Cheap Hacks to Get Your Art Business Up and Running Today

[00:00:00] These little hacks are ways in which you can get it going and running right now without having to spend a fortune on the more expensive software and fancier products in order to build your business.

[00:00:19] You're listening to Unfold with Kellee Wynne. This is an unpolished imperfect and totally honest podcast. And I'm talking to all the artist creative, visionaries and change makers who wanna live a life by design and not by default, if you're ready to have thought provoking, eye opening and heart centered conversations that explore the stories that made us who we are and break through the boundaries of expectations, then you are in the right place.

[00:00:51] Hello, hello everyone out there in podcast land. Thank you so much for tuning in once again. Whether you are driving along or putting together a puzzle or doing your art or cleaning the house, whatever it is that you're doing right now, that you're taking the time out of your day to listen to the podcast. It means so much to me. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. And for all of you, who've been reaching out with kind comments, sharing the podcast and just showing up in general. It means the world to me. And I'm so thrilled to hear when the stories that I tell connect with you and you can relate to what I'm talking about, giving you new ideas and encouraging you to really spark off on a new direction with your own remarkable business.

[00:01:39] And that's what we're talking about here on the podcast today and this whole summer, we've been talking about the artist in business. When I talk about artist in business, I'm kind of talking about this artist in business right here, myself. The last few episodes we've covered things like mistakes I've made and things I've gotten right.

[00:01:58] And why I don't sell my artwork and everything else in between, on my art journey here into being a creative entrepreneur. One thing that I'm really hoping is is that something sparking in you that it's really encouraging you to start thinking outside of the box and go for your dreams. You know, we talk about it all the time here on the podcast, living life by design and not by default. And it's really important to me to get this message out to you, to help you see that there's a different way that the path that you see, everyone falling down doesn't mean that's the one that you need to travel. You have your own remarkable story, your own gifts, your own talents and your own way of showing up in this world. And the one thing that I want more than anything is to encourage that in you and hopefully provide enough information that you'll figure out how you can do that for yourself. Of course, you know that I have things planned, things in the works to. You and other artists, like you create that remarkable business. But in the meantime, what I've got is this podcast. So it means a lot to me that you keep tuning in and listening to what little bit of advice I have to impart on you and encouragement that I can keep sharing. So today I wanted to talk about cheap hacks. We're getting started on this business. You've been in this business a while.

[00:03:23] You're looking for ways in which you can grow. You wanna be able to sell your art. You wanna be able to sell your courses. You wanna be able to connect with people, but it all seems like it's an expensive startup. I'm here to tell you that getting started with your own creative business, doesn't have to be expensive. And so today I'm gonna give you a few of the hacks that I did throughout the years of building my business. And times when I've been able to save a lot of monies.

[00:03:52] Let's start with hack number one, the thing that you must have in order to run a business is an email system. You can't just be emailing your customers from your Hotmail or your Gmail account. You really need an entire, uh, ecosystem for building up an email newsletter, subscription service this way. You're legally contacting the people who are on the list because they've opt in to hear from you. It's like one of the most important things that you can build in your business, this foundation is a way that you can be able to continue to connect with your customers over and over again. We can't rely on social media. We don't know that people are gonna be able to find us just by popping onto our website or Etsy or wherever else that we're selling our work or hosting our courses. We really need to start building our home on our own ground. And that's what an email system is all about. So how do we do this without having to spend a ton of money? CRMs can be very expensive. The more people that you have on your list, the more it's gonna cost you. And the more sophisticated your email system is, the more it's gonna cost you as well. But when I started out, I went right for the easiest thing that everyone was using. And that's MailChimp. MailChimp is really well known. It's easy to use and you have, I believe the service is free for up to 2000 subscribers on your email list. So if you haven't started yet, go and sign up for a free account with MailChip right away. Another great option that I know a lot of creatives love to use is MailerLite. That also has a free option. I think up to a thousand people can subscribe on your list that you can contact them and continue to keep them in the loop of what you're doing. And it costs you nothing for those first thousand subscribers. So building a email list should be your number one priority if you're starting a business, even if you're not exactly sure what it is you're selling yet, whether you're selling your artwork or courses or coaching or other services, having an email list of other creative souls, like-minded people and potential customers is really an important step in building your business. So, number one most important and a free way to get started. Go create yourself a Mailchimp, MailerLite, or one of the other email services and just choose the free offer.

[00:06:21] Now, the next thing that's important is that landing page, that website, that place that we can call our home on the internet. So we can say who we are and what we do. Here's a really fun little hack. Back in the day, I just used a blogger, a free blogger site to create my website. I mean, I don't have to pay a single penny. So here I am already building a business without having to spend money. This is something that you could probably still do to this day. I believe bloggers still exists and you can put a landing page. You could even use your own URL to connect to it and at least explain who you are, what you do and how you serve others. However, I will say. Choosing something that can grow with you is probably the better option. And I highly recommend Sqauresapce. So for as little as $16 a month, you can build a beautiful website using Squarespace. There are other options as well. I recommend choosing something that's not only low cost, but really easy to develop. And design yourself. And that's one of the reasons why artists love square spaces. It's quite simple.

[00:07:31] Now, when you're projecting for long term growth and you wanna be able to sell your artwork from your website, you may be able to start with a low cost option, like $16 for a personal account on Squarespace, but it's not gonna be long before. You're gonna need to upgrade. Please take note of all the little extra fees that these sites charge for making sales off of the site. And so as soon as your sales. Exceed the percentage of what they're taking versus how much their commerce plan is. You're gonna wanna upgrade, but still we're talking about $26 a month in order to run a business. That's not much at all, a few other cheap hacks for you. I use Google drive. Love it. And your first 200 megabytes are free to use, but it's a great place to keep as a backup for all of your content. Plus writing out documents and saving ideas, taking notes for yourself. Where you wanna go next and to be able to share it with other people, especially if you're collaborating on projects or you're even trying to navigate sales, having a place in the cloud in order to keep documents of everything that you're doing is really important.

[00:08:45] Another great tool that's free of charge that will help you keep track of your to-do list of your project planning and all those ins and outs of how you're going to set up and execute your art business is Trello. Have any of you ever used Trello before? Trello is a project planning tool that you can use to keep track of your systems, your processes. Sometimes we call this your SOP, your standard operating procedures in your business. When you start documenting the way that you do things and keeping track of, for example, using it to save swipe files like ideas that you have for great copy for your next newsletter. It's a great place that you can keep track of those kinds of ideas. So that later as you build your business bigger and better, and you're hiring help, you have all of your systems already tracked out and process so that you can hire other people to help you build your business. Start now start, keeping track of that data now of that information. Now keep it organized and use something like Trello to keep a smooth sailing system for yourself.

[00:09:57] All right. One thing that I could never live without. Is Canva. I know most of you have probably used Canva. Canva is invaluable and I've upgraded to the pro version, which is only $120 a year. And it's worth every penny. What I love about Canva is that it has so many free templates, designs, ideas, fonts photos, even video now that you can use in order to design your website, build your social media plan. You can use it for pretty much anything that you need to be building in your business without the complicated tool that Photoshop or Illustrator is. So for me, it was a huge game changer. And with the pro version, I really feel like a pro using Canva. Being able to design things that are aesthetically pleasing and pretty cohesive for my own brand. This is something that's totally worth the upgrade. So if you haven't decided to upgrade. Right now, when we're talking about splurges and steals, this is a splurge that's totally worth spending the extra, what? $10 a month in order to have the pro version, there's really no way around it.

[00:11:10] Now we all have to be making video. All right. I know this is like the biggest bane of our existence as creatives. That the last thing we wanna be doing is having to think about making reels or talks or YouTube videos. But we are in a very video, heavy world now. And in order to communicate and continue to build your business video is a must. The good news is, guess what? You already have the video equipment that you need in order to create this content for your brand, whether you're putting a video on your website in order to showcase and highlight your artwork or your art courses, or whether you're trying to build yourself a TikTok following, which we all know, it's something that we have to address sooner or later. We'll come back to that. I promise that whole TikTok nonsense. But the good news is, is your phone is a magical, wonderful little device that can record everything. In fact, here's a fun little fact for you. My entire school of courses have all been recorded with my phone. In fact, the videos that you're watching here on YouTube, when you're looking at any of the videos that I've made and put all my feet on Instagram, I've used my phone for all of it. Our phones have come a long way. So whether it's an iPhone or a Samsung Galaxy, whatever it is that you have on hand, learn how to use the settings, learn how to go into pro mode and record your videos at high quality. And you're gonna be amazed at your ability to be able to create something that show worthy. Whether it's for your courses or for YouTube or anywhere else that you're showing up online with your videos. And here's the best news about it. Download an app like InShot and next thing you know, you're also editing everything right there on your phone. InShot is a free app and it's really easy to use. It's very intuitive. I struggled when I first started creating videos to figure out how to edit. So I would hire friends or my son to do all my video editing, but again, the video editing's come a long way with apps like InShot or if you're using iMovie on your Mac, they're really simple, easy, intuitive ways in which that you can create high quality video content. You already bought that phone. You might as well use that in order to record the video that you need to build your brand.

[00:13:38] All right. Let's talk about sales. Something that you also need to be able to do is, well, if you're in business, you need to make sales, whether it's selling your artwork or selling your courses or whatever it is that you're showing up to do. Yeah. I really wish that I could just say we are turning it all over to the gallery and they're gonna handle it all. But you know, as well as I do that, that's not gonna happen. The galleries don't sell our work anymore. In fact, I've discussed this several times in past episodes this podcast. So we're really left to our own devices in order to sell the work and get the word out there. So we need ways in which we can connect with our audience, sell our work and, you know, start making a good living off of our creativity. PayPal, Stripe, and Venmo, or any of the other services out there can easily be connected with just about any account that you wanna build on, whether you're building on Squarespace or Shopify, or you've got a Teachable account in order to sell courses or you're working on Etsy. Any one of these platforms, you can connect with your PayPal and Stripe account. There are fees involved as worth checking out, which one's gonna have the lowest offer for you, but in the long run you want, what's easiest for your customers to just check out just that fast. And that's why generally speaking, most creatives turn to using PayPal. But the amazing thing is, is you can really think outside of the box on how you're going to get those offers out there into this world. There's a lot of options besides just hosting on a website, rather than building a big Shopify account. You can start selling your work directly on Instagram, right now? All you need to do is make the offer of the artwork that you wanna sell, and then send them a direct PayPal invoice, simple as that. And you've got yourself a business up and running without having to build an entire website. These little hacks are ways in which you can get it going and running right now without having to spend a fortune on the more expensive software and fancier products in order to build your business. Still to this day, it sees a very viable source of getting your work out there. You can also be listing your artwork on Sache or UGallery or print on demand products like Society 6. The key is to just pick one resource and go all in on it. Learn how to master that one platform. What kind of keyword you need to use, how you're gonna find your customers on that platform, how your work is gonna reach, what kind of images sell the best in order to showcase the work that you're doing, whatever it is that you choose to do, go all in on understanding that platform, cost comparison really comes down to your ability to sell on those platforms. So if you know that your customers are coming direct to you, you can sell right off your own website. But if you're looking for customers still places like Saatchi or Etsy might be an ideal solution for you in order to build your business. This is just about learning the ins and outs of whatever platform that you decide to put your business on and then go all in and use it to your advantage.

[00:16:45] One of the most important things you can do as you're building your business is to test your ideas against the audience that you're building. So, like I said, it's really important to have an email system that you're building up. Whether it's mail Chimp mail or light, or any of the other options that are out there, but how do we attract people onto that list? Usually we're going to have some sort of a free offer and we're gonna need some way in which to host that. So if you're testing out the idea of having a little free, free video part series to draw people in one of the best ways you can do that is to just host the videos on an unlisted YouTube account, and then connect them with your free MailChimp and next thing you know, that you'll be able to test your ideas and push that up against the audience that's right in front of you and see if it's resonating with them. And then you're gonna be able to start building that account so that instead of 10 or 12 people on your list, next thing you know, you have 1200, we need something in order to draw people in. And if you're doing this on a budget and you don't wanna spend the money on a high end sophisticated account, yet you wanna test your ideas. I highly recommend using an unlisted YouTube account and just connecting it so that people sign up for your email and they get it delivered right into their inbox. This is what I've been coaching my clients to do to get going.

[00:18:10] There's another little hack for you. Facebook groups are still viable in order to build the community that you want. You're looking for a way in order to market your next great idea. Invite people into a group focus group, nurture them. Bring them into Facebook and start creating a community for them, where they're feeling like their voice is being heard. And they're learning something from you, giving more knowledge, sharing, more tips and tricks. Sharing more of yourself actually will lead you to build a bigger and stronger business as much as we don't love Facebook anymore, it's still another free option viable for you to be able to build your business. I hope that idea is planning a little seed in how you can get going and, and testing the market right now, skipping the perfectionism, skipping, having to do all of the big, complicated things in order to build an, an entire school out, but rather to just show up and test out using some very simple methods and hacks.

[00:19:11] Now, if you're like me and you prefer to be selling your services and your courses. Then you're going to need a different type of outlet in order to build your platform. Something like Teachable, Thinkific, Kajabi, doing price comparisons will help you understand for the long term what, what you're in for. But the goal is once you're making money, something that costs you between 25 and a hundred dollars a month, it's really not unreasonable anymore. When you're bringing in thousands of dollars. So then as you expand your business and you start making money, you can also upgrade your account, but think long term here, where do you wanna be, where you don't have to go and change everything over later, there's an old idea of building it on a WordPress and having control over it yourself. But unless you are an absolute tech wizard, what you're gonna do is spend a lot of time fixing problems rather than just running your business. So I highly recommend that you pick one of the sites with a low cost of entry and get started there, start seeing what your customer's interested in. And if it's a viable option, you can go full force in and upgrade your business account later.

[00:20:22] So really when we're talking about starting a business. You need very little to get going. The splurges that I talked about still all added up together, where you're talking about less than a hundred dollars a month in order to build your own business, the most important thing is, is showing up and talking about what you're excited about, what you're passionate about.

[00:20:44] Whichever platform that is whether it's Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter. It doesn't really matter where you're showing up. Just show up consistently, show up with your message, connect on a deeper level with your audience and then make the offer. Make the offer to sell whether it's your artwork or your course, or your new coaching program. The the only way you're gonna be able to build your business is by showing up and making the offer. I really wanna see you succeed the way I've been working with my clients and customers so far since I've been hosting my coaching program is to see them enter in the bare minimum amount that they need in order to build their business. You don't have to have it perfect. You just need to get it going. And that's the message that I really wanna be able to impart upon you today. Just get it going. Use a few of these simple hacks. Go for the cheap option now, you can build it up bigger and better as your business progresses and you start to thrive. Look, if your mind is set on succeeding, you will succeed. You will be able to build something remarkable for yourself, just get it up and get it going. Get that artwork into this world. Make that offer for your very first course, set your sales and use these cheap hacks in order to build something that you can just get it going and get it going right now.

[00:22:08] Now there does come a point where you can hack the system. All you want. You. Steal these little ideas and build something for yourself, but eventually it comes to a point where you're gonna have to splurge a little bit. When you see that your business is becoming more and more viable and you need to build it bigger and better, be able to reach more people. That's when it's worth spending the money on a commerce account for Squarespace or Shopify, more sophisticated account with Teachable or Kajabi in order to sell your courses. Whatever it is that's the next step. I highly recommend testing it out first to see if this is the path that you're on, that you wanna stick with before you've invested all of your money into building an expensive business. It doesn't have to cost a lot. The knowledge that you gain from the experience of just doing it is gonna make all the difference in the world on whether or not you're creating yourself, a viable, remarkable business. Building a business is not for the faint of heart. There's just so many ins and outs and things that you need to learn in order to do it right. But getting started is the most important part. And you're on the right track already right now, by listening to this podcast, following along with some of the advice and pitfalls of things that I've been through myself in the past, these little mindset. Are gonna make all the difference in the world as you're laying the foundation for your own remarkable business.

[00:23:31] I hope that these tips have been helpful to you. I just wanted to pop in quick today, teach you a little bit about what I know about getting started with your business. Since many of you have been listening and thinking. Oh, my goodness. This might be a little overwhelming for me, but it doesn't have to be complicated. There are cheap and easy ways in for you to launch out and get it started now. Look, if you're still trying to figure out what it is that you're starting, then I invite you to download my free PDF 100 ways to make money as an artist without selling your art. I know that I've been talking about this PDF for ages now, but it's a really valuable PDF.

[00:24:09] I have people responding all the time that it's gotten the wheels turning in their head and the sparks moving, and they're really excited about the possibilities. So just. Go to Kelleewynnestudios.com/100 and download that PDF for yourself now. It's free obviously. And then I'd love to hear from you. What are you thinking? What is it that this podcast is sparking in you? Do you have new ideas for where you wanna go with a business? Do you have new ways you wanna reach out to the community and build something amazing for yourself and for others? Is there a way that you feel like you could be of better service of your fellow creatives? I wanna hear from you. So please reach out on social media on my Instagram account, Kelleewynnestudios. That's K E L L E E W Y N N E studios. And let me know what you thought of this podcast episode. If I gave you enough of a boost that you feel like you can start your business now without having to spend a fortune, and maybe what's the first thing that you're gonna do. What's the first task that you're gonna check off your list? I'd love to hear from you. Thank you so much for joining me here on unfold with Kellee Wynne. And I will check in with you again next week as we continue with this series, The Artist in Business. All right. Much love to you. Bye.

If you'd like to listen to or learn more about the podcast visit https://www.maderemarkable.com/blog for our show notes and links to the main players.