Ways for Creative Entrepreneurs to Earn When Work Gets Slow

Guest blog post submitted by Karen Weeks // Photo by Monstera (Pexels)

One of the main goals of The Artist Collective is to help artists find their "monetizable creative skillset" (MCS). This post from Karen lists several unique opportunities you can explore that aren't dependent on streaming income and ticket sales.

Working as a creative professional can be an unpredictable way to make a living. If you are struggling to earn an income, here are a few tips to help keep your finances flowing during downturns.

Start your own business.

Chances are good that you have a skill that other people are willing to pay for. Whether that’s voice coaching, teaching how to write plays, or providing music lessons, your experience is valuable. You can start a business by first choosing a name and then deciding on a business structure. When you’re first starting out, an LLC – limited liability corporations are flexible and tax-advantageous – is one of the easiest to establish. While you will have to do some research, you can avoid paying hefty attorney fees by using an online formation service.

Narrate books.

You’re already used to being in front of people, so it shouldn’t be a huge stretch to get behind the microphone. By narrating books, you can help bring stories to life. As people continue to live fast-paced lives, digital audiobooks are becoming more and more popular. In 2020, in the US alone, Good e-Reader notes that we spent $1.2 billion on audiobooks. OutAndBeyond explains
that there are more than a dozen places that will happily pay you for your voice talents. How much can you earn? Up to $300 per hour of completed audio.

Look into other areas.

There are many jobs that are great for creative individuals. These include things like graphic designer and social media manager. Even if you have very little experience in graphic design, being creative means that you see things differently than the rest of the world. It should not be that big of a transition to segue from performing arts to digital arts. And, since it is likely that you
already have experience managing your own social media presence, you can take these skills and help others in all industries gain a strong footing on Facebook, Instagram, and other social platforms.

Consider offbeat side-gigs.

Your experience on stage or as an amateur/professional playwright gives you an edge when it comes to finding high-paying side gigs. While it might sound crazy, you can become a professional mermaid, psychic, or even fortune cookie writer.

Sell your own merchandise.

You do not have to have a huge following to sell merchandise to your fans. Chances are, those that already know your work are more than willing to both support and promote you. Some T-shirt companies can sell you 40 custom shirts for as little as $7.44 each. You can then sell these for $20 each to make a hefty profit. You might also consider stickers, embroidered totes, or
even hand-signed art prints.

Even if you’re struggling to make a living, as a creative individual, you have options, and there are many ways that you can turn your talents into a deposit to your account. From narrating books to selling your own merchandise, the above options may not be your specialty, but each gig can pay the bills.

Artist Collective is looking for artists with an entrepreneurial mindset, a.k.a. "Artist-preneurs" who want to launch or scale their online music business. Find out how you can turn your creative skills and passion into sustainable income.

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