Live Encore: Tips & Tricks for Your Creative Business Success | Peggy Dean | Skillshare

Live Encore: Tips & Tricks for Your Creative Business Success

Peggy Dean, Top Teacher | The Pigeon Letters

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9 Lessons (50m)
    • 1. Introduction

      1:38
    • 2. Understanding Your Why

      7:11
    • 3. Managing Your Many Hats

      7:29
    • 4. Getting to Know Your Ideal Audience

      7:10
    • 5. Picking the Perfect Channels

      4:48
    • 6. Helping People Find You

      5:09
    • 7. Doing the Work to Get the Work

      10:00
    • 8. Q&A on the Creative Life

      3:27
    • 9. Final Thoughts

      2:42
22 students are watching this class

About This Class

Learn how to level up all aspects of your creative business in this 45-minute masterclass with creative entrepreneur Peggy Dean! 

In this Skillshare Live class—recorded using Zoom and featuring participation from the Skillshare community—artist, entrepreneur, and top Skillshare teacher Peggy Dean gets into the nitty gritty of what creatives need to know to excel at running a business.

Peggy covers a lot of ground in this class—from how to manage your time when you’re wearing all the hats to identifying your ideal audience to social media marketing and SEO—so have your notebook ready to jot down all the insights and action steps you’re sure to walk away with to help improve your business operations. 

Whether you’re new to running a business or a veteran creative entrepreneur, you’re bound to learn something from Peggy’s years of experience. And remember—it’s not just about learning, you’ve got to take action, too! Once you’re done with the class, head over to the “Projects & Resources” to take your first steps towards building an even stronger creative business.

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While we couldn't respond to every question during the session, we'd love to hear from you—please use the class Discussion board to share your questions and feedback.

Transcripts

1. Introduction: You can absolutely Ford your path anyway that you want to, and that's just about your energy and your focus. I mean, you guys showed up here today if for whatever reason you did, that's part of your journey and part of your focus. I am Peggy Dean and I am an educator, author, artists, many hats, but mostly I love sharing creative resources to those who are passionate about creating no matter where they are on their journey. Today I'm really excited because we're talking about a plethora of different business tips and tricks. I mostly so excited to share about this because I eat, breathe, live this topic. It is something that I am constantly wanting to learn myself. I'm constantly like sucking in all the information that I possibly can. Then my favorite thing to do is to force it on other people. I'm really excited to share because I'm passionate about it and it's, it matters, like this is how you're going to excel and I want to see that happen. It's very exciting for me. I think what people are going to take away from this class the most is maybe just a different way to think about all his overwhelming information. I wanted people to have an idea of the actionable items that they're going to take next. I think that I've got some thought-provoking material as well as directly actionable material tips to provide. I think, hope and also know that that's what people are trying to take. But with that being said, I'm really excited. Let's just get into it. 2. Understanding Your Why: My name is Tiffany Chow. I work on Skillshare's community team and I'll be playing the privileged role of host today. I'm tag teaming with Peggy here. I know you all probably already know who Peggy Dean is, one of Skillshare's top teachers. Oh, Peggy, we're super excited to have you here today. Tell us a bit about who you are, what you do, what we're going to do today. Yeah. Hi, I'm Peggy Dean and I am a creative educator. I like to basically provide resources as much as possible for anybody who is eager to create or eager to take that up as a hobby or as a business. I know today we are going to be talking about some business tips and tricks, which I'm super excited to bring you because I will say that, while there is a journey to go on, there are so many things that you would never have thought about along the way. I know it's a lot easier to hear somebody say words and not apply them than it is to actually try to dig in and research and there's so much value to actually determining that on your own. I understand that, but I want to as best as I can provide some of my own experiences so that they can maybe make you just think a little bit along your own journey if that makes sense. Internationally, I know I just talked about what we are going to talk about, but that's also my huge passion of what I have created on the pigeon letters, which is my brand. Yeah, that's a bit about me and what we're talking about. Awesome. Thank you so much. We're super excited to hear a little bit more about those tricks. If you want to jump right in, I think hopefully you'll be able to share your screen. I sure can. The first thing that I want to address is that progress is very slow and steady. I don't know if you guys can see my face, I'm a really passionate talker. So if you can see my screen and my face, know that you're not just looking at this neat graphic, but I'm actually over here talking with my hands a lot. But the importance of embracing where you're at, the reason that I want to bring this up first is because it's a time of discovery. It's a time of experimentation, exploration like finding your preferences, learning some more, practicing some more, and you probably have the situation where you see successful artists in the industry. You see people who are taking many different routes and all of that information can be information overload. If I could do anything differently, I truly believe that had I slowed down in the beginning, I still could have made it where I am today, if not better, because I would've been able to really value the process of where I was going and why. I wouldn't have had a year last year where I question everything that I was doing, thinking I wanted to be a licensing artist, wanting to be considered, taken seriously for art, things like that. With that said though, I think that it's absolutely fine to evolve and to pivot along your journey. But when you are in your time of discovery and experimentation, the biggest thing that I can say is that if you can bring yourself back to the core of you and bring yourself back to the place where you are really owning your why, and I know that that is such a buzzword sentence, but it really comes down to it because when you follow that path, that's where your energy goes to and everything else organically opens up because you want to know what it is that you want to research next. All this information that you're getting along the way can in turn mask what your actual goal is. So be mindful of that along the journey can be really, really important. I wanted to say that ask yourself why a lot, ask yourself why you started creating in the first place, that should be revisited regularly. I still have to continue to go back to that. What is what is my purpose in this? Why did I start doing this in the first place?Yeah, I might have almost 200k followers on social media, but what I don't want to do is get lost in how to grow that reach. What I want to do is connect with the people who I do have. Everybody thinks that they have to grow their social media out the roof and get a K on their number, but what they're not realizing is that they have a very unique, special sacred place for the people who are paying attention to you. That engagement is something that you'll never get when you have a K on your number on social media because there's a disconnect there. It's unfortunate because there's so much that I want to be able to deliver on a very personal level that I can't because of my growth, because I focused on growth. Like I said, what you put your energy into will come. But you can ask anybody at the stage that they're a 'a successful entrepreneur', they will all tell you the same thing and that is that the trajectory of Instagram or Facebook as far as reach is going down, and that's because engagement is going down and that's algorithm, things like that. I'm going to get into that in a minute, but I really believe that as somebody who's experienced it. I'm not saying don't go on there at all, but I'm saying like, ask yourself, why? Why are you trying to build a following? Are you trying to join community during your growth? That's an awesome reason. That's why I started doing it when I first started doing lettering, that was the only focus that I had at the time, and during that time, I was participating in like monthly challenges and those were identified by hashtags. I met a lot of really awesome people during that process who were doing the same things as me and that connection is something that is so precious because you're not going to find that just anywhere. Your friends and family might be over there, how's your art going? They don't get it the way that we'd get it. That's an awesome reason why you're trying to build a following, because you are connecting. Maybe you want to be presenting as an established artist, in which case, you'd have to rethink the way that you present your materials. You'd have to think about branding and think about the way that you photograph and think about the way that you set up scenes and things like that. That's a whole other world, but behind that, the reach is still something having to do, it all has to do with authenticity. 3. Managing Your Many Hats: Being a creative, no matter where you are in the stage of your trying to build a business, being a full-time creative isn't necessarily about being a full-time creative. I know that these are a lot of negatives and throwing out you first but it's because when I say tips and tricks, we're getting to it. But I want you guys to be aware of this. These aren't negatives, they are just a part of it. When you are mindful that you have to also pick up, you are going to have to start doing your accounting, you're going have to start doing your branding. You're going to have to start all sources types of things but you have to show up. That might mean weeks of not touching art supplies or whatever it is that you're doing. Because you might be learning how to market correctly. You might be learning how to create lead magnets. You might be creating or learning how to best represent yourself on a website. The key factors that should be in there. These are things that we all have to learn and you have to devote the time to do it. But I promise you it will pay off. It is not as daunting as you think it is when you don't know anything. It's just a matter of putting in the time. You don't have to be overwhelming. You can put systems in place. Productivity and time blocking, for example, is so helpful. For example, I have a spreadsheet that is color coordinated according to conditions. You can do that on Google sheets and you'll see that you can put a keyword end, let's say it's research, and then it'll go to a certain color. If you do that throughout your day, every time that you switch tasks, your color coordination will let you have just a bird's eye view of what you spent your day doing. A lot of people will time block first and then go according to that. But as creatives it stifles our creative flow, if you will. That's because we don't really think that way. We don't think in terms of time blocking, so you can set up general time blocking for sure. But what's helped me more than anything is actually noting what it is I'm even doing during that day. Then I have my list and tasks, so to do that, I can then carry over or I can say, okay, I spent an hour on research already. I'm just going to switch tasks real quick and come back to that. In addition to taking those mental breaks, whether you take a break where you physically stand up, which I recommend for even 10 minutes and just walk around your house, get a cup of coffee, whatever it may be, it is proven time and time and time again on any like, the official science, people, universities and such that your productivity will go way down if you do not get up and take a mental break. That just means switching tasks, like let's say you have a such a crammed day, you get out for five minutes, you can't get it out of your head. You have to do it. Just switch tasks, even if it means 15 minutes. Because when you return to the thing you were working on before, it's fresh and you're able to take action a lot quicker than had you been sitting there ruminating because we get so lost in our thoughts about stuff like that. How do you stick to a routine? One of our participants is saying that it's hard to stick to a schedule even when it's planned out super well. What has worked for you? Prioritizing, so I don't know if anybody does prioritizing. I discovered I don't use it very often anymore, but when I really needed help with this and I got into a routine from it, I was using air table. Air table is like a beautiful version of Google Sheets or Excel sheets or whatever. It's very pretty and you can color coordinate. But the thing I like about it is that you can group things or sort things rather, either group and sort things. But you can sort things not just once, but you could sort them by this. Then there is secondary resorting is this. But they can also show up in blocks as you sort them. What I would do is I would put in tasks, I would put in tasks that were for me. I will put them in for client work, I would put them in for content that I needed to create. All of these things were sorted or grouped and color coordinated. The biggest thing was to prioritize them, what was immediately needing my attention, what was important, but maybe the timeline and the deadline wasn't as pressing. Then what I'd like to do this in my free time. Now, free time might exist for eight months. That's okay because think about this. When it rains, it pours. When we're really, really busy, we are like so busy. Then when we have our downtime, we start to panic because we're like, oh my gosh, I don't know how I'm going to propel forward. I don't have client work right now. I don't have any motivation. I don't feel driven. That's when you can go into the like, I would like to create this section and then you're like, oh yeah, that was something I totally wanted to work on. Now, I remember that because I wrote it down, and then I can go and take that somewhere and then build up African empire. Just write your ideas down because they're brilliant and you might not have time for them right now. That's also going to help you from that overloaded of overwhelmed like I have these ideas but I don't have to implement them. This could be like you guys might prefer, bullet journal or whatever it is for you, I just recently started using a planner instead of that thing and it's way messier, but something about writing it down helps my thoughts organized better. A year ago, you would not have heard me say that, we do whatever works for you in that case, but prioritizing them, that's not a routine. But it's organized chaos that works for me in my creative brain. It might not be the way that you can approach things, but think about like, I don't have to wake up and do e-mails for an hour. Like the time blocking says that I have to, I know I'm going to be able to do that later, but sometimes I have to wake up and do something creative or it throws me off the rest of the day. Personally, I have to address the business stuff, which is unfortunate because what it ends up doing is that I do go down that rumination and like, oh well this tree branches into this and this tree branches into this, and suddenly I've been all these things to look at and I didn't touch any of my creativity. Think about that too, as you're approaching those priority lists and maybe set a timer for yourself. I have for the very first time last week, set a timer for myself, and it changed my world because I've never done it. I felt I was procrastinating like crazy. I did not want to work on this project, but it was due. My friend said, we're hanging outside a time of 30 minutes, you don't have to work on it after 30 minutes, but do it for 30 minutes. Once you get into it, if you set expectations for yourself, even if it's on the spot, you're going to do the thing and then the timer went off and I was like whatever, I'm in the zone, Alexa, be quiet. I'm going to work on this for the next two hours and I got the thing done and world will be lifted. It's just taking action but also prioritizing and keeping things visual. If you have to color coordinate or color-code them as creatives, like do it, because I'm all about color coding. 4. Getting to Know Your Ideal Audience: The next part that I want to talk to you about is identifying your ideal audience. There are several ways to think about this. The reason why I think it's important to have an ideal audience, even if that's broad ideal audience is because those are the people you want to reach. If you have a platform and you're like, let's just say you're an Etsy seller and maybe you like to knit or you like to crochet or you like to sow. Are you going to try to reach the masses and have, like sports seem shirts and then baby gear and then stuff for the trendy mom, are you going to be all over the map or you're going to have something in onto? The reason that this is important is because it might get eyes on it for a second. But in a browsing situation, when somebody is not seeing what it is they're looking for, that pops up again and again and again. They're probably going to find somewhere that can this person, let's say, and this is an exercise I encourage everybody to do, everybody, because you are reaching that person, and that person exists times hundreds of thousands. So let's say her name is Anna, and we know that Anna is female. So this is where you would determine how you're going to reach that person. So when you determine that, think about their interests. So let's think about this person is, they could be 34, and then you could think, so Anna's 34, which makes my age range target market like 26 to 42, let's say. Those are the people I'm trying to reach and get even more specific with it. What do they listened to? They listen to Bruno Mars and Billie Eilish, they shop at Anthropologie, Lululemon, but they also shop at Target. So see where I'm totally creating a person. I know their habits at this point. I know what they listened to you. I know where they shop out that says a lot about a person. They shop at Anthropologie they shop at Lululemon, let's just say they work as a nurse. I apologize if this is totally off, but let's just for the sake of a number, let's say they make $65,000 a year as a nurse. I say 65 because they shop at Lululemon, Anthropologie. This is identifying this person. Their guilty pleasure is they happen to love eating chocolate covered fruits of all kinds. I can't stand chocolate covered fruits of any kind. But that's what they love doing and that's a quirk about them,unnecessary, but we're getting to know the person. They're becoming a friend to us. We're getting comfortable with our target audience. Suddenly there not a stranger anymore. Then of course, any additional details that you might want to add, you can get as specific as possible. The thing about Anna is that we now know Anna, we now know these factors about her. So now we're going to turn around and we're going to show up at those places of her interests. That could mean ads. If you place like Facebook ads or Pinterest ads or anything. The beautiful thing about those is that they offer you such specific demographic reach to where they're going to show up so that Anna will absolutely see what it is that you're offering. So let's say her additional details is that she absolutely loves Animal Crossing. It's a good topic right now. I love Animal Crossing. So let's say she loves that. We'll think about all the places the Animal Crossing is showing up right now. It's showing up on Etsy. By the way, just a disclaimer. Don't rip off Animal Crossing. There's a whole laughing about it. But you get what I'm saying. If you can think about keywords like that, if you can somehow tie in a campaign, having to deal with that, don't hijack hashtags just because they're turning if they're not related, they have to be relatable. But what happens is that person, Anna, who you might not have thought would see your item, it's right in front of her face and she might click on it. That's huge. How do you come up with Anna's attributes. Do you find your real user of yours to base her off of or is a truly just like whatever your brain comes up with? This is a really good question. I think that this can be anything that you want it to be, but the things to factor in are; you have to then present to Anna all the time. So I mean, I personally like if I think about myself and I think about my offerings, I'm an educator, so my audience is trickier because it can range from like 12 years old up to 80 years old. This is trickier for me, so I have to think about that. But what I have to think about more is, who am I? How do I want to present? How do I want to show up authentically? I want to come across accessible and information filled and passionate because those are things that I am. So who's going to be receptive to that? Most people. It's either you love it or you hate it. You can't stand me and I totally get it because people like me bubby, I get it. But you [inaudible] , you have to think about that too. But if you're trying to reach somebody who is super brand heavy. I'm not very good with big like designers, but let's say they shop as Chanel, Gucci. What's another one? [inaudible] Things that I don't affiliate with at all. I might love the idea of a luxury client. Sure. But then I have to suddenly put on a collared shirt instead of these overalls, you know what I'm saying like, that's something that I'm not willing to do. So that's something to factor in when you think about your target audience. Do you have to really relate to them in a way that it feels good to you. It doesn't mean you have to fake it till you make it. Maybe you like dressing up in a collared shirt at the sabbatical that you don't have to wear colored shirts. I'm saying it doesn't mean that's a bad thing and you can come across beautifully polished and still relaxed and that's okay too. So don't over think it. But yes, you could base it off of somebody that you know. I mean, they could be a friend of yours or a family member or somebody who you admire, or someone like your best friends. You could also name them Peggy, 33 years old, shops at Target all the time, but also loves Anthropologie and occasionally splurges, loves candles, buys herself flowers, not cheap flowers. What am I doing? I don't know, but they make me happy. My target audience could be Peggy Dean you know what I am saying? Or you can make them up completely. It's who you want to talk to all the time. Who do you want to spend time with? That's your target market. 5. Picking the Perfect Channels: You don't want to jump on the train to nowhere in the sense of putting all your eggs in one basket, such as Instagram. Instagram is a place where the reach is harder now because of the algorithm. So unless you're sponsoring something, I have not sponsored something, but I've noticed that when there's a sponsored thing, do you guys notice it shows up like every half hour? Not that I sit there for hours and scroll but you know what I'm saying. It shows up a lot, that's just annoying, nobody wants to see that. If you put all your eggs in one basket as far as how you reach, it's not necessarily going to get there. If you can pick two to three different primary focuses of where you're going to have your marketing live, then that's going to do a lot better for you than having it be living on Instagram, where you have to scroll forever to find that post, if they're even attracted to that one post. There are a ton of different reaches here, we got Pinterest, website, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc. If I was to offer you guys my advice, on three to go to at this time, I do still stick with Instagram because it's eye candy, because it's a place where we as creators or shoppers or whatever, a lot of people go to Instagram, it's eye candy, it's a really easy way to know what's going on in the world and just scroll. It's not going to be totally inundated with politics or anything like that. It's not Twitter. It's a place for people to go to relax., it just is. Instagram is a great place. In addition to that though, if I'm going to guide anyone anywhere, it's to Pinterest and to Yourwebsite, and the reason why is because both Pinterest and your website, you know what I didn't put on here that I also want to add is YouTube. I don't know how many people feel comfortable talking on a camera or presenting or demoing or whatever it is that you're offering. YouTube also, it fits into the categories of Pinterest and your website. Think of it as a search engine because Pinterest, Yourwebsite, YouTube, these are evergreen content. If you plug something into Google, have you noticed how many times YouTube pops up? How many times Pinterest posts pop up on image searches and then blog posts will come up on articles of like how to's or how to get to whatever or whatever it is that you're offering, it will show up. These are evergreen content. What that means is that you could have written something or posted something three years ago and depending on how well that's doing on its platform or depending on your keywords, which I'm going to get onto, that thing is going to then show up in the present day, which is incredible. Is that going to happen on Instagram? The answer is no. So that's where you have to leverage that. How are you going to reach Anna? Getting into that, as a side note too, as you invest, this is actually a point. I made a note of this because I wanted to say it to you guys, but as a side note, as you invest in these online platforms because there's so much digging to do, please don't get stuck in that time scrolling. I don't know if you've heard the phrase; consume less, create more, creation over consumption, those types of things. Please eat, breathe, live that. Because the more that you look at other people's stuff, the more you get sucked into it. Sure, there's such a thing as inspiration, but you're not taking action until you get off of it. If you're stumped, the best thing that you can do for you is to identify the things that you like. So let's say this graphic, for instance, I love blues and reds together and I need it to make a graphic. So how am I going to do that without being influenced by other people's graphics? I wanted it to be clean, I wanted it to make sense, but I wanted it to also just be a visual that wasn't too text-heavy because I wanted to talk to you guys. That's a way you can show up without being influenced. I didn't waste any time on it because I didn't sit there trying to see how people create slides? What's the best eye-catching thing? Because you're listening to what I'm saying. You're not focused on the graphic that I made. You're listening to the words that accompany those graphics. It's not always about polishing it to yourself because had I not said all of that, you probably would have never judged the graphic that you are looking at. So please don't waste time in that comparison trap. It will kill you. It will, it's awful. 6. Helping People Find You: SEO and discoverability is where I want to go and next. This is so crucial, this is something that I didn't really dive into until the last year. I did to the extent of what I knew, but then one person said one thing that just light bulbed in my mind, and it changed the way that I looked at everything, and that you need to focus on your title. You'll notice if you just Google search like 'ideal title length for x', it'll tell you, but typically it's 50-70 characters I believe, and those should include what they call short tail keywords. Keywords are like what? This is the best way that you're going to have reached is if you ask yourself what would I search? If I was looking for this content, exactly how you would get all search. Let's say I have a flower tutorial, how to draw, let's say , how to draw flower, how to draw a peony. Even more specific, I am going to title it 'how to draw a peony', or in my title it, 'step-by-step tutorial peony drawing' or something that makes more sense along those lines. But I've got tutorial in there. I've got how to draw that key phrase. I've got, how to draw peony or drawing peony, something like that, that's going to have that reach in a Google search. The second part of that is, let's say it's Pinterest. They have that description there and same with YouTube. Then if it's your website, you might have noticed that meta data that it lets you put into your blog was it lets you plug that stuff in, so it's not your title, it's not the body of your text. It's actually separate. Sometimes they auto, It depends on what platform you're on, but generally speaking, you have an option to put in meta title, meta description. I don't know the word that they use with. That's where you really want to take advantage of also putting in long-tail key phrases. Long-tail keywords or long short tail keywords as well. A good example of peony would be to repeat yourself in the very first sentence of your title. I'm excited to present how to draw a peony in this easy step-by-step drawing tutorial, there's another keyword phrase. Think about that. You don't want to go keyword like buzz happy, but think about like as you're typing it out to say, you don't want to say like, "hey guys, it's Peggy and I'm excited to dive into this with you today because it's been really nice and springy outside and let's get into it". This is fine. Like that doesn't say anything about it doesn't backup my title in anyway. You can combine those two things while thinking, where can I insert that? If you want it to sound more organic, which I always recommend, type it out first and then edit it later and see how you can shorten it, how you can insert those phrases. I believe if I'm not mistaken, that the description don't take my word for this, look it up, but I think it's like a 150 minimum characters you should have. Then I think you can do up to three or 500. But I think there's only a certain amount of characters that will show up in the actual like if you Google, there's the title and the description, and there's only a certain amount of characters that show up. Ideally, you will have those keywords in that first part of it. Here is the part that blew my mind when I learned it, your image file name. Are you kidding me right now? I can't tell you how many times I've put a blog post up. I couldn't do binary file on my computer. I like went to my website and I went to my learn page and I screenshot something from my own web page. I put that in the blog and it's like screenshot 2019-05-32 at 03:22 PM or whatever it says. If I want discoverability and somebody's searching, like 'how to draw a penny', but they want to image like Google image search it so they can see what peony they're going to be drawing if they click on it. Is my screen shot 2019-05 or whatever data I said going to show up in my Google image search? No, it's such a dump moment that we just don't think about. Here's my recommendation. It's so easy, it's how to draw a peony and [inaudible] that's all you need to do. But my recommendation is, I know we'll have our file systems. Some of us more than others. Clearly, probably more of you than me because I'm horrible at it, screenshot. But if you have an organization system on your computer and you're grabbing an image and you haven't labeled so you can find it easily according to your own organization. Right-click it, make a copy. I don't know if it's make an alias duplicate whatever it is, they just duplicate the file, rope-like, title it what it should be according to a Google search and upload that and then remove it from your computer and your good. Then you've done those steps and you have back to back to back SEO that will help with your discoverability. These are basic SEO tricks. 7. Doing the Work to Get the Work: I want to go into this part where nothing's going to come to you. I know a lot of people have been asking me recently and I'm sure that you have this question, you might get this question, you might have this question, everybody wonders when it comes to actually getting clients, how are you able to actually get the client? How to convert followers into paying customers. How to reach brands that will license your work. Whatever it is, it's not happening because you're not asking for it. You might hear these brilliant salespeople in the industry who charge way too much for their course, that's mostly a motivational talk, basically, all they're going to tell you, and please by all means, everyone will reach you in a different way, like Gary B is super inspiring, so I get it. But the bottom line is, you have to ask for the sale, you just have to ask for it. That might not be a sale but if it is, it's engaging with your audience, it's asking them questions. If you don't have time to respond to dms, put a sticker up on your story and have a poll, get interaction, it's offering engagement. So you could have one that's like,"Gosh, I'm working with all these fun colors today, I'm really into this awesome mahogany, but I'm also really done with these rust. Gosh, I can't wait to see which one I'm actually going to go with because they can turn out totally different." What do you think? Then have mahogany and rust. Then from there, it's like you're letting somebody into your little world and that is showing a value that might not have otherwise been expressed in just a product photo. It's letting people into your world, it's giving them that experience. Maybe the next one is like it's a sneak peek, it's showing that you've chosen mahogany, but it's not showing the whole thing like I chose mahogany and then have that slider if people like it or not, get them engaged in some way. They're already invested at this point. Then you might show the final product or you have a question about what you would use it for. Let's you went with mahogany floral fabric for an oven mitt and you're a seamstress and that's what you're going to have. You stop saying you're so excited for this new lunch of kitchen stuff. Like you've got tea towels, all sorts of stuff, you did this oven mitt as an add on. It's obvious what you would use in oven mitt for, but who would this be a really good gift for? Then you're prompting like maybe I don't want to buy it for me, but I could buy this for my grandma who absolutely loves mahogany, my whole houses mahogany, like those are thoughts that. It reminds me of [inaudible] , and he's like,"My apartment smells rich mahogany." You guys it's a really good movie. Every single line in that movie is quotable. That's something that's just going to prompt action from people. From then it's like maybe give it a minute, maybe the next day. Like somebody saw all those stories, maybe the next day or the next three days from then you can have a couple more types of prompting questions and then have a swipe up. If you don't have a swipe up, you can have your website. Quick note on the whole your website thing, the link in bio thing you guys, have a link in your bio on your social media, put it in there. People are not going to know where to find you if you don't have that. If you have a website, totally use link tree or link in bio or something like that, but there is nobody saying you can't make your own thread of links on your own website, so when they click it, they're already on your website, and then they can navigate where they want to on those buttons, but they're already are on your website, you want them to your website, not link tree. You have to be aggressive. What's this? I'm going to talk about that in a sec. But basically, if you're wanting to let's say, not reach your audience but you want to reach a client that you want to work with, you have to be aggressive. E-mail, do you know how many e-mails people get a day? I'm not a brand and I get over 200 e-mails a day, that's not an exaggeration. When you're aggressive, that's what's going to come back at you, but when you're a business and let's say I'm the Art Director or a Creative Director, let's say that's what I'm, do you know how many e-mails they get? They're working on active projects, they are following up on past projects, they're talking to their marketing team, they're talking to their social media team, they're building all sorts of things plus they have a huge flow coming in at them all about people pitching wanting to work with them. Most of the time, this is what the e-mail says,"To whom it may concern. This isn't going to land in the art director's box. At most of the time, it's going to be customer service and then totally just thrown into a general mailbox that that person will eventually look for if they're looking for new artists. Do the research, find out who their art directors is, get in their inbox and then don't say, to whom it may concern, find out what their name is, address them, don't give a huge e-mail page of who you are, what you do where you reside, nobody wants to read that. They want it to be quick, to the point, professional but also you. I'm pretty laid back, so I make my e-mails pretty laid back. Let's go with Susan. Hey Susan, I'm so stoked to reach out to you because I'm so into the brand and the way that you've formatted xyz, here's a specific example. Or I love the list of designers that you've lined up because it has this type of appeal. You're being specific, you're recognizing something specific, it's not a canned e-mail. Then you go in and you can say basically like a short sentence on how you could work together. Not like I'd love to work with you, more so, I think that it would be really cool if you and I did x. Maybe that's not the direction they want to go, but they then in that sentence see that a, you offer artwork or design, b, you're a self-starter, you have your own ideas, you're going to be fun to collaborate with, because you're not just like leaving the ball in their park. Then the last part of it is I always leave it open-ended, so I never say thanks for your time, of course you can say thanks for your timing, but I never just leave it there. Never ever say, I know you're busy so I'm going to make this short, don't say that, they're used to hearing that. Be proactive and say, thanks so much, I'm super looking forward to potentially working with you and the ideas that we can create. I never said I'm going to work with them I said potentially, but I also left it open to their ideas and to the conversation that we're about to start. Then you could add a PDF. But I will say a lot of these design houses or brands or companies, they can't take attachments so you could embed photos in the actual e-mail rather than an attachment. But look at their website because lot of them have submission guidelines, so you could work around that. I know that this is bad, but even if it's not to the art director that you were supposed to contact, still follow the rest of the submission guidelines. That might be a three-page PDF of like ten examples of your work or it might be a folder. A lot of the times it's folders with artwork of a specific size, labeled a specific way, but it's worth the work to do it. Don't look at that yet, you guys come on. The last part of that though is that if you haven't heard back totally normal. I hear back like two percent of the time, that means be persistent. When I said you have to ask for the sale, you're asking for working with them. If you show up in their inbox every two weeks, it's not going to annoy them, and if it does, they'll come back and say they're not looking for it at this time or they're not interested they will say that if they're annoyed with you, if they want you to stop. But if you show up in their inbox enough times, they might have liked your work in bookmarked it or put it somewhere, or they might have seen it just skim past it because they had other e-mails because whatever at that particular day was or theme was or season was or artwork was, might not be the right fit at that time, so there's nothing wrong with following up and having new artwork. At that point, what I do is I say,"Hey Susan, hope you're having a great beginning of your summer, whatever, just wanted to send over some new artwork I've been working on." Was it two year old artwork? Who cares? You're sending over new artwork, you're keeping it brief. Then it's, I hope you're well, look forward to hearing you, not look forward to hearing from you soon, but I hope to hear from you soon or I can't wait to get into this deeper with you. Something that keeps them wanting to get into it more. That's my summary, I do have an offer for you guys. I have this all listed out in yes, a canned email, but you will see that it also has inserts on each spot that you can download for free and with instructions basically regurgitating what I just said. Where you can put in specifics that talk to the round instead of coming to us like a canned email, so you can get that at Bit.ly/peggydeanemailpitch. 8. Q&A on the Creative Life: Now we're going to open it up to questions from the participants and the audience. Question, do you have any other teachers or books that you use for inspiration on this topic, on creative business? Are there other Skillshare teachers perhaps, or classes that you'd recommend on growing a creative business or getting into freelancing or entrepreneurship? Yeah, I have one person I'm going to route you to and that's Tom Ross. His Instagram is Tom Ross media. He's the founder of Design cuts. He's become a good friend of mine and mentor. He has actually helped me a lot in a lot of different ways. But he puts out content you guys every day, well maybe not every day, but all the time in his e-mail list, in his Instagram. None of it is ever fluff. It's all actionable, it's all thought-provoking and it's all very true. He's a brilliant marketer, but also super down to earth also. That is my one, I'm not even going to throw others at you because Tom Ross is gold, he really is. That's awesome. Thank you. Also I'll put in a plug to, Peggy's got several entrepreneurship classes on skill share. I guess I'd you to everybody. Also a brand new one that just dropped all about Pinterest marketing. What was the most difficult part of your creative journey? I think that the hardest is the fact that we only have a certain amount of hours in a day. Not necessarily because of how many tasks there are to do, because we can figure those out, but because as creative people, we're constantly thinking outside of the box, which is a blessing and a curse. We're going to make it somewhere with that, but we're also going to be stifled. We're also going to have that problem where we're constantly second-guessing our choices or we're thinking like "Do I evolve to hear, do I evolve to hear?" My biggest piece of advice to that, is to have somebody else to bounce this off of to keep you grounded. I can't recommend mentor-ship enough. There are so many great mentors out there who will absolutely tell it to you to straight instead of just being supportive. But if you can find a creative in your industry or even in a different industry and you guys can act on a weekly basis and just word vomit all the stuff that's coming out. Sometimes you don't even need a response. Sometimes you just need to say it out loud and get it off and then you have some clarity and sometimes as you talk it through, it's like therapy and you go to therapy. You say all this stuff, you walk yourself through it, it's been 40 minutes. They haven't said a word and you're like, "Thank you for this session this was so good. I, totally out of clarity, I know exactly what my next step is." I think that a lot of it is just getting in our own heads. I really do. Everything else will work out, you can absolutely forge your path anyway that you want to and that's just about your energy and your focus. I mean, you guys showed up here today for whatever reason you did, that's part of your journey and part of your focus so I hope that it was valuable to you. But that's part of it is making those decisions like what are you going to invest your time in? It's not about money, is going to come and go like invest your money all day long, but what's your time going to get you? Was your time going to buy you. 9. Final Thoughts: My closing thoughts are, "Hey, listen to everything I just said." Really, it's embrace where you're at. That's my biggest thing that I can tell people. If that means researching all of the ways to get to the next step, hey, do that, but enjoy that process. Everything in creativity, everything. The process is why you're going to do it. You're going to know what I mean if you haven't reached that point yet to where you get the goal, you get thing and you're happy about it. That happiness and euphoria and Adrenalin, it fades very fast before you're onto the next thing. It's just an industry, ask anybody who's successful in it. It's about the process, it's our why. It's why we're doing it. So if you're researching to do a thing, I love researching, I love learning. It's stupid how much I love grabbing all of this information and then I like to totally learn by error. I don't know, I love to fail better, basically is what you would say taking my failures and learning from them and then in turn totally exhausting myself. Because when it pays off, I know what went into it and I feel so good about how much energy and how much care I put into that research process. This is all about the process and then the connectivity along the way. You meet some rad people, no matter where they're at in their stages and you learn from each other and what not. But creativity is also connectivity and relatability, even if you're an introvert, you're still relating and connecting some way. Anyway, I'm going to stop because I am a rambler and it could go other places. But to find me, thepigeonletters.com, literally anything, my classes, I think that if you click on any of the class links, it just puts you right onto my Skillshare profile and [inaudible] go over there. But then also my blog or my membership's not open right now, opens twice a year. But you can find all information about me or where to find me just in that hub of thepigeonletters.com, which is another tip to have a landing page that people can find you, such as your website and have that point to all places. So there, tip and where to find me, boom. A double-whammy. Thank you everyone for tuning in. For more about Peggy Dean and her Skillshare classes, check out her profile page or thepigeonletters.com and that is it. Have a good one, thank you again. Thank you so much. Bye. Bye.