Resources and Tips for Artists and Creative Businesses
Are you an artist, maker or creative biz owner in need of guidance or business help?
I know how you feel, because I’ve been there. I set up at my first craft show and started my first handmade business in 2004. I’ve learned a lot over the years, the hard way, figuring stuff out on my own and making plenty of mistakes along the way.
Check out my educational products and the tools I use to run my business, plus plenty of free blog posts, videos, podcast episodes, and advice:
Badass Creatives are artists, makers, and creative entrepreneurs. They are supporters of indie business, ethical goods, and the handmade economy. They are geeks, freaks, and weirdos, and they don’t believe that any of those are dirty words. Badass Creatives stand for love, empathy, diversity, and equality. They believe that art, creativity, innovation, and kindness can change the world.
Listen to the Badass Creatives podcast, which features marketing and business advice for creatives, as well as interviews with a diverse range of handmade artists, performers, makers, and creative entrepreneurs.
Classes I teach
Do you sell your handmade work online? Want to sell more? Search engine optimization, aka SEO, is the process of tweaking your online shop to help your potential customers find you more easily in search engines. This Skillshare class offers an introduction to e-commerce search engine optimization specifically designed for artists, makers and online shops.
For anyone doing business online, the power of Pinterest cannot be underestimated. This 50-minute class will give beginners an overview of how Pinterest can be used to drive massive traffic to your website, blog, or online shop.
How to Make Money at Craft Shows
I first started selling my handmade goods, along with work by other artists, at all sorts of craft shows, festivals and art markets way back in 2004.
I learned a lot along the way, and now I’m ready to share it with you! In my book, How to Make Money at Craft Shows: Art Market and Craft Fair Tips & Tricks, I cover the basics of getting started selling at craft fairs, as well as how to design a great looking booth, how to give outstanding customer service and sell more, and even how to find and create additional events at which to sell your handmade work.
Products & services I use and recommend
For websites – the easy peasy way
- SquareSpace – while this website is built on WordPress, I built the Badass Creatives podcast website with Squarespace. I absolutely recommend SquareSpace as an easy-to-use, one-stop solution for creatives who don’t want to worry about a lot of technical stuff.
- Shopify – I learned a lot of stuff the hard way when I was running my e-commerce shop many years ago, and a hosted platform like Shopify is the way to go. They take care of security and software updates so you can focus on selling your creations.
For websites – the techy way
- WordPress.org – if you’re into DIY, down to the final detail, and you like to play with HTML and CSS, hosting your own website and using this open source software might be right for you. This is what I use, but it’s best for the tech savvy.
- SiteGround – web hosting starting at $3.95/month. I switched my site to this company in 2014 after getting lackluster customer support from another company. SiteGround helped me get my WordPress sites moved over with ease and every time I’ve had a question or problem, they’ve been super quick to respond.
- Thrive Themes – I use their WordPress themes and content builder plugin to make this site look great!
- Sucuri – the website firewall and security service that I use to keep my site safe.
For marketing your work
- Overnight Prints – I love their service for business cards & other printed materials. They’re fast, affordable, and they have a great quality product. I’ve been using them for years.
- Mailchimp – one of my favorite services for sending email newsletters. If you’re just getting started, this is a great option.
- ConvertKit – if you want to get fancy with e-mail segmentation and automation, this e-mail marketing tool will take you to the next level.
- Pipedrive – if you are a service-based business who works with lots of clients, a customer relationship management (CRM) platform is a must-have. I use Pipedrive.
- Hotjar – awesome tool for tracking your website traffic and optimizing for conversions (aka more sales!)
- Canva – I use the paid version of this browser-based graphic design tool, but the free version is great as well!
- Tailwind – Pinterest is the biggest social media source of traffic to my website. Tailwind is how I schedule pins in advance and keep that traffic flowing.
For organizing your digital life
- LastPass – the password manager I use to keep track of all of my login information. (I’d seriously lose my mind without this tool.)
- Xero – somehow I made it until 2016 without using any fancy accounting tools. Just Excel spreadsheets and a CPA to file my taxes annually. But when doing everything manually started to make me nutty, I switched to Xero and haven’t looked back.
- Evernote – it took me awhile to climb aboard the Evernote bandwagon, but now I’m a convert. I love having a searchable digital repository for all of my brainstorms and zany ideas.
- 10to8 – I use this free appointment scheduling tool to coordinate 1-on-1 consultations and podcast interviews. It saves so much time when you don’t have to email back and forth to figure out when the person you’re trying to meet with is available!
Helpful videos & blog posts
Smart stuff I've written elsewhere
- 5 Ways To Use Google Analytics To Improve Your Website, at Caitlin Bacher
- 5 SEO Tips To Prepare for Holiday Sales, at Caitlin Bacher
- 5 Last Minute Tips To Boost Your Holiday Sales Online, at Allyn Lewis
- 4 ways to promote your retail business before you open, at The Publicity Hound
- 5 Ways To Use Creative Conferences To Grow Your Business, at Creative Income
- Learn To Set Up Your Craft Fair Booth Quickly, at Creative Income
- Advice for Selling Jewelry: 5 Ways To Stand Out In A Crowded Marketplace, at Creative Income