How to Become a Creative Entrepreneur

Tips To Get Started as a Creative Entrepreneur

Woman sitting at her desk making jewelry

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A creative entrepreneur is a typical small business owner who works to implement ideas and assumes the risk to grow their own business, but focuses on creative projects and ideas. They use their creative or intellectual knowledge and skills to make an income, usually in a business or as a freelancer

The growth of online platforms and social media has enabled creative entrepreneurs to grow their businesses. Those with artistic abilities and talents now have the opportunity to earn an income with activities once considered hobbies. 

Some common examples of creative entrepreneurs include freelance writers, graphic designers, YouTubers, sellers on Etsy and Amazon, and bloggers. If you’d like to join the ranks of the growing number of creative entrepreneurs, here’s what you need to know.

Key Takeaways

  • A creative entrepreneur assumes the risk of a business that focuses on artistic or creative projects and ideas.
  • Creative entrepreneurs work in a wide variety of job types, with some common examples including YouTube video makers, bloggers, artists, photographers, freelance writers, and graphic designers.
  • There are many platforms available for freelancers and entrepreneurs, including Fiverr, Upwork, Amazon, Etsy, Redbubble, and Zazzle, to name just a few.
  • Creative entrepreneurs should determine their skillset and whether they can make money, conduct research, structure their business, and learn how to market their business.

Pros and Cons of Being a Creative Entrepreneur

Today it’s easier and more affordable to turn your knowledge and talents into income. There are many great reasons to become a creative entrepreneur including:

  • Getting paid to do something you love
  • Control over your work
  • Flexibility
  • Designing a career that fits your lifestyle goals

With that said, there can be some downsides to becoming a creative entrepreneur, including:

  • Assuming the financial risk of the business
  • Low or inconsistent income
  • Difficulty in finding a market or having to take extra time to network for opportunities
  • Additional self-employment tax and more paperwork in the form of contracts or invoices

Creative Entrepreneur Home Business Ideas

The hallmark of a creative entrepreneur business is that you tap into your intellectual or creative assets to make money. There are hundreds of different ways to do this depending on your skills, knowledge, and creativity. Here are some ways other entrepreneurs have done it:

  • Art and photography
  • Artisan crafts
  • Blogging
  • Coaching
  • Digital products (e.g., apps or web design)
  • Graphic design
  • Information products
  • Podcasting
  • Teaching 
  • Video/vlogging/YouTube
  • Writing/authorship


While these are general pros and cons for creative entrepreneurs, they can still vary depending on your industry and skills. For example, a graphic designer with several contracts may not need to spend too much time networking. Financial risk can also vary, depending on how much it costs to run your business, and may be low for some freelancers and business owners.

How To Get Started as a Creative Entrepreneur

If you’ve decided you’d like to turn your intellectual and creative assets into income, here’s how to get started:

Figure Out What You Can Offer 

Make a list of things you love to do and know well, such as doodling, singing, or playing an instrument. Remember, your idea doesn’t need to be artistic to be considered creative. It just needs to tap into your knowledge base or skill set.

Determine How Your Knowledge or Skill Can Make Money 

Can you create something to sell or freelance your talent? Maybe you can teach or inform people about it by for instance blogging, creating informative products or online courses.

You may have a skill with several ways to make money at it, and down the road, it might be a good idea to develop several incomes around your idea. But starting out, choose one and focus on that until it’s up and running.

Research To Make Sure There Is a Market That Will Pay for What You Have To Offer

In market research, you want to discover if there are people who are ready, willing, and able to buy, as well as determine the demographics, wants, needs, and interests of these consumers. For example, underwater basket weaving may be your passion, but if there’s no one who wants to buy baskets made underwater or learn about underwater basket weaving, then it’s not going to be a viable business. 

Even if you’re starting a blog where you’re offering your ideas for free, people still need to take interest. In order to make money with a blog, users will need to click on ads or affiliate offers on the website.

Write a Business Plan 

If your idea is viable, it’s time to start planning and implementing your business. That starts with a business plan that outlines what your business will offer, what is unique about your business, how your business will benefit clients/customers, what you’ll charge, your current and forecasted financial situation, your target market, and more.

Decide on a Business Name 

Depending on your business, you might use your given name or you can create a business name that describes what you offer.

Create Your Business Structure 

Many beginning creative entrepreneurs start out as sole proprietors, which is fast and easy. However, if you stick with your business, you should consider forming an LLC, which isn’t that hard or expensive and offers some protection if you get sued.

Get a Business License 

Check with your city or county government office about required licenses or permits. You should also check the zoning department to make sure it’s okay that you work from home.

Protect Your Creative Assets 

If you’re creating something, consider protecting your intellectual property. There are three types of protection depending on what you create: 1) patent for inventions, designs or formulas, 2) copyright for created works such as writing and art, and 3) trademark, usually for a name, logo, or tagline.


You can register up to 10 works with the U.S. Copyright Office with a single fee if the content has not yet been published or distributed to the public. Using the Group Registration for Unpublished Works (GRUW) to register a bundle of content can help you simplify the process. 

Set Up Your Distribution System 

In your business plan, you should have outlined how you’re going to deliver your products or services. If you make digital planners, will you sell them on Etsy or on your own website? If you’re freelancing your services, will you market them through freelance sites, or through your own website? Whatever you decide, now is the time to set it up.

Market Your Business 

Once you’ve got everything in place, it’s time to let your market know about it. Marketing is one area many creative entrepreneurs struggle with, and yet, your creativity and ingenuity can be an asset. 

The key things to remember in marketing are your target market, where they can be found, and how to reach them. Determine what they read online and the sites they visit.Then, decide whether you’ll use articles, ads, videos, or social media to reach the target market.

Online Platforms for Selling Your Work

There are many platforms available for creative entrepreneurs if you’re just getting started. Platforms like Fiverr and Upwork connect freelancers or self-employed workers with other professionals and clients in the industry. Using these platforms, you can make money by writing content or singing a jingle. 

If you're someone who design or create products, you can use Amazon or Etsy to distribute your products to customers. These sites make it easy to upload photos and information about products for sale, and they already have a customer base you can reach. 

Newcomers to certain industries may need to take specific steps to get their feet wet. For example, freelance writers can start out writing for blogs or smaller publications to gain experience and earn bylines on their content, which can eventually lead to writing for better-known media outlets. 

Graphic designers who are looking for a market can upload their designs to websites like Redbubble and Zazzle. The designs are printed on merchandise, ranging from stationary products to home decor to apparel. Artists get paid a percentage of the sale in the form of royalties.  

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the pros and cons of becoming a creative entrepreneur?

Some of the benefits of being a creative entrepreneur include being able to choose your work, having flexibility, and being able to work on projects you enjoy. On the other hand, some of the disadvantages may include having an inconsistent income, taking on financial risk, and having to deal with more paperwork andtaxes in the form of self-employment tax.

Who are some famous creative entrepreneurs?

There are many creative entrepreneurs who have made a name for themselves as they grew their business. Walt Disney created the well-known Disney brand and grew successful as a pioneer in the animation industry. 

Ree Drummond is well-known on the Food Network and has expanded her brand from The Pioneer Woman cooking show to appearing on several other shows and creating a brand for home products, as well as blogging and writing cookbooks.

Updated by Kristen Rogers
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The Balance uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. IRS. “Self-Employment Tax (Social Security and Medicare Taxes).”

  2. Penn State Extension. “Developing a Business Plan.”

  3. U.S. Copyright Office. “Group Registration of Unpublished Works.” Page 1.

  4. Redbubble. “Creativity. Community. And Sweet, Sweet Cash.”

  5.  Zazzle. “Do What You Love.”

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