How much should you plan on spending to market your craft?
This is an extremely difficult question, because every business is different. Plus, because of the highly artistic businesses of many of our readers, the rules of thumb for most businesses don’t necessarily apply.
There’s a short answer and a long answer.
The short answer is a rule of thumb. Organizations use a number as high as thirty percent of the amount they expect to earn if they’re in the developmental years of the operation. This number can be reduced to ten percent once they have a full workload. For our audience, this may translate to thirty percent of income spent on any activities to gain new “clients” (bookings, gigs, sales, etc.) until you’re primarily earning your living from your craft. At that point drop the number to about ten percent to make sure people remember you’re around. You never know when suddenly a well-paying gig may come to an end.
The longer answer to this question is that you should spend time exploring your craft and projecting your career goals. Project how much money you’d reasonably like to earn in the next twelve months. Then, target opportunities that can bring in that level of income. Constrain your budget to no more than thirty percent of what you’d earn from the opportunity. This is a difficult way for artists to think, because it demands looking at your craft as a business. Over the long run, you’ll find that your decisions about opportunities will improve and you’ll focus only on those that meet your end goal.
This is a complicated but critical topic that we’ll really explore during the second half of our upcoming Artist’s Prosperity Boot Camp, starting in early October. I’m going to be talking about this class a lot over the next few weeks because it’s a program that over the years has supported many artists in creating enormous results in their financial lives, and by extension – in their careers. Bryan and I are crazy excited to help you significantly increase your financial power – so you’ll feel confident in the ways you are handling not just your marketing, but all aspects of your creative career!