WHO DO YOU LOVE?

ideal-client When I first started offering graphic design services, a good friend suggested before I get started, I should really think about who my ideal client would be. Visualize this person. Write down their traits. YES I thought, that's so smart. Then did I do it? Nope. Sure didn't.

I was so excited about the inquiries that were coming in that I put this important exercise on hold... to get to work! Cuz just diving in is so much easier when you're excited!

BUT. By not having a clear idea in my mind of who I'd like to work with, I was more impulsive, reactive, and less intentional when it came to accepting clients.

Now that I'm a couple months in, I realize how important it is to take this exercise seriously. To get crystal clear about who I want to work with. While I've REALLY lucked out and worked with some amazing people, there have been a few instances where I've had to say no. The project didn't feel right, the client didn't feel like my kind of client.

SO now I'm asking: who do I want to work with? I'll start there... and then I'll narrow, refine, and get specific. Right as I was contemplating this, I received an email from Amanda Genther's Power Play program talking about this EXACT TOPIC. Ok, universe, I hear ya. I'll start figuring all this out...

blogger

Ideal client numero uno: The Blogger

So you have a blog and you're totally kicking ASS. You love your site design, it's your brand + style all the way... but what about social media? Facebook cover photo + tabs? Twitter background + cover? Okay, they need a serious update. And those new series & programs you're offering soon? They could definitely use some graphics infused with your style.

Hmm and in a few months, an updated logo would be RAD...

Dudes. I've been there. I am there. I totally get the bloggers, yo. I can help.

solopreneur

02 Ideal client numero dos: The Solopreneur

Your business is boomin' like whoa... but it's just you and like that quote floating around on pinterest - you can do anything but you can't do everything. SO buttons + banners + headers for your programs, eye-catching & pinnable images for your blog posts, customized thank you cards to go with your products - yep. You need to hire out.

Contributing to the success of a fellow entrepreneur is THE BEST part of what I do. Double hooray for working together to achieve something amazing.

growing-business

03 Ideal client numero tres: The Growing Bidness

You're kicking major ass in the business world and you've hired a few employees - whaaaat, high five. Even with your crew, there are still SO many day-to-day graphic design projects, there's no way you can keep up. Daily facebook posts specifically marketing your brand, new visuals for promos, pinnable graphics to help drive traffic back to your site. OH yeah, time to get a graphic designer on board.

Hooray for some client clarity! And guys, this is just the beginning. I'm planning to get even MORE specific about clients. There will be questionnaires. Maybe even a mad lib or two... stay tuned, you know I'll share everything with ya.

It’s Thursday and that means a whole gang of rad bloggers are talking about happiness. Join the movement below and on twitter with #BeHappylinkup!

be-happy-banner

Image found: one by artsocial | two | three | four

ARTSOCIAL TURNS TWO! LET'S EAT CAKE.

woot woot Guys, it's my 2nd blogiversary! Clearly a giant cake is in order.

I cannot believe it's been two years. I've learned so dang much, it blows my mind how much can happen and change in such a short amount of time. I have so many goals and dreams for this site, it's easy to forget how much I've already done simply because there's still so much I want to do.

In honor of the blogiversary - and in honor of slowing down to celebrate accomplishments instead of blowing past them - I thought we'd revisit some of my very favorite posts / moments from the past two years...

+ My very first Art Crush post! Still crushin' on that rad work... I mean, it's art you can walk on! How awesome is that?

+ The first Shoes & Views, arguably the coolest series ever. High five, Kate.

+ Going to blogshop in Seattle. Wow that was such a turning point. My confidence, skills, and excitement all got a major boost that weekend. I'm forever grateful for blogshop.

+ The post that inspired the Be Happy linkup... and my decision to leave the museum world for reals. P.S. another major milestone? It's been a whole year since I left my museum job! That means 12 months of solopreneurship. 365 days of blind faith that my passion would turn into a profitable career. I'm SO glad I made that leap.

+ Ab Ex Halloween! That costume was so fun to put together... I still have the painting, too.

+ Going to Alt Summit. Omigosh talk about another pivotal event. I don't want to start tearing up, but this was life changing. It's where I met the Tiffany Han after all! Things started to get real - and real awesome - after this conference.

+ Our first Eat Drink Create party! Oh man, seriously one of the best decisions I've made as a blogger. Real life is where it's at, I tell ya. I can't wait to go back to West Elm for our holiday party next month. So excited to celebrate the holidays with you guys!

It's been an amazing ride so far. To everyone I've connected with because of this blog: thank you for being so freaking awesome. I wish I could give all of you a slice of this cake I bought to celebrate the occasion. Ok, me and Kevs will each have an extra piece in your honor.

woot woot

HUGE shout out and thank you to Lila of Lingering Daydreams for making me this custom cake banner!! I'm in love with it. I want to put it on all my food. Pizza, pancakes, everything. Thanks, Lila! :)

It’s Thursday and that means a whole gang of rad bloggers are talking about happiness. Join the movement below and on twitter with #BeHappylinkup!

be-happy-banner

Images by artsocial.

OFF I GO!

portland-bound Traveling is one of my very favorite things. I'm always planning my next adventure. In fact, I planned this trip way back in July! I am super excited to explore Portland. I've never been there before. I'm told I'll love it... and I bet Portlandia will be even funnier after visiting.

But the main reason I'm going is because one of my very favorite people in the world lives there. I cannot wait to mix some drinks and have many, many dance parties. I think I'm finally going to perfect my dougie...

But I must know! Where should I go while I'm in Portland? Restaurants, shops, drinkeries - I'd love your tips + recommendations!

Wait - would you want to come to Portland with me? You totally should. Oh okay, if you can't there's always instagram :) see ya soon, friends.

Image by Victor Blackman found here.

MAKING ROOM FOR THE NEW

be happy Each Thursday for the past year, I've written a post about happiness and hosted the Be Happy linkup. While it's been truly amazing and I've fallen in love with the whole Be Happy crew, lately I've been feeling the need to take a step back and make room for the new. Do you ever feel that way? Even if you have the best routine ever, it helps to shake things up a bit every now and then, right? After all, if we don't try new things, our senses can dull and we can lose our sparkle... and THE WORST thing you can do is lose your sparkle.

This community is so important to me, I've been reeeaally hesitant to take a break from the linkup. I know, I'm sure I'm being silly. Everyone will do just fine without this linkup each week. But it's become important to me and everyone who links up has become important to me. SO what to do?

Well... ask for help. I'm learning I don't have to carry it all on my own, in life or in bidness. While I'm traveling a bit this month, setting some new goals, and exploring new sparkly ideas, I've asked Louise of Laid Off Mom to host the linkup. Because she's the best ever, she said yes.

So head on over to Laid Off Mom, link up with Louise, and then pour yourself a drink for being so damn awesome. Cuz you are. At the end of the day, the Be Happy linkup really is about this community. Lots of love to all of you!

Image found here.

WORDS TO LIVE BY

makingstuffanddoingthings Remember my Be Happy Commandments that went along with my happiness project?? I wrote them almost a year ago exactly. They still bring me so much inspiration... but I think it's time to add a few more to the list. These gems are definitely commandment-worthy.

01 Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together. (when something unexpected happens, trust that it's for the very best of reasons...)

02 Say yes and you'll figure it out afterwards. (wise words from Tina Fey.  A reminder for me to follow my excitement and not over-think the hows)

03 There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. (a quote by Anaïs Nin that will always encourage me to step out of my comfort zone and blossom like cray)

04 To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong. (work like nobody's watching, right? Quote by Joseph Chilton Pearce)

05 If I embrace who I am it will open doors not shut them. (quote by Devon Franklin. Honoring your values and going for what you really want will only lead to more opportunities, not less)

Bonus quote: Let's get down to some serious partying. I LOVE that photo by Nicole Lavelle. Genius. Plus there's always room for more celebrations in this life...

Which quote resonates with you the most??

It’s Thursday and that means a whole gang of rad bloggers are talking about happiness! Join the movement below, on facebook, and on twitter with #BeHappylinkup!

be-happy-banner

Image: Too Much by Nicole Lavelle.

ALT FOR EVERYONE RECAP

photo by sandra freij You guys ready for an Alt for Everyone recap?? Let's do it! But first, can I just say how much I LOVE these photos by photographer Sandra Freij... major art crush!

Okay, the conference. Hands down the BEST part of the conference was Joy Cho's keynote, The Art of Being a Goal Getter.

Here are some takeaways + my thoughts:

+ You can't wait around for it. Whatever "it" may be. You're the only one who can make your dreams happen. Whether that means quitting your un-fulfilling day job or working extra hard to let go of limiting beliefs because YOU KNOW you're worth more, it's your job. Get started now. You'll be so glad you did.

+ You have to want it. Being a blogger (or any kind of freelancer) is hard work. You have to be SURE this is the path you want to go down. There aren't any shortcuts, it requires passion and a whole lotta go-getterness.

+ Do your research. Be strategic about your goals. I'm a big believer in the power of positive thinking, but that alone won't cut it. You have to be willing to do the work and plan wisely, cuz there are approximately a bazillion options out there. Find the ones that give you butterflies.

+ Put together a presentation that shines. Joy talked a lot about how she'd put together amazing packets and send them off to companies she loved. So simple, but so inspiring. I loved her courage to reach out! Make contact with your dream companies, you never know where it will lead. Show them how rad you are and convince them they need you!

+ "No" is not the end of the world. Just because something doesn't work out - a specific pitch or job - doesn't mean it was all for nothing. The universe might have something even more incredible lined up for you...!

photo by sandra freij

My next favorite Alt for Everyone sesh was with Yoked on How to Craft the Perfect Pitch. They put together this incredible resource page for us, check it out! Oh my gah, so helpful.

photo by sandra freij

Ooh a lot of you asked about the Pinterest class! Here are my favorite tips from that class:

+ Focus on niche boards. For example, break "Food" boards into smaller categories, like "Desserts." Ooh I could totally see myself breaking my "Partay" board down... imagine, a whole board dedicated to confetti!!

+ Use the "like" button. Liking pins is a great way to show fellow pinners some love without taking up room on your boards. It's always good to share the love!

+ Comment comment comment! Pinterest is a social site just like twitter and facebook. It's about community and interacting, too!

+ Chose images wisely. Be mindful about your pinning, pin images that are clear, concise, cropped, and colorful.

+ Keep tabs. See what people are pinning from your blog by going to: http://pinterest.com/source/YourBlogURL

photo by sandra freij

IN CONCLUSION

I must say, much like Alt SLC, my favorite part of the experience was connecting with other bloggers. There was so much twitter love! That was the best part.

There's only so much you can learn in a class before it's time to just do it. Start writing. Start designing. Start pitching. There aren't any shortcuts to becoming a successful blogger. There isn't going to be a class that tells you that one secret ingredient you've been missing. Do your best work, be consistent, be bold in your pitches, and confident in what you're creating. That will set you apart... and that, along with a crazy amount of drive, will bring you success. (And P.S. you probably know more about being a rad blogger than you think you do!)

Were you at Alt for Everyone?? What was your favorite part?

 

It’s Thursday and that means a whole gang of rad bloggers are talking about happiness! Join the movement below, on facebook, and on twitter with #BeHappylinkup!

be-happy-banner

Photos by Sandra Freij.