New year, new business. That's our motto. 2018 is done and over with. It is time to get 2019 off to a banging start.
Continuing developing upon your design skills is a given. Always search for new techniques and learning more about the design programs. I wanted to start this year off with different advice.
Let's turn our attention to the non-design related side of running a brand design business. I know, this will not be as fun as designing, but these tasks can make a difference in business failure or success.
You may be able to hide a few things in business, but money is not one of them.
Working with an accountant is the best for businesses in the long run, but for now, an accountant software along with a couple of spreadsheets will work just fine.
If you do not already have an account, go to Freshbooks right now and set up your portfolio. I can not stress enough about how vital it is to be mindful of your money.
A Freshbooks account is not the end all be all. What you should also focus on is budgeting. With the spreadsheets I mentioned early, create your monthly budget. Know where all of the money is going at all times.
When starting a business, blogging and vlogging can be the most practical way to build awareness and awareness is one of the major factors in gaining new clients.
How do I get clients is prevalent amongst new designers which can be summed up in one word, awareness. A typical follow-up question is how do I build awareness?
Content as a whole is vital, but a blog or vlog channel will do the trick at the beginning. Share your knowledge about topics you are comfortable with to help solve your audience's problem. You could even start by just showing your journey or process.
3. Project Management
Taking control of your projects will benefit both you and the client tremendously. Not only will you position yourself as a professional, but the level of efficiency will increase.
A process of how to carry out each project is a gamechanger. Stop winging it! Take the time to write out each stage of the project along with milestones and due dates.
For each project, I create a board in the project management software, Asana. Asana helps me keep projects nice and organized.
4. Outbound Marketing
You should always have an active marketing strategy for your brand design business. It may take some time before you see a substantial number of leads coming from your content. Instead of waiting for a massive amount of blog views, get up and start talking to people.
Spark up conversations, cold call, or even send print designs to local businesses. Outbound marketing might sound a little old school, but it is better than sitting around waiting for clients to come to you.
5. Social Media Marketing
If you are on social media telling people to hire you to design a logo, stop it. Bring value to people in a way it makes viewers want to follow you. After creating a couple of vlogs and blog post, share them on platforms where your audience hangs out.
Consistently sharing original content and insight will help boost your credibility. Use a social media tool like Buffer to schedule a few posts a day. Doing this will ensure consistency, make sure the posts are valuable.
6. Business Planning
There needs to be a detailed plan for your business. Have a clear understanding of how you will spend the business' money and how it will grow.
We are building long-lasting brand design businesses, to do this successfully, a plan needs to be in place. Stop working to get by for the month. Begin making decisions that will affect the business long term.
7. List Building
Collect emails as soon as you can. When you have your website ready, immediately brainstorm ways to build an email list. One of the most effective ways is through a free opt-in visitors can download.
Start by giving away a piece of content for signing up to your email list to capture their info and now you can begin to build relationships.
Meet new people on and offline. Drop all expectation of getting a client right then and there. What you want to do is converse with others. People hire who they know if no one knows you, you will not get any clients.
Share what you are working on with the world. It does not have to be a perfect masterpiece every time. The book Show Your Work is a pretty good resource that has helped me in documenting.
Documentation can do two things, let people in on your process and help you easily train someone to take over minor design task eventually.
The business' money is not your money. Stop treating business income as your allowance. Instead, put the money back into your business. Hire a team or spend money on advertisement.
Time to get to work. What tasks are you focusing on in 2019?