Not every student you teach is a business student. Or an engineering student. Or motivated by making money. Many of your students fall into what are now referred to as “creatives”—artists, musicians, writers, designers, performers. And you may have to take a slightly different approach to your business and entrepreneurship courses when teaching creatives.
If you have creatives in your class, these six subjects to include in your syllabi will help them be smart about their art.
1. It’s OK to make money
This is probably the biggest difference between your regular business students—who know they want to make money—and creatives, who often think that making money is selling out. You need to help them realize that starving artists don’t last very long.
2. Business planning
Many creatives may believe (wrongly) that if they just pursue their art, the world will discover them, and they’ll have a successful creative practice. In fact, planning the business side of their creative practice is just as important as planning their creative side.
3. Protecting intellectual property (IP)
Once again, creatives are intimidated by this business aspect of their practice. But they’re easily ripped off and copied. You need to provide them with at least a basic understanding of IP law and how to protect their assets.
4. Working with agents and third party sellers
Some creatives are naturally suspicious of agents who promote or sell their work or services. But agents are typically a critical part of many creative businesses—such as music, art, writing, performance. Help them understand how to vet and work with distributors.
5. Money management
Whoa—creatives are often the folks who are most uncomfortable with money and numbers, so you have to approach this carefully. But they need to know how to track their cash flow and figure out profitability of every project.
6. Contract basics
Many creatives are hired by other companies to work for them—composing music for a company’s video game, painting a mural for a restaurant, creating logos, or writing marketing copy. It’s imperative they understand how to read a basic contract or come up with a simple agreement. Most importantly, they need to know the difference between being hired on a “work for hire” basis, meaning the party paying for the creative work OWNS it or whether they’ll retain ownership of their own work.