Womxn Owning It: Fireside Chat with Alex Wolf

Womxn Owning It is a program series designed to celebrate female-identifying creators and creative entrepreneurs breaking down boundaries in the media + tech industries. Leveraging your community to build a loyal audience to grow income for your business or project has never been more prevalent than now. Join us for a Womxn Owning It Virtual Fireside Chat with Alex Wolf of Creative Business School who will share tips and insight on how to monetize your work as a creative entrepreneur and the importance of building your audience. The event will take place on Thursday, May 28th at 5 PM via Zoom.  Register for this event here.

Alex Wolf is an award-winning creative entrepreneur and tech-influencer. She’s been named as “Fast Company’s Top 100 Most Creative People in Business,” “Adweek’s Top 20 Influencers Who Radiate Creativity + Get Everyone Talking,” and “Inc magazines Top Creative Entrepreneurs In Marketing and Media.” She’s been recognized as an icon and future thought-leader from  executives at Snapchat to artists like Janelle Monae.

What does “owning it” mean to you and how do you own it in your career and personal life?

I think “owning it” is when you’ve been through enough life to really figure out what naturally inspires you and then choosing to dedicate most of your life to that. When I hear “owning it” I of course also think about the crucial importance of ownership itself. Owning your IP. Owning the permission to contact your fans  and your customers. As a creative, I believe all of those things are an integral part of success.

How did your career begin and when did you know that the internet would play such an integral role in your success?

It’s hard to pinpoint where it “began” but I guess I would say around the age of 18. I had a bunch of questions about the institution of school and work and that’s the age where you really have to start thinking about it. I decided early on I wanted to be an entrepreneur and I knew I wanted to use the internet to help me get there. I was scared but I also felt like I had nothing to lose. I’ve been an internet kid since the 90s so to me it was just about embracing its power and kicking it into full gear. 

What are you currently working on?

Well I just launched my online business education platform, Creative Business School and it’s already changing the game for so many artists, writers, producers and filmmakers alike. Basically the idea is to steer content creators away from waiting until they have a million followers to make money from ads, brand sponsorships etc. and instead showing them how to start making money right away by selling their own signature product directly to their audience. There’s this big myth that you need a huge following to have a real online business and it’s just not true. We created an “audience calculator” just to prove that audiences as tiny as 1,000 or 5,000 can be earning an extra $5,000-$10k a month just by selling the right product. You can take the audience calculator here.

How do you balance creativity and business when approaching your current work and as you think about future projects?

Well, I make sure my creative projects have a well-installed ventilator in my life. What I mean is that when I have a day where I’ve immersed myself entirely in the dry, logistical and stressful parts of my business, I make sure there’s a plush landing pad for my creative side to jump into. That can look like spending an hour or two on Pinterest, playing around with colors in Canva or drinking wine as I try making a new meal in the kitchen. It’s never a perfect balance but I’ve become sensitive enough to know when it’s time to tell my accountant I’ll call him back and go for a walk in the park. Smell ya later! 

What advice would you give to womxn looking to build a tech business online right now?

Study the art of intangible value. A lot of the solutions the market needs right now are not nearly as objective or tangible as they were even ten or twenty years ago. The solutions people are looking for are not as refined or palpable as most business people would like. Our purchase behavior has steered way more towards psychological and emotional solutions that are not as easy to measure or understand. This is another big reason why I believe creatives can own this next big shift in consumerism because we innately understand how to tell stories and incorporate drama and texture into any part of life to give it meaning, including in marketing and commerce.