Are you a freelancer, graphic designer, photographer, videographer, writer, or have a desire to turn your creative passion into a thriving business adventure?. Buckle up, because we're about to embark on an exciting journey to make your creative dreams come true! We've got seven super fun and direct steps to help you launch your creative business with a BANG!
1: Discover Your Creative Playground
Let's start with a bang! Dive deep into your creative soul and discover your niche. It's like finding your secret treasure chest of creativity. Are you a master of illustrations, a wizard with words, or a design superhero? Once you know your superpower, identify your dream audience – the cool folks who'll appreciate your creative magic.
Before we dive headfirst into the exciting world of freelancing, let's get our game plan together. Think of it as sketching out the blueprint of your freelance empire. Ready? Fill in these blanks: "My business offers _______ to _______ so they can _______."
This simple sentence is like the cornerstone of your creative freelance business. So, hats off to you! By defining what you're offering and who it's for, you've just taken a bold step toward the freelance life.
Now, listen up, because freelancers aren't just dreamers; they're doers. Here are the core questions to ask as you launch your service-based business:
What's Your Creative Gig?
Imagine you're a photographer – are you selling prints, doing fancy photoshoots, creating stunning albums, delivering digital files, or offering all-in-one packages? You can even toss in some passive income ideas to make cash while you snooze!
Who's Your Dream Client?
Think about your ideal crowd. Are you snapping pics for individuals, capturing memories for families, boosting small businesses, or making big corporations look even cooler?
Where Will They Find You?
Are your clients scouring the web for your talents, or are they looking to shake hands in real life? Many freelancers – men and women alike – often use a mix of local and online tactics to grow their gig.
Know Your Competition – and Yourself
Check out the competition in your creative field. But more importantly, make sure your gig is something you're passionate about – or at least something that brings a smile to your face every day!
2: Craft a Winning Business Plan
Now, don't be scared by the word "plan." We're not talking about boring spreadsheets and pie charts here. Think of your business plan as your creative adventure map. Map out your goals, your strategy to conquer the creative world, and how you'll make that moolah. It's your blueprint to success!
Now that we've got the foundation laid, it's time to add some layers to this business cake. We're talking about the juicy details – how much to charge, how many clients you wanna hustle with, and what makes your gig stand out in the crowd.
Money Talks, Baby!
First, let's talk finance. Take a peek at those bank accounts and get real about how much dough your business needs to rake in. You've got your personal bills, business expenses, and taxes to think about. It's all part of the gig.
Strategize Like a Boss
Now, onto the strategy side of things. Are you gonna specialize in one killer niche or play the field as a versatile freelancer? Picture this: when I started as a freelance graphic designer, I took on any design project that landed on my desk. Business cards? You bet. Website and logo designs for any industry? Bring it on! Now, here's the kicker – being a jack-of-all-trades is a sweet start to your freelancing journey. It's like boot camp for working with clients and learning the ropes. But let me tell you, there's a ceiling on the cash you can make in that game, and I bumped my head on it pretty quick.
Find Your Niche, Be a Pro
If you wanna hit the big leagues and make the serious bucks, consider diving deep into a niche. It's like choosing a superpower that sets you apart. Whether it's crafting jaw-dropping logos for tech startups or designing killer websites for restaurants, specializing early can catapult your income and build a rock-solid reputation.
3: Let's Get Legit!
Alright, it's time to take your creative hustle to the digital battlefield. We're talking about setting up your online presence, and trust me, it's a game-changer. Here's the lowdown – you might not need all these tools right away, but having them in your arsenal from the get-go is a smart move.
Email Address: Be A Pro, Not Basic
First things first, get yourself a pro-level email address. None of that @gmail.com stuff. It's time to rock an email address that ends with your own website domain. That's how the big players do it!
Your Digital Digs: The Website
Your website is like your digital headquarters. Sure, it might not look like a futuristic fortress on day one, but it'll evolve over time. For now, focus on getting a basic site up and running. If you're not a tech wizard, consider bringing in a web designer to work their magic.
Show Off Your Skills: The Portfolio
This is your online masterpiece gallery. Whether you're snapping pics, designing like a champ, writing up a storm, or conquering any other creative field, your portfolio is your golden ticket. It's what convinces people to hire you, whether they discovered you in-person or on social media. So, make it shine!
Social Media: Join the Party
You've got to go where your ideal clients are hanging out. Whether it's Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or the newest social hotspot, pick the platforms that suit your style and your audience. It's like joining the coolest parties in town!
Don't Forget the Classics: Business Cards
Believe it or not, real-world encounters still matter. You could meet your next big client at a networking event or while grabbing cereal at the grocery store. Always have some slick business cards handy for those unexpected moments.
The Email Empire: Building Your List
Imagine this: someone visits your website, but they're not ready to buy just yet. That's where your email list comes into play. Tools like Mailchimp or ConvertKit can help you capture their email and keep them in the loop. Send 'em updates, share your latest services, and watch your empire grow.
4: Craft Your Dope Brand Identity
Alright, it's crunch time, it's time to put on your business suit because you're not just playing around – you're running a legit operation. Your creative work has value, and it's time to get organized and streamline your systems from day one.
Rule Your Schedule: Like a Boss
Even if you're flying solo right now, remember, this isn't a hobby; it's a business. So, let's start with your schedule. If you're juggling a 9-5 gig while building your creative empire in the evenings and weekends, that's cool – it's all about balance. Set a realistic schedule for when you'll work on your business.
For example, let's say you've got Tuesdays and Thursdays between 6:30 and 8:30 PM free. Well, those slots are sacred now. If someone wants to grab drinks during your business hours, politely tell them you've got commitments.
It might seem tough, but this is your time to shine, your journey to greatness. You can still have a social life; you just need to be strategic and honor the commitments you've made to your business.
Plan Like a Pro: Be Your Own CEO
If you're going all-in on your creative gig without another job on the side, it's even more critical to establish a clear schedule. Decide when you'll work and what your top priorities are. You'll be balancing short-term client hunts with long-term strategies like growing your audience over time.
I've got a pro tip for you (SUPER HACK) – use a tool like Trello, a free task management powerhouse. It's like having a personal assistant, keeping your creative business on track and your tasks organized.
5: Shine Online and Be Social
Time to turn on the lights and let everyone know who you are. It's time to build bridges and connect with the folks who need your creative genius. No more hiding behind the curtains, your first few clients are out there – they woke up today, sipped their coffee, and guess what? They have problems you can solve, and you don't need a magic wand to find them. In fact, you might already know them personally!
Tap Into Your Network:Start with Familiar Faces
When you're kickstarting your creative business, your existing network is pure gold. Friends, family, and contacts – they're your launchpad. Even if they're not your ideal clients, they have their own networks, and someone in there might be on the hunt for precisely what you offer.
So, don't hesitate to spread the word about your new gig on your personal Facebook or Instagram. Meet up for coffee with acquaintances, or shoot out a friendly email to let your contacts know what kind of clients you're itching to work with.
Connect, Don't Just Collect Business Cards
It's all about REAL connections. When you hit up a networking event, don't go all-in on the hard sell. Imagine you're a videographer and you meet a copywriter. Instead of hustling for clients on the spot, build a genuine professional relationship. You scratch their back, they scratch yours – referrals flowing like a cool breeze.
Networking might be your secret weapon until clients start knocking on your door. So, find ways to make it enjoyable and natural. Heck, join online and in-person networking opportunities with the goal of making meaningful connections. And hey, here's another tip – join Facebook groups of motivated designers is a fantastic place to start building your network! Simply, search in a keyword related to your industry and hop in those groups and spark conversations.
6: Be the Money Boss
You're the boss! Now, let's go make some money TODAY. We all know these are countless ways to promote your business, but let's focus on one powerhouse strategy: creating content that resonates with your ideal clients.
Content is King: Be the Voice of Your Business
How many times have you heard that one? Well, it's true. Especially, as we move forward in a more tech world as iPhones are dropping like pancakes and AI is leading the charge on everything digital. So, your content can take many forms – a blog, a YouTube channel, active social media profiles, or even a mind-blowing podcast. The key is to find a platform where you can showcase your personality and expertise to potential clients.
Imagine this: a simple blog post titled "5 Tips for Capturing Those Perfect Smiles in a Photoshoot." It's like a sneak peek into your world and your style before clients even hire you. Consider throwing some targeted paid advertising into the mix to supercharge your business growth.
Experiment and Explore: Find Your Promotional Mojo
Don't be afraid to experiment with different promotional methods to discover what works best for you. Fun fact – I snagged my first graphic design client by posting on Instagram by searching up clients in industries that I wanted and stared "cold DMing" everyone I wanted to work with. So, there's no one-size-fits-all approach – you do you!
Battle Imposter Syndrome: You're the Real Deal
Now, here's a heads-up – imposter syndrome is a common hurdle, especially when you're new to promoting your creative business. It's that nagging feeling of self-doubt, the fear that you're not a "real" business owner.
But when those insecurities rear their heads, look back at that statement you crafted earlier: "My business offers ______ to ______ so they can ______." You've got a mission, a purpose, and you're the boss. Trust yourself, champ!
7: Be a Marketing Maverick
Listen up, champion – your creative business is a living, breathing entity. It won't stay the same forever, and that's the beauty of it.
Evolve and Adapt: Your Business Journey Unfolds
As time goes on, you'll fine-tune your processes until administrative tasks run like clockwork. You'll become a master in your craft, and unexpected opportunities will pop up, taking your business in exciting new directions. Who knows, you might end up steering your business down a path you couldn't have imagined in the beginning.
The Key to Success: Keep on Keeping On
The secret sauce to achieving consistent income, the freedom to work from anywhere, and that oh-so-satisfying sense of creative fulfillment is simple – keep moving forward. Keep showing up for yourself, maintain that positive mindset, and stay focused on what's possible.
Sometimes, you'll need to take action steps that push you out of your comfort zone. Embrace the challenge; it's where growth happens. Always be testing no matter what happens. I remember my first post on Instagram and Facebook about my services only got a few likes (maybe like 12 lol) and I did question if I was going about it the right way. I knew my services were great and people needed them. I just had to remain consistent ion my pursuit and keep showcasing my skills so that others can find me. So, don't give up if the first few posts don't go right. It will eventually as you continue.
Community is Your Superpower
Here's a pro tip – surround yourself with a tribe of fellow creative entrepreneurs. They'll be your source of inspiration and your North Star during the highs and lows of your business journey.
One day, when you look back on this moment in your life, you'll break into a proud smile. You'll celebrate the fact that you took the leap, valued your work, and believed in yourself enough to start your creative business from scratch.
Is It Realistic to Start Your Creative Business? Absolutely!
Let's address the elephant in the room: is it realistic to kickstart your creative business? Are you out of your mind? What if it all goes belly up?
Now, let's flip the script on those questions: Is sticking to your 9-5 grind for the rest of your career truly "realistic"? Will your job even exist in the next five years? What if the company you work for decides to call it quits? Even though that steady paycheck feels cozy now, the reality is that in the world of 9-5, there's always a risk of hitting a roadblock and starting from scratch.
Freelancing isn't a new kid on the block. In fact, there are tens of millions of freelancers in the US alone, and all the credible business forecasts are singing the same tune – freelancing is on the rise.
Freelancers: The Heroes Companies Love
Why do companies adore working with freelancers? Well, it's simple. Freelancers are the Jedi Masters of their crafts. They deliver jaw-dropping work, and clients can sleep easy because they don't have to worry about all those employee benefits.
Sure, starting your creative freelance business might feel like navigating a maze at first. You'll learn as you go, there will be moments of self-doubt, and yes, you might make a few missteps.
But here's the deal – take it one strategic step at a time, learn from those who've blazed the trail before you, and wrap yourself in the warm embrace of a supportive community. You can turn your creative dreams into reality, launch the business you've always yearned for, and live life on your terms.
Let's make a pact to conquer EVERY YEAR and turn your creative business vision into a thrilling reality! 🚀 If you are looking to jumpstart your business and get off to a great start Level Up Daily is offering an exclusive 1-1 consultation session for those who take ACTION as we will dive deep into your brand/industry, come up with strategies and help you stand out from the competition. Book below and let's level up together!