1. I’m afraid of torrential downpours (the good and bad kind)

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    This past fall, I had the opportunity to contribute on article to the Fear Confessions series over at Organized Creatives (thanks Krystal for having me). My confessed fear was being afraid of torrential downpours of the creative kind. Even since that featured was published back in October, I’ve experienced both the good and bad kind of downpours, so I thought I’d share that essay here on Veda House with a few amendments.

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    I’m afraid of torrential downpours (the creative kind).
    Shared By: Krystle Lilliestierna ON OCTOBER 14, 2014

    If you know me on a more personal level, you’ll know that I frequently talk about missing my calling to be a professional (paid) storm chaser. I’ve always loved watching thunderstorms roll in and secretly hope I get to experience the beauty of a mid-western tornado…only if no one is hurt in the process. Knowing this, it might be peculiar to read that I’m afraid of torrential downpours. How silly is that!

    I should clarify a few things. When I’m talking about downpours, I’m referencing the phrase “when it rains, it pours.” I should also note that we aren’t talking about a delightful rain shower here, we’re talking about the “when it rains, it pours in a bad flood kind of way that destroys everything you’ve been building…” kind of sprinkle.

    As a freelance designer, I jumped into this career knowing perfectly well that the job title comes with a lot of uncertainty. I’m constantly terrified that the struggles of running my own business will evolve into something I can’t keep grasp of. I’m afraid that if I lose one client due to budget conflicts, that I’ll lose ALL my clients to budget conflicts. I’m afraid that if I am unable to regain inspiration for an upcoming project, that I’ll lose my inspiration for everything future project. I’m afraid that if I make one huge mistake, that the result will negatively impact everything that follows.

    I know all of this sounds a bit extreme and maybe I’m exaggerating just a bit, but the fear of getting stuck in a downpour is debilitating. The phrase “when it rains, it pours” has proven to be true in my life time and time again so I have a few tips that might help weather the storm. Let’s also remember that it can shower a whole lot of “awesome” (aka: paying work) too. Those of you consumed with work and drowning in the process know exactly what I’m talking about.

     

    Tips for the good and bad kinds of downpours after the jump!

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  2. Tailoring your Portfolio to get the clients you want

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    I’ve got lots of exciting posts half written/half scheduled for the remainder of January. Can’t wait to share some fun projects I’ve been working on as well as some more Freelance Journey posts. The first topic I’d like to chat about is how to tailor your portfolio to get the clients you REALLY want.

    I tend to get asked this question often by new graduates, first time freelancers, or those looking to overhaul their existing portfolio. For me, I’ve been learning along the way and have JUST NOW really understood what my brand means to me. That’s the challenge right? Obtaining work that really identifies with your overall brand story. Below are a few steps I took to better understand what Veda House stood for as well as how I’ve slowly morphed my portfolio into something I’m proud of. Warning…this is another long-winded post.

    Tip One: Know what you like & identify what you don’t.
    Figuring out what you want your brand to represent can be a really daunting paralyzing task. For me, figuring out what I liked mean’t sifting through a lot of what I didn’t. For years I’ve been using Pinterest to catalogue all the things that visually inspire me. I’ve found this resource to be a good way to “look back” and see how things are evolving over time. Find trends in the things you are pinning. You can also keep a running list of buzz words that relate to the type of content you pin. For Veda House, these buzz words are clean, simple & natural, touch of class, sophisticated materials, inspiring spaces…

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    5 more tips after the jump!

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  3. Veda Hosue – FAQ Answers (Pt. 1)

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    Thank you to all of you who stopped by and left a little question for me. I’ve compiled all your questions into two FAQ response posts. Many of you seemed to be interested in the freelance side of things, which is all very exciting. I’ll do my best to answer your questions, but don’t hesitate to leave a comment if I’ve missed an aspect you wanted to know.

    Reader Question: I’d love to know how you go about gaining clients you’d like to work with (other than via word of mouth).
    Answer: Gaining a solid client base is one of the trickiest parts of freelance and the honest truth is that it just takes time…lots of time (you probably didn’t want to hear that). It’s also a lot of word of mouth…I know…sorry. When you finish one project and share it, you’ll most likely gain others very similar to it. Word of caution – share wisely. Say no to projects that don’t grow your brand in the ways you want and say yes to those that are spot on…even if they don’t pay as much. Be picky and super selective. When first starting out, I did a lot of collaborations with like-minded creatives that allowed me to grow a mini portfolio filled with my passions and design aesthetics. I actually still do this from time to time. Another thing you can do is seek out the brands/people you want to work with and pull a few work samples specifically for them. When they see you’ve gone over and beyond just to show them your capabilities, you’ll most likely development a great connection and maybe even gain a paying client. Keep going.

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  4. How I got my start in the creative industry

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    Some photography work for Commodity Goods

     

    This is going to be a lengthy post, so hold on tight. Many of you have asked me to explain how I got my start and how it’s evolved into freelance design & styling. I must preface this post by saying there are many ways to “skin the cat”, so please don’t take my steps as the “right” steps. There are many things I’ve learned along the way and if I had know some of those things…my path could have looked different.

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  5. Lesson Learned: Saving time with Streamlined Blogging

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    Example Blog Post Visual


    To be shared on Facebook/Pinterst                             /                              to be shared on Instagram/Twitter

    Feeling the pressure to constantly produce valuable, one-of-a kind content for your blog? I know I am. It’s pretty darn time consuming and when your job title isn’t solely “blogger”, the pressure to keep up can sometimes be debilitating. For me, I use blogging as a way to connect with other creatives and to gain exposure to new clients interested in the work I’m sharing. Blogging is a vital piece of my business.

    I’ve discovered a few ways to streamline sharing content no social media. These days, blogging means more than pushing publish in your blogging platform. If you’re doing it “right” (read: thoroughly) it means, sharing that finished post of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, etc, etc….and do so in a way that isn’t just spamming the same content on all platforms. Whew!! A few tips below.

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    1. Photograph Wisely
    If you’re taking photos for a blog post, be sure to take a few additional shots at different/unique angles so you can tell the same story in a new way. Each platform you share on should ideally have a new visual to represent the story you’re telling. See the photos in this post as an example.

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  6. Ask Me Anything

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    Hi There lovely readers. As time goes by, I’ve been wanting to compile all your questions into one post and share a few answers. I’ve started a good list of questions that have already come through my inbox and will be answering them soon. Some of the more business related questions might make their way into a full blog post so I can ramble a little bit more.. If there is anything you’ve ever wanted to ask me or inquire about, leave a comment for me. I don’t typically touch on a lot of personal aspects of my life, but everything is fair game as long as you play nice ;)

    A few questions that have already come in….How did you get your start? Did you go to school for design? What camera do you use and how do you edit your photos? What design services do you offer? How do you go about setting your daily schedule? How do you set a minimum hour working agreement with your retainer clients? How do you make freelancing work from a money/income standpoint?

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    Look forward to hearing your questions and providing some answers.

    What do you want to know?

  7. Finding a Workflow Balance & How Retainer clients can help

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    Finding a balance…seems to be the ultimate challenge in life, right? Balance to me has never been about finding “the answer” to the problem, but rather learning how to juggle this and that in a manner that seems somewhat successful. Haha. I’ve also realize that what feels balanced right now can easily feel out of whack a week later. That constant adjusting is actually a really smart thing to do and it’s also important to know that you’re never going to figure “it” out fully. Knowing that is actually really reassuring. We’re all juggling.

    I’m a huge planner and someone who likes to have a say in how things are going to take shape. I know that’s silly because I can’t control the universe, but I sure do try. The beauty and the beast of freelance/consultant work is that you have to live in a world with very little to no certainty or set path. That uncertainty will constantly be swirling around the timeline of your next paycheck, who going to hire you, and how your going to evolve your brand over time. That uncertainty is also the guide to many unexpected awesomeness.

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  8. Recent Work: Web Re-Design for Design For Mankind (minikind)

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    Hi Friends! Let’s chat a little bit about website redesigns shall we. As a freelancer, a website redesign/overhaul/cleanup is a pretty common inquiry that lands in my inbox. Thankfully, a re-design is one of my favorite design projects to take on, so I’m more than excited to share this particular one with you.

    Design For Mankind and it’s counterpart, Design for Minikind is an online brand blog run by gal pal Erin Loechner. I see Erin as a blogging legend of sorts and have been an avid reader for the past 5-ish years. I remember stumbling upon her work in design school and watching her brand evolve to include more written essays and parents documentations has been so fun to see. A few months ago, Erin came to me with a mission to combine both her websites (Design for Manking & Design for Minikind) into one platform that would allow her brand to grow as it needs. She planned to shift her blogging topics slightly and document parenting in a way that doesn’t expose her personal parenting adventures with her daughter. I totally respect that about Erin. You just know when you need a change.

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  9. Recent Work: The Citizenry Launches Collection Two – Uganda!

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    Hi guys! I’ve got a little work update for you today. My client The Citizenry launched their second collection today and I couldn’t be more excited to share. (Collection Two – Uganda). If you’ve been following along with Veda House, you’ll know I’ve been working alongside the lovely gals of The Citizenry to help them bring each collection to life. We work together on all printed design materials, website updates, continued email newsletters, and my most favorite…product styling and photography.

    Collection Two comes all the way from Uganda and is a collaboration with Rose & Fitzgerald. The two brands have teamed up to bring the best of the best from Uganda. Hand carved wooden planters, desk accessories, and meticulously crafted serving trays are a few of the pieces. Also, if your a de-clutter freak like myself, you’re going to LOVE the large selection of hand woven baskets made by some very talented ladies in Uganda.

    I hope you stop by the shop today to see what we’ve been up to. Lots of heart and soul goes into bringing each collection to the masses and we are very proud of this growing brand baby. If you’re looking for gifts for the holidays, I’d totally recommend the wooden planters or the set of horn tumblers – BEAUTIFUL.

    Lastly, The Citizenry blog has also been growing and features lots of little behind-the-scene stories about how the collections are made as well as a few travel stories. Check it out!

    ( Shop Collection Two, Read Blog )

  10. Lesson Learned: Valuable Resources for Freelancers

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    Hi guys. Are you dragging yourself out of bed today, just I like I am? Man, Mondays are hard! I thought I’d start this week off my sharing some recent resources that have been helping me out as I figure out this world of full time freelance. It’s been 1.5 years and yup…still figuring it out.

    BOOKS: The first life changing resource was suggested to me by the lovely Jessica Comingore. During one of our online chat sessions we got to talking about the always brought up topic, also known as pricing and proving your worth as a designer. We got to talking about specifics when it comes to pricing certain aspects of the work we did and she suggested I get my hands on the Graphic Artist’s Guild Handbook of Pricing and Ethical Guidelines. I don’t know how this book slipped through my fingers, but it’s got concrete numbers you can use as a reference when pricing your services. It also has example invoice forms, contract, etc…all very useful! You can buy it on Amazon, here.

    TIME MANAGEMENT TOOLS: A few weeks ago, I reached out to a graphic designer Facebook group I’m a part of and inquired about the best online tool for keeping track of where your time goes throughout the day. I wanted to be able to log hours per client, per project and then see everything beautifully represented in a  graph at the end of the week. I know I was asking for a lot, but found my answer in the free app called Toggl. The interface is nicely designed, it’s easy to use, and it also comes in a desktop and mobile version so you can track your time no matter where you’re working. Others that were suggested to me were RescueTime, and the StayFocused Chrome Plugin.

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