Skip to main content

Creating a Mobile Independent Artist Business - Part 13: Expansion

If your business is keeping you busy that can be a good sign, however, if you've reached capacity with your schedule and are still not earning the income you hoped for (or you just want to earn more), it may be time to think about expansion.

In the previous post I suggested 'over commitment' as a potential pitfall that could lead to bad word of mouth and a loss of future business. One way I suggested to overcome this is to hire trusted freelancers to do the excess work for you.

Which is great if you're providing an arts based service that doesn't rely on your specific artistic talent. Not as useful if you personally are being commissioned to create art in your unique style.

However I have an option for you too...



Virtual Assistants


You've probably said to yourself at some stage, I wish I could just make my art and have someone else do all the business stuff. It's likely the only reason you haven't acted on that thought is that you probably think it's too hard to achieve. But is it?

Whilst you should always know what is going on within your business (particularly financially) it's not that complicated to hire a freelance virtual assistant, through a site like UpworkFreelancer, or AirTasker to do all the business stuff. The main benefit, after assigning them all the work you don't want to be doing, is that they don't impair your ability to work from wherever you choose.

Before you begin looking for a virtual assistant you'll need to step back from your business and list all the tasks you want them to do. Keep in mind, the more work you give them the more you'll need to pay them (which is not necessarily a bad thing in the long term).

Particularly find out how much you can pay an assistant and how long you want to hire them for. Maybe you only need them for a few hours each week on an ongoing basis or maybe you hire one for a set period just to see how things go. Can you absorb the cost or will you need to raise some of your pricing to cover their fee without affecting your current income?

Keep in mind, the goal here is to free up your time so you can produce either more or better quality art, there by increasing your income overall. If you're earning less overall income, long term, after hiring a virtual assistant, you're probably doing it wrong.


Virtual Studios


I've already touched on the idea of a virtual studio through hiring online freelance artists to take on extra work but why stop there?

If you provide an artistic service, set yourself up as an art director of your own virtual studio and outsource work to a group of online freelancers. You liaise with clients and then outsource the actual work to a freelancer who works under your art direction. Once they complete the job it's you that presents it back to the client and so on until the work is done.

As an art director you can take on considerably more work than you can as an individual, with the potential to earn a lot more money overall.

You'll need to work out a pay structure that recognizes that the freelancers are likely doing the bulk of the work but also adequately compensates you for communicating with clients and using your art direction skills.

The trick here is that, although you'll likely need to take on more jobs to make the same income as you were by yourself, your time will be significantly freed up. You can then give each of your freelancers as much work each as you were taking on by yourself, there by increasing your overall income. At the same time you're doing less of the actual work per job.

Again, if you're not earning more in the long term than what you would if you were working entirely by yourself then you're probably doing it wrong. At the very least, you want to be making the same amount of income as you would have had you not hired anybody. Ideally, you'll want to earn more, otherwise, why bother?


Freelancer vs Employee


A word of warning. Some countries have very specific definitions for who classes as a Freelancer and who is actually an Employee.

In general, freelancers provide a specific service, usually have multiple clients, work on their own time schedules and are responsible for their own taxes, healthcare, insurances etc.

People who work for the same employer on a regular basis to a specific time schedule could be viewed as employees under the laws of your country. In which case they likely have certain legal requirements that you have to adhere to, such as taxes, insurance, healthcare etc.

Generally you can't hire someone exclusively and just call them a freelancer to avoid any legal obligations afforded to employees. At best this will be frowned upon, at worst it could lead to heavy fines, your business being shut down and more.

Hiring freelancers through reputable freelance sites is probably the safest option but, if you do need to use other avenues, be sure you either are employing a freelancer or you know your legal obligations if you decide to hire someone as an employee.


---o ---o--- o---


This post is the final in my series on creating a Mobile Independent Artist Business. Most of the information is based on my own experience of running my own online Arts based business.

At the time of writing I run my own virtual animation studio providing work for four freelance animators with myself acting as art director and also doing some of the animation work myself.

As I said in Part 1, it is my intention to release a book based on the entire 13 part series, likely with additional material and revised text (this 13 part blog series serves as my first draft - which you get for free).

If you have found any part of this series useful I would love to hear your feedback in the comments of this post or the specific post(s) that you got the most from. Please leave your thoughts if you feel any of the information is incorrect, misleading or you'd like to see more detail.

I would also like to hear from you if you've attempted to, or have successfully set up a business using the information I have provided.

Thanks for reading. From next week this blog will resume it's usually mix of random posts about whatever has caught my attention... and probably some more posts about Batman too.



This post is part of a 13 part series called Creating a Mobile Independent Artist Business. Read earlier parts at the links below:

Part 1: Introduction and Equipment
Part 2: Business Software
Part 3: Creative Software
Part 4: Social and Marketing Software Plus Your Website
Part 5: Documenting and Sharing Your Work in Progress
Part 6: Photographing and Preparing Your Art for Printing
Part 7: Maximizing Your Art By Creating Variations
Part 8: Legal Obligations and Employee Care Plan
Part 9: What to Create and Finding Your Market
Part 10: Opportunities to make money (Part A)
Part 10: Opportunities to make money (Part B)
Part 11: Pricing Your Art
Part 12: Pitfalls to be Wary of
Part 13: Expansion (the article above)

Comments

Buy Gifts and Apparel featuring art by TET.

Popular posts from this blog

How to Transfer Any Line Art to Your Griptape - Easy Skateboard Griptape Art Tutorial

Dog Star Griptape Art by TET Griptape art is once again gaining popularity amongst modern skateboarders. For those of us who have tried to create our own griptape art, using paint pens, you'll know reproducing your design onto the grip, without making any mistakes is incredibly challenging. Mostly because you just have to go for it and draw the design freehand, with paint pens, directly onto the griptape. You can make the odd mistake here or there but if you get the proportions of the design completely wrong, it can be very difficult to fix. Often you just have to live with the mistake. To address the problem I've come up with an easy way anyone can transfer a line art design to their griptape, removing almost all the anxiety of getting the proportions wrong. In fact, you could do this with any line art design, even if you have no drawing skill at all. Watch the video below to see my technique in action and/or skip past the video where I highlight the basic steps to get your de

Skateboard Trick Tips: Two Ways to Ollie North (Ollie One foot)

You have to be quick to see my Ollie Norths! Ollie One Foots, otherwise known as the Ollie North, is one of those skateboard tricks you learn and then tend not to do very much as more interesting trick challenges grab your attention. However it does look really cool if you learn how to kick your front foot well past the nose of your skateboard. Still shot from Braille Skateboarding's Ollie North tutorial. I was inspired to make my video below, showing two different techniques to achieve a successful Ollie One Foot, when I not only saw that Braille Skateboarding's Tutorial used a different method to the one I had learned but also, when I looked at various other video tutorials, I discovered yet another technique, with no one using the method I had originally learned. Braille's method is to simply Ollie and drag your front foot past the front of your board. The second method I came across in several video tutorials is to Ollie, drag your front foot and tap your

Are Ion Thrusters the Future of Flying Cars? Spoiler - Probably Not But... Hover Boards... Maybe?

Undefined Technologies Ion Propulsion Drone prototype 3D concept image. You may have heard of Ion engines or, more likely, Ion thrusters. NASA uses them on their spacecraft to help maintain a craft's position or to propel them through space.  Upon hearing that you might think they're big, powerful engines, but actually they are not. They work well in the vacuum of space but, once any kind of atmosphere and gravity is involved they'd be hard pressed to launch you off the ground if you strapped four of them to your lawn chair and yelled "up, up, and away!" I am no expert on Ion thrusters - they're basically magic that science has an explanation for. If you want to know the details, The Space Techie website has a layman's explanation .  Build Your Own Ion Thruster Earth based Ion Thrusters work a bit different to their  space based cousins by Ionizing the same air that we breathe to create thrust (an effect known as Ionic-wind ).  While they sound highly soph

Book Review: Brand It Purple by Ashley Knoote-Parke

Ashley Knoote-Parke. Image: Facebook It seems almost redundant to review  Brand It Purple  given you probably won't find a hard copy edition without digging into the second hand market. The book's author and publisher, Ashley Knoote-Parke, seemingly, disappeared off the face of the Earth around about 2015. Which is a story in itself. However, the book is still a very informative guide and, while not specifically targeted at women, many may relate more to a book written by an experienced female entrepreneur. Brand It Purple is a personal marketing and branding guide released in 2009 by then, star on the rise author, Ashley Knoote-Parke, an English born, South African expatriate, who made Adelaide, South Australia her home. There she started her own publishing company releasing a photographic, coffee table book of South Australian sights, along with books showcasing female, then male, entrepreneurs. As well she published 'Brand It Purple'. I came across the b

I'm Joining the Illuminati Brotherhood By Personal Invitation of Hiltom Rothschild... Wait, What?

How special am I to have finally come of age (53 years young) and am now eligible to participate in building the world alongside other members of the Illuminati Brotherhood... Yes I've received the call by way of an email, which I'm sure is real because I had to translate it from the Dutch language and it was personally written by Hiltom Rothschild, one of the non-existent members of the Rothschild family (or perhaps deep undercover because Google has never heard of them?). A Transcript of the email below: To: etourist From: Illuminati Brotherhood  Subject: Illuminati Broederschap (Illuminati Brotherhood) I am Hiltom Rothschild, a member of the Rothschild family, one of the 13 families of the Illuminati brotherhood. I'm here to let you know that you've come of age and are eligible to participate in building the 🌎 world. It is a calling and a privilege to honor him with pride and gratitude as not everyone will ever be chosen by the LIGHT, many are called but few are ch

Robot Uprising Update: Robot Waiter, Fasta Pasta, South Terrace, Adelaide CBD, South Australia

On the second evening of my partner, Enigma, and I's weekend stay in Adelaide we decided to have dinner at Fasta Pasta . Strangely enough our hotel staff, at the Alba, had not mentioned Fasta Pasta as an option for an evening meal while their restaurant is closed for refurbishment, even though it is literally next door on the corner of South Terrace and Pultney Street. You may be aware that Fasta Pasta is an upmarket Italian restaurant franchise with its beginnings in Adelaide. Currently they have 19 restaurants Australia wide (with the majority in South Australia - we even have one in Gawler, our home town). I've never had bad food at a Fasta Pasta, and their food never looks like a franchise meal. You always feel you're at a restaurant that's a little bit more quality than your typical hotel/motel meal. Maybe it's because you don't see as much pasta based meals on an Aussie pub menu. Despite the name, it's not all pasta. I went with a basic plate of fish a

Movie Opinion: The Michael Keaton Batman Trilogy - Batman (1989), Batman Returns (1992), The Flash (2023)

The Michael Keaton Batman Trilogy on DVD. Despite its questionable CGI, troubled star, and the turmoil surrounding the DCEU's future when it was released, 2023's, The Flash does give us a new, and probably final, installment in Michael Keaton's run as Bruce Wayne/Batman. With that in mind, this holiday season, I had a real itch to spend a day binge watching what is now The Michael Keaton, Batman Trilogy .  To give you some context, I own every Batman movie (except Pattinson's The Batman ) on DVD, and every DCEU movie up to The Flash. The ones I don't own are only missing because I haven't gotten around to buying them, and they're likely still available on a streaming service I'm subscribed to. I've had Keaton's first two Batman movies in my collection for the best part of two decades but I can count on one hand how many times I've watched each. The last time was more than a decade ago.  Before I watched them recently, if you'd have asked