Elevator Glasgow 14
"We can all agree that we need a better and brighter world as we untangle the COVID-19 web. The question is: how do we make that happen remotely?"

Lynne Martin Creative Accelerator Project Manager

There are a number of reasons individuals set up creative businesses. But, one common theme shared by creatives - whether they are visual artists, musicians, jewellers, designers, craftspeople or the myriad parts of the creative sector I haven’t mentioned, is that that they have a skill that they believe makes the world a better, brighter place.

On the 1st April the Scottish government and Edinburgh City Council made an ‘unavoidable’ yet heart-breaking decision to cancel the 2020 Edinburgh Fringe Festival - a huge hit for Scotland, both culturally and economically.

Not only does this mean that this August thousands of performers will be without a space to showcase their work, but the crafters, stall holders, and all other associated businesses and markets will suffer from lack of income. For many of us, a creative and money-making linchpin of our year has been removed.

We can all agree that we need a better and brighter world as we untangle the COVID-19 web. The question is: how do we make that happen remotely?

  1. Helping vs selling: With your product or service, you can make people feel a little brighter in a difficult time. Ask yourself how you can help your customers and clients, rather than how you can sell to them. This mindset shift will open up possibilities for your business you might not have once considered.
  2. Bear in mind that not everyone is in your circumstances: The perception of many creatives I’ve spoken to lately has been the same - ‘Everyone’s broke’. That is not true. Work may have stalled for your social circle, but it’s not the same for everyone. There are a lot of people working from home making monthly savings, because suddenly they’re not spending money commuting, going out for lunch twice a week or to the pub at weekends. They have cash to spend on art lessons, gigs, dance classes or something beautiful to make them feel good!
  3. Keep it simple: Make sure your online purchasing journey is as easy as possible for your customers. Having to go through multiple links on social media to get to a website that redirects you to an Etsy page isn’t the slickest journey. Make a plan on how to streamline your purchasing process, if you need to.
  4. Get paid: Charge a fair price for your work. Set up a Patreon (a membership platform), put paywalls on performances, build your time and expertise into your pricing. If you want to have a tiered or donation system for classes/performances, make your suggested donation clear.

The contribution creatives make now to society has never been clearer, or indeed necessary.

For those of you who have the disposable income to spare: turn off Netflix and Disney+ , check out how you can support the creative community from the comfort of your own home. Attend your first paid for gig in your own living room. Treat yourself and your loved ones to something made by a local artist. Buy gift vouchers for a pottery class or silver smith lessons for later in the year.

What we are moving through right now won’t last forever, but the effect of how we support local businesses at this time will be felt for a long time to come.

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