4 Simple Tips for Monetizing Your Creativity

Despite what we may sometimes think, you don’t have to be an artist to be creative. We all have a creative spark inside us — from authors to entrepreneurs, we just have different ways of expressing that creativity.

In reality, creativity means you have the ability to use your imagination to solve problems or come up with new ideas. Of course, while it’s easy to understand how problem-solving skills can be used to generate business ideas, it can sometimes be harder to find ways to monetize what is traditionally thought of as being creative, such as music, poetry or painting.

If you consider yourself a creative person, you’ve probably spent a fair amount of time trying to figure out how you can stand out and turn this into a legitimate source of income. In 2022, there are more avenues for this than ever before.

1. Find a practical application for your creative skills.

The first step in monetizing your creativity is to identify a practical application for what you do. For example, if you enjoy photography, you might consider applying your skills to become a portrait or wedding photographer. Alternatively, if you take landscape photography, a practical application could be selling your photos for people to display in their homes.

Naturally, you’ll need to achieve a certain skill level before people are willing to pay money for your creative output. After you’ve identified a way that you could make money from your creative efforts, consider what you will need to do to improve your work. Additional classes or practice may be needed for others to find your creative works to be worth the investment.

2. Identify what makes your creative output unique.

Every business needs a unique selling point — something that sets it apart from other similar businesses in its niche. The same is true of trying to monetize your creative endeavors. Identifying what makes your creative output unique will help you know how to market yourself and help your work stand out to your audience.

You can start by asking friends or family what they like about your work, or what stands out the most to them about it. It may also be helpful to look at work that is similar to what you produce to identify differences and similarities.

Your uniqueness could be the sense of humor you bring to your video content, or the use of unique materials to create stunning works of art. Even your subject matter can be a differentiating feature. Focusing on what makes you different gives you a solid starting point for building your creative brand.

3. Use online tools to improve the quality of your creative works.

The internet has truly leveled the playing field for creatives — particularly those who take advantage of online tools that help them showcase their creativity. This became especially apparent during a recent meeting with Zeev Farbman, co-founder, and CEO of Lightricks. 

Farbman and his company have designed a series of apps to help social media storytellers edit and create engaging video content, allowing amateurs to create professional-level quality video. In our conversation, He explained how different apps and tools give creative individuals access to produce higher-quality creative content without needing to invest in expensive professional equipment.

With specialty editing tools available for photos, artwork and more, creative individuals have more resources available than ever before to upgrade the quality of their content so that their audience will consider it worth paying for.

4. Find the right business model for your creative output.

The business model for someone who produces clever social media videos will vary drastically from someone who hand-knits clothing. 

In this example, the clothing creator would likely want to sell her products on Etsy or at local craft fairs. The video creator, on the other hand, would be more likely to be able to monetize her content by producing sponsored videos. Look to others in your niche to identify successful monetization practices for your specific type of creative output.

Your creativity doesn’t have to remain a hobby …

By evaluating your skills and interests, you can find practical applications for what you do and broadcast your creative works to the world. By combining a strong online platform with the appropriate business model, you can turn your creativity into a viable way of earning money in 2022 and beyond.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.