INSIGHTS AND DISCUSSIONS

BUSINESS PLANNING
DOESN'T HAVE TO SUCK

FOR CREATIVE FREELANCERS
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5DAYDEAL BUSINESS BUNDLE

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I am really excited about this amazing bundle sale, and I’m very proud to be involved as both the lead ambassador and as an industry contributor. I wouldn’t dare put my name on something I didn’t believe in… I hope I’ve earned your trust with stuff like this. I hope you head over to 5DayDeal to take a look – it’s a remarkable offer for photographers at any level. Take a look!

The Complete Photography Business Bundle is a massive collection of eBooks, worksheets, templates, and video tutorials for photographers of all levels. Whether you’re an emerging or seasoned photographer, this library of resources will fill you with ideas and tools to help you make money doing what you love.

I’m proud to be involved, not only as an ambassador but also as a contributor. With contributors such as Trey Ratcliff, David duChemin (Craft & Vision), Rachel Brenke (TheLawTog), Bryan Caporicci (Sprouting Photographer), Dan Carr (Shuttermuse), Sarah Petty (Joy of Marketing), Joel Grimes, and Jasmine Star, I’m in good company. You’re gonna wanna check it out.

I’m proud to announce that our Business Action Planner is included in the bundle. The BAP normally sells for USD $50, but when you buy The Complete Photography Business Bundle over at 5DayDeal.com, you not only get the BAP, but you also get dozens of other products at a fraction of the price.

If you already own the BAP it’s all good! The Complete Photography Business Bundle is still a total bargain even if you already have it – at $1,900 in retail value you’re in great shape. I guarantee you’ll find a ton of excellent resources in this bundle.

My mission is to always show my gratitude to those who have purchased the BAP from me (or C&V) in the past – I hope the opportunities (and upcoming freebies) we’ve got going on during Photography Business Week help you to feel really good about this whole thing.

In case you missed this little factoid, the bundle event is a real flash sale. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime offer that expires Mar.1.

 

Live Your Dream

This no-holds barred video session is a business workshop for creative freelancers. Bringing your talent to the marketplace is a lot easier when you remove the chaos and mystery normally associated with managing a creative endeavour. Get the insights and action steps you need to confidently put your skills and passions to work, to make the best business decisions possible, all in service of the ultimate goal–to make a living doing what you love.

Presented by Corwin Hiebert, a business consultant and manager to creative freelancers and entrepreneurs, this video workshop delivers development insights, management ideas, business principles, and best practices, all of which can help you make independent creative work less stressful and more financially rewarding. The objective of this in-depth session is to get you thinking about your creativity in a way that is more fulfilling and creates more opportunities.

Learn more at howwemakestuff.com or watch the trailer video below.

DISCOUNT: Use the discount code LTD50 and SAVE 50% (pay just USD $28.50).

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Monkey Mail Makes Me Happy

A great mailing list is where the gold is. At first, you might feel this sounds counter-intuitive; isn’t social media all the rage? Sure, but all that hype doesn’t necessarily go anywhere. Social media likes are transient and noncommittal, while opting into a mailing list is a conscious YES. When you meet that YES with quality content and a genuine desire to serve your clients and subscribers, it will over time convert to fierce loyalty and lifelong customers.

I’m just gonna take a moment to geek out about our favourite tool for the job. MailChimp offers enormous flexibility and fine-tuned control to serve your audience with timely, tailored email. (Disclaimer: yes, we are using a referral url.)

I’m a bit of a design geek: simple, clean and understandable user interfaces warm my heart and the good folks at MailChimp do a bang-up job making their site easy to get around. They’ve also got one of the best graphical, drag-and-drop design tools out there. The possibilities for crafting your campaign truly are limitless, and any campaign can be saved as a template for later use. As a bonus, all of their templates are mobile-ready, a finishing touch that makes you look about a hundred times cooler.

You can sign up subscribers through your website or manually. You can even collect signups offline and in person, using Chimpadeedoo (one of several great in-house mobile apps). As you learn more about your subscribers, add information to their MailChimp profiles for later reference. When you send a campaign, MailChimp tracks its success and provides you with data that you can use to understand your readers, as well as allows you to see which customers are engaging with what content, so you know what’s meeting their needs and what isn’t.

Their engineers have put together an awesome set of apps for email design, offline signups, added security, texting your subscribers, staying up to date on the road and more. Also offered is seamless integration with a bazillion fantastic apps and services that I couldn’t possibly describe here.


Memo2Freelancers - Sign-Up-Graphic-250Get exclusive business action planning insights from Corwin, Q&As with creative freelancers and a shot of inspiration by subscribing to our free mini-magazine: MEMO 2 FREELANCERS—it’s awesomeness delivered straight to your inbox.

 

Psych for Creatives

There are a bazillion highly talented, skillful freelancers that don’t market themselves properly because, well, marketing—sort of like business planning—can really, really suck. We have a lot of negative associations with it, and for good reason. When someone mentions ‘marketing’, we immediately think of telemarketers, TV commercials that play twice in one break, or the poor fellow at McDonald’s trying to super-size your fries. But along with that, we’ve imbibed this dreadful notion that selling ourselves short is a virtue.

The only one with responsibility for your business is you. Ups and downs, ins and outs, you have to own it—and that means knowing your marketing stuff as well as your craft. Psychology for Photographers is a brilliant blog that aims to help photographers and other creative professionals understand how to leverage science in the pursuit of their business goals. No, this is not about manipulating people into giving you money, nor does it provide band-aid solutions for bad business practices. Instead, the author teaches you about people and how they work so that you can better serve your clients and prospective customers. This is essential knowledge in a line of work where you have to do all your own pricing, advertising, negotiating and delivering.

The author, Jenika McDavitt, has seven years of psychology at Yale under her belt and she wields it with the grace and precision of a fencing master. Follow the blog, sign up for her free newsletter (this one is gold) and check out her shop for some kick-ass, on-point resources on writing and website design — indispensable tools that are often left out of a photographer’s camera bag.

And if nothing else, pop over there to pick up her free ebook: How Clients Make Decisions About Money. It’s a must-read for any creative freelancer and will answer questions you didn’t even think to ask.


Get exclusive business action planning insights from Corwin, Q&As with creative freelancers and a shot of inspiration by subscribing to our free mini-magazine: MEMO 2 FREELANCERS—it’s awesomeness delivered straight to your inbox.

 

Contractually Speaking

This one should be a no-brainer: if you are providing a service, you need a contract. Even if you are working for free, donating your time or especially, working for a friend. If you are a small business owner, you might be using a standard contract that’s chock-full of legalese, crossing your fingers and hoping that nothing goes wrong, or you may not be using contracts at all. The truth is, contracts don’t have to be big and scary. They’re a preventative measure to ensure clarity, transparency and accountability, and to stave off misunderstandings and blow-outs. Getting everything in writing, plain and simple, keeps projects from mutating into unpredictable monsters and can save working relationships and friendships from turning sour.

You can find free contracts online, sure, but they tend to be, at best, extremely dry and difficult to understand— and at worst, irrelevant or inadequate. If you don’t know why something is in your contract, you had better not offer it to a client. The super-duper Contract Killer is a fantastic place to understand the parts of a contract and get started writing your own.

To simplify things even further, we emphatically recommend the excellent cloud-based Contractually. The good folks (from Vancouver, BC!) responsible for this resource wanted a start-to-finish simplicity with full integration, and that’s what they created. You can import your contract or start afresh, fully customise it to your needs, then have the finished thing viewed, signed and stored, all in Contractually.

 


Get exclusive business action planning insights from Corwin, Q&As with creative freelancers and a shot of inspiration by subscribing to our free mini-magazine: MEMO 2 FREELANCERS—it’s awesomeness delivered straight to your inbox.

 

GIVEAWAY: EVERNOTE + MOLESKINE

It must be something in the air this season, because we’re stoked to announce a draw for a shiny new Evernote Moleskine notebook. This beautiful craft features 240 pages of squared paper for special use with the Evernote Page Camera, a ribbon bookmark, elastic closure and an accordion pocket stuffed with Evernote Smart Stickers for tagging and organising your sketches and notes. As a compelling bonus, the notebook comes with three free months of Evernote Premium to help you make the most of this unique tool.

To enter, comment and tell us about your notebook addiction and why you’d love a Moleskine, or nominate someone that you know would love to win the prize!

EDIT: The draw will conclude at 12:00PM (UTC-8) on Boxing Day, December 26 2014. We’ll close comments and announce the winner then!  The draw is officially closed and the lucky winner is Ivan! Thanks for entering. 

SEAN CARTER

We are very keen to establish meaningful relationships that transcend the scope of a project. It’s a cliché statement but one that is easier said then done. It is a studio-wide commitment that is best embodied by my partner Ross. He lives and breathes it whilst the rest of us merrily join in. Besides, it is more interesting to work with, and for our friends because the outcome of our work is that much more personal. We know that the work we are currently doing, for the people we are currently working with, will get us more of the same if our performance is notably strong and get this: if our clients actually like us.

Sean Carter is Director of Design at Carter Hales, designing and overseeing every aspect of client projects. A founding partner at Hangar 18 Creative Group, Sean helped grow the company into one of Canada’s largest independent graphic design and advertising firms. Sean has won over 140 design awards from every major North American design competition, including: The One Show, Communication Arts, Graphis, Luerzer’s Archive, Graphex, How and New York Festivals Advertising Awards; his work has also been published in numerous industry journals. He is a faculty member at Capilano University’s Design and Illustration program and sits on the Board of Directors of Vancouver’s Contemporary Art Gallery.

His work can be seen online at carterhales.com.

LUKE TAYLOR

It is ACTUALLY who you know. I recommend walking in to a number of major non-profit organizations and offering pro-bono work, or design as gifts in kind. As long as your portfolio is solid, many will be happy to receive this kind of offer, even if they don’t take you up on it. The goal is to get executive level eyeballs on your work. Also, when you are emerging, there is nothing wrong with being a jack of all trades if it means you can get a paycheque and build your network of happy clients.

Luke Taylor is a branding specialist and married father of three kids under three. He operates Loomo Creative Co., a branding and design agency in the industrial district of Victoria, BC. He’d prefer to be a superhero, but lacks superhuman abilities or a massive fortune. Also, no grappling hooks.

His work can be seen online at Loomo.ca.

ANDI MORTENSON

I think in addition to the obvious—have great customer service and do great work—you need to be fair. Charge people what you honestly believe you are worth, treat people fairly, including clients and people doing work for you, and always look at things from their side and think of how you would want to be treated. I also think being a positive person makes people want to work with you and certainly doesn’t hurt with recommendations!

Andi Mortenson is the founder and creative director at Epic Design and has over ten years experience in print, brand identity, web design and concept strategy. She led the development for the 2015 Canada Winter Games branding, and is in her third season producing Vancouver Giants Hockey marketing design and creative. Her experience also includes a Senior Design position on the Vancouver Canucks in-house team for five years, contract work at Vancouver Olympic Committee and Rick Hansen Foundation, and over nine years of running Epic Design.

Her work can be seen online at epic-design.com.

CYMONE WILDER

For me it’s all about the contract. Making sure guidelines are set from the very beginning and all things are clear from both sides of the project. I’ve found that clients tend to appreciate when you’re up front with them about everything. I don’t love to be a stickler for the rules but like I said it protects the client but it mainly protects myself as the designer. Networking is pretty important to me as well. It may sound cheesy, but Instagram is my go to marketing tool. I’m able to get my work out to a large and diverse audience and am able to chat with other creatives. Pinterest is also another big one for me. A lot of time my work gets out there without me even having to personally upload it, and a large majority of the time it’s got my name on it!

Cymone Wilder is a Letterer, Designer and Photographer at Simon + Moose, and company she built with Michael-Andrew Spalding. She is a student at Olivet Nazarene University studying graphic design.

Her work can be seen online at simonandmoose.com.

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