When inspiration doesn’t strike

Folding rulerOne of the secrets of being a successful creative professional — whether you design, snap photos, write, or whatever — is developing the habit of sitting down and doing the job every day, even if “the muse” doesn’t show up for work on time (or at all). The best way to build that discipline is to pick something that can be measured and make a commitment to it.

Read the full story on the Marketing Mentor Blog.

  How’s Your Business Fitness?

workout-icnWhether you’re a solopreneur or the owner of a small agency with a few employees, many of the same skills you would use for staying fit — regularly setting goals, tracking progress, and measuring results — also apply to keeping a creative business healthy. And the healthier your business is, the less effort it takes to keep it in shape.

Read the full story on the Creative Freelancer Blog.

  One Word to Change Your Creative Business in 2015

winking-retro-guyThe story of IBM’s “think” campaign is a favorite anecdote among speakers and writers concerned with success. Originally developed by IBM founder Thomas J. Watson, Sr., the single word “think” first appeared in IBM offices, plants and company publications in the 1920s. By the early 1930s, it had crowded out most other inspirational slogans used by the company.

While I don’t pretend to be in the same class as IBM, I too have adopted a one-word slogan for my creative business. It’s boosted my productivity by changing the way I work and — no pun intended — think about my business. And it can do the same thing for you.

Read the full story on the Creative Freelancer Blog

  5 ways to avoid the wrong freelance gigs

Business-questionOne of the stock interview questions smart employers ask job candidates is “what are your greatest weaknesses?”

As a freelancer you’re less likely to get this question from potential clients, but it’s still worthwhile for you to know the answer. Regardless of whether you started freelancing by choice or from economic necessity, one of the perks is your ability to choose the work you do. And few things will hold you back more than taking on the wrong jobs.

Read the full story on the Creative Freelancer Blog.

  Saying No to “Monkey Mind”

monkeyIn Tai Chi practice, there’s a concept called “monkey mind.” It’s the little voice in the back of your head that nags you about your every flaw—real or imagined.

The monkey says things like: “You’re a failure.” “You’re a fraud.” And its favorite refrain: “Nothing you do will ever work out right because you’re just not good enough.”

Freelancers and solo creative pros are particularly susceptible to monkey mind, partly because we have fewer defenses built into our workflow. Here are 3 tips for beating this insidious success-killer:

Read the full story on the Creative Freelancer Blog.

  4 myths about freelance introverts…

MBTI-Results…and why they’re wrong, wrong, wrong.

Being an introvert doesn’t mean you can’t master the skills of interacting with people and generating freelance business; it simply means the process feels effortful, especially in groups.

Many extroverts claim you should just “get over it” and act like an extrovert (or better yet, force yourself to become one). But there’s a much better solution for freelance introverts: use your natural introvert strengths to get ahead.

Read Part 1 on the Creative Freelancer Blog.
Read Part 2 on the Creative Freelancer Blog.

  The “problem” of more work than you can handle

HelpFinding enough work to fill your pipeline can be a challenge, especially in the early days of your freelance career. But if you do your marketing work consistently, provide great service, and eat your Wheaties long enough, your business will eventually reach a point where you’re pushing the limits of your capacity.

This doesn’t mean you’ll break free of the “feast or famine” cycle. That will always be a risk, and your best defense is to keep your marketing machine running even when you’re crazy busy.

No, the milestone I’m talking about here is when you realize that taking on additional jobs that you handle personally is no longer a viable way for your business to grow because you’re stretched to the limit—or beyond.

Read the full story on the Creative Freelancer Blog.

  Marketing Yourself After a Monster Project

get-noticedI was recently interviewed for a great article by my colleague Bryn Mooth about re-starting your marketing machine after a major project. Check it out!

You’ve been immersed in a Monster Project that has consumed all your billable hours for months. Or, perhaps, you’ve been working on a lengthy contract assignment for a client. Time to start marketing yourself again. Here’s how.

Read the full story on The Creative Group Blog.