If you are looking to start a work at home business doing ‘something’ creative but you’re not sure what, then take at look at the work of designer Nicky Laatz for ultimate inspiration.
Nicky became hot news when she managed to become the first person on Creative Market to reach $1 million USD in sales! Nicky epitomises the dream. Stay-at-home Mum, working a job she loves. But this creative genius has not perfected her art overnight. Nicky says that she’s been doing this for over 15 years and in that time has developed some tried and trusted techniques for creating inspiring work that has her customers flocking to her door. So, what is her appeal and what is it that makes her so successful? And, more importantly can her success be emulated! We take a look at some of her tips:
Branding according to Bop Design, believes that 45% of a brand’s image can be attributed to what it says and how it says it. However, whilst Nicky believes having an identifiable personal brand is important to success, she doesn’t believe it’s crucial in the early stages of developing an artistic career. What is most important is that you deliver on what you promise.
Use great images. Using great images is absolutely crucial to successful marketing. According to an Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition report, 75% of consumers list the quality of a product’s image as the most important factor in making their purchasing decision. But what can you do if you struggle with taking great photographs – well, you can outsource of course. Kayla Butler of Ivorymix is a professional photographer who sells her photography for you to use in your own marketing; Creative Market is again another area where you can purchase pre-designed flatlays and background mockups. However, if you’re starting a business creating graphics then you’ll need to learn how to take great screenshots. Nicky says ‘It’s half the job of making your item sell’.
Don’t be a people pleaser. Don’t try to please all of the people all the time. We keep hammering this one home on all our courses – in other words: know your target audience. Nicky points out that she is aware that not every single product she creates will appeal to everyone. But as long as there are people that will appreciate most of what you do, you can maintain a successful business and enjoy it at the same time. The quickest way to losing your passion for your business is to try to create products for every taste. This all comes back to knowing your niche, identifying what you’re good at and focussing your efforts on that.
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Know your Competitors! What did we say in Finding and Winning Clients? In Nicky’s experience your competitors are a great source of inspiration. Find out what people are buying and learn from other people in your niche. If a million dollar artist still does this, then there must be huge benefit – so go out there and research your competitors.
Never Stop Learning. Amazingly for all of Nicky’s success, she is a self-taught graphic designer! This proves that anyone can learn to be a successful entrepreneur. If you want to do something, then do everything in your power to achieve it. There are so many online courses available now, I doubt there isn’t a course for your niche. Our own courses specialise in business start-ups and business building, but for more artistic study you could try Craftsy, Creativebug or Skillshare.
Outsource tasks. Delegate jobs you are weak at. As a creative you need to concentrate on producing beautiful products for your customers; if you haven’t got anyone around you that can take on the admin elements of running a business, then look to companies such as Fiverr – you might be surprised at what you find. Nicky recommends balancing the design and business side by delegating where you can.
So, what have we learned from creative genius Nicky Laatz:
Brand your business if you can but don’t let developing a brand stop you building your business.
Use great images and if you are weak in this area, outsource to professionals such as Kayla Butler.
Don’t be a people pleaser. Know your market and target audience.
Study your competitors! You can find more examples of Nicky’s work here.
Delegate! Stop trying to do everything yourself. All successful entrepreneurs have a team of people around them, they just make it look like they’re doing it all themselves! Keep the creative tasks you love to do and which make you happy, outsource the rest.
In our next blog post, we’ll be looking at some of the essential tools that help to make a solopreneur’s life so much easier. Make sure you sign-up to our updates to keep up to-date.