Grow the business you’ve been wanting to in 2018!

Boosting sales and skills in the new year shouldn’t feel like a difficult task–even if Society6 is your side-hustle. A lot of it starts with getting over the fear of running a business without knowing what you’re doing. So, this month’s creative brief will focus your attention on business planning and goal setting. That way you can convert all that 2017 momentum, and everything you’ve learned, into something that actually moves the needle.



1. Establish business and creative goals now

Take early January to do this before you really get into the swing of 2018. It will help you focus more than you realize.

Pick ONE or TWO big business goal and ONE or TWO big creative goals. Really think about them because they will guide your every move for the next 12 months. These will be your north stars. It’s okay if they seem unattainable. The reason you work towards such big goals isn’t just to accomplish them, but because progress is never a straight line. We all know we benefit from being focused. If you begin to stray from your goals, you’ll know exactly how to correct course because you know exactly what you’re aiming for.

Example business goals:

  • Cover rent, phone and car bills by the end of 2018 solely with your artwork
  • Earn $1000/mo on Society6 by October 2018
  • Get commissioned by the New York Times for a 4-page, illustrated spread
  • Get 10,000 email subscribers
  • Submit your artwork to 365 interior designers (1 per day)
  • Grow your Instagram following by 20,000 fans

Example creative goals:

  • Book your first solo show
  • Secure representation w/ a creative agency
  • Self-publish your first coloring book
  • Learn how to use that super intimidating software you always curse and avoid

As you identify what YOUR goals are, you’ll learn things in the process that you didn’t even realize were problems to solve. That’s how you build a business. When you’re able to see actual progress towards your goal(s), the prospect of accomplishing the unattainable is, all of a sudden, not so crazy.

2. Build an actual business plan w/ milestones

If you take the first suggestion in this month’s Creative Brief seriously, the next natural step is to consider a business plan. If for no other reason, build a business plan so you don’t have to carry the “I don’t know what I’m doing when it comes to business” anxiety. Don’t let the unknowns follow you around if you can help it. A little learning can help resolve a lot of that.

The key to a successful business plan isn’t creating something that is hyper-complex either. In fact, quite the opposite. But it is important to understand where you’re at, where you want to be and how you’re going to get there.

I recently stumbled upon It’s an awesome resource for all things business plan related. I wanted to specifically call out this article: How To Write A Business Plan For An Artist’s Business. The founder, Tim Berry, has endless content, business plan software and even a podcast to help you succeed in whatever your business may be. This is not sponsored in any way. If you’re just dipping your feet in, give the below podcast a listen. Try to avoid doing anything else that requires your simultaneous attention. The information is great and should get your head moving in the right direction:

Then, if you haven’t gotten your fill, these three articles from our own blog should help as well:

  1. 5 Business Plan Writing Tips That’ll Get You Excited About Your Career In Art
  2. How I Made The Leap From Full-Time Employee to Full-Time Freelancer w/ BIOWORKZ
  3. Finding Balance Between Business & Creative Time w/ Advice From Top Society6 Artists

3. Always popular: Adventure

Whether it’s an illustration, photograph or typographic piece encouraging exploration, “adventure” is not slowing down in popularity. Just think about what Instagram has done for National Parks, not only in the US, but across the world. How many of us have been to, seen ads, or thought of going to Iceland? It probably wouldn’t be on our list if we didn’t see so many amazing pictures of Icelandic waterfalls and horses from everyone who has been willing to explore. Whatever your style is, see if you can incorporate the theme of adventure into the mix over the next few months.

4. On the rise: Ultra Violet

Pantone announced Ultra Violet 18-3838 as their Color of The Year 2018. We’ve seen a big uptick in vibrant neons and 90’s culture throughout 2017, so it’s not too surprising to see this as Pantone’s selection (even though the color is meant to represent the spirit of the coming year). If you’ve been looking for some color inspiration, pick up the purple’s and start adding ultra-violet to your palette. You can bet customers are looking for it just as much as Society6 Artists are having fun creating with it. Check out this Society6 artwork inspired by the color.

Tag suggestions: pantone, ultra violet, purple

5. Bookmark the Society6 Promotional Schedule

This is a repeat from last month’s Creative Brief. This is Google Doc with all the promotional information and downloadable overlay assets you need regarding active and upcoming promotions. We’ll keep this up to date so you can bookmark and use accordingly through the holidays and beyond.

Access the document here.

6. Join our Official Facebook Group, the Society6 Artist Hub

We post weekly business education, art & product tutorials, #WIP challenges, artist features, new product announcements, site updates, promotional schedule and more. Please join us!

REQUIREMENTS FOR APPROVAL: You must have at least (1) five unique designs available for sale and (2) answer all three required questions before you’ll be considered for approval. We add new members every Monday/Tuesday. Make sure you check out our Community Guidelines on arrival. They’re in the Photos section of the group.

This is not a self-promotion group. Any self-promoters will removed expeditiously. This is how we protect your ability to access the most important Society6-related info!

Join the Society6 Artist Hub here >

Remember to tag your artwork with relevant tags and titles so it can be found by customers. Check out this tutorial on How To Get Found In Search.

Ben Renschen


Formerly: Artist Development Manager at Society6