Business growth & my braid creative experience

creative business growth from blog.cleanlinestudio.com Hey there. I’ve actually been thinking about writing this post for weeks, yet it keeps getting pushed to the bottom of my list. Partly because it’s required a lot of serious soul-searching, but also because I feel like once it’s out there I can’t take it back.

If you are a creative whom I’ve seen or talked to in the past month, I am almost certain I’ve told you about my experiences with Braid Creative. It was this post on the braid blog that finally convinced me to sign up for my first e-course with them. I’ve now taken Dream Customer Catching and Personal Branding, and I can honestly say that these classes have changed my outlook on, and the direction of, my business. I found the format of each course to be pretty brilliant. There’s no hand holding. You’re given the materials and worksheets, and the rest is up to you. This was really difficult at points, but so rewarding when I reached powerful conclusions. For the first time, I feel like I have a clear idea of where I see my business going and how I can use my already established strengths to get me there. I have some really interesting projects falling into place, and I feel excited (not nervous) for the future of my little design studio.

I’d like to share with you how I intend to turn what I learned from braid into meaningful changes in my business. I bet that a lot of these might apply to you as well.

1) SHARE MY OWN DESIGN WORK ON THE BLOG
All in all, the blog won’t be changing much. I still intend to do weekly color inspiration, style posts, art/products im diggin’, and experiences from my own life. My goal is to share design projects twice a month. I’m not even sure why I have kept my blog and my design studio so separate until now. If you like my personal style and the ideas I share on this blog, it seems very likely to me that you’d enjoy my design work too. There’s nothing more satisfying than a client relationship that comes easily, and that often happens when two similar personal aesthetics come together. If you need a designer, please consider me, and take a look at my portfolio.

2) SAY NO TO PROJECTS THAT AREN’T A GOOD FIT
Now that I’m feeling a little bit more established, cultivating a certain type of clients seems almost as important as gettin’ paid. As I learned via braid’s dream customer catching course, you shouldn’t feel afraid to get too specialized. I think in the past I’ve been only to eager to accept clients who were willing to pay me my rate. Obviously, money is a necessity, and I’d be foolish to claim that it will no longer be a factor in my decision to accept or reject a project. But, I do intend to ask myself the question, “does this project promote the cleanline aesthetic, and will working with this person make me happy?”

3) GO OUT, AND MEET REAL PEOPLE
I need to get out of my house and meet real people, specifically those in the Philadelphia creative community. Having a young child and a husband with a rough commute makes evening networking difficult. It’s easier to just sit on the couch and watch netflix with my man and a glass of wine after 8pm than it is to get out and talk business. I really haven’t made much effort to rub elbows with my local creative community since starting my own studio, and I’m going to make it an active priority to attend more industry events. Just a quick shout out to Young Involved Philadelphia, I attended their Like a Boss Panel discussion last night and left there feeling super pumped about my roll as a Philadelphia creative entrepreneur.

4) FIND A STUDIO OUTSIDE OF THE HOME
I’m not going to put a timeline on this per se, but I do think it’s time to get an office outside of my house. Between dishes, laundry, and a child upstairs talking sassy to her Nana, my life can sometimes really distract me from my business. I get a little anxious thinking about the cost of a studio vs. the already paid for basement I currently work from, but I think it’s a necessary step I need to take. Hopefully I’ll feel like I’m investing in my business, and will be motivated to work even harder. I haven’t found the right space yet, but I’m actively searching.

5) LEARN HOW TO UNPLUG
This last one feels totally unrelated to my other goals, but please allow me to explain. I am terrible, and I mean terrible at walking away from my computer and iPhone. It’s something I need to work on for my own sanity, and for the sake of the people around me. I feel that if I could get better at creating boundaries between my work and life, it would result in me being more purposeful and effective when I am designing. For the past year, I’ve worked on my blog or business (for an hour or often more) every single weekend. This leaves me feeling like there’s no such thing as a day off. Even if it’s only in my head, I’m always working. I think #4, creating physical distance from my work, will certainly help with this, but I need to figure it out pronto.

Thanks for taking the time to read this, I realize this got to be an awfully long one. I really appreciate the support I’ve received through this blog, and I look forward to sharing my journey of creative entrepreneurship with you. If you are interested in taking a course with Braid Creative, click here or see their button in my sidebar. You can also use the code BRAIDAFFILIATE25 to save $25 on your next course! If you’d like to see my design portfolio please visit me at cleanline studio.

I am a braid creative affiliate, which means that I may earn a commission from your e-course purchase. Please know that I would never, ever advertise a product or service that I would not give to my closest friends or purchase for myself.

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