up to go out? Forget about the ‘working-from-home-comfy’ style you’ve been rocking since March 2020, it’s time to bring out your best pieces, and wear them in your Zoom calls! Only the top half of your body is in the frame, so you could still wear those comfy trousers underneath. But there is no reason why you couldn’t go bold and bright on the top half. Choose nice blouses, colourful jackets, a funky top and don’t forget that statement jewellery you’ve been hiding away in the drawer. Going out on the town may not be an option at the moment, but you can still dress-to-impress on screen.

what to wear in a zoom call
Photo by William Mattey on

Pick a nice background and clean up your mess

Last but not least: make sure your room looks presentable. OK, you may be at home, but no one wants to see a spilled laundry basket or dirty socks in the background. Also check the details. Inappropriate photos? An unmade bed? Dirty coffee mugs on the shelf? Clean it up. Select a permanent place for your video sessions and make it look good. A plant, a bookshelf and a nice framed poster work wonders. Natural light is good as well, rather than a dark space, or sunlight shining straight at you.

Have fun Zooming!

Coaching for creative professionals, how does it work?

Giving creatives the marketing and self-promotion skills they need

Coaching for creative professionals, how does this work? You may be a self-taught artist or creative entrepreneur, or perhaps you graduated from art school in the past. But you would describe yourself as a creative professional, that’s what you do, that’s what you love. The issue is, with many of you, that during your professional training, the marketing part is often forgotten, or at least not given enough attention. This is why I decided to offer help as a creative business coach, to fill that gap.

If you’ve been through art school, you’ll probably admit that the focus lies particularly on developing your own, new ideas, and producing the highest quality work. You go through the course, and finish with a fabulous graduation show where all eyes are on you. Feeling like a celebrity and ready to take on the art world. You are now a professional artist with a degree to prove it!

So you end on a high, only to feel lost and deflated after all the initial attention dies down. The fact that most of you will not win the Turner Prize, and somehow need to earn a living, suddenly punches you in the face.

Moving into successful creative entrepreneurship

I know, this may all sound a bit harsh, and I am aware that this is not the reality for all art school students, but I have come across enough in my career to know that it is not a total myth. And the fact that you are reading this post, probably means that it resonates somehow. But how do you move into successful creative entrepreneurship that earns you a good income?

Get the marketing support for creatives by someone who knows the arts

Perhaps at some point you searched online for marketing courses to up your skills. Not because you wanted to, really. Ugh, you’d rather not. I can imagine you probably felt even more confused by all the results Google came up with. There are plenty of marketing courses and business coaches out there, for sure.

But how many of them can emphasise with someone like you? An artist or creative entrepreneur who has little to no affinity with the corporate world, and would rather hide away in their studio?

These standard marketing courses quickly bore you to tears. Right?

I get you! I have always been a bit of a rebel myself, and the thought of working in a commercial outfit never appealed to me whatsoever. As an art marketing manager, I worked in the not-for-profit sector for most all of my adult life. Surrounded by creative brains. But you know what? The basics of running a business are the same.

You have a product, you need to attract an audience, you need to earn money. And there are ways to achieve this, which I can teach you. Wouldn’t it be nice to work with a business coach who understands what it is to run a creative business? As a creative professional myself I worked with hundreds of artists in my career. Motivating and inspiring them is what I love doing most.

Coaching for creative professionals: this is how we can work together

So how can we work together to help your creative business? As a coach and marketing expert for artists and creatives I work with clients all over the world, teaching them about the missing links to make their business succeed. We connect, I listen, we agree on what you need, and we schedule the calls via Zoom, at suitable times. You also get access to many of my resources during our collaboration, such as worksheets, check lists and e-books. Nothing too exhausting, I promise. No jargon. Pure, practical help.

We can enter a 1-to-1 coaching programme for creative professionals, of six weeks or longer, where we look at your needs and together create a solid marketing plan. We will define your niche and marketing message, and help you to attract more clients who are willing to pay your prices. The transformation I offer will be huge, making you feel empowered about marketing and ready to grow your business.

If you just need that person to brainstorm with for an hour, to fire you up with fresh ideas, you can also just book a single ‘power hour‘, where you can ask me questions about anything you struggle with in your business, We will aim to find some quick wins and possible long-term solutions. I am usually full of art marketing ideas and love to see clients get those light bulb moments!

art marketing

Helping talented professionals find their clients

In my free community on Facebook there are many creative entrepreneurs just like you, who are in the same boat. I share daily tips in there, while the members themselves also help each other find answers to specific issues. They are all talented, ambitious people, who offer beautiful products and services, but find it hard to attract a steady stream of customers. They want to get a grip on social media, writing emails and promoting themselves, rather than the hit-and-miss way they do it right now. They need some sort of strategy and guidance, like you.

I teach professionals like yourself the skills to make marketing less of a chore and a natural part of your business. Through coaching programmes, but also masterclasses on specific topics. On blogging, for example, or copywriting and social media, but especially on helping you to see the wood from the trees. So you feel more in control, and promote your business in a targeted way, rather than shooting random messages into the world and hoping for the best.

If you feel like connecting with me, don’t hesitate to send me a message. If you would like a free social media planner, please leave your email with me and I will send it to you.

Authentic marketing, what does it mean?

It’s a bit of a buzz word, nowadays, isn’t it? Authentic marketing. But what does it actually mean? What is the definition of authentic marketing? And how does it apply to your own creative little business? In this blog post I will tell you a bit more about what this type of marketing means and how you can implement some aspects in the way you promote yourself online.

Authentic marketing versus old-style marketing

So, what is it all about, and how is authentic marketing different from the kind of marketing we’re used to? Until not so long ago, marketing was something that mainly belonged in the corporate world. You know, companies with a ‘marketing department’, and an advertising budget, looking at the best ways and places to present products, so you would buy them. Marketing meant boasting about a product or business, making it look all shiny, shouting about how good it is and why you should not miss out on buying.

Those days are over.

Marketing trends show us that, undoubtedly because of the influence of social media, that customers don’t simply trust a brand any more by seeing a flashy advertisement. People are doing a lot more background checks before parting with their money. They read reviews, listen to what their friends recommend, and may follow your business on social media for a while before deciding to buy from you. They want to get to know you.

marketing tips for artists

Honest, transparent and personable

What does this mean in terms of your marketing message? First, you need to be honest. Authentic marketing means being transparent. If you are a bad lier, then you’re likely pretty authentic already in what you put out, but if you have been bigging up your business online big time, you’d better stop. You’ll get found out at some point, either through reviews or because people simply don’t find your business very relatable.

Don’t make your product look or sound better than it really is. Be honest and transparent. It goes a long way.

What does this authentic marketing look like?

1. Share your story

Show the human face behind your business. Tap into the emotions of your clients, by sharing your passion, your big ‘why‘ behind the business. People want to buy from a real person, not from a faceless shopfront. So show your passion in pictures of your work space, show yourself making stuff, show your messy desk. Keep it real. People love seeing the story behind the product that they buy, and they love buying from a real person with a passion.

2. Go Live and share your life

If you feel confident enough, go Live on Instagram or Facebook and talk about your business. Tell people about your week, share some insights, maybe even give a mini masterclass about something you know and your clients would love to learn. Going Live is scary (I know!), but the more you do it, the easier it gets, and it is a great way of letting your personality shine through.

If video is not your thing (yet), start with photos. Share an honest selfie of you at work or out and about, and write something that adds value to your business. A bit of background info, a fun fact about you, a useful tip. You can also have some good photos and headshots taken by a professional photographer, which you can start dotting around your website and social media accounts. Do what feels natural to you. Don’t compare yourself to others. If sharing pictures of your family feels too private, then don’t. Stick to yourself and your business. There is plenty to share and photograph.

Photo by Matheus Bertelli on

3. Look at the pain points of your client

No, I don’t mean whether they’ve got a sore back, or a migraine. I mean the problems they have that you can solve. Although authentic marketing is all about being yourself and building trust, at the end of the day you are a business, and you have to try and sell stuff. By looking at the needs of your client, and highlighting those in your marketing, they will be more likely to come to you for help. If you can solve their problem, they are willing to buy.

If you tap into the pain points of your customer, and make them feel understood, you are one step closer to making a sale. And there is nothing sleazy or sneaky about that! Selling is not sleazy, it is nothing more than offering a solution to someone with a problem. This problem could be an empty wall in a new house, and they don’t know what kind of painting would look good in their home. If you have an eye for decor, and a collection of suitable artworks, you are the right person to advise them.

marketing tips for artists
Photo by Collis on

4. Keep it real, but show up consistently

So keep it real, be relatable, be yourself. But the most important thing: be visible! No matter how much of an introvert you are, if you want to grow your business you have to show up. There is no way around it. Post every day, ideally, and be consistent and clear in your message. Show people who you are, and why you do what you do. Talk about it, share your story, show your work, show face. And it does get easier, I promise.

Get my FREE Social Media planner for Busy Creatives

Three tips to sell your artworks locally

You are a painter, a printmaker or a ceramicist. Or any other artist or maker, looking to sell artworks locally. Because marketing yourself online, or even selling on Etsy, is one thing, shipping large paintings is costly, and not without the risk of damage. So you would really like to explore the possibility of selling more of your work to the locals. How to you do this? Where do you start?

Of course, you can spend every weekend setting up a stall at local art fairs, when they’re on, but this is just one way of trying to get local business, and it is pretty exhausting. You can also try and get your work in local art galleries, but how many visitors do they get and is their marketing up to scratch? In this post I share three tips on how to improve your online marketing in order to sell more artworks locally, without having to leave the studio.

1. Improve your local SEO to sell artwork locally

This is a very important one. If you want to start selling more art in your local area, then you need to make sure that people know where to find you. Think of it as the old Yellow Pages we used to pick up to look for a plumber. Now we type ‘plumber near me’ into Google. So submit your website to online directories (this will also create useful back links to your website, aiding your overall SEO), and to Google My Business. Here you can add your details, your description, your opening hours, if you have any, and contact number. Next time someone does a search for ‘portrait painter in (location)’, chances are you’ll show up.

Photo by Anna Tarazevich on

2. Improve your long-tail keywords on your website

Another bit of SEO you can work on: check which keywords you are currently using in your content. Try and be specific, to up the chances of ranking high in Google. Make the keywords a bit longer than just ‘photographer’, as there is no way you’ll be able to compete with that one word. Try ‘family photographer in Valencia’ or include keywords such as ‘art galleries in Aberdeenshire’ in your content or blog posts, or longer phrases like ‘Scottish landscape painting’, combining location, description and media.

3. Do some ‘bread crumbing’ in local Facebook groups

Spending a bit of time trawling your social media a few times a week, looking for relevant local groups to join, can really pay off in the long run. Most will have a weekly opportunity to share your links, posts and offers, which will make you more visible to local people in those groups. Also search in those groups for relevant posts by people that may be looking for services you offer. This is called ‘bread crumbing‘. You leave traces of your business in various comment threads, so people can go and find your profile if they see you can help them. The more active you are, the more people will remember you. Be careful not to spam groups constantly with your links, or you’ll quickly be booted out. Instead, be helpful and add value, or say ‘I offer XYZ in your local area. Please DM me if you want to know more‘, but without sharing your link.

Want more tips and support for your creative business?
Join my vibrant Facebook group Nina’s Creative Business Bootcamp.

How hot is your copy? Content writing tips for creative businesses

How is your copy holding up?

Did you give your written web content a lot of deep thought, or did you quickly put something in writing, just so it had a description on the site? What story are you telling to your site visitors? How are you trying to connect to them?

You see, written content is more important than you think. For many artists and creatives it’s all about the visuals, and that is normal, as that is how you work. And a picture does say more than a thousand words, in many cases. But only if it is a picture that tells your story. Your photos may show off your products very well, that doesn’t mean that the viewer will click ‘buy’. On your website, pictures and writing should go hand in hand.

Go and see what your competitors are writing…

Go and do a little research right now, before reading any further. Keep this tab open, but visit some of your competitor’s websites. What do you like about their written content? What message are they giving out? What problem are they solving? What are they telling you on their About page?

How hot is their copy?

Did you see a lot of difference between the websites of competitors you just visited? Whatever they do, make or sell, the ingredients and method of writing web content for a business should always be the same. Where many entrepreneurs go wrong, is the focus. They think:”Well, it’s not called an About page for nothing, this is obviously where I write about myself”.

But ask yourself why you would click on an About page on a website. Is it because you want to see a list of names of staff members? Or read a complete autobiography? Or is it because you want to find out if this business is trustworthy, knowledgeable and enthusiastic about what they do? Would you rather buy from a company that shows warmth and personality, or from a faceless, cold, formal looking online shopfront?

Add some warmth to your content

How hot is your copy? Or, rather, how much warmth do you express in your copy? Just because it is written information on a business site doesn’t mean you suddenly have to go all corporate. There is no reason why you couldn’t write in the first person, if it’s just you running the show. You are absolutely allowed to let your personality shine through. In fact, even better! Let people know who is behind this lovely business of yours, and why you care about what you do.

Especially if you want to start attracting more of your ideal clients, writing in that way will pull those people closer, while keeping clients you don’t want to work with, away. And at the end of the day, that should be your goal: creating your niche, in order to target the audience you love to attract most. Writing in a style that feels natural to you is one of the tools to help you do that.

Use a grammar and spelling check app

Writing like you talk‘ can be a great way of connecting to people and lowering that threshold for clients to make that call. Writing informally, or in the first person, however, does not mean you can do away with spelling check. You cannot skip the punctuation! Whatever style you write in, make sure you throw it through an app like Grammarly. Not just because your SEO will suffer if the text is full of errors, but because it looks unprofessional if the content is hard to read and riddled with mistakes. If you are really not a writer, you could outsource it (a good copywriter will be able to capture your tone of voice in the text). But it’s much better to work on those skills yourself before giving up. So try the app, it will already improve your copy a lot.

Need more help in improving your website copy?

I offer Done-for-you services, such as writing and editing your website copy, and making sure keywords and key phrases are included for SEO-purposes. Have a look at my services page.

What is a Creative Business Coach and why should you care?

I don’t know about you, but I breathe creativity. I have ideas coming out of my ears, ALWAYS. I think, make, write, draw, sing, play, dance. I am never bored. Creativity is my fuel, and it keeps my fire burning. I am also an empath with a natural urge to help others. I meet so many people in my life who are creative, walk around with ideas, or are dabbling in a small business on the side, but play themselves down. “Just a hobby, really”, or “I don’t earn a lot, but I like doing it”. I could be at a birthday party somewhere, sitting next to a random person I have never met, and before I know it I am handing out business and marketing advice. Because I care.

We are all creative. And so many of us have brilliant ideas and are passionate about what they do. I love seeing new projects emerge, small businesses pop up, and individuals becoming empowered in running their own show. In a world where we are ruled by Amazon and Nestle, I want to add fuel to the little individuals with the big ideas. Those budding entrepreneurs who are still on the fence, need that extra push, get rid of the imposter syndrome, and jump into their next adventure. An adventure which I know they will never regret.

marketing course for artists
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Authenticity and staying true to your values

I embarked on an adventure myself three years ago. I moved to Spain, after having worked in the arts sector in the Netherlands and the UK for twenty years. After my move, I discovered that continuing my work as arts marketing manager for the cultural sector in Spain is pretty much impossible without the language skills and a network. So, to earn an income, I started a copywriting business, and have been quite successful the past few years working with a wide range of international clients.

But I am not a corporate, sales-driven, mainstream marketing type. And writing copy for factories producing taps and toilets….well, it just made me miserable. I missed the spark, the quirks, the creative buzz, and I realised I was drifting away from who I am and what I love most. I have become a lot more selective since, and now only accept copywriting clients I feel excited about working with. Authenticity is everything, not just in marketing and sales, but in staying true to your own values. Only then you are able to really grow your business.

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Supporting creative businesses on their journey

I recently decided to go back to where my real passion lies: supporting other creatives in their business. Inspiring them, sharing my wealth of knowledge built up over the years, and watching them grow in confidence. I launched The Creative Business Coach late 2020, and am excited. My fire is burning brightly again, and I am in the flow.

My Facebook Group is thriving, and full of creatives who are eager to learn about marketing and attracting more clients, by sharing their authentic story. I have started organising fun Masterclasses on specific topics such as blogging, to take the fear out of marketing. This year will have a lot more in the pipeline, all focused on inspiring, teaching and coaching those fabulous entrepreneurs who are ready to launch and grow their businesses.

Are you one of them? Join Nina’s Creative Business Bootcamp for daily tips and inspiration, masterclasses, and networking with like-minded souls.

How to start earning passive income with an eBook

Passive income, it sounds amazing, right? Making money while not working, is that even possible? Side hustles that allow creators to sell digital products online can help lessen some financial strain and uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. If you run a small business, struggling to make enough money each month because of lockdowns, restrictions and other issues thrown at us lately, then creating something that adds an additional income stream to your business is worth thinking about.

What can you make that could create passive income?

If you are an artist or maker, think of tutorials, online courses, subscriptions or downloadable prints in PDF format. If you are a teacher, could you bundle some of your knowledge in an evergeen course, or a series of downloadable worksheets? As a physical shop owner, could you write tutorials, eBooks or additional guides on the products you sell that are of value to your clients?

Think outside the box

You may only think about your current business or professional expertise, but what other things do you know that could help somebody else? Converting your talent (or quarantine hobby) into a lucrative side hustle is absolutely possible. Have you developed some amazing craft ideas for kids during lockdown? Share them! Easy DIY decor ideas to give your home office an update? Go for it! People digest information in different ways, so offering your expertise in various formats (PDFs, audiobooks, videos, subscription emails, etc) caters for more people than if you only stick to one medium.

Today I am explaining a bit about eBooks.

earning passive income with ebooks
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eBooks: where to start

Know how to put your knowledge into writing? Start creating eBooks and earn money. eBooks are digital publications, and content can range from tutorials and guides on professional topics to romantic novels and anything in between. 

Creating eBooks as a creative business

If you know everything about interior design, smartphone photography, repairing clothes, doing up property, or permaculture, why not write an eBook about it? It doesn’t have to be enormous, you could write a really helpful step-by-step PDF guide on something in just 10 pages. If it is of value to your client, they will buy it. Remember, you are ten steps ahead of someone who wants to be in your shoes. Teach them what you know. And if there are already other people selling the same thing? Then it means that there is a market out there.

How do you price your eBook?

A lot of eBooks are priced around $3-$5, but you can ask what you want. It is your product and if your client is happy to pay more, go for it! I wrote an eBook of just under 50 pages on Moving to Valencia with Children, and I am selling it at $14.95. That is quite a high price for an eBook, but I am targeting people who feel anxious about moving to another country and are spending a lot of time researching online. My guide will give them everything they are looking for, in a PDF. So $14.95 is not a lot of money, if it solves their problem. What problem can you solve?

earning passive income with ebooks
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What software to create an eBook?

There are different ways to create eBooks. You can use Designrr, which offers the option to create an eBook straight from your blog posts. Handy, if you already have a lot of content. The only thing I found (as I am quite picky when it comes to layout and graphics), is that you’ll end up spending quite a bit of time moving content around to make it look the way you want. With the Premium version of Designrr you can publish straight onto Amazon Kindle and other eBook platforms.

You can also keep it simple (and free) and create your eBook on Most of you are familiar with Canva already, so you probably know how to drag and drop images, elements and text into a document. You can use templates (I use the ‘eBook cover’ template). Save the design as a PDF, download it, and publish it wherever you want.

earning passive income with ebooks
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Where to publish your eBook?

Before you run over to Amazon, WAIT. Jeff Bezos is already very rich, so let’s look for some alternatives first – we are creatives, after all.

Amazon KDP has gained a vast audience and hosts a massive library of eBooks. If you want to tap a wider pool of readers, this may be the ideal platform for you. You get a free ASIN number for your book (similar to ISBN), advertising tools, and higher royalties. However, your eBook will be exclusive to Amazon, which means you cannot sell it anywhere else. The royalty can vary anywhere between 35% to 70% depending on the price of the book. 

Apple iBooks Store

It is a free self-publishing platform for your eBooks in iBook format. Apple iBooks store may not have a massive audience like Amazon KDP, but it’s fairly large compared to others on the list. You do have the alternative to sell your eBook on other platforms, unlike Amazon KDP. However, you will have to convert it into a different format such as text file, PDF or ePUB.  Besides, to get your book hosted on the Apple iBooks store, you require a Mac system. You get an incredible 70% royalty with this platform, which is very high.


Smashwords is another publishing platform with a good reputation. Not only does it offer a free ISBN, but also gets your book on some of the biggest stores, including Kobo, Barnes and Noble, and Apple Books. If you choose to publish it on the Smashwords store, however, you can get 80% royalty on every sale. If you choose a retailer, you will earn 60% of royalties from sales.


Payhip is a super simple platform I really like, which is a completely stand-alone site, so you have full control. It offers you the option to sell your PDF downloads, physical products and subscriptions (where you send members a PDF document – or a physical product – every month or less often). It’s free to use with unlimited product uploads, but with the paid plans you pay a lower transaction fee. Go to the Payhip website.

The free plan comes with a 5% transaction fee, or you can go up a level if you start to sell more, and pay $29/month for a 2% transaction fee. You can connect Paypal or Stripe as payment options. It obviously does not expose you to an audience like the others do, this part you have to do yourself. But I like the fact that you can easily create your own page showing all your eBooks or products, and link to this from your website, or social media.

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