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5 things I’ve learned since running my creative business

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Hey girl! I'm Cagney!

Running your own creative business, especially as a solopreneur, is no joke.

Sure, you have the flexibility to create your own schedule, get your hair done in the middle of the day, start work at 10am and end your day at 3pm…

But, you’re also your own boss and you’ve got to be so freaking determined to keep your business going, deal with slow months, market your business on social media, the list goes on…

Over the past 4 years (!!!) of running my own creative business, I’ve learned a hell of a lot.

And I wish someone had told me these 5 things sooner.

5 things I’ve learned since running my creative business

The best opportunities come from being yourself

Straight up, I wouldn’t be where I am today without being myself.

By showing up authentically and showing off my personality in interviews, I’ve landed every single freelancing job that I’ve interviewed for – humble brag 😉 The interviews started to feel like chatting with another creative friend rather than feeling job-interview-anxiety.

When I started showing up authentically on social media, I got so much more engagement on my posts and newsletter (shoutout to everyone who replies & comments ily 💖).

I pivoted to posting things like the Creative Coffee Chats because I felt passionate about it & it would give value to creative business owners. Rather than posting what other designers were posting because I thought that’s what I “had” to do.

When hopping on discovery calls with potential clients, we immediately connect because I showed up as myself! From one creative to another, we basically become besties on the call 🤗

don’t be afraid to pivot if something is no longer working for you

If you’ve been around since 2020 COVID times, you’d know this creative business of mine started out as an illustration business. But after a year and half, despite having my illustrations in my favorite Atlanta store, I grew to hateeeee having a product based business.

Rather than designing prints, I wanted to spend my time updating my website, branding my business, and creating instagram posts to market.

I knew I had to pivot. And it’s the best damn decision I ever made. 💖

Be SOCIAL on social media!

Sounds pretty self explanatory & easy, right? You’d be surprised at how long I spent doom scrolling or skipping through Instagram stories and not replying…yet, I expected others to engage in my content.

By genuinely commenting (none of those boring “💖💖💖” type of comments) on people’s stories or Instagram posts, I got friends because of it! Not only did this help with the loneliness that comes with being a solopreneur, but also being social encouraged others to want to engage in my content.

Growing an engaged audience allowed me to connect with other creatives (which turned into actual paying clients), sparked new ideas for social posts & made Instagram fun again.

Wanna keep up with me on the ‘gram? Follow along!

Take in all the free resources – BE A SPONGE!

I loveeeeee a good free resource. A workshop teaching me how to give my Instagram a refresh? SIGN ME UP. A newsletter giving my weekly tips for my creative business? YES PLZ.

Since starting my business, and even still to this day, I’m joining in on all the free workshops or guides I can get. There is so much great content out there and learning from other creatives who have been through exactly the same thing as you OR are an expert in a topic I wanna learn more about is so so SO valuable.

This is also your sign if you don’t have a freebie for your own creative business, you should totally create one. 😉

hire help for things that are not your area of expertise

Which brings me to my last & final lesson, if you have the means to, hire an expert. You will save sooooo many countless hours of stressing over whatever task is bogging you down.

For me, this is TAXES 🤡

My girl Ansley from Peach Perfect Financials is the absolute best & she loves working with creative service providers because she’s a creator too!

But for you, it may be:

🎨 Your BRANDING. It feels misaligned, it doesn’t feel authentic to you or your business, it doesn’t have the vibe you want, & it’s not attracting your ideal clients anymore (or your ideal clients have changed!) – let’s fix that!

🖥️ Your WEBSITE. It feels outdated. It’s showcasing your old creative work & not capturing how great your creative services really are. Or you’re heading crickets in your inquiry forms…Guess who can help with that? 😉

📱 Your INSTAGRAM. It feels inconsistent. You’re fully winging it, switching up your brand fonts & colors every time you post, & just hoping for the best. But it’s actually making you dread posting…How about we make posting on Instagram fun again?

Loved blog posts like this one?

You’ll love the weekly newsletter! Every Wednesday, I’ll teach ya the ins & outs of branding, web design, & social media + personal stories I’m dying to tell you. Passionate creatives, this one’s for you.

I’m Cagney, a vibrant designer who’s ready to get you excited about personal branding.

If you’re new here, helloooo fellow creative! I have a feeling you & I are gonna vibe together real quick, just like your people will with you real soon

hey girl!

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