“Follow your passion, and money will follow.”
You’ve probably heard this phrase before. It’s a popular one, and people love to throw it out in conversation. However, we’ve got some bad news — by and large, this isn’t the best advice. Blindly following your passions without securing any real means of making ends meet will likely result only in other issues arising. If this phrase were true, we would have no use for the term “starving artist.”
The simple fact of the matter is that you have to support yourself. You have to pay the bills, and often, that need does not line up with your particular passions. Therefore, you’re left working a job you don’t have any passion for just so you can keep the paychecks coming in, and your true passions are neglected. Perhaps you just don’t have enough free time to pursue your passions, or you’ve become discouraged and see no use investing time into something that can’t pay your bills.
Now for the good news — it doesn’t have to be this way. If you approach your passion intelligently, realistically, and with an understanding of the relationship between money and passion, you just might bring truth to that tired old phrase. In this article, we go over 13 methods to monetize your creative passion, all without sacrificing your artistic purpose and integrity. First, let’s cover some basics.
What Is My Creative Passion?
Find a job you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.
You’ve probably heard this phrase countless times, too. While it’s usually meant to inspire hope, it comes off as a slap in the face to many because they realize how unrealistic that idea truly is. Many people accept the reality that they’ll always have to separate the two things — work and passion — and will more than likely never fully support themselves financially by pursuing their creative passion.
Many people’s “passions” are activities in which they are able to show their individuality and creativity; these can range from sports and hobbies to arts and crafts. Some people wish to be performers while others wish to compose music, movies, or novels. Still others love to engage in sports, magic, video games, knitting, or any of a myriad of other fascinating activities. Then there are people with altruistic goals like curing disease, empowering others, and enlightening the masses.
All of these are excellent in their own right. However, they have little to no connection to earning you money on their own. That’s probably why many people feel so fulfilled and satisfied after participating in these activities. In general, most people don’t aspire to make a living by analyzing the stock market.
Given the chance, the average person would rather spend their time doing something that makes them feel alive or that helps others. A large number majority of individuals just want enough money to buy the things they need but don’t understand the mechanisms of the currency itself.
Regardless, figuring out your passion is not the hard part. Rather, understanding how to monetize your passion is the tricky part.
Love Alone Is Not Enough
When it comes down to it, you are not only an individual with a passion but rather an entrepreneur in the field of either entertainment or education. The challenge lies within understanding how to package your passion — and then sell it. However, even with this understanding, making a living from your passion remained a fantasy throughout the 1980s, 1990s, and even the 2000s because engaging in commerce with either of those sectors was extremely challenging.
The entertainment and education industries captivated the attention and affection of the world’s population. All of the movie theaters, video rental shops, bookstores, and television networks were owned by multinational conglomerates, and the world’s lecture halls and classrooms were all owned by a handful of mega-universities.
Clearly, there were gatekeepers in these fields and millions of talented artists and educators vying for a small number of jobs. However, everything changed with the arrival of the internet. In fact, it only took a decade to completely flip the script on these two enormous sectors. As a result of Netflix, Blockbuster Video went out of business, and many shopping centers nearly closed because of Amazon. Due to platforms like YouTube and Kindle, even the most unassuming of content creators can achieve fame and fortune.
Individuals started focusing less on each other and more on their mobile devices and computers. For the first time, you didn’t need a million-dollar agreement or fame to get on these sites, you just needed to know how to package and sell your passion.
So, how does one sell their passion?
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13 Methods to Effectively Monetize Your Passion
One of the main reasons why most people don’t make a living doing what they enjoy is because they don’t know how to. Because there are so many potential avenues for creatives to earn money from their work, it’s easy to get caught up in attempting to maximize every single one of them. Let’s take a look at some of the best ways we’ve found to turn your passion into a money-making machine.
1. Discover Your Passion
Your passion should be something you take pleasure in doing and are predisposed to succeed at. Identifying the difference between a hobby and a true passion is essential before giving up your day job. It’s not necessary to turn painting into a full-time job just because it’s something you enjoy doing. Maybe you’d be more adept at graphic design, which requires many of the same skills as painting. Don’t limit yourself! Instead, think broadly about what might work and keep an open mind.
2. Determine the Demand
Once you know what your passion is, you should assess the market demand for your skills and pick a career path. Going all in on a career path with little demand or high levels of competition might be dangerous, even if you’re very passionate about it. Nonetheless, one should not let the presence of competitors influence their decision. It is possible to establish yourself and compete easily if you are confident in your abilities and employ an effective marketing plan.
3. Research and Plan
After you find out what the demand looks like in your particular field, investigate what steps need to be taken to get started in that industry. It’s possible you’ll have to invest in specialized tools and equipment or get a degree, certification, or another form of formal recognition of your expertise. There’s also a chance you’ll need to bring on staff or go out and raise money, too. Do as much research as possible now so you can avoid problems later.
Talk to folks who are already successful in the line of work you’re thinking about entering, especially if you plan on operating in a specialized market. It is in your best interest to study the methods of those who have gone before you.
Create a thorough strategy for turning your interest into a sustainable career path. Make sure you are thorough and include the steps you must take and the funds you will need to invest in starting your business. You should always have a Plan B in place in case Plan A doesn’t work out.
4. Gain Qualification
The first step toward being taken seriously is to establish yourself as a true professional. It’s important to get the education and experience you need to make yourself marketable, as having a unique talent is no guarantee of being treated as an expert. While still employed, you can further your education by enrolling in evening, weekend, or online courses or by taking time off to complete an intense training program or internship. To keep with the theme of tired and old phrases: The more you learn, the more you’ll earn.
5. Be Flexible and Stay Motivated
You can expect bumps in the road, so prepare for them and adapt as necessary. Give people the benefit of the doubt and listen to their criticisms; you might even learn something new. Setting up an advisory board or surrounding yourself with skilled people is crucial to keeping you on track.
6. Sell Your Art
Online shopping has become the norm for a growing number of art enthusiasts, who now routinely buy everything from pricey fine art to specialized crafts. Although online sales have been on the rise across many businesses, including those related to the creative arts, the pace has been slower than in others until the past eight years. Many artists are also bypassing traditional exhibition spaces in favor of selling their work directly to the public via online platforms.
It’s not uncommon to feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of accessible possibilities across all artistic disciplines. That’s why we’ve provided our top ten favorite channels for selling art online:
7. Push Through Burnout
Everyone gets stuck once in a while. It doesn’t mean your creative spark has vanished, and it doesn’t mean you need to find a new passion altogether. This doesn’t mean forcing yourself to sit down and push through mental blocks. The perfect remedy for your creative block might just be shifting gears for a bit.
What we mean is: Don’t give up. Don’t get discouraged when something falls through or think you’ll never be able to support yourself by pursuing your passion. Take into account that you’ve been here before. You know what small setbacks look like, and you can lift yourself out of this one just like you did last time.
8. Start a Blog
Make a website or blog just for your project. You can sell your products and communicate with your audience all in one convenient location, which is entirely under your control. If you put in the hard work to build your blog and receive enough traffic, this can be one of the most profitable methods of monetizing your passion.
You might also utilize an autoresponder service such as MailChimp to collect email addresses from site visitors. Think about the impact you could make with even 50 or 100 people on your email list. It would take a long time to send individual messages to all of these folks in real life. By using an autoresponder, you can instantly communicate with a large group of people, saving you loads of time.
If you just know people will love your product, it may be wise to run a giveaway on your or your brand’s social media. People want to experience things for themselves, so giving them a small taste of what you have to offer may be just what you need to get them coming back for more.
10. Keep Your Passion Alive
There’s always a risk that, once your enterprise is up and running, you’ll lose sight of why you got into business in the first place and become bogged down in the mundane details of running it. Keep your enthusiasm alive by being involved in the things you enjoy most. If you spend too much time on routine chores that others can handle, you risk losing interest and tiring out.
Think back to the things you enjoyed most at the beginning of your journey, such as coming up with a new design or product or meeting new clients in hobbyist groups. Purposefully include those things in your ongoing position going forward. If you let your work become a chore, you risk losing interest in what originally gave you that spark.
11. Prioritize Fun
Entrepreneurs whose enterprises are founded on personal passions and interests understandably find their work to be enjoyable. However, it takes effort to keep that enjoyment alive. There’s a perceptible difference between organizations with cultures driven by truly enthusiastic entrepreneurs and others that utilize passion and fun as sales and recruiting gimmicks.
People, policies, branding, and community relations all flourish in genuine passion-driven businesses. You can’t fake the level of dedication you have to whatever it is that makes you want to get out of bed every morning, but you can work to foster an environment where that dedication may flourish. It is crucial to keep the purpose at the forefront of one’s mind and to have the fortitude to avoid getting sidetracked.
12. Hire Passionate People
Once your brand grows to the point of hiring employees, it’s important that you hire the right people. When the hiring process begins, look for people who share your enthusiasm for your passion. Finding and employing people with the same level of dedication as you will allow you to expand the company without micromanaging every move.
13. Prepare for Expansion
When you launch a company because of a passion project, it’s natural to think that you have to keep it going in the same direction to keep yourself invested. Most successful business owners, however, know that adaptability is key and that there are often multiple routes to success. Making choices that affect the company not just today, next year, or even in the next two decades is essential to creating a sustainable business.
Some people may know what their passion is before even reading this article, and some may still not know upon reaching the end. Don’t get discouraged! This article is designed to give you ideas on where to start, not where your passions lie. Only you can determine what you are truly passionate about and what gives you the most enjoyment in life. Once you accomplish this, you’ll have all the tools you need to monetize your creative passion!