In this guide, we’ll be covering everything you need to know about creative entrepreneurs.
What is a Creative Entrepreneur?
A creative entrepreneur is an individual who creates a new business in a creative field/industry, usually bearing most of the risks in exchange for enjoying most of the rewards.
Most entrepreneurs are creative in nature and often exhibit the signs of a creative person, often being innovators in their space. A “creative entrepreneur” just refers to an entrepreneur specifically in a “creative field.”
In this digital-age where all you need to make a name for yourself is a cell phone, the term creative entrepreneur has gained popularity.
In this new age, it is also where Imaginated.com was born, where our goal is to inspire and educate the digital-age creative entrepreneurs in business, artistry, and mind.
If you want to learn more about what creativity is in entrepreneurship, opposed to what “creative entrepreneurs” are, then check out our guide — Why Creativity is Important.
What is a Creative Field?
Creative fields and industries include:
- The Arts
- Graphic design
- Content creators
- eSports/Professional Gamers
- Teachers/Coaches (Online Courses)
What Does a Creative Entrepreneur Do?
Now that we know what a creative entrepreneur is and the different fields and industries they innovate in, what does a creative entrepreneur actually do?
Well, a creative entrepreneur is just an entrepreneur who begins their own business in one of these fields. They start with an idea, develop it, build it, and market it.
For example, a creative entrepreneur could be a photographer who starts their own photography business providing portraits and is able to make a comfortable living off of their own business being their own boss.
Here’s one example from Lizzi Peirce on what she does and how she makes money:
Types of Creative Entrepreneurs
Most entrepreneurs in general possess certain skill sets that allow them to thrive as entrepreneurs. The same goes for “creative entrepreneurs.”
Most entrepreneurs think creatively, are good decision-makers, are often good at leading, have a strong sense of initiative, determination, critical thinking, and are able to solve complex problems.
When thinking about the types of creative entrepreneurs, you can bucket them into 4 categories.
1. The Thought Leader
The first type of creative entrepreneur is the thought leader.
This individual is often known for being an expert or “thought leader” on a specific topic.
The thought leader is the most broad type and the other types that we’ll be discussing later can also be categorized as a thought leader if they try to dive into the realm of teaching/educating on their craft.
For example, being a thought leader on investing in cryptocurrencies.
The thought leader is able to grow their brand image and brand loyalty through the information and knowledge that they provide — often being valuable information that you can’t find anywhere else.
It’s crucial that the thought leader comes from a place of good in terms of education and that they don’t cross the line between being a teacher and a fake guru.
It is important that the thought leader also has credibility in their field.
2. The eComm Guru
The second type of creative entrepreneur is the eComm Guru.
This individual most likely knows the ins and outs of Shopify, Woocommerce, Stripe, Google Ads, Facebook Ads, and other paid ad platforms.
The eComm Guru often engages in dropshipping or Amazon FBA to make their money as well as selling coaching sessions or courses to other individuals looking to become eComm gurus.
This field is the most prominent when it comes to fake gurus who advertise a course or teaching session that is worth a lot. The course often promises the student will be rich after taking it.
Most eComm gurus try to become thought leaders in this sense, however, the field has become very saturated so it’s important to perform due diligence on a thought leader to see if they are credible or not.
3. The Artist
The third type of creative entrepreneur is the artist.
This individual cares about their art and producing and sharing their art with the world.
This individual can be a photographer, designer, artist, painter, etc.
The artist often uses platforms such as Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, Facebook, etc. to showcase their art.
In order to stand out as an artist, many turn to becoming thought leaders and entertainers to gain brand awareness as an artist, but at the core their art comes #1 to them.
4. The Entertainer
The fourth type of creative entrepreneur is the entertainer.
The entertainer often cares about providing value to others through entertainment.
Entertainers can also be described as content creators.
Entertainers often utilize all the platforms available to them to entertain such as YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, Facebook.
Thought leaders, eComm gurus, and artists can also become entertainers as a way to showcase their information or art.
How Does a Creative Entrepreneur Make Money?
The beauty of the digital-age is that creative entrepreneurs can make money from a variety of different channels and platforms.
The most common ways entrepreneurs make money is from selling their main product or service, ads, affiliate marketing, sponsored content, selling digital products.
1. Selling Main Product or Service
The first way creative entrepreneurs make money is from the selling of their main product or service.
For example, if you are a photographer, then it’s making money from the actual photoshoots.
If you are a graphic designer, then it’s making money from working with clients providing them designs for logos, web pages, etc.
The second way creative entrepreneurs make money is from advertising.
The advertising industry is a $138 billion dollar industry and it isn’t going anywhere.
If a creative entrepreneur wants to become a thought leader or an entertainer, they will often use a website, a YouTube channel, a Facebook page, an Instagram page, etc. to promote themselves.
It is on these platforms and channels that you can make money by setting up ads.
For example, if you have a YouTube channel that starts to drive a lot of traffic, you can set up ads on your account and make money based on people watching your videos.
The more traffic you drive the more money you make from ads.
3. Affiliate Marketing
The third way creative entrepreneurs make money is from affiliate marketing.
The affiliate marketing industry is a $12 billion dollar industry.
Affiliate marketing is also known as referral marketing.
It is when you promote a product or service from another company and if a user were to buy the product or service, then you would receive a little commission.
The most popular affiliate programs include Amazon Affiliate, Clickbank, CJ Affiliate, and more.
For example, if you are a fashion content creator, you could post a picture on Instagram with a certain outfit and tell users they can buy that outfit from Amazon and that there is a link to it in your Instagram bio.
You provide an affiliate link to the outfit using a special URL code provided by Amazon. If users were to buy through your URL then you would receive a commission.
You can place these affiliate links anywhere so it’s just about getting eyeballs on the link.
You can decide to build an audience through YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, a website, etc. and then provide affiliate links to your audience through these channels.
4. Sponsored Content
The fourth way creative entrepreneurs make money is from sponsored content.
Sponsored content is similar to regular ad placements such as display and banner ads, however, sponsored content is a bit more natural because it stays consistent with the theme surrounding the content on a video or webpage.
For example, a popular YouTube photographer sponsoring Squarespace in their video and promoting their website building platform for their photography site.
5. Selling Digital Products or Services
The fifth way creative entrepreneurs make money is from the selling of digital products or services.
Once a creative entrepreneur’s brand has grown enough, they could start selling digital products or services that are aligned with their brand.
For example, a popular digital service is an online course, eBook, guide, etc.
Another example of a digital product could be a photographer or videographers selling Photoshop Overlays or Lightroom Presets based on their editing styles.
How to Become a Creative Entrepreneur?
So how do you become a creative entrepreneur?
Well since a creative entrepreneur is essentially just an entrepreneur in a creative field, it’s the same way you become a “regular” entrepreneur.
It all starts with an idea.
What value do you want to provide to the world and what problem are you trying to solve.
At the heart of every business venture, it is about providing value and solving an unfilled need.
Your product or service should provide value and solve this unfilled need that a target audience has.
It is then taking your product or service and then providing it to the world through marketing strategies and tactics.
So in this case, as a creative entrepreneur, it is about taking your craft, whether it be photography, graphic design, or painting and transforming it into a business that you can live off of full-time.
Tips for Creative Entrepreneurs
1. Workings of a Company
The first tip for creative entrepreneurs is to have a basic understanding of the workings of a company.
As an entrepreneur, especially in the beginning while you get your company off of the ground, you will have to wear many hats.
In a full-fledged company, there are many departments each with their own set of responsibilities.
There is the marketing department, sales department, finance department, human resources, C-suite, etc.
By knowing all of the people it takes to start a company, you know what you have to do and the hats you will have to wear based on the company you are trying to start.
For example, with Imaginated.com, we are a digital media company so we do not have any physical products or services at the moment.
Our goal and our service is providing top quality information to help you grow your personal brand.
With that being said, we do not need a sales team or human resources team because we are a very small team.
Our biggest focus is on marketing, finance when it comes to accounting, and a C-suite position when it comes to thinking big picture goals and ideas with the CEO.
2. Have an Understanding of Marketing
The second tip for creative entrepreneurs is to have an understanding of marketing.
Marketing will allow you to bring your product or service “to market.”
If you have the world’s greatest product or service, but no one can find it or knows about it due to a lack of marketing, is it really the world’s greatest product or service?
Marketing is like a wheel and there are certain cogs in the wheel that you need to understand to see how the machine works.
For example, the components of marketing discussed in our Marketing Framework Guide include:
It is important to know how each works together to create a marketing framework. If you alter one, it alters the rest.
3. Know Your Digital Channels
The third tip is to know your digital channels.
In this digital age, there are many platforms and channels to keep up with.
We have Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, TikTok, Clubhouse, creating a website, etc.
It’s important to keep your ear to the ground and stay in the loop so you can know which channels you will use to market your business on.
The fourth tip is motivation.
Being a creative entrepreneur has never been easier but it has also never been as confusing.
What I mean by this is that there is a lot of false information out there and fake gurus looking to make a quick buck based off of your inexperience — promising you riches after you take their course.
Frankly, it’s disgusting — but I guess everyone has to make a living right?
That’s why Imaginated.com was created, to provide high-quality information surrounding business, artistry, and mind to creatives for free. If this interests you, sign up for our free newsletter.
What is a Creative Business?
With all that’s been discussed, I think we can define a “creative business,” as a business that is in the creative industry.
So as mentioned, it is a business that revolves around being in one of these fields:
- The Arts
- Graphic design
- Content creators
- eSports/Professional Gamers
- Teachers/Coaches (Online Courses)
We hope you enjoyed this guide on creative entrepreneurs.
We hope you find success as a creative entrepreneur!
Nate Torres is an entrepreneur, growth marketer, and photographer and writes mostly on those topics. Nate used to run his own professional photography business called Nate Joaquin Photography but has since focused on the marketing and business aspect of photography although he still enjoys taking photos. Nate enjoys learning about new digital marketing strategy and new ways to think creatively. He is also a photography speaker and author on Photofocus.com.