Five More Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting my Art Business

Marc Godfrey-Murphy

You might remember at the start of the year I shared a blog post about the five things I wish I knew, when starting my art business... well to be honest, there are a lot more. So, let's dive in as I uncover a few more truths, I wish I knew about before I started my indie business designing prints, cards and stationery... (make sure you get right to the bottom of this article, because I'll be sharing some really cool links you will want to know about.)

Things I Wish I Knew Before I Set Up MarcoLooks

1) Find Your Tribe...

When I started out, it was a lonely business. When I worked in a team, I completely took for granted how much I need to be around people. I looked for groups and communities to join in my area. I was really lucky to find York Printmakers, then the York Etsy group. But as soon as I started socialising (online) with members of Pedddle and especially Indie Roller, that's when I felt I started to soar. I suddenly had a support network that was in a similar boat to mine. I'm not sure I would be where I am without their help to be honest. Not only are they a super lovely group of people able to offer help and advice when I need, but they get it, they get me. I've learnt so much, and grown so much as a business because of them. So, find your people. Go to network meet ups (when it's safe to, obviously). Get out there, find other indie biz people to mix with, going through the same thing.

2) Set Up a Separate Bank Account...

When I started, I used my regular bank for my outgoings and income. I kept all my receipts and logged everything on spreadsheets. It was a hassle, but it was fine. But then, omigoodness, THEN, I set up a separate bank account for all MarcoLooks related biz and everything changed. I'm so much more efficient at running my finances. I can see really quickly how the business is doing and where my slow spots are across the year, in a much easier way then before. Definitely, start a business bank account, as soon as you can. They're really easy to set up (or at least, mine was). It makes life so much easier. Total no brainer.


3) Don't Compare Your Beginning With Someone Else's Middle...

This is so much easier said than done, right? When I started, I really looked up to fellow indie businesses and saw how successful and how COOL their business was, and I wanted the same for mine. I berated myself for being able to afford vast amounts of products, for not being (or knowing about) at all the events, for not having all the enquiries it seemed they have too. I was an idiot. Chill out! Everyone has to start somewhere, and the indie businesses I was fixated on had worked their way up to it, they were well into their "journey", and I was just starting. Of course, they were going to be more successful! It sounds really obvious, but don't compare. Just don't.

4) Your Value as an Artist Doesn't Correlate with How Many Instagram Followers You Have...

A few times, people have said to me "how can I get more Instagram followers". I was taken aback, mainly because I'm not exactly an influencer over here! But my instant response was "why?"...and the answer tends to come back with a blank expression. I think there's come sort of code of expectation, that more followers mean more popularity, means more sales. However, here's something I've learned; a lot of those big accounts may have high numbers of followers, but they don't have high people engaging with them. In other words, it's like they're playing to a theatre full of people, but everyone is asleep, no one is listening (therefore no one is buying). However, if you're playing to a small crowd, but they engage with you, they respond to your posts, they like what you have to say...that's your audience. That's where your sales are. Focus on your community, no matter how big. You are important and special, and your worth isn't valued upon the number of followers you have! Your audience love you. That's value!

5) Listing Products on Your Website is Super Boring...

Omigooooosh! If I could outsource one thing, it would be uploading products to my website (and etsy). Gah! It's dull, isn't it? Spoiler alert, I have a few things in my studio that I know should be on my website. Le gasp! Instead they are sat like little piles of burning cash on my stock shelves, mainly because I just can't face the admin rigmarole of uploading. It's tedious. It's boring. I do however have a strategy! I eat the frog (a nice term, coined by Indie Roller) by making sure I have a few items to add all in on go. I play my favourite tunes, get a really good coffee, perhaps a favourite snack (which basically means, anything with peanut butter) and go for it. Those items sat on my shelf, will certainly be in my webstore very soon, my friends!


That's all I have for now. I'll be back soon with more bites of wisdom I've learnt along the way. Until then, have a brilliant <whatever day it is> 

Love, Marc xx


Oh, by the way...

>> If you're an artist/illustrator, you probably should know that I’ve recently launched a print swap for other illustrators and artists:

>> You can find out more about Greetings Cards Subscription box here:

>> You can subscribe to my VIP mailing list (for first looks before anyone else, very exclusive offers and some other surprises I’m working on) here:


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