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Nikkita C.

maker | designer | artist

6

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melding the life of artist, designer, writer (& mother!)

I have often done design for friends and acqaintances on the side, and I am excited to take a more intentional path with starting my freelance career. I have decided to use my own name rather than a business name, to allow my life to inform my business and vice-versa. I am using this class to help focus my service and offerings for something cohesive and strategic. 

Since I've started this class, I have been hospitalized for a complication with my pregnancy and lost my job due to that. Though these were setbacks at first, me and my baby are healthy, and now I have a lot of time to dream big for my business and all the new changes coming to my life. It's sort of a mini-retreat here in my hospital room, and I am busy collecting inspirations, making lists and plans, and refinining my ideas to make the best chance I can for success. You can learn more about how my plan to start a business has evolved on my blog: http://nikkitacohoon.net/blog

I am excited to combine my many interests as an artist, designer, and writer, and mother-to-be to create designs that are accesible and the right fit for my clients and projects. As I've developed my project for this class, I've considered how to focus what I'm offering. I don't really love the term freelancer for what I'm doing, because I want to develop ongoing relationships with my clients and make my own side-projects to meld with my everyday business.

Week 1: Solidifying My Business

Because I have so many different interests (writing, design, art, editing, etc.), it's been important for me to consider my background and refine my services to only include the things I really like to do. While I am quite qualified to offer copywriting and editing, I've decided not to make that a primary service for my business. Instead, I will market myself as a designer with a clear list of services. I am sure I will have some projects that fall out of my scope, but it will make sense for me to be clear about my aesthetics and the types of projects I am interested in taking on. When I first started this class, I also thought web design would be my primary service, but since my skills are best matched for a specific type of client, I want to offer a broader range of services.

Week 2: Establishing a Unique Brand

I had fun creating a mood board this week with two role models in my field. A fun thing about marketing yourself as an artist/designer is that your own personality is very important in attracting clients. I like the sharing and exchange of information, be that through designing something for a client that matches the vision they have in their head, sharing a process on my blog, or teaching a class in the community. It makes sense to have all of this be present on my website, because my clients will be hiring me as a person, not an abstract entity. 

Week 3: Business Basics

Before starting this class, I had already been researching the requirements for doing business in Ohio, and reading up on taxes, sole proprietorships vs. LLCs, and meeting monthly with a few like-minded entreupeneurs for advice and resources. I have plans to file for my EIN, purchase a PO Box, and begin record-keeping for client projects. At this time, my expenses are minimal, since I've acquired many of the things I will need along the way.

Week 4: Social Media & Marketing

I am fairly comfortable with social media and marketing, having worked in communications in the corporate world. I plan to create a separate business facebook page, and then use my personal Twitter, Pinterest, and Instragram more intentionally. I have a long blog-roll of artists & designers I admire, and often bookmark or pin my inspirations. I'm looking forward to implementing and launching soon!

There are still a number of things I need to plan for before I'm ready to go live. You can read my list of odds and ends here.

I've enjoyed using this class to hone in on what I really want to do. I welcome any feedback from peers and it's been great following your projects too!

My website is http://nikkitacohoon.net.

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