What is a creative entrepreneur?

We work primarily with creative entrepreneurs.
People often ask us what sort of businesses are included in this group.
Here's the official Artist Dynamix answer...

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What is a creative entrepreneur? The ultimate definition & examples

First, a basic definition to get us all on the same page...

A creative entrepreneur is an individual who uses their creative or artistic skills to start and manage their own business, often in industries such as advertising, marketing, design, music, arts, writing, and entertainment.

They not only create something new and original but also apply innovative thinking to the management and growth of their business.

That is the standard definition of a creative entrepreneur, but it obviously goes beyond this.

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CREATIVE ENTREPRNEURSHIP IS EVOLVING

Why we needed a deeper definition of creative entrepreneurship

The standard definition of a creative entrepreneur is not enough. It leaves too many people and businesses out.

At Artist Dynamix, since we focus on using digital marketing and digital media tools to help creative entrepreneurs show up strong and succeed online using websites, social media, SEO, e-commerce, and other tools, I felt it would be important to have a clear understanding of what creative entrepreneurship means to us.

For our own sanity—and hopefully, this will help maintain yours too.

Questions like this constantly arise in our work: If a lawyer comes to us and wants a website, are they a creative entrepreneur? Or do we develop the website anyway even if we decide that they are not? 

 

There are some fields of work that most people agree fall under creative entrepreneurship. Graphic design and other types of design work are great examples.

 

There are some fields of work that most people agree fall under creative entrepreneurship. Graphic design and other types of design work are great examples.

What are the boundaries of creative entrepreneurship? Is a landscaper a creative entrepreneur? How about someone who runs a market stall in a mall?

I have worked with artists and creatives for over two decades now. As a journalist. As a web developer for creatives. As a PR consultant. And as an entrepreneur. So this question intrigues me at geek levels. 

We had to come up with a definition; a deep, all-encompassing one that recognized that creativity can be foundational to business in many way and that, because the word of work is evolving really quickly, creative entrepreneurship is evolving too…

Fungai Tichawangana

HERE'S THE ARTIST DYNAMIX DEFINITION

And so our definition
of creative entrepreneurship?

Happy creative entrepreneurs | Four faces in circles

Creative entrepreneurship is the building, growing, or pivoting of a business or social enterprise on the foundation of a creative talent or skill.

Examples of Creative Entrepreneurs

At Artist Dynamix, we have different frameworks for classifying Creative Entrepreneurs. One is the End-user framework, which looks at the main target market for each service.

Business
Services

And yes, according to us at Artist Dynamix, architects are creative entrepreneurs too.

These creative entrepreneurs offer services primarily to businesses.

  • Architects
  • Branding Consultants
  • Business Coaches
  • Commercial Photographers
  • Copywriters
  • Energy Healers
  • Event Planners
  • Furniture Designers
  • Graphic Designers
  • Illustrators
  • Landscapers
  • Marketing Consultants
  • Non-profits in the creative sector
  • Non-profits that are not in the creative sector but use creative approaches in their outreach and program delivery
  • Product Designers
  • Social Media Strategist
  • Web Developers
  • Wholesale Fashion Designers

Personal
Services

Hairdressers? But off course.

These creative entrepreneurs primarily offer services to individuals.

  • Crafters & Makers
  • Culinary Entrepreneur
  • Family Photographers
  • Fashion Designers
  • Fiction & Memoir Writers
  • Florists
  • Hair Stylist
  • Makeup Artists
  • Wedding Planners
  • Wedding Videographers

Entertainment, Media & Edutainment

A DJ at work. DJs are creative entrepreneurs too.

These Creative entrepreneurs are involved in the entertainment and media sector.

  • Actors & Actresses
  • Art Director
  • Bloggers
  • Content Creators (All industries)
  • DJs
  • Filmmakers
  • Music Studios
  • Musicians
  • Social Media Influencers
  • Writers

Can people in non-creative fields
be creative entrepreneurs?

Based on the breakdown of creative entrepreneurs given above, our answer is a definite YES.

At Artist Dynamix, we take the idea of creative entrepreneurship further. Our description for creative entrepreneurs includes people from careers that are not usually thought of as creative who are applying themselves in a creative way; for instance;

Lawyers who are creating material to make the law easy for ordinary people to understand,

Accountants who are building courses to teach entrepreneurs how to manage their finances better

Doctors who run blogs or podcasts to explain health and wellness.

Non-profits that are finding innovative ways of using content, art, business, or media to raise funds or reach out to their stakeholders.

You get the drift.

Creative entrepreneurship is not about what you do. It’s about how you do it.

Less than 1%
of creative entrepreneurs...

have a digital marketing strategy

“In over 25 years of digital marketing, less than 1% of the creative entrepreneurs I have worked with had a digital marketing strategy. Most creatives post on social media and hope for the best.”

– Fungai Tichawangana
(Artist Dynamix Founder)

 

Elements of
creative entrepreneurship

As creatives we step out into the world and share our work, then many times we retreat back into our shells because no one listened, no one read, no one watched, no one bought.

It was just over a decade ago when it first hit me that brilliant creative work can go unnoticed by the world. In fact, most of the most amazing creative work never gets any attention.

The week it hit me that creative brilliance does not equal attention or success, a friend of mine had launched a book that he had been working on for years. It was a deep, thought-provoking book. It’s launch was received by the sound of crickets.

"Creative brilliance
does not equal
attention or success..."

The other thing that keeps coming up in my work with creatives is our uneasy relationship with money. When poet, Amanda Gorman, signed a multi-million deal with Estée Lauder, there were many who said she had sold out. 

As creatives, we often pretend we are not interested in money and then we put up campaigns on GoFundMe when an emergency hits. Nothing wrong with asking for money, but we should be very clear about the value we are providing.

This led to the creation of this list
of the elements of creative entrepreneurship...

1. Creative entrepreneurship is about giving birth to value

Creative entrepreneurship involves bringing some sort of creative talent, or skill into the marketplace, putting a value on it, and using it to solve a problem or serve a need in a systematic, structured way. Through continued work, upskilling, growth in visibility, and demand from your clients, the aim is to grow that value over time.

If you want to practice your creative pursuit, and not make money from it- either for yourself or for others, that’s fine. But you’re a creative hobbyist, not an entrepreneur. 

This does not mean your work has no value. It just means you’re not an entrepreneur.

 

And yes, according to us at Artist Dynamix, architects are creative entrepreneurs too.

 

And yes, according to us at Artist Dynamix, architects are creative entrepreneurs too.

 

But, it does not stop there. In the capitalist world we live in, value, in a business sense,  may start with value as equated to money, but must not end there.  

Value is what we bring to our families and communities when our businesses succeed and operate responsibly. 

Value is the way we inspire and spread wealth when we give back. 

Value is the way we set ourselves up so that those who come after us do not have to start from scratch or clean up our mess. 

Value is how the people who work for our businesses can be honorable and upright citizens because they have jobs, peace of mind, and feel like they are contributing to something meaningful.  

Yes, many times, especially when businesses struggle, these things are hard to achieve, but we should always be working towards them.

2. Creative entrepreneurship is about service

It starts with showing up for the creative gift that the universe has given you. You honor your gift by using it, developing it, sharing it. 

Then when you develop a business around it, you focus on making sure you’re delivering good service to your clients. 

Then there’s the way you serve your team, your community, and the greater body of humanity. 

Finally, it’s the way you serve your mission. How intensely do you apply your gifts and skills to achieve the desired result? How do you treat others as you work towards your goal? How consistent and persistent are you? 

3. Creative entrepreneurship is about solving problems – creatively

If you come into the market and you’re doing things exactly the same as other businesses, then you’re not a creative entrepreneur. There has to be creativity in the way you offer your solutions. Creative entrepreneurs try out new things, build experimental products, and test new ideas. 

Another word for all this is… innovation. 

4. Creative entrepreneurship inspires more creativity

Creative entrepreneurship inspires creativity. 

In its purest form, it is a spiral loop that draws out creativity and wonder from everyone and enriches every person it touches.

This means that anyone, in any sector, engaged in any business, by adding a bit of pizazz to their ways, can become a creative entrepreneur.

You do not become a creative entrepreneur by being 50% creative and 50% entrepreneur. Nah. The math works like this; 100% creative. 100%entrepreneur. 100% creative entrepreneur. 100 to the power of 100 to the power of 100. Enough zeroes for the universe. 

 

5. Creative entrepreneurship is about monetizing a creative talent or skill

Back to money. Don’t try to avoid this. Creative entrepreneurship is about putting a monetary value to a skill, service, or product and launching it confidently into the marketplace.

Creative entrepreneurship is about making money. About owning it, sharing it, spreading it around. About making sure that more people have enough of it. About having a say in how it is spent around the world. Even if you are running a creative non-profit, it’s about money.

I repeat. You can’t run away from this. Without money or whatever its equivalent is in your world, businesses shut down. 

Photographers who set up businesses are creative entrepreneurs.

 

Most photographers who set up businesses are creative entrepreneurs.

6. Creative entrepreneurship is about structure

This means that creative entrepreneurship is also about structure. You cannot manage yourself, other people, or money effectively without structure. 

As creatives, we often move based on inspiration or when ideas hit us. 

Once you become a creative entrepreneur, you are saying you want to submit to some sort of structure. You are making a commitment to show up even when the inspiration is absent. 

You are creating a different entity that will be your business and operate separately from you, even if you are the only person it employs. This means it will have its own name, its own bank account, its own energy, and its own life.

Landscapers? Yes, we think they are creative entrepreneurs too.

 

Landscapers? Yes, we think they are creative entrepreneurs too.

Supercharge your online presence

Start with an Online Presence Audit...

Building your creative business online can often feel daunting. Where do you start? How on earth do you figure out what the best next step is?

A confused looking man

That’s precisely why an Online Presence Audit is your indispensable first step.

It offers a clear, comprehensive overview of your current digital standing, highlighting areas of strength and those in need of enhancement.

By understanding your unique digital footprint, you can lay a solid foundation for a tailored digital marketing campaign that resonates with your audience and amplifies your online impact.

Let’s begin this journey with clarity and confidence, transforming uncertainty into a strategic roadmap for digital excellence.

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If you have questions about other services related to digital marketing and online visibility, reach out and book a call with us. We'll hear you out and recommend the best tools and strategies for your non-profit.

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