Business tips from 4 creative pros who are crushing it

As I mentioned before in this post, recently I interviewed 9 amazing veteran freelancers, each on a different challenging topic they have personal experience excelling in.

From hiring employees to overcoming self-doubt, here are bits of the wonderful information four of them had to share (more coming soon):

On finding your niche and marketing to it

Veteran marketing and SEO specialist Becky Livingston (interview here), founder of Penheel Marketing, shares her story about identifying a need in the marketplace and using her talents to capitalize on it.

One of Becky’s go-to strategies for marketing her business is to do a lot of public speaking. As she puts it, “…when I have a room full of 300 CPAs, I may get a 10% lead generation out of that.”

On creativity and inspiration

Kiwi illustrator and designer, Glenn Jones (interview here), started creating incredibly funny t-shirts as a creative release outside his creative work. Now, it’s his main focus as has exploded into a full-time job. (Go check ’em out…before you know it, your closet will be full of them.)

How does Glenn keep producing such brilliant visual jokes that make great shirts? According to him, keeping it simple is a big part of it. “I’ll draw stuff, and I’ll actually remove stuff away which I don’t think helps the story in any way.”

Furthermore, now that he’s got a large catalog of designs available, Glenn says, “…what I have learned is, you can’t push it…I think often the best ideas are the ones that sort of organically evolve rather than setting aside time to actually do it.”

On becoming a (well-known) expert

Designer and best-selling author David Airey (interview here) is one of the few designers that might be considered, at least within the design community, a household name. Despite his fame and accolades, David remains very humble and down-to-earth, preferring to let others draw conclusions about the level of his skill and knowledge.

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When asked how his pricing is affected by his publishing success, David says, “Pricing is easier because I’ve learned more about it from designers who’ve contributed to the books. But it’s not because I’m published that I raise my rates. My pricing increases when my knowledge and skills grow, and I’m always learning, so it’s a steady increase.”

On the benefits teaching design has on your own career

Full-time University of South Alabama design professor and freelance designer, Diane Gibbs (interview here), shares not only how she got into teaching design, but also how it has helped her freelance career.

Diane says of her professorship, “…one of the things that makes it really worthwhile to teach, it’s all the stuff that I get to spend my time researching that when I had a job job or when I was a designer I had to do that in my extra time or I didn’t make time for that as much, and now I can really spend time doing that.”

Like what you’ve read?

Head on over to Stoked to check out the full interviews. Each one gets right to the point and is packed with tons of information to help you improve your creative career.

If you find excerpts like these helpful and inspiring (and you’d like to hear more), let us know so we can schedule more interviews on more topics like:

  • Creating a great redesign: knowing when to tweak the existing design or when to make a bold new move
  • Working as part of a collective co-op
  • Work-life balance when working a “real” job and freelancing
  • Finding time, peace, and quiet to work with young kids
  • Making it as an illustrator
  • What print shops want you, the designer, to know

PS – If you have a great topic or want us to get in touch with a specific freelancer, leave a comment and we’ll do our best to grant your wish!

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About April Greer

April is the Director of Projects at Reliable PSD, a design-to-code company for designers, by designers. She’s the glue keeping everything together, organized, and right on time, and giving everyone a fantastic experience while she does it.



  1. […] Business tips from 4 cre­ative pros who are crush­ing it From hir­ing employ­ees to over­com­ing self-doubt, here are bits of the won­der­ful infor­ma­tion from four amaz­ing vet­eran freelancers. […]


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