How to make a business plan for artists

This guide will introduce you to everything you need to know about creating a business plan for artists.

Also check out my guide on 5 of the best printers for artists.

Everything a business plan for artists should include

1. A strong portfolio that showcases your work and demonstrates your skills

Your portfolio is the most important part of your business plan for artists.

It's what potential collectors will look at to decide if they want to work with you.

Make sure your portfolio is well-organized and easy to navigate.

You should also showcase your best work and make sure your skills and art style are clear.

Potential art collectors, want to know exactly what they're going to get when they hire you.

This is solely based on how cohesive your art portfolio is.

If you don't have a lot of experience, consider creating some professional-looking projects to add to your portfolio.

This could be anything from a logo design to an illustrated book.

When putting together your portfolio, remember that quality is more important than quantity.

So only include the best of your best work.

You will only get hired for the type of work you show.

For example, if you only want to be an editorial artist, then show examples of your editorial art.

The same goes for illustrating book covers, only show book covers.

If you're just starting and don't have real-world client work to show, then make examples for yourself and put them in your portfolio.

A list of potential collectors, including contact information.

When putting together your business plan, it's important to have a list of potential collectors to reach out to.

This guide will serve as a starting point and make it simpler to find collectors.

It's also helpful to have contact information for these potential collectors, so you can easily connect with them and start discussing work opportunities.

By having a business plan for artists, you'll be able to map out your goals and strategies for growing your art business.

Also check out my guide on how to license artwork.

2. A schedule that outlines when you will work on projects and how much time you will dedicate to each one

In addition to having a strong portfolio and a list of potential collectors, you also need to have a schedule that outlines when you will work on projects and how much time you will dedicate to each one.

This strategy will keep you on track by meeting your deadlines and avoiding an excessive workload.

When creating your schedule, make sure to take into account things like your other commitments (such as work, school, etc.) and how much time you need for personal/downtime.

You should also be realistic about how many projects you can complete in a given amount of time. Don't bite off more than you can chew!

Here's an example of what a schedule might look like:

  • Mondays: Work on personal projects / Research new art ideas
  • Tuesdays: Draw sketches for new projects / Send proposals to potential collectors
  • Wednesdays: Finish rough drafts for new projects / Follow up on proposals sent earlier in the week
  • Thursdays: Finalize project / Upload project files to the portfolio site
  • Fridays: Take a break! Relax and recharge for the weekend
  • Saturdays: Work on personal projects / Research new art ideas
  • Sundays: Take another day off!

3. A budget that delineates your income and expenses.

A budget is important for any business, and artists are no exception.

By having a budget, you'll be able to track your income and expenses and make sure that you're staying within your budget.

This is especially helpful when you're starting and may not have a lot of income coming in. It will help you stay afloat and avoid going into debt.

4. A marketing plan that details how you will promote your work and attract new collectors.

A marketing plan is an important part of any business, and artists are no exception.

By having a marketing plan, you'll be able to map out how you will promote your work and gain new collectors.

This is especially important when you're starting and don't have a network of past collectors to give you referrals or to commission you again.

The only measurable and repeatable way to get more art collectors is through cold email.

Meaning, directly reaching out to potential art collectors you know you can help and introducing yourself.

The most important part of this business plan for artists is cold email.

Make sure to include a strategy for cold emailing potential collectors.

This should include things like:

  • Researching potential collectors and making a list of companies/individuals you want to reach out to
  • Creating an email template that you can use when reaching out to these potential collectors
  • Following up with potential collectors after your initial email
  • Keep track of your results so that you can fine-tune your strategy over time

5. A goals and objectives section that details what you hope to achieve with your business.

The final section of your business plan for artists should be a goals and objectives section.

This is where you will detail what you hope to achieve with your business.

What are some common goals and objectives for artists?

Some common goals and objectives for artists include becoming full-time artists, earning a certain amount of income each month, getting a certain amount of traffic to your website, or getting a certain number of email list signups.

How can I find new collectors for my art business?

The best way to find new collectors for your art business is by growing an audience through a platform you own, your art website. By guest posting and getting interviewed or featured on online publicationes related to your work, you'll be able to generate traffic to your art website. Then you'll want to optimize your website for email list signups.

What is the best way to promote my work?

The best way to promote your work is by focusing on your email list. Documenting what you're working on to build familiarity with your audience. This way, when you're ready to invite them to collect your art, they already know, like, and trust you. Which will result in higher sales. By following these steps, you can create a business plan that will help you start and grow your art business. With a strong foundation in place, you can build a successful career as an artist.