Starting a Creative Business: The DIY Approach | Holly Wade | Skillshare

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Starting a Creative Business: The DIY Approach

teacher avatar Holly Wade, Entrepreneur, Blogger + Creator

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

8 Lessons (21m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. How to Grow an Idea into a Plan

    • 3. Branding on a Budget

    • 4. Building a Website

    • 5. Content is King: How to Use It

    • 6. Social Media Basics

    • 7. Legal Loose Ends

    • 8. Conclusion

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About This Class

Turn your "side hustle" into a business with these DIY tips for starting your own creative business on a budget. Rather than hiring professionals to assist with some of the necessary steps of starting a business, I'll walk you through how to: 

  • Write a Basic Business Plan
  • Create a Branding Guide
  • Build a Website
  • Develop Content
  • Engage on Social Media
  • Set up a Business Entity 

By the end of this class, you'll feel confident that you can take the first steps toward owning your own creative business.

This beginner business class will teach you the basics of starting a creative business for fields like creative design, content creation, social media influencers, bloggers or online shop owners. Take the time to set up every aspect of the business on your own and you'll not only feel incredibly accomplished but your wallet will thank you. 

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Holly Wade

Entrepreneur, Blogger + Creator


Holly Wade is a Southern California writer, blogger, baker and crafter. She is the founder and editor of Club Crafted, a DIY, food and lifestyle blog that shares tutorials and recipes for creating a happy, handmade life. As an all-around crafter, Holly is dedicated to sharing her ideas with others and spreading creativity through a variety of colorful craft ideas.

In addition to her creative pursuits, Holly is a freelance writer and marketer. She earned a degree in Journalism and Marketing and enjoys using her degree to grow her small creative business.

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1. Introduction: Hi, I'm Hollywood And welcome to my cloth on the d I Y approach to start in your own creative business. E so many titles. I'm a blogger, a content creator, a marketer and a small business owner. And like many of you, I had a side hustle long before I started my real business. But I knew that I wanted more in this class. I'm gonna teach you how to turn your hobby, our entrepreneurial interests into a full fledged business. The D i y. So that's to say that I'm gonna go through how to do these things through very inexpensive means and hopefully without having higher a lot of professionals to do the specialty work for you. So I only teach you how to do things on a limited budget, everything from branding to social media to website design, content creation and finally and most importantly, registering your business with. After all, we may not have financial backers or money in the bank to take care of the specialty work for us. But don't let any of that discourage you. Let me start by clarifying that this course is really designed for creative business owners in the realms of creative design. Contact Creation Blogger is social media influencers or small shop owners who are just getting started. If you have necessarily high up front costs or a required staff, a lot of these tips and might not be for you. We'll discuss how to create a plan for your business and develop a cohesive brand online through very expensive meat. And we're gonna talk about how incorporating the brand into a new social media strategy and content strategy that are entirely free. I'll even sure how to create a website on your own for very little money. And then we'll go over the basics of accounting and how to register your business states that you truly get started. So without further ado, let's get started. 2. How to Grow an Idea into a Plan: first, let's talk about your business idea. You want to start doing your research to make sure that your great new idea has been done before, or at least if it has. You can put your own unique spin on it to give the new company competitive edge while doing your research. Also, make sure no duplicates in your company name. That could come into a problem when it comes time to register your domain name, which we'll talk about a future lesson. At the same time, you want to make sure you know who your competitors are. We'll discuss more of that when it comes to making your business, man. So once you've done your research, it's time. Make a plan. I know that look a lot more fun to just jump in and get started, but you don't necessarily want to waste unnecessary time or resource is on something that's not really going to work out. So start with a one page business plan. It's a great place to start to make a business plan Outline. Start by addressing these seven sections. First, your business description, your business and describe your industry. Write out exactly what your business is and why it's unique, what the future might look like and anything that could affect your business, but positively and negatively next strategies. Take the time to understand the market and familiarize yourself with the audience. Understand the market in your own words and describe how you think it relates to your business idea, then competitive analysis. I remember when I said to check out your potential competitors right out the strengths and weaknesses each. This helps you understand where your own strengths and weaknesses could be and how your brain is different than others. Next. Design and development, which covers things like product design, production plans and marketing needs. This section will very heavily according to your business and industry. But keep in mind any aspect that requires its own development, which will be things with your website or a product itself. Next, operations and management. What is required for your business to run. The section describes the daily logistics of your business, estimated expenses and other management tests required for your specific business. Lastly, make a plan for your finances. Consider how much money you have to invest in your business, especially things like industry specific software and licences as well as office space. Keep in mind that this course goes over things that you can do yourself. But there may still be some costs. Associate ID. God playing. Great. Now you have a business, man. You can change it as you go. But this will help keep you on track with your business idea. 3. Branding on a Budget: Everybody needs an identity. So you want to make sure that your new company has any logo and a few colors, and it could easily recognize long life. If you think of some of the most prominent brands, you probably recognize them instantly just based on maybe a few colors or patterns featured in branding. That's good branding, and you can have it, too, even on a budget. The lows. A link to download a civil raining gonna help you create a low, a few colors and maybe textures or pattern. There were, like two Brandt. If you have the resources to hire someone agreeing a logo for you, that's great. But if not, try using your free software like Camba to create a local online that somewhat simple. Maybe start with Justin text. Add colors Now, when we get easy for you to create a logo that's easily recognizable online and is a great step for getting started with your branding the branding, I shall make her logo, which was designed by a friend of mine at a reduced price. But before that, I used my home with a logo for about a year while I was getting my footing in mining business. It wasn't perfect, but it worked for me while I found my place in the logging industry. Because of that dear, why logo and my d i y branding, I was able to solidify my footing in the industry and help growing audience that I was able to bring with me today. When the time came, I felt outgrown my logo. I was able to invest a little bit more creative brand that felt more like me one way together. Inspiration for your branding and how we develop a solid identity is through. Pinterest Pinterest allows you to create secret boards with content from around the Web that represent your branding. Help you stay true to your brand at all times. Start a secret forward and fill it with inspirational images that have your brand's colors or contained textures or images that relate to your brand. Fill in the brain a guard with your primary colors, probably those from your logo as well as any others that you think will use. Go back to your Pinterest board and choose a few images that you think relate to your brand things like textures or patterns. Any kind of images that you think relate back to your colors on the overall feel that you want your friend to have once every brand identity and you feel comfortable with how the brand represents your company, it's time to set up a website. 4. Building a Website: building a website on your own sounds pretty intimidating, and it can be but lovely. There are many ways to go about it, so let's talk about my personal favorite first. In order your website, you need understand how remains and hosting. Work your domain instantly your Web address. So that's what people type another browser in order to reach your website. Ideally, wanted to be something that's easy to remember. Probably your company name, so that it's easy for people to find you anytime they want there. Many websites even go to check the availability or to purchase your domain names. That would be websites like Go Daddy Whole Skater named Chief Google and others. The ideal name might not always be view, and if that's the case, you can either try an abbreviated version of your company name. Or maybe you can add C O to stand for company. You can also register something other than a dot com, although I do discourage it because it's harder for people to remember. Hosting is a little bit more complicated, understand, but essentially, this hosting services house all of your weapons data without hosting. There's nowhere for your website to live in cyberspace. So ideally, you probably want to purchase your hosting service from the same place you purchased your domain name. So again, that's going to be places like Go Daddy o Scare me and Chief Google or Amazon Web services . When you make a decision, purchase hosting, you'll also need to decide how you're publishing your website using publishing platforms like Were pressed up or or squarespace. Make it easy for someone with little to no experience like myself to design a website. Personalized were oppressed, and I find it very easy. So you start by creating a recount with publishing platform like WordPress and follow the instructions to connect your domain name and you're hosting services. I promise it's easier than it looks, and WordPress will tell you exactly how to do it. So now you have a website with WordPress foursquare space. You can customize it with some free themes available through those websites, or you can spend usually about 50 to $100 on websites like Etsy or theme for us to create those baselines for your website. Then you can add in your customization, so things like your logo, your colors, your patterns your text, Your content to really make your website come alive. You want to start by filling in your home about in contact pages, though they're gonna be the first important steps to starting your website. On top of that makes you pages for your very services as well as a shop page. If you plan on selling products. Another aspect I recommend utilizing for your website is a block. It will talk about why in minutes lesson. 5. Content is King: How to Use It: having a block is not just for floors. Love is a great way for your website. Tough continually updating content that's really good for search results. And it's also really share a bill making it ideal for social media. Think about your own Web. Use anything that you pin on Pinterest or a share on Facebook or Twitter probably comes from an article, and that's a look. They're everywhere. And, yes, you should have one. Keep in mind that content comes in a variety of forms to take the time to create content in the form of block post social media photos, principles, infographics, video, Webcasts, podcasts, you name it. Content is essentially what makes the go around. So utilize content. Builder one presents game followers in social media and ultimately reach your target audience. There are many advantages to having great content. First, it's search results. Having more content on your website in the form of block posts, increases the search results for your website and indexing more pages. Being sure poster SDO friendly can help bring a lot of traffic to your website from search engines like Google. Next is social media sharing by creating unique social media content or by sharing block content on social media. It encourages sharing, which becomes a tree with many branches, which all lead back to your brand. Plus, it helps develop a social. You're following a loyal potential customers, then return readership. One good piece of content can convert customer or create a return reader. Make content that is attention grabbing and people will take notice, then branding content. Any form can contribute to building your brand identity, especially when you're just starting out. Use it as a tool to cement your brand with values you stand for and create content that looks like your brand. You can also become a subject matter expert. High quality content can also demonstrate to viewers that you're an expert in a particular subject. Over time, as you develop more and more content return, visitors may come back to your brand for information they need. Creating a loyal customer Content is king because it's what makes the Web around. Get on board a great content in some aspect, and you'll quickly see how important it is to your websites group. Remember, it doesn't have to be a long, and it does not often just remember that incorporating any kind of content will help you achieve growth. Three 6. Social Media Basics: that exists social media, which is probably the main form of content you see on a daily basis, no matter what industry you're in. If you don't have social media accounts, you're probably not going anywhere. But it's OK not to be active on every single platform. In fact, the best thing you could probably do is pick two and focus heavily on them. But most of your attention to them and you'll be OK. And the best thing is social media is completely free. Although Instagram started as a photo sharing app, it's evolved to include so many more features that are useful for brands. Stay active daily by posting photos or videos to your feet, which can be drunken. 30 hashtags and share quick, less formal updates on stories that also realize hash tags and location tags. One relevant right engaging captions and interact with others to increase the likelihood that your post will be seen by new people, ultimately increasing follower count over time. This past year, Twitter has proven how important it still is to society as a very fast pace social platform . The case of success on Twitter, consistency and attention grabbing tweets utilised training hashtag capture new followers and always include a photo when you can. Tweets of photos received significantly higher engagement and your goals get retweets likes and followers, so you want to do whatever you can to peak users Interest. Pinterest is a platform that may generate very different results for every brand. But because it's a social media platform that's drives to compete with Google, it could result in a lot of traffic back to your website. If this is your goal, marketing on Pinterest is important to increase growth in awareness of your brand. So create multiple boards on specific topics for sharing your own content, such as from a block where your shop and be sure to share pins from other websites as well . Always use starch friendly descriptions and be as detailed as possible to ensure the post will show up in search results. If you have an interest in creating video content, YouTube is the first place to publish it as the number one website for watching videos. YouTube is the primary way to reach your desired audience through video on the platform makes it easy to embed the video content into your website, increasing overall viewership. The best ways to optimize your videos is keep the content relatively short. Under five minutes is ideal. Include relevant search friendly video titles and out of call the action at the end of the video that encourages viewers to subscribe to your channel. The more subscribers you have, the more likely it is that the watch future videos from you. Everyone and their mom has a Facebook account by now, and even though it considered an older platform, it's still very relevant. As soon as you create your new business, create a Facebook page dedicated to your brands and invite your friends toe like it. Those people you know personally will be the start of your social media following. Although Facebook recently announced that it will cater less to brands, it's still important to share occasional updates with photos and videos and utilize hashtag increase their reach of your posts. Facebook is to look great now, work for sharing videos and encouraging followers to show content can angry since viewership, Facebook life is also a great future for producing live Webcasts when it's relevant for your brand. So what's the key to achieving success on social media? Yep, content content is still king. Social media is a beast of his own, and honestly, it could be pretty exhausting. Social media is a relatively slow growth process, but that doesn't mean it's impossible to achieve. Simply posting often and staying engaged with your audience are really the best things you can do to. 7. Legal Loose Ends: Okay, now, time to talk about the boring stuff. Although things like accounting, illegal paperwork are probably the least fun parts about running a business, they are necessary people like me and multiple income streams. And that's important to my own success. But it means that it's more to keep track of when you're ready to open a shop or take that big step to becoming a legal business. With that Ellis the attached to the end of it, you will need to rent your business with your state there multiple ways of going about this . But I'll tell you how. Services like LegalZoom, no Lo Inc file and Better Legal can do a lot of the filing before you, although you pay a premium for stars like this can be really useful and takes a little work . Also, as your attorney on file, you can notify you of any upcoming deadlines related to your business. It is convenient, and there are several businesses to do this for you, but they can't be crazy. If this isn't the river, you can register your business on your own with. I chose to register as a limited liability company or an LLC because identifies a single owner business and post tax as a sole proprietor rather than as a corporation. If you're registering as a partnership or a corporation, your sex to filing my appeal over different. However, if you're taking this course, you probably identify as an LLC visit the U S Small Business Administration online to learn more about the requirements in your state. Essentially, you're getting you to fill out a few key forms or meet a few requirements in order to register business. But again they will bury my seat. The most important thing to file or your articles of organization. This is the main form that creates your business entity and to find a company name, purpose management structure, owner information and address, you also need them to do things like open a business bank account. Next market registered agent. Most states require every organization to appoint agent to accept Legal paper works on behalf of the LSE, particularly if the company suit a few states require an operating agreement that has filed separately from the articles of organization. Next is publication requirements. Some states may require you to publish a company's articles of organization in a general circulation newspaper once the state has approved the filing. Then, within 90 days of filing the articles of organization, you must submit a statement of information and file it again every two years. Next, you'll need to know your state tax obligations. Your state may require you to pay annual taxes for having a company. In addition to paying a minimum tax, you may also be required to pay additional fees based on the company's annual income. As I said, be sure to talk with an attorney or with the state to make sure you get all of the necessary filing requirements to register your business when registering your business or after registering your business. You'll also request, and I arrest employer identification number or in the I M, which will be used for tax purposes, regardless of whether or not you have employed. It's still very good to have, and it is entirely free as a single member, Elsie with no employees, Although I don't necessarily need one, it is still very good have for those tax purposes, and that's how you register your business. Although I found a little bit intimidating, you can actually register your business from any word of 30 to $200 again, depending on your state, however, you can pay more for a service that does a lot of this work for you. But again, you pay a little bit more for this luxury. Now let's talk about my manager money as an LLC owner. As soon as you begin, your business will have to start keeping track of every business related expenses to make sure you hold onto those paper receipts and you'll see it. It becomes much easier when taxis and roll around. My best tip for you is to save every paper receipt into an accordion folder separated by month. Do the same thing with your digital receipts on your computer and accounting software can help you organize your income and keep track of your recedes bills and payments. Probably the most well known examples of this QuickBooks and fresh books, but they're also free examples out there, like wave abs, do something very similar, regardless of whether you have employees. So we're really thankful to have an accounting software ones. Taxis world around as far as filing your taxes every year or every quarter. I cannot stress this hire an accountant. I know, I know. Accountants cost money, and you said this was the D I Y way. But an accountant will actually save you money without accountant. There's a really good chance that you're missing write offs and leaving money on the table , and they can really help you. That being said, having an accountant doesn't necessarily have to be expensive, and they will probably pay for themselves in the end. I do hope this brief overview of starting and managing your business has been insightful. Every business is different, and the requirements are going to vary from state to state. And, of course, your income is gonna be different based on the kind of business structure they have. But I hope that this lesson helps you feel a little bit more comfortable with the process. Just remember that when it comes to legal, people work in accounting. It's worth it to spend just a little bit, or to make sure it's done right. 8. Conclusion: Now I just talk about my favorite part of owning a business and not loving what you dio most of the starter businesses, because we really have a passion for it. And this is our way of investing in ourselves Now. Technically, owning a business is about turning a profit, but it's just as important to stay true to your brand and the values they started with. So go back to your business land often. Make those changes that you think are necessary over time. But stay true to your brand and make sure that your business is something that you always feel out of. I'd like to think the loving what you do is what makes you feel cold. Now get out there in detail. Why your way to a successful business?