Business tips for creative freelancers & consultants

What does it take for a creative person or a consultant to become a successful business owner? Here are the business lessons I’ve learned since I started freelancing.

People over numbers (and why I'll never have pop-ups on my website)

People over numbers (and why I’ll never have pop-ups on my website)

The online marketing community is obsessed with A/B testing and maximizing conversion rates. It may seem a no brainer that if more people do X than Y, then X is clearly better than Y for any business – but what if that’s not true?
What if “better for your business” is not something you can answer with a spreadsheet? What if “better for your business” means you need to include the “soft” stuff that’s impossible to measure with numbers and percentages? Read more...

How to overcome information addiction

How to overcome information addiction

Information addiction can be a huge block to growing our business. If you see this as a problem in your own life, you may be wondering how you can deal with that. Here are some things that helped me, and I hope they’ll give you some ideas to try out. Read more...

15 ways to infuse creativity into boring business tasks

15 ways to infuse creativity into your boring business tasks

No matter how wild, beautiful and free your creative work is, there are some things you need to do so your business could thrive that are just booooriiiiiiing. Maybe you postpone things that are essential to keeping your life and work running smoothly because you’re either intimidated by these tasks, or the very thought of doing them is exhausting. I wrote a bunch of ideas how you can approach your boring, tedious and fear-inducing tasks to make them slightly less terrifying and dull. Read more...

How to stay sane during launches

How to stay sane during launches

If you’re any type of creator, there are going to be times in your life when you’ll be required to “launch” something. We think of launches in terms of websites, courses, books, retreats etc. but the same things apply when you organize an art show or prepare for a crafts fair, a big show, speaking engagement etc.
My experience with launching comes mostly from organizing live events in the past 5 years. Here are some tips on what you can do to prepare for and survive an extended period of time when nothing is normal. Read more...

Is your business a bargain bin brand?

Is your business a bargain bin brand?

Have you ever stopped to analyze your brand objectively? And if so, what have you found?
Most business owners have no idea what their brand actually means for their bottom line. Nobody told them how people respond to design, and about the power of the first impression. In this article I wrote what I want business owners to know, and hope that with this knowledge, you will be equipped to make a decision that's best for you and your business (whether that means working with a brand designer or not). Read more...

Beginner's Guide to Design Services

Beginner’s Guide to Visual Design Services

New business owners get overwhelmed with all the options when it comes to professional presentation. Additionally, each type of design service is a special beast with its own science behind it, and people often specialize in one area. In this guide I give an overview of the most common visual design services for small businesses, and you'll be able to tell if you need it right now or may need it later, and how much to budget for it. Read more...

What does it mean to be professional?

What does it mean to be professional?

Popular marketing advice for small business owners is to be authentic and transparent online. But some of us who may be careful about what we put out in public are asking ourselves the question: is too much authenticity unprofessional? That's a valid question. After all, we grew up in a society that generally shuns authenticity like the plague, and showing our true self to the world feels extremely risky. Read more...

Client Collaboration

How To Write A Design Brief And Be A Glorious Client

Often when I'm talking with new clients about their goals for the branding or website design project, they half-apologetically say something along the lines of 'I'm not sure what I want in terms of design'. What they really wonder is, how do I convey my ideas to a designer if I'm not a visual type? I'm telling you that you don't need to worry about that. Read more...

Sell your idea before you make it

Sell Your Idea Before It’s Ready

In the start-up world people often present early concepts of their work because they don't want to put thousands of hours of work and boatloads of money into something that isn't even interesting or useful to other people. And what do most of us do? We wait until we build it — no actually, we wait until we perfect it — and then we show it to the world. Read more...

Should you turn your hobby into a job?

Should I turn my hobby into a job?

I'm a bit of an expert on the subject because all my work experience was based on my hobbies. I never trained to become a creative professional, it just happened that I was offered opportunities to make a living with my hobbies because people saw what I was doing for fun and offered me money to do it! Isn't it amazing when that happens? Well, I've learned that it isn't just sunshine and roses, and it doesn't work for all people and all kinds of hobbies. Read this post to learn the potential pitfalls of turning your hobby into your full time job. Read more...

Branding Venn graph

How to create a brand for your business on a budget

If you're just launching your new business or creative venture, you're probably on a tight budget. Designers (myself included) insist that you should not be skimping on the quality of your presentation, but I understand that it's difficult to invest upfront in something that you aren't even sure will take off. So let's skip the preaching how you should absolutely let a professional do your branding and visual identity (it kind of goes without saying). I'll give you some tips how to handle it if you absolutely can't afford it right now, or at least not all of it. Read more...

Top 10 things you can do when your creative business is slow

Top 10 things you can do when your creative business is slow

Most creatives I know are very, very busy. We always have more ideas than time to execute them. But in the rare event that you — a designer, an illustrator, an artist, a photographer or a craftsman — find yourself out of work and without any ideas what to do about it, here are some suggestions. Some of these are also great content marketing ideas for creatives that I have personally found to work very well. Read more...