As a creative professional, you’re likely a visual person. You have a gift, my friend. Most people aren’t like you. You’re an artist and a visionary—that’s the good news. The bad news is, you can’t expect others to think the way you think.
You have to be able to communicate your ideas. If you’re a freelancer, you’re going to have to convey your ideas to your client before you have visual examples. If you have an office job, you’re going to have to convey your ideas to your boss before you have visual examples. Either way, you will have to verbally explain the idea you have in mind.
Grant Cardone is an entrepreneur, New York Times Best Selling Author, speaker, and a tremendous motivator. At age 21, he was broke and in in debt. By age 30, he was a self made millionaire.
Grant argues that friends and family aren’t going to make your dreams come true—a stranger is going to make your dream come true. As creatives, we have to introduce ourselves to strangers and we have to find a way to get attention. Read More
It’s been over a year now since Nik and I purchased the domain for our blog: LaunchingCreative.com. We’ve had an incredible journey thus far…and we felt a bit nostalgic! (and aren’t we lucky that this post happens to be taking place on a thursday- “throwback-thursday”?) just saying.
Chelsea is a Millennial Spokesperson, Brand Consultant, TV & Radio Talk Show Host of The Chelsea Krost Show, and Host of Weekly Chat #MillennialTalk
We all hear about the bleak working conditions we face as Millennials: the economy is bad, young adults are moving back in with their parents, underemployment is rampant, student debt is crippling, etc. Chelsea chooses to see the glass half full and argues that we have opportunities and tools that our parents and grandparents never had.
Ha. It seems pretty straight forward right? Unfortunately, some people just don’t get it…yet. But ‘aye, there is hope.
Sometimes it’s so hard to break out of sales mode, when you are struggling to find your next paycheck. You might say anything just to make a client happy (You want to eat something next week besides pb&j…you at least need to pay rent. Consequently we might lose our “genuine selves” in the game, listen it happens. Here are a few suggestions on how to remain genuine whilst in the hustle.
You’ve probably heard the saying, “A true craftsman doesn’t blame his tools.” You might even be inclined to agree with that statement—we all have that photographer friend who blames his crappy shots on his DSLR, even though it’s always set to “automatic”
And remember that time he thought aperture was a Nest knock-off?
This is going to be a different post for me, so bear with me.
You can do anything you set your mind to – Benjamin Franklin
I live, breathe and live by this quote, it’s my mantra.
Lately I’ve been working a lot; helping develop the #AskGaryVee Show (shameless plug) and any other video needs Gary might have. My hours have been packed and I come home exhausted—this is a bit different for me, because usually I can work until 2am, but now that I’ve been cooking lunch and dinner meals, trying to exercise every day and keep Launching Creative moving (with Nik) I’ve just been tired.
Melody is an entrepreneur who offers therapy for entrepreneurs and successful professionals who teaches that we become stuck in particular themes, patterns, and behaviors that build limiting beliefs about our own capabilities, guiding our behavior in unproductive ways.
She helps address where you are and where you want to be, remove blocks, and create compelling purpose to get you there.
Chris LoCurto was Dave Ramsey’s Vice President of Live Events for 12 years! He’s an accomplished speaker who helps entrepreneurs and businesses grow through business coaching, strategic planning, and life plan events.
In addition to being a coach, he’s a podcaster and blogger. In this interview we talk about leadership? Are you a leader? What does it mean to be a leader? Check it out and find out!
A lot of us hate deadlines, especially when they are given to us. Yuck. Where does this hatred for deadlines come from? Well because we are ”obligated” to finish something, or maybe it’s because we think it f*&$s with our natural flow, or creativity. At least this is what I thought.
Jump back in time to 2003 and you’ll find a goofy 16 year old with an afro who thinks he’s going to be a rockstar when he grows up. He has no plans of attending college and he thinks he’ll be 30 years old before he even begins to think about marriage (which is crazy talk in Arkansas—people get married at a young age in the South).
We all know Superman has a weakness for kryptonite, his powers become far less “powerful” when he is around it. It’s his crutch. Who are we to think that we have more power than superman? What am I trying to say? Well you can’t do it all, especially if you think you can. It seems like such a simple concept, but for us as creatives we tend to like control everything. Stop trying to out-strength superman, even he has a weakness. If you need help, just ask for it.
Shah Turner is the creator of 30 Foot Gorilla, which helps designers start and grow something big. It also helps designers discover the freedom to lead the life you want to, the skills to grow a business that thrives and a place to connect with others doing the same.
If you get lonely working from home (or maybe you’re one of the only creatives in the office) you’re going to want to listen to Shah.
Chris Ducker is the virtual CEO. He’s a serial entrepreneur who was working 14 hours a day, 6 days a week and rarely got to spend time with his family. He decided to work on his business instead of in his business and gave himself a 1 year goal to replace himself.
If you’re a creative professional and you feel like you’re on the verge of burnout, you’re going to want to listen to what Chris has to say.
I knew nothing about recruiters before I moved to New York City. If you don’t know much about recruiters, here are a few basics:
A recruiter is also called a headhunter.
Their clients need new employees. You need a job. They’re essentially the middleman.
Some recruiters focus on contract/temporary work while others focus on full time work
Before I begin to sound like I’m completely anti-recruiter, there are people in the industry who are highly professional. However, you need to know these 3 things if you’re going to use a recruiter to find a job as a creative professional:
Elizabeth is a freelance writer and editor who has lived all over the world. We stumbled across her article, How to Become a Successful Freelancer in 6 Months, on PolicyMic a while back. After noticing that she was an American living in Paris, we just had to ask some questions.
Here’s the cool part: after working at Vanity Fair and the Aspen Institute, she decided to freelance full time and move to Paris. Because all of her clients were in the US, she didn’t have to worry about getting a work Visa. She worked remotely!
Whether you’re an introvert (like most creatives), an extrovert, or an ambivert (like me)—you have to be around people. You need to be around people. Weird things happen when you’re never around people.
Living in isolation is inhumane. Have you ever heard stories about people in solitary confinement? I’ll spare you the disturbing details because I’m sure you enjoy sleeping at night. I’ll just say that the stories are freaking messed up! (I’m not saying that the life of a creative professional or a freelancer is similar to solitary confinement, of course.)
I am obsessed with podcasts and blogs. I kid you not…my college education doesn’t even come close to the education I’ve received from podcasts and blogs.
These fantastic resources below are 20 blogs that you should be reading. I’ve said this several times on our podcast and in our Anti-Starving Artists interviews…there has never been a better time in the history of human a civilization to be creative for a living. I hope these blogs and online magazines inspire you as much as they’ve inspired me.
You are more than just a punching bag, you are a professional and you want to be treated as such. So how do you legitimize yourself?
I’ve been talking to a lot of creatives lately and this is a big concern right now and it’s a great question. Why? Way back when, you mostly worked through agencies and the “legit-ness” was in their name. Now there are so many solo-preneaurs, artists, creatives, and freelancers out there, how do we show that we are LEGIT?
Ted Rubin is a keynote speaker and brand evangelist who is the most followed CMO on Twitter according to Social Media Marketing Magazine, one of the most interesting CMOs on Twitter according to Say Media, and he’s #13 on Forbes Top 50 Social Media Power Influencers. He worked with Seth Godin at YoYoDyne.
As an Anti-Starving Artist, you want more than a strong following on Twitter. You want clients and customers, right? Today, we’re going to talk about creating content that converts…and what that means exactly.
Ryan is a fellow podcaster and entrepreneur. He helps brands and businesses find their audience, tell their story and win the battle for attention online. Here’s the cool thing about Ryan: He loves to connect with people who see themselves as artists even if their “art” is creating excel spreadsheets or answering the phone.
As an Anti-Starving Artist, you want more than a strong following on Twitter. You want clients and customers, right? Today, we’re going to talk about creating content that converts…and what that means exactly.
This week has been a wild one! We’ve had an amazing guest on our podcast — Mr Lou Mongello. We’ve had an amazing guest post by Jean Luc, and we got to be part of Gary Vaynerchuk’s new short film “Clouds & Dirt” If you haven’t watched it yet, I’ll post a link to it below.
First I wanted to share a few things that I learned from this experience.
Starting your own business can be a daunting task. Sleepless hours, limited social life, legal issues, cash flow problems, all right at your finger tips. However, there is no better feeling than pulling through and achieving success. Here are 5 quotes that have guided many entrepreneurs to creating a successful start up and could help you as well.
Lou was without a doubt, a fascinating guest. He was a successful lawyer in New Jersey who decided to sell his house, leave his law practice behind, and move his family to Florida so that he could podcast about Walt Disney World.
A podcaster and Disney World expert—how creative is that?! This is probably the coolest job in the world.
Lou Mongello is a podcaster and Disney World expert—talk about being a creative professional! Originally, he was a successful lawyer in New Jersey. However, he left his practice behind, sold his house, and moved his family to Florida so he could podcast and write about Walt Disney World.
Whether you are a freelancer or a creative professional, you are always working with clients. This is why it is important to create a game plan. Why?
Reasons for a Game Plan?
If you are anything like me, I’m a little all over the place—mentally. (We’re all a little crazy right?) If I am not thinking about one thing, I am thinking about another, which is why I love Google Calendar. If you don’t have it, you should get it. You can link it directly to your gmail account and then sync it right to your iphone calendar. This will help the craziness.
As far back as I can remember, people have shaken their heads at me and exclaimed, “You are so weird!” To be fair, I have always been a bit of a wild card. When other little girls were playing with Barbies and My Little Ponies, I was breaking in my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle nun chucks. Instead of going on dates or to parties with my friends, I spent my teenage years practicing impressions and accents in the bathroom mirror. As an adult, I have dressed up as Princess Leia on many, non-Halloween occasions, and I’m a notorious day dreamer. I’ve lost count of how many times other drivers on the road have honked at me for not going through a green light, just because I was too wrapped up my imaginary interview for the Nerdist podcast to drive. I have spent most of my life feeling like a misfit because I see the world differently than others, but what if I stopped seeing that as a disadvantage? What if all of us were able to embrace our creative weirdness, and use it to change the world around us? We are quirky, hear us roar!
Natalie is CEO & Host of The Biz Chix Podcast and the Co-Founder of ScheduleMAX.com.
It’s always a blast to have a fellow podcaster on our show. Natalie has an amazing podcast in which she interviews women entrepreneurs (and the occasional dude). She does this 5 DAYS A WEEK. As podcasters, we can tell you that this is seriously no small feat.
Last Saturday, I received my diploma, turned my tassel, and said goodbyes to some major players in my life over the last four years. That’s right: I graduated from college
And now I’m straddling the line between “student” and “creative professional.” I’m one of those college graduates who is ready to take the world by storm with my writing, but I still have a lot to learn about the freelance market. I am—what we like to call—in transition.
Nick is an extremely talented musician. You may know him by his stage name “Pogo” and he’s famous for creating music from clips of movies and television shows. It’s pretty stinkin’ cool!
In his interview, he tells us how he began creating music for himself. He didn’t concern himself with what he thought other people would listen to. Coincidentally, he was commissioned by John Lasseter to create a clip for Disney/Pixar’s Up and was given complete creative control.
Chances are, you either rolled your eyes in disdain or you became giddy with glee when you read my title. There doesn’t seem to be any middle ground when it comes to network marketing—people either love it or hate it.
I want to say that I’m not disrespecting anyone who has a career in network marketing. I’m simply saying that I tried it in January of 2013, discovered that it’s not for me, and learned some valuable lessons along the way. Here are the tactics I learned and I’ve got to tell ya’ the tactics work quite excellently as a creative professional.
As a creative professional, we expect a lot from ourselves. We have the whole wide world (hello internet) to compare ourselves to, and we tend to be more harsh on ourselves than anyone else. In some cases it improves our work, and more often than not, we labor over details that only we see. While I don’t formally work in graphic design, I frequently work in After Effects with other graphic designers source materials. I will take apart an eps, ai or psd and animate the bits and pieces to integrate with a video that the company is making. I have created logos for clients before, for a few of my own ventures as well, but it’s a hellish process trying to do the work myself. It’s not my niche, it’s not what I’ve spent years studying on my own time to perfect and while I’m better than the average joe, I measure up poorly with the working graphic designer. So, I hired one over the internet.
Claudine is an artist and illustrator who has been featured on the Martha Stewart Show, HGTV, HSN, QVC UK, the DIY Network, and the New York Times.
Between licensing, selling her own designs online, and teaching workshops, Claudine knows a lot about building streams of passive income! If you’re a creative professional, you’re definitely going to want to learn how to build passive income.
Storytelling is dead. Our market is saturated with companies creating content to communicate to us the consumers.
Our attention span is 15 seconds. If we aren’t interested by the first few seconds we are going to click away from what you are trying to tell us. That’s a fact. How do we get them to pay attention? Tell them a story right? I disagree.
No, no! The adventures first, explanations take such a dreadful time.”― Lewis Carroll,
Hilary is the founder of Dean Street Society: a blog that helps you create providence and how to show up as the best version of yourself. She’s passionate about helping you not settle for a lesser story than you were created for.
She tells us about her new book, THE 4-PART ENTREPRENEUR COCKTAIL, which is her personal recipe for building your own profitable business in under 2 years.
When we first begin our careers as creative professionals, we may go through the occasional dry financial season. If you read this blog or listen to our podcast regularly, you obviously plan on earning a very decent living. However, it can take time to get there.
Whether you’re a freelancer who is getting few nibbles from potential clients or you’re underemployed or underpaid, here are some really great money saving tips. We promise these will be better tips than “don’t drink at Starbucks”.
Jake is a talented motion graphics designer. He works for Eyeboogie Inc. and has worked with big clients like Yahoo!, MSN, Fandango, & VH1. But the cool thing is, he is building residual income.
As creative professionals, we are accustomed to exchanging our service for dollars. Essentially, we’re exchanging hours for dollars. But what if we could build something upfront and continue to get paid?
You can! It’s called residual income or passive income and it’s a beautiful business model.
Well, networking sounds so 1960′s, it’s that cheesy pickup line the creepy man at the bar says “I would love to connect to your network ” —yes with the wink.
Think of all the negative connotations and expectations that come with the word, networking. You always hear “You have to network more!” or “Work on building your network” “It’s all about who’s in your network” Gosh! It’s so overwhelming. But here’s the thing, networking is necessary. It’s a freakin’ requirement.
Christina—originally an architect from Melbourne, Australia—is the creator of DesignDrawSpeak.
As a creative professional, you’re going to have to communicate your ideas and concepts. Whether you’re a freelancer who’s talking to your client, an entrepreneur who’s talking to your customers, or an employee who’s talking to your boss…you’re going to have to be a good communicator.
There I was with my business partner, sitting in a restaurant with a successful entrepreneur. We offered to take him out to dinner in exchange for picking his brain. We wanted to pitch our business idea to see what he thought.
This was the company I had started before Launching Creative—the company that I thought I was going sell for millions of dollars. I was young, I was naive, I was very “Silicon Valley” about it.
I stumbled across a fascinating video on YouTube the other day. Yes, there are non-cat videos on YouTube. It’s pretty cool, actually.
They talked about this series of studies that were conducted at a restaurant. They wanted to test reciprocity (which is just a fancy word for saying you return someone’s favor) among the customer. Basically, the server would give their customers at their table a mint before giving them the bill.
Last week, we went to Social Media Marketing world in San Diego! (And yes, we worked on our way there.) But it was actually on our flight back to NYC when we talked about the differences between a freelancer and an entrepreneur.
We gave our elevator pitch to a lot of people we met in San Diego. One thing we realized…our mission statement was way too convoluted.
In yesterday’s podcast, we interviewed Cory Copeland. He began his writing career in September of 2011 and has grown quite the following. He has also written a few articles for our blog. (They’re obviously fantastic reads. You can find them here and here.)
One of the reasons I knew Cory would make a wonderful guest on our show is because he knows a thing or two about receiving criticism for his art—and he always responds well.
Cory is a personal friend; we go way back. Here’s a cool little fact, I was in a rock band with his brothers when we were in high school!
He is an extremely talented writer and blogger. Cory is also launching (on the same day that this podcast is being released, which is no coincidence) an online magazine called Bedlam Magazine. I think it’s really going to shake things up
You always want to be true to yourself before you’re true to any kind of public or audience that you have.
It’s that time of the year again—time to pay your taxes. One thing we’ve learned is that there is an immense difference between being an employee and being an entrepreneur or freelancer this time of the year. Read More
In this episode, we wanted to talk about passion. We knew that Leslie would be the perfect guest for this topic. If you’ve spent any time listening to his podcast, you’ll know that he is a very passionate person.
Whether you’re an employee or a freelancer, you’ve probably run into a bad boss or client. They are creative vampires because they suck all of the creativity out of you. Get it? Let’s refer to these bad bosses and clients as Dracula.
Trust us, we’ve encountered Dracula as well. He can be indescribably frustrating and we understand the desire to vent and complain. But let’s take these experiences and turn them into something positive.
We are thrilled to announce that we are launching a free video series called the Anti-Starving Artist’s Starter Kit. In this series, we’re going to talk about:
Social Media Branding
Social Media Marketing
Social Media Interaction
It’s noisy and crowded in the social media world. We are going to show you how to stand out and leverage social media so you can thrive as a creative professional. We want you to succeed and, quite frankly, creating beautiful work alone doesn’t cut it. You have to promote and market yourself and we’ll teach you how.
If you spend much time on the Internet like I do, you know that it can be a wonderful place where you can meet new people, share ideas, and foster a community of like-minded individuals. In short, it’s rather awesome. But like anything worthy of your attention, the flip side of the World Wide Web is a dark and twisted place. Visit the comment section under most any YouTube video and you’ll witness the kind of anger and maliciousness usually reserved for Westboro Baptist Church rallies. It can make it difficult to stay positive when so much negativity is thrown about.
We are in a new age of business. Companies are outsourcing work to independent contractors; We are in a people business. This is something we keep pushing at Launching Creative—people don’t buy services, people buy people.
I have been entrepreneurial at heart as long as I can remember. When I was 4 years old, I was given the big news that I was going to be a big brother. My parents showed me a picture of an ultrasound. Not unlike most fully grown adults, I had no idea as to what the squiggles and blobs were.
After my parents explained to me that the black and white squiggles and blobs were my baby sister and that God had put her in my mommy’s belly I said, “Some day when I grow up, I’m going to invent a computer that takes pictures like this but the pictures are going to be in color. Doctors are going to stand in line all the way out in the street because they’ll want to buy my computer.”
Even when I was 4 years old, I was thinking of ways to make money.
I always take criticism as a challenge. It’s the way I’ve always looked at it. -Derek Jeter
Criticism is one of the best learning accelerators (and it’s free, most of the time.)
I know we touched upon this in our latest post about Sherlock. But this is without a doubt an important part of being a creative professional.
We all tend to tense up once we are criticized. It’s like we are automatically offended! And get this, most people aren’t trying to hurt your feelings. Most people who give criticism are only trying to help. If everyone just nodded their heads and said “good job” we’d never get anywhere. What happens is, we take criticism as a slap on the face by an eel
You agreed on a price before you began the project. Everything went smoothly. You completed your job, you were happy with the end result, and (more importantly) your client was happy with the end result.
You sent your invoice and expected to get paid and…BAM!
So you’ve given up the 9-5, no more boss, no more horizons filled with filing cabinets, and no more day-old-coffee. Whew!
…you are free!
You bought your new desk and its positioned perfectly by your window over looking your favorite view. Your computer has arrived and you’ve set up new email accounts for your business and popped open a fresh pack of post-its. Yep, you are ready! …Or so you think.
It’s a New Year, you’ve got a new start. So exciting! but before you go all Jason Pollock on your fresh canvas, let’s do this the smart way.
Creating resolutions is often an exciting and painful experience. Why? Because you are evaluating the things you haven’t done, or would like to change, as well as things you want to do. New, bold and wonderful things.
At Launching Creative, we’ve talked about some really cool topics. We’ve talked about freelancing and entrepreneurship, but we haven’t talked about full time jobs. There are a lot of creative professionals who are W2 employees and, of course, they can be Anti-Starving Artists just like entrepreneurs and freelancers!
Have you ever received an email only to discover that it was a generic, insincere template message? Presumably, this person blasted it out to countless recipients and, because you were a mere number, you received the spammy email.
We understand the desire to have a full-time job with a salary, benefits and a steady income. A lot of entrepreneurs and freelancers will say such circumstances would feel like being sentenced to prison—a notion we’ve found to be a bit dramatic (but understandable).
Just over two years ago, I began writing on a regular basis on this here internet and built a modest readership from the articles and thoughts I’ve posted. From writing on my own site regularly to creating guest articles for the likes of Relevant Magazine and Jon Acuff, I’ve been able to build a loyal following of about 7,000 subscribers who (hopefully) know they can go to CoryCopeland.net and find a few words that will encourage, comfort, and guide them when they’re in need. I don’t say all of this to brag or to boast, but to instruct in a way. I have a little bit of knowledge when it comes to growing an audience and I’m asked how to do so by readers on a semi regular basis. So when Nik Parks (co-creator of LaunchingCreative.com and long time buddy) asked me to write an article detailing just that, I leapt at the opportunity.
* Yes, that’s me cheesing. Why wouldn’t I be excited to meet the guy?!
Who’s Gary Vaynerchuk? Is he a rockstar or something?
I was asked this question as I described my privilege of meeting Gary Vaynerchuk last week. Later that night, I thought about the question and realized, you know what, Gary Vaynerchuk basically is a rockstar.
First off, congrats! Seriously, someone is interested in your work! This is not something to take for granted! This means you have something that other people want; whether that be a product or service, they think that you could be “valuable” to them. Now they are looking to talk and learn more about you!
“Freelancing is a personal business”
This is something that you should always keep in mind whenever meeting a client. People like people, so be personable. Be Genuine. I’ll promise you will get at least 75% more clients calling you back. Especially if you could really rock their socks offduring initial contact. Remember, you are; the swiss army knife, the one man band, YOU ARE YOUR business. As Uncle Ben Parker once said “With great power comes great responsibility” This is not to be taken lightly, you need to get your own clients because with no clients—there is no income coming in.
When I think of creatives, I think of a typical cop drama—everyone is highly territorial.
First, you have your uniformed cop. For some reason, he always has a grungy, uneducated sounding accent. Along comes the detective in a suit. The uniformed cop, unaware that this is a detective whose authority trumps his level of authority, mouths off to the detective.
“Hey! Buddy!” He says, “This area here is closed due to an ongoing police investigation!”
The detective, with unwavering and intimidating eye contact, opens his wallet and flashes his badge. He never utters a word.
Everyone knows that Walter White was a brilliant chemist. But I’d like to argue that he was also a genius in business. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a freelancer, or an employee…we can all learn a lot from Walter White.
You have decided to take on the mantle of being a “free-agent” not secret agent, you are on the wrong blog for that. Our sincerest apologies. You are probably here because the corporate world is stunting your creativity, you want to travel, or you just do things better on your own. Whatever the reason is, you are here now.
Here we will guide you with our experience, so that you no longer have to worry about making enough money to pay for rent and can stop buying that months supply of peanut butter and jelly at a discount rate at Costco…which you can’t afford the membership for so you snuck in on your mothers account. It’s okay, we understand.
Every business owner has their highs and lows—their ups and downs—but what are these pitfalls if we don’t learn from them? As the old saying goes, “When you fall off a horse, you have to get back on again.” Or as Bruce Wayne’s father often said, “Why do we fall, Bruce? So we can learn to pick ourselves back up.”
Some of the greatest success stories in the world came from failure and hitting rock bottom. In these moments of desperation, they picked themselves up.
To give you the perfect illustration of someone falling, here’s a photo we stumbled across recently.