As an artist entrepreneur, the first step (even before or as you create your art) is to determine your goals. Setting these goals looks like taking the time to determine what your vision is.
There are specific questions you should sit with and find clarity on.
- Where do you want to be in the next 6-12 months?
- What does your day-to-day look and feel like?
- How big do you want to grow your audience of fans?
- How much money do you want to make selling your art?
Start from the top-level, personal questions about your ideal lifestyle and then work back down to the specific, measurable art sales goals. Too many artists jump in without taking the time to consider the specifics of where they want to end up and then end up floundering around until they feel like they’ve gone nowhere.
“I want to be a successful artist” isn’t a specific enough goal.
The reason goals are so important is they inform your next steps and the things you need to work on today, next week, and next month. Your goals are the horizon you can look up to and make sure the steps you’re taking are actually leading you where you want to go.
Goal setting can feel like a waste of time to many, but the importance of clarity on where you’re going can’t be overstated. Artists who take time to set goals are able to build out a roadmap that helps them stay on track.
Once your goals are set, you can drill down into the practical things that must happen to achieve those goals. You can look at your past data and use that to inform what needs to happen.
For example, if you’ve sold 2 artworks in the past 6 months based on one hundred conversations with potential buyers, this gives you an idea of how many conversations you need to generate. You have about a 2% conversion rate from interest to sale.
Let’s say you set a goal of selling 10 artworks in the next 6 months. You know you either need to increase the number of conversations happening with potential buyers, get better at converting these conversations into sales, or, more likely, a mix of the two. This brings us to brainstorming time.
- What can you do to increase the number of conversations with people interested in your art from 100 to 500?
- What can you do more effectively in these conversations to increase your conversion rate from 2% to 10%?
After your brainstorming sessions, you can set hypotheses– “if I do x, I will be able to get x number more conversations started.”
Start testing these hypotheses and make adjustments as real world experiences show you how your assumptions can be refined. Over a period of time, you start to optimize your own sales process based on your initial assumptions and what has proved to work in practice.
But this whole process must start from specific goals.
Take the time this week to figure out what your goals are and start building a roadmap towards achieving these goals. Build hypotheses into this roadmap and get to work executing on your plans. You will, at the very least, learn things that work and things that don’t…leading you closer and closer to your ultimate goals.
If you need help getting clarity on your goals and building a roadmap, join us in our 30 day artist jumpstart challenge. Goal setting is where we’ll start as we walk you through a 30 day process to help you sell more art. You’ll get a lesson each day with actionable steps to take and access to an artist chat group where you can get support from other artists and our team as you move towards your goals.