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EXECUTION Artists journey [Nicholas Cato]

NicholasCato

Contributor
Oct 31, 2018
56
54
109
So this is my progress thread. I’m about more than half way through millionaire fastlane and so far I’ve learned a lot and I’m ready to get to work.

I’m a freelance artist who grew tired of the freelance race to the bottom. I would see tons of talented artists working for pennies who would probably live a great life if they just had a spec of business sense.

I gave up freelancing a year ago, got a day job and took a step back as to what I really wanted to do with the art skill I developed.

What I discovered is that I want the financial freedom to make anything I want without the thing having to be my meal ticket for the next couple of years. I want to make money from my art, so I can spend more time exploring my craft, exploring the world, filtering it through my perspective, and funding my projects myself through my fastlane business (if that makes any sense)

The most treaded path for artists who’ve accomplished this is obviously to build a name and style, sell prints, art books, constantly market, raise prices as brand grows, rinse repeat etc.

I’m not ready to start selling physical collections of work just yet so I thought I would try and find a need my art can fill where most artists aren’t looking. Where I can make a focused set of pieces I can sell digitally to an underserved market.

I’m also new to actually treating my art business as a business so please bare with me on this journey. I’m learning as I go.



Digital products

After searching for a need my art can fill, I came across a platform that sells collections of 2D images for video games. Things like, plants, swords, items, monsters, buttons, etc. that developers can buy and use in their work copyright free.

The platform allows any artist to upload their work and the artist receives 80% of the profit from the sale.

After looking through the selection of the products I noticed that whole genres of video games had little to no products listed and the few there lacked the level of quality I could bring to them.

So right now I’m currently working on a collection of 50 images for one of these untapped genres to test the waters.

I’m trying a bunch of things right now, from POD t-shirts to digital sticker packs. Really trying to find out where my art can give the most value, and what obeys the CENTS commandments the best.

Any recommendations, tips, critiques are welcome.

- Nicholas
 

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Paladin

Bronze Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Speedway Pass
Oct 23, 2018
82
304
161
It's awesome to see an artist on here developing a monetization strategy.

To experience true success, you'll need to find a way to remove the middleman.

Although you can't to it right out the gate, you need a long-term plan for selling your models and graphics directly to your customers. Build out your own platform, sell directly from your website and you can move into the fastlane.

The problem with this type of marketplace is that it's a race to the bottom. As more artists upload images of trees, prices will start to drop. Anytime you are competing with other graphic packs, there is a downward pressure on your price.

While looking for a hole in the market is smart, that might not be what you're seeing here. It might be that certain types of video games don't USE royalty free assets or they simply don't shop on that website. That might be the reason you're not seeing that type of product there right now.

When you don't control the source of traffic, your data will always be limited. HOWEVER, you can reach out to the platform and see what they need. I'm sure they get contacted by developers saying, "I wish you had X asset" all the time.

Whenever a marketplace doesn't have what I want, I email them and ask if they can get it.

You can then start building your product based on true need, rather than just perception. And if it turns out that you're right about your first ideas, now you have confirmation AND your on the radar of the marketplace.

Make sure that you have tight branding and are REACHABLE.

Nearly all the graphics on my site are by a single artist from Eastern Europe. His username on every stockphoto site is the same, so I tried to hunt him down to send in some requests.

I messaged him on every platform I could find and I'm pretty sure I messaged the right Facebook profile...but all I heard back was Crickets. I'm still paying pennies per image, but he lost a higher paying gig because he was unreachable.

Your username on this site MUST be the same as your domain name. Make yourself really findable because people will reach out if you let them. This is how people can see your other offerings on your site.

Make it clear whether or not you do commissions, but I would be open to it. Just charge what you want.

Are your designs exclusive with this marketplace or can you sell the same content other places or on your own site like stock photos?

Make sure you are clear on the "rules" especially about pricing.

With my hostel, we charge the customer 15% more if they use a booking website instead of our direct tool. The last time I was in Thailand, my favorite hotel was MORE expensive on their own website than on the aggregator.

So they lost 15% of the sale by being dumb.

If you can offer bonuses in the packs you sell directly from your site (either in the form of lower prices or more images or higher resolution) you can start to capture sales from people who move from the marketplace directly to you.
 
OP
OP
NicholasCato

NicholasCato

Contributor
Oct 31, 2018
56
54
109
It's awesome to see an artist on here developing a monetization strategy.

To experience true success, you'll need to find a way to remove the middleman.

Although you can't to it right out the gate, you need a long-term plan for selling your models and graphics directly to your customers. Build out your own platform, sell directly from your website and you can move into the fastlane.

The problem with this type of marketplace is that it's a race to the bottom. As more artists upload images of trees, prices will start to drop. Anytime you are competing with other graphic packs, there is a downward pressure on your price.

While looking for a hole in the market is smart, that might not be what you're seeing here. It might be that certain types of video games don't USE royalty free assets or they simply don't shop on that website. That might be the reason you're not seeing that type of product there right now.

When you don't control the source of traffic, your data will always be limited. HOWEVER, you can reach out to the platform and see what they need. I'm sure they get contacted by developers saying, "I wish you had X asset" all the time.

Whenever a marketplace doesn't have what I want, I email them and ask if they can get it.

You can then start building your product based on true need, rather than just perception. And if it turns out that you're right about your first ideas, now you have confirmation AND your on the radar of the marketplace.

Make sure that you have tight branding and are REACHABLE.

Nearly all the graphics on my site are by a single artist from Eastern Europe. His username on every stockphoto site is the same, so I tried to hunt him down to send in some requests.

I messaged him on every platform I could find and I'm pretty sure I messaged the right Facebook profile...but all I heard back was Crickets. I'm still paying pennies per image, but he lost a higher paying gig because he was unreachable.

Your username on this site MUST be the same as your domain name. Make yourself really findable because people will reach out if you let them. This is how people can see your other offerings on your site.

Make it clear whether or not you do commissions, but I would be open to it. Just charge what you want.

Are your designs exclusive with this marketplace or can you sell the same content other places or on your own site like stock photos?

Make sure you are clear on the "rules" especially about pricing.

With my hostel, we charge the customer 15% more if they use a booking website instead of our direct tool. The last time I was in Thailand, my favorite hotel was MORE expensive on their own website than on the aggregator.

So they lost 15% of the sale by being dumb.

If you can offer bonuses in the packs you sell directly from your site (either in the form of lower prices or more images or higher resolution) you can start to capture sales from people who move from the marketplace directly to you.

Thank you so much for the tips! This is exactly what I had in mind long term which was to slowly migrate the audience I build to the brands main website. It’s awesome to have those ideas confirmed by someone experienced haha.

Some of the more higher quality packs have minute long promo videos of the product. I have experience in motion graphics so I’m going to blow 90% of my competition out of the water with my presentation.

Every promo video I have will advertise the main site and email. I’ve also had the idea of given the consumer an incentive to buy from the main site. Even had the idea of offering a pack for free if they subscribe to my newsletter ;)

I agree I should find some hard data on what’s needed instead of just jumping into what I think they need. I’ve been burned like this before. Luckily the platform has a forum so I can ask the developers themselves. Thanks again!
 
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OP
NicholasCato

NicholasCato

Contributor
Oct 31, 2018
56
54
109
Dec 5th 2018

At this moment I’m scouring through fastlane forums looking for any resources that can help me better find a place where my art skill is needed.

It’s so exciting to see so much opportunity, so many worlds I could possibly be of service too.

My main goal is to find something that detaches my time from making money. A digital art product I can sell to a commercial niche that’s in desperate need and willing to pay top dollar for a quality product.

My problem is art is such a personal thing. It almost always requires some aspect of personalization. A logo for a plumbing business wouldn’t necessarily work for a law firm or visa versa.

That’s my biggest hurdle. Finding a niche that needs stock art, but doesn’t necessarily need it to be so personal to their brand or business. Does something like this even exist?


Guess we’ll find out.
 
Last edited:
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OP
NicholasCato

NicholasCato

Contributor
Oct 31, 2018
56
54
109
Dec 19th

So in the past two weeks I’ve been discovering new lanes that are more need focused instead of doing what I want to do and then finding a market afterwards.

I’ve found a potential fastlane in the education industry that meets all the need focused questions I should be asking myself.

I was able to get into contact with a professional working in education for over 8 years and she said there’s definitely a place for my unique product.

Now before I do anything else, I have to produce an email list of people who’d buy this product and test it out
 

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