Influence to Commerce: 5 Tips on How to License Your Work
How to License Your Work
Mixbook recently hosted an educational panel event in Los Angeles for entrepreneurs, artists, and creators alike. We brought together five powerhouse women in the Instagram community that have all had experiences in licensing their brand and artwork to grow beyond the ‘gram. Led by our moderator Tara Nearents of @radandhappy, we were joined by wedding blogger and designer Jen Campbell of @greenweddingshoes, designer Joy Cho of @ohjoy, licensing agent Kim Muroff of @hightidebrands, and our very own Mixbook Director of Marketing Leslie Albertson.
So what is licensing?
Licensing is the practice of leasing a legally protected property (such as a trademarked or copyrighted name, logo, likeness, character, phrase or design) to another party in conjunction with a product, service or promotion. Mixbook’s designer collaborations are how we license individuals’ artwork. Your favorite brand collab, is an example of a licensing agreement.
If you’re a designer or an individual who wants to share their creativity on a bigger platform, licensing is a great way to get your name and brand out there. Licensing happens on many different levels. You may have a goal of selling your line of artwork in your favorite department store, but starting small is a good way of getting there.
5 Quick Tips on How to License Your Work
Pitch, Pitch, Pitch
Just like in a job interview, you may get many “No’s” before you get one “Yes!”. Make a list of all the companies you want to work with and start with that. Create a pitch tailored to that company and convince them to your best ability why working with you is a benefit for both parties. Do your research!
Contracts are KEY
Don’t do any work, or even show proofs of prospective ideas without getting a contract negotiated, approved, and signed. Always protect yourself and your ideas first.
Not Every Deal Will Be a Six-Figure One
It’s ok to start small. Some brands license huge million dollar deals and some want to grow with you and are willing to trade on exposure and content. Be flexible to suit your needs.
Ask Around for Help
If you weren’t able to attend our panel, we are sure you have role models in the industry. Ask around your industry to get inside tips and tricks on how to get to your next step. Designers and influencers are usually willing to help their fellow creative grow.
Get an Agent or Hustle Yourself
Honestly whichever works for you. If you are confident in yourself and know you can handle the legal, communication, and execution all by yourself (or with your team) then more power to you. Others benefit from having a representative speak and deal on their behalf.