Are you a Disney fan who wants to take your love of Disney and combine it with another passion to provide a good or service to others? Then you’ve come to the right place! I have been running my design business for over 5 years now and from the start it has been inspired by Disney. I’ve learned a lot over my years running my Disney inspired business and want to share what I’ve learned with you! Check out my 5 tips for Starting a Disney Business below!
1. Determine What You Want to Do
This may seem obvious, but sometimes the most obvious steps are the ones we forget to do! Before you start your Instagram and purchase a web domain, take a moment to really think about what service you can offer to people. Think about your strengths, passions, interests, available funds to start a business, and the time you will be able to put into your business. Here’s a few ideas and links to businesses for inspiration as you make your decision:
- Disney Travel Planner – Do you love planning every second of your family and friend’s Disney vacations? Maybe becoming a Disney Travel Planner is the right role for you! If you’re interested in becoming a Disney Travel Planner, I would suggest doing some research on the best direction to go in. There are a lot of Disney Travel Planning companies that you can apply to become a part of, but be sure to thoroughly understand what the company is offering you and if there are any fees you have to pay for training. | Colleen of WDW Park Planners took a different route that some and starter her own Disney Concierge Vacation Planning Service. Check out her website to see how she has taken her Disney dream full-time!
- Disney Blogger – Do you like writing and have a story to tell? Consider starting a blog about Disney! People take this in many different directions and provide a diverse offering of topics that can include anything from Disney crafts, foods, tips for the parks, movie reviews, and more. | Disney Fashionista is a blog that covers Disney lifestyle topics and highlights the newest items available in stores. They have grown so much that they now have a team of 5 women who are working together to provide the latest news!
- Disney Creator – Are you constantly posting pictures or videos on Instagram, Tik Tok, or other social media sites? Becoming a Disney Creator may be a perfect fit for you! As a Disney Creator your aim would be to post engaging content that leads you into the world of influencing. A must have for any creator/influencer at any level is a media kit. | Nicole of @myadventurebook_ is a Disney Creator with over 32.6k followers on Instagram and 533.7k followers on Tik Tok. She shares all sorts of content including Disney style, movies, park tips, and more.
- Disney Podcaster – Love talking about Disney history, your latest trips, or the most up to date news? Grab a mic and become a Disney Podcaster! Ok, it definitely takes more work than that, but if you have a story to tell that is engaging, this might be the way for you to go! Disney Podcasters, like Disney Creators work to make revenue through partnerships with brands. Be sure to get a media kit ready to go once you get going! | Brendan and Katherine of Detour the Neverland are Disney fans who recently made the move to Florida to be closer to the parks! Through their podcast they share history and stories about beloved attractions, but they also interview Disney entrepreneurs. I was lucky enough to be a guest on their show last year to discuss karma&kismet! If you’d like to listen to the episode, click here.
- Disney YouTuber – If you’re not camera shy and can learn to edit videos, you may be the next YouTube sensation! Disney YouTubers, like every other business we’ve discussed, are extremely diverse in terms of their topic. Some people discuss the parks, movies, and latest news, while others focus solely on Disney food tips, arts and crafts, and bringing Disney into your everyday life. | Lauren of Pixie Dust and Points is a great example of someone who is a Disney YouTuber, but took it in a different direction than others. Lauren shares tips on being healthy while in Disney and specifically highlights WW (WeightWatchers) friendly options!
- Disney Artist/Designer – Do you love creating Disney inspired art? There are many artists and designers who are creating art that is Disney inspired and selling prints, custom work, or even putting it on items such as coffee mugs, t-shirts, and more! As with anything you do, you will have to be careful that your art is not incorporating any trademarked images to avoid issues. Consider selling your work on Etsy or directly through your own website! | Check out my Etsy shop to see the Disney inspired art I have created!
2. Figure out your Brand Story
Once you’ve figured out what your business will be, take some time to create your brand. What exactly does that mean? Think of your brand like your outward appearance – it’s what potential customers see when they first look at your company. For example, when you see two circles parallel and a top a third circle what do you instantly think of? Mickey Mouse and Disney, right? That’s brand awareness. Of course, that’s on a very macro level, but I think you get the point – you want to work to create a brand that is 1. Unique, 2. Engaging, 3. Memorable, and 4. Appealing.
At this point you might be feeling a little overwhelmed (trust me, I did!), but it doesn’t have to be a difficult task! I’ve put together a free Branding Worksheet that you can download and fill out. It’ll help you with the first steps in honing your brand.
If you’re a Disney entrepreneur remember to include that in your story, but don’t plagiarize Disney’s story! Think about ways you can play on recognizable Disney terms, incorporate a tagline, or even just highlight the inspiration of Disney in your mission/elevator pitch. If you look at my business, for example, you’d never know it was inspired by Disney from the name and logo. I did that on purpose because I knew I wanted to be able to work outside the “Disney world,” but my mission has always been rooted in Disney – “To create magic.”
3. Create a Logo & Brand Guidelines
If you’re using the free Branding Worksheet, you’ll see that the next step is creating a logo. As part of the logo design, you’ll also start to determine your brand guidelines. Brand Guidelines are rules that you will follow when presenting your business that ensure brand awareness. Your Brand Guidelines should include your all versions of your logo, fonts you will use and your brand colors.
Now you might be thinking, “I’m an Instagrammer! I don’t need a logo and brand guidelines!” But, no matter what kind of business you start, you want to control your story. Think about it this way – if you’re a Disney Style Influencer who wants to pitch a partnership to Kate Spade, you’re going to need to present a media kit that outlines who you are, what you’ve accomplished so far, and what you can offer the company. To stand out amongst the many other influencers in the world, you need to show that you are a storyteller that can effortlessly weave their products into the world you’ve created on Instagram/Facebook/wherever. How do you do that? Have a media kit that includes your recognizable and unique logo, brand colors, and fonts, so that when they come across you on the Discover page of Instagram they instantly connect your account to that media kit.
If you’re wondering how to go about designing a logo, there are a number of paths you can take that I will list below. But, no matter what option you choose, be careful not to violate any trademark or copyright laws by taking a Disney character or icon and using it in your logo.
- DIY a logo – If you have a background in art, or even just the desire to try your hand at graphic design, you can design your own logo. Canva is a free site that offers many graphic design templates, including the ability to design your own logo.
- Purchase a Logo Template – If you do a quick search online, you will come up with many “drap-and-drop” logo options. While I’m not a huge proponent of this because you will lose the “unique” aspect of your logo, it is something to consider if you don’t have the resources to put into working with a designer.
- Work with a Designer – As a designer myself, I may be a little biased here, but I think this is a great option if you have the resources to put into this. Depending on what designer you work with and the level of support you agree upon, you will get more bang for your buck. For example, no matter if I am working with a business owner to create a single logo or putting together an entire branding package, I will provide a certain level of support that you obviously don’t get when you purchase a logo template. Additionally, you will be more likely to get a logo that you are going to stay with for longer, because you don’t have to settle. If you do decide to work with a designer, I would suggest shopping around – you want to find someone who you connect with and who can connect to your business. I always enjoy working with Disney entrepreneurs because I have that deep connection to their mission. If you’re interested in working with me to create a logo or an entire branding package, visit my Business Services page.
4. Connect with Other Disney Fans
After you’ve really figured who you are as a business, it’s time to start marketing yourself! The best part about being in a niche market, like Disney, is that you have a focus right off the bat. Start an account on a social media platform you feel comfortable handling and that fits with your business – (i.e. Twitter may not be the best option if you’re a Disney Artist because you want to share more images, but Instagram would be great!). Once you’ve started your account remember to bring in all that branding you worked on – think about the color scheme of your photos, your messaging, and how you present yourself. You want all of this to be “on brand.”
Most importantly, create content and engage with others consistently. If you post at 8:30 AM EST each day, remember to spend a few minutes not only answering those who have commented on your posts, but also comment on others. Not only will this be beneficial to your account’s reach, but it will also allow you to make connections with other Disney fans – could it get any better??
5. Make it Magical
The most important tip is to “make it magical.” There will be times that your business will seem overwhelming or you’ll face challenges, but remember why you started. This is a way to bring you closer to the magic of Disney, so focus on that and do your best to achieve the goals you set!