5 Proven Tips on How to Become a Successful Freelance Artist

Whether becoming a freelance artist is a dream that you’ve wanted to follow for your entire life, or simply the next natural step in your career, there are a couple of things that you need to think about before you even consider putting brush to canvas. 

Freelancing in any form can be incredibly challenging! It involves juggling all of your priorities, while providing a quality product or service that out-performs your competitors.  

Time is the enemy to freelancers, as there just don’t seem to be enough hours in the day to be able to do everything.

Customer relationship management, accounts, marketing and actually creating your products – Your “To-do list” will be endless!   

In order to protect the investment of your time, money and skills, you need to do some reading and create a good plan to make a successful transition to full time freelance artist.

This involves planning both your personal and working commitments meticulously! 

It’s no easy feat, but with the right preparation, it can be done!  

freelance artist in cafe

How to become a full-time freelance artist 

Here at Your Art Empire, we want to help you to get started by providing all of the tips and tricks that you need to get informed, make a plan and promote your new business so that you can become a successful freelance artist. 

Step-by-step guide to becoming a freelance artist  

Below, you will find a basic step-by-step plan that will help you plan an outline for how you’re going to become a freelance artist and achieve your career dreams! 

Step 1: Research your market 

Research is an essential part of setting up any business. Without it, you would be beginning your freelance career at a disadvantage.  

You need to have an in-depth knowledge of your market, competitors and target audiences and know where to find them as well as how to engage with them so that you can make sales.  

This doesn’t even take into consideration the skills and knowledge that you need in order to be able to actually run your business…. 

To become a successful freelance artist, you need to know as much about your customers, products and business as possible. This means doing some reading, enrolling on some courses and getting advice.  

A great sign that you’re on the right track is that you’re already doing some research right now by reading this article!  

There are a number of courses and online resources that you can use to find out everything that you need to know, so don’t be afraid – Get started and don’t look back! 

Step 2: Plan your business 

When you’ve gathered all of the information that you need, it’s time to start putting together your ideas to form a plan that’s destined for success.  

As you go along, you may find that there are gaps in your research that mean you’ll have to do a little bit more investigation, but persevere! It will all contribute towards a kick-ass business plan in the end.  

Basic business plans consist of a range of documents that include: 

  • A mission statement 
  • SWOT analysis (Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities & threats) 
  • Basic business or product information 
  • Demographics and market segmentation 
  • Pricing strategy 
  • Promotional strategy 

Each of these elements is just as important as the next because it helps you to create a full picture of what you are aiming to achieve and how you are going to get there.  

freelance art drawing butterfly

The more time and effort you put into creating a realistic plan, the better your chances of success. This is why you should make sure that any objectives that you set have SMART applied to them.

SMART ensures that all targets you set are: 

  • Specific 
  • Measurable 
  • Attainable 
  • Realistic 
  • Timely 

This also helps you to review any potential problems in advance and set objectives that you are likely to meet, instead of unattainable goals.  

NOTE: As you are aiming to become a freelance artist, you will also want to pay due care and attention to your personal finances. Business may be slow at first, so it helps to have a safety blanket, make a gradual transition to freelance or get a part time job so that you can be in a more comfortable position when taking the plunge. 

Step 3: Create your art business 

As soon as you have a good plan laid out, you are ready to start putting everything into place to make it a reality.  

Work through your plan and implement all of the essentials that you need to get set up, whether this includes setting up and eBay pagecreating your own art website or starting an Etsy shop – it’s time to get started! 

The more effectively you set up the basics of your business, the better you will fair in the long term, as you will not have to keep wasting as much of your time having to go back and update your work.

Be thorough, be SMART and achieve your objectives with ease!  

Step 4: Promote your art business 

There is no use in having the best business in the world if noone gets to see it.

You need to invest some time in promoting your artwork so that you can start to build your brand and entice those first customers.  

There are so many different ways to promote artwork, all you need to do is get testing and discover which are the most effective for you. This could include any of the following: 

  • Social media 
  • Web promotion and search engine optimisation 
  • Referral sites 
  • Stock sites 
  • Community projects 
  • Email campaigns 

And more! The opportunities are endless! No matter what you do, promotional activities will let even more people know about your artistic talents, so keep trailing and testing the different methods to find out what works best for your business, style or community. 

Step 5: Upskill and grow  

Each strategy that you try to get your business off the ground will have its good points and its bad points.

The main thing is that you learn from each experience and use it as a reason to strengthen your business rather than let it get on top of you. 

You may even discover that you have a knowledge gap preventing your expansion.

Never be too proud or afraid to take a step back and learn or re-learn skills that will help you to achieve your goals. It’s all part of the personal and business growth process!  

freelance artist drawing

Are you ready to become a freelance artist? 

Becoming a freelance artist is a challenging choice of career that only the bold undertake!

If this is you, we hope that this basic guide to becoming a freelance artist has helped you to discover where you should get started and what you should be focusing on to make your next big career move a success!  

Thanks for reading!