Jobs of the Prolific Independent Artist

A lot of people think that all artists do is create art, but in actuality, creation is only a small part of being successful as an independent artist. Many artists do both freelance work and sell products to make a living, but there are many other shoes to fill in order to succeed as a creative.

1. Publicist
If no one knows that you exist, then there is no way for them to purchase products from you or contact you regarding commissioned work. Getting your name and work out in the world and in front of people is crucial to your success as an artist and as a small business. So get out there, contact art publications, and do whatever you can to make yourself known.

2. Social Media Manager
Publicity will get you noticed, but social media will be how you connect with your audience and stay remembered. Social media allows you to easily stay in touch with your fans and keep them up-to-date on your latest projects and promotions.

3. Agent
As an independent artist, it’s important to be able to get the attention of potential clients, as well as have the ability to set and negotiate your own rates for freelance projects.

4. Website Admin
Most independent artists have two types of sites to update, their portfolio and their shop. Basic SEO practices should be used on both if you want them to be found organically through search results. With shops, there’s also the added concern of making sure the site details are updated, new products are added, and inventory is correct.

5. Order Fulfillment & Shipping
As an independent artist, you must be able to schedule time for packing items and buying postage in order to get your orders out the door in a timely manner. It is also important to know how to properly ship your products so that delicate items do not arrive broken, and items like paper prints do not arrive bent and ruined.

6. Customer Service Representative
Without a great customer service experience, customers will be much less likely to buy from you a second time. Repeat customers are extremely important to keeping your business alive and going strong. As the 80–20 rule of business estimates: 80% of your sales will come from just 20% of your customers.

7. Artist
At the end of the day, the most important shoe to fill in the business of art is that of the artist itself. Creating art may only be a small part of making a living as an artist, but it is the foundation for your entire business, and you wouldn’t have your career without it.

All of these roles an artist takes on fit and work together to build a strong and successful business. Without working to grow your following, you have no one to sell to. Without good customer service skills, you have no repeat business. And without you making great art, you have no business to begin with.

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