As we all know, in a matter of weeks, the Coronavirus pandemic has intruded our countries, cities, places of work, and even schools. COVID-19 is changing the daily lives of many...ESPECIALLY creative entrepreneurs.
As a creative myself (obviously, right?), I too am experiencing the impact of this virus. Cancelled/postponed events, “missed” opportunities, etc. It is a lot to take in and a lot to adjust to, I know. While I do not have all the answers to getting our lives back to “normal”, I have included a few things that could help creatives (and things that non-creatives can do to continue to support entrepreneurs) in need!
EMERGENCY FUNDING FOR ARTISTS IN NEED
Many art galleries, independent artists, and art-based foundations across the country are forming emergency funding campaigns for artists who are incurring losses due to the social impacts of this virus. Be it cancelled shows, vending events, expos, etc., Artwork Archive has compiled a list of financial relief resources available to artists during this chaotic time. Whether you draw, paint, act, or perform, many organizations are willing to help you stay afloat in this time of need. You can find the list of participating organizations here.
If you are a North Carolina based creative of ANY kind, the Visual Art Exchange in Raleigh is also seeking donations and artists to support weekly through their emergency fund that can be found here.
PLANNING & ORGANIZATION
Now is a perfect time to set out some business and personal goals. This is the planner I swear by. I have been using it for almost a year now and it has seriously helped me organize both my personal and professional life and to plan my future accordingly (it’s also on sale!). This brand is Black woman owned, which was more of a reason leading to my purchase. You can get yours here.
When you are devising your new plans and strategies, make sure your goals are S.M.A.R.T goals. Meaning your goals are Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-based. You can make sure your goals adhere to these requirements by asking yourself questions such as:
- What exactly do I want to accomplish? (Specific)
- Can I track my progress? (Measureable)
- Is this goal realistic? (Attainable)
- Does my goal align with my company mission? (Relevant)
- What is my deadline? (Time-based)
SOCIALLY DISTANT INTERACTIONS
A lot of creatives are worried about losing customers or experiencing a decrease in engagement during this time; if anything, now is the best time to get to know your audience. Use this free time to your advantage! This is a great time to get active on social media. Consider building new online platforms. TikTok is an app that is sweeping the nation, as I'm sure we all know. Many artists, however, are not taking advantage of this new wave. Uploading videos of your processes or videos that members of your niche community can relate to could help gain exposure, invoke networking, and help you to get more involved with your audience. With the entire country under quarantine, phone use is heightened which means it's your time to shine.
I AM NOT A CREATIVE...HOW CAN I HELP?
There are tons of ways you can help your favorite entrepreneurs in this time of uncertainty. Many creatives rely solely on the income from their ventures to survive. A simple purchase goes a long way! It may not seem like much to you, but one order can help someone pay a bill, buy groceries or even fill their gas tank. Your creative friends need you more than ever right now! Consider also providing donations to your favorite small business owners.Even if it is mot a monetary donation, many artists are in need of supplies at this time. Check your local Michael's and Hobby Lobby locations for great deals! However, if you are not able to provide financial support, there are still ways you can help.
While liking and commenting on your friend’s post on social media is helpful, sharing their work is more beneficial. When you share an artist’s work, you are promoting them to a different set of eyes! This helps them potentially gain more followers and interactions, which could lead to new customers!
YOU DON’T HAVE TO LISTEN TO ME, THOUGH
While many people are using this time to work hard and get ahead, this may not be the vibe for everyone. For those who have been going hard all year, consider using this time to rest. The stress of this pandemic is enough on its own. Do not feel pressured into producing an abundance of content, regardless of the tips given in this blog or anyone else who tells you what you have to do. We are all operating on our own individual timelines. One person's path is not always going to be the same as yours. Listen to your body. If you are tired, this is the perfect time to relax and recuperate.Take care of yourself. Stay healthy and safe.