Danielle Smith on Being an Artist, Entrepreneur, and Staying True to Yourself
Danielle Smith has combined her love and passion of being an artist with an entrepreneurial spirit by creating Sounbag, a quality bag that transforms to accommodate her clients needs. Her inspiration has been from music producers, deejays, sound designers & engineers; the people who lay the foundation and frequency to our favorite music.
Danielle “loves making things and loves music,” so after graduating from F.I.T in New York City she found herself in a community of musicians, singers, and artists. SOUNbag came to live after a passing suggestion from friend & music producer Ski Beatz. He suggested that Danielle make him a bag, and well, the rest is history.
Artist + Entrepreneur Advice
Danielle talked about the balance artists need to find when they are also a business owner. She suggested finding a way to flow freely when it comes to creating art, but also setting aside time work in the business. Market research is important, because it teaches you who your customer is and that work needs dedicated time. As an artist develops a product, no matter what it is, you need a marketing plan with goals. Danielle talked about how many artists have a tendency to get distracted with new ideas, so you need to be disciplined and have a plan. Set aside an hour to focus on the less creative parts of the business.
It’s a pretty commonly known fact — not all people take artists seriously. Danielle said she still has people ask her what she’s going to do for a career and when she’s going to “figure it out”. In Danielle’s own words, and probably speaking for artists everywhere, “I already know what I want, and I’m doing it.” That’s a powerful statement, and one that many artists probably feel and think many times throughout their journey. “You can’t let other people’s visions and ideas dilute yours. You have to be true to yourself. And it goes over into the business as well. You have to stay authentic to yourself and your own growth.”
It can be easy to fall into a place where you have to shift who you are and what you believe in when trying to sell your products, but Danielle urges artists not to do that. Your authenticity as an artist is what makes you unique and the right people will appreciate that.
Marketing Channels That Work
Social media is a great tool, but you need to learn which ones are best for your business and how to utilize them properly for your products. Each different social media channel has so many options for businesses, that it could feel a bit overwhelming, but if you stick with the ones that will get you in front of the right audience, you know your energy is being used well.
Danielle personally used GoDaddy for all her domain purchasing as well as building her website. She enjoys the control she has over the site without having to be super tech savvy or know HTML. She said that their website options allow her to tell a story visually, exactly how she wants to, representing her brand the right way. GoDaddy’s Websites + Marketing also offers business insights that give you a break down of what to do next in your business when it comes to having an online presence.
Follow Danielle on Instagram at @sound.bag