Creating Multiple Revenue Streams
Surviving as an artist is a financially challenging crusade as anyone who makes a living solely off their art can
and will tell you. Very few of us will just get “lucky.” It takes a lot of thought, a lot of determination and a level head to create a revenue stream for your
work that can free you to focus on your craft. It’s the difference between
waking up every day to play and waking up to go to work at a desk or to serve someone their dinner. As artists we don’t like being told what to do, so we need to create financial independence through
our creativity so that we can remain in the driver’s seats of our lives. Think of how much you grow when you work on
your art two hours a night. Imagine how you could grow if you were working eight
to ten hours a day on your artistic career. It’s time to create this scenario.
income is the greatest gift an artist can ask for. Residual income is the income
generated from work already done. An actor gets residual income from a studio
or advertising agency (often for years) for a single day’s work. By looking
for the right kind of work that pays you residual income you can put yourself in a position where future revenue can come
your way. Doing this time after time can generate revenue for years to come. A little bit from several areas can provide enough for you to quit everything else
and live the career life you want.
By using the Going Fishing Technique* you can begin to create these multiple revenue streams. Determine what products you offer as an artist that are valuable to others.
If you are an actor you want to be auditioning for commercials, television and film projects. By auditioning for all three you set up the possibility of future money with each booking you grab. You may only work on one commercial, one television show and one film in any one year
(even after auditioning one or two hundred times), but these revenue streams can generate thousands or tens of thousands of
dollars. A single day’s work on a top television show that goes into syndication
can pay you six to ten thousand dollars over five or six years. A single commercial
can you earn you five, ten or twenty-thousand in a single year and it opens you to the possibility of renegotiation on your
contract which can offer you additional money the next year. A single day on a popular film that gets a national release and
then goes to DVD can generate five to ten thousand in two or three years. It’s
a numbers game that you have to be willing to play. Each single booking of a
single day can pay you a tremendous amount and those checks arrive in the mail like free money. Make sure that you are setting yourself up to get these small jobs that can amount to big freedom. Then
let them compound and together they can pay your living expenses.
Ownership in projects you work on is another great way to build future possibility.
If you are an artist working for free make sure you are contracted to own a percentage of the final result even if
it’s tiny. You never know who is going to see it and make it into a larger
project. Great short films go on to become features. Great ideas get revisited (sometimes years down the road). If you contract yourself to own portions of
these then you set yourself up for future financial participation.
An actor working for free on a film can ask for percentage points of ownership in the concept for their time and energy. This creates greater responsibility on the part of the actor to make sure the project
turns out well which is great for the producers. It also sets the actor
up so that in the future if the project gets made into a larger project, the actor gets paid for helping to get it to that
place. Make sure that you are contracted and tied to the concept and then help
the filmmakers to be successful with the material.
Confidence in your talent will help you to ask for what you are entitled to.
If you do not have enough confidence yet you are not doing enough. Experience
breeds confidence. You are the artist. Many people will benefit from seeing your
heart and soul. Make sure that you benefit from the profits by doing your homework
and negotiating an intelligent deal that respects the time and work that you put into each project.
Remember that you can create financial freedom one day at a time. It
does not happen over night. Make sure that every project you work on gives you
the possibility for financial remuneration in the future and this reward will add up to the freedom you are seeking. Fight for what you believe in and be willing to generate these contracts yourself. You are the only one looking out for your interests until you can hire a team of people,
so put in the time now to get you to the point where you won’t have to worry about it.
*Going Fishing refers to casting out numerous lines of possibility
that can come back to stimulate you and reward you and push you into working harder on your career. Every time we want something as an artist, the best way to get it is to create multiple avenues of possibility. Because everything we do is interpreted differently by every person we reach, we have
to communicate to many people to find those who appreciate what it is that we do. The
lines that come up empty do not matter. It is only the lines that bring back
nibbles or catches that we care about. And when we learn to pair up the fish
that we catch, we learn how to prepare a feast. Eventually the fish get bigger as we learn to use our best bait. And as we get better, we learn how to cast nets into the water and scoop the fish up ten at a time. The goal for some will be to catch enough for dinner. Some want to own the entire ocean. Both need to cast our their
lines of possibility every day.