Make Things Make Money: The Business of Illustration and Lettering

Lesson 10/29 - Build Your Site to Attract Clients: About Me Page

 

Make Things Make Money: The Business of Illustration and Lettering

 

Lesson Info

Build Your Site to Attract Clients: About Me Page

So how to we start to build our site to attract clients? Well each and every page you have has a very specific call to action. Now, most people will start with their homepage. But that's actually the last page you should be designing, 'cause it's supposed to serve as an overview. Not an introduction. And your about page is the number one highest traffic page on your site. 'Cause no matter where someone's coming from, whether it's from your homepage, maybe they've read a blog article or they're looking at your portfolio. They always wanna know your story, who are you? I like your work, now I wanna like you, personally. So, this page is all about trust. So, not only are you talking about yourself, but you're talking about yourself in a way that's hire-able and desirable. So, first of all, on your about page, what should you have? Well, you should have a picture of yourself, obviously. People trust other people they can see. So, if you're photo shy, I'm sorry. (laughs) You're gonna have t...

o take a really nice selfie and smile. The most engagement that you can get from a photo is from someone smiling. Okay, so how are we qualified? Now we're gonna start telling a story about ourselves. But what do we talk about in that about me page? Well let's talk about it. So how are we qualified? You have to explain the big why behind your work by talking about your experience and your leg up on the competition. Now some of you might be thinking, well, what is my leg up on the competition? Well, let's figure it out. Okay, so, why would I hire you over somebody else? Now remember, we're breaking it down. Is it because you work fast? Do you have a specific style that I might want? Maybe you have experience in a specific industry. Now, for me, let's try to use me as an example to help you think of ideas. So, for me, I have a concentrated niche in lettering. I have been doing only lettering for five years. So somebody who's looking for a hand lettering artist, they're definitely gonna wanna hire me over a generic graph designer that might just have a few little sprinkled hand lettering projects. Where me it's like, lettering, lettering, lettering. Okay, I'm winning. What else is there? Well, I typically only take a week to do projects. I've been doing this for a few years now. I have an iPad Pro, an Apple Pencil, so I can work digitally and faster. So, if I can complete the project, that's my leg up. Now that doesn't mean I'm cheaper, 'cause I don't, and we'll get into pricing a little bit later, but I don't base my value off of my time. Because think of it like this: why would you charge less for working faster? Right? As you get more experience, you're gonna get faster. It's gonna happen. 'Cause what's important to the client, is they wanna get, the sooner they can get the graphics from you, the sooner they can do their job and make money off of it. So wouldn't it be more valuable if I can finish quicker? And also, all my artwork is made from hand and has the authentic look, so now we're talking about style. Now, like I said, I like the raster look, I like to use Photoshop, I like to use brushes that mimic micron pens and brushes. I just love that feel like-- 'cause people like to connect with something that's a little bit different. I'm kind of, I'm not really one for that minimal look. So if you come to me, I like something that's super-decorated, like you with your pen and ink illustrations? I like to fill every little nook and cranny with a little doodle, it makes my heart sing, I love it. It's like, reminds me when you use to doodle in the margins of your notebooks? (laughter) I totally still draw eyes and little stars and stuff in all my pieces and it's kind of become my thing. And if you're looking for that, then I'm the person for you. And also, my leg up is I actually have a background in marketing and social media. So not only can I design your graphics, I can help you discover who to target with those graphics. And I'm making better informed design decisions. 'Cause I'm never gonna make a design decision based on my preference or even my client's preference. 'Cause it's not about me, it's not about the client, it's about who's gonna buy that product. It's about their audience, that's what important. So, what are some qualifications that you guys can think of? Now I'm not gonna ask you guys to shout out quite yet, I want you to think about it. I want you to really, really think about it. It can be anything from the quality of your work, to the presentation of your work, especially if you're doing products, right? And even digital products. How you talk about yourself. It could be a win, you're just really confident, and you're a big people pleaser, that's a leg up. Some, illustrators and freelancers tend to be homebodies, and they don't feel quite confident being social, so maybe that's your leg up. Think of every possible thing 'cause I promise you, it will help you and it'll help you build out the content in your webpage. Now, let's talk about clientele. So what kind of clients do we want to work with? We have an idea of our demographic, but we have to be able to tell people on our website, who do we want to work with. So work with your ideal client, by explaining who they are and include testimonials of your best work. Again, this page is all about trust. What's more trustworthy than seeing hey, you've done this before and people really like it. And they've actually made money off of your designs. That makes me feel a little more comfortable giving you my money. 'Cause I'm a stranger, you don't know me. You googled me, you went to a website and saw a picture of me, but you don't know me. Anybody can create a website, how can I make sure that I don't come off too scammy? So that way they actually can trust me. It's because of this page. So think about who are your ideal clients? For me, like we said, I like to work with apparel brands, publishers and design agencies. So, when I go ahead, I have my story, I talk about how I'm qualified with my experience and then I go on to testimonials. But before I show those testimonials, I write a little paragraph that says, first of all, you're heading two it says testimonials, at the bottom, these are the clients I love to work with. So if you're in a design agency, you're a publisher or you're apparel brand, I'm the perfect designer for you. I'm directly talking to you. So if you're in one of those three categories, (snap) your ears are gonna perk up. I'm not even talking (snap) but you're gonna get excited by reading my content. Now let's talk about your general process. So, you're telling your story, okay, you have the kind of clients, you have testimonials, now people want to get an idea of what is it like to work with you? Now, we'll get into what your onboarding process will look like in a little bit, but let's talk about your production process. You have to show potential clients how you work, because, this is the important part, it helps validate your pricing. Because this is your proof that you don't just turn out designs and illustrations over night. You have an established process. Now I'll go into the specifics of how to build that process and what mine looks like, but the point here, is you need to be able to have it written down somewhere. Because it's gonna save you time, so that when a client reaches out to you and you do have that project. You don't get scared, because you're prepared. And where does our confidence come from? How prepared we are. All of these things I'm saying are starting to make a little bit more sense. So we have our general process. For me, just real quick, I usually have an art direction, I have a mood board meeting. I usually like to present at least two sketches. Give them options, so we can make a baby. (laughs) I have a final sketch approval, I usually digitalize it. And then I go ahead and I have a full on presentation. And I'll actually be showing you guys how you can create case studies. Not only as a better way to present your work to clients, but boom (snaps) you have an automatic portfolio piece. 'Cause who here actually updates their website, when they're supposed to, with new work? I know tons of designers and illustrators that'll be like I haven't updated my website in a year. You can't do that! Do you know how good you get with every week that you're working? You're gonna show that poop work you made a year ago? Even though you made this stellar project a month ago? Why wouldn't you update? I'm actually gonna show you a way, how you can automatically (snaps) be updating your project with every new project you get. One of the things that I'm really good at, is people reach out to me and they want either a piece of art or a tattoo that commemorates a season in their life. So, I will spend time with a person and hear their story, hear everything they want to say. I'm a big feelings person, so I can translate all of those abstract ideas into a piece of art for them. Okay, so you're a storyteller? That's beautiful, to be able to take your story and make a visual element that supports it. That's a great way to sell yourself. And if you have direct experience doing that kind of work. There you go, there's another qualification. If you have a style that you like to stay in, boom, that's another qualification. Now, when it comes to the kind of clients you want to work with, I think you have a general idea, but now we're gonna be talking about what kind of process you should have. Now does anybody else, let's just focus on the qualifications that they can think of. You are valuable, guys, do you have any idea how amazing it is that you can even draw? Some people can't draw stick figures! (laughter) And everybody makes a joke, well I can draw stick figures. Well, no crap, that's circles and lines. I hope you're not that far off. But some people have a really hard time with it. And the fact that you can makes you special. But you just have to figure out, what about that art is even more special? Is it the style, is it the medium, is it the industry? And then what are my qualifications for that? Have I been studying this specific design for a while? Do I have a very engaging story? Or is it for a really good cause that I'm designing for? These are the things that people need to hear from you.

Class Description

Do you have a passion for drawing and dream of turning it into your next full-time gig? Hand lettering artist and commercial illustrator Dina Rodriguez will show you how to create a career doing what you love. Dina shares lessons learned from her path to becoming a successful freelance artist–so you can grow your business without wasting your time or resources trying to get there.


In this class, Dina covers: 
  • Honing your craft through passion projects and social media 
  • How to attract clients through your online presence 
  • Three ways to make money for your business: Commercial Work , Commissions, and Products 
  • Creating a process that will get you the job every time 
  • How to charge what you're worth
She’ll provide detailed strategies, new ways to repurpose your work, and talk about planning for the future. After this class, you’ll know how to create a successful career and skip all that nasty trial-and-error.

Reviews

Laurie
 

Wow! This class was fantastic! Dina did a great job at providing relevant information that I can use right away. I was particularly impressed at how she was able to explain licensing and royalties, she really broke it down into easy to understand pieces. I think this course would be a great foundation for any artist/freelancer but I liked the focus on lettering and illustration. Creative Live must convince Dina to provide more classes!

Elizabeth Matzen
 

This class is full of excellent information, and Dina did a great job covering everything from building a webpage to working with clients. She has a engaging delivery style, presented the information in a succinct and well-organized manner, and the pace of the course was perfect - not too slow! I highly recommend this course to anyone who wants to start or boost their creative business - great info!

Sharnika Blacker
 

Awesome class! Inspired and excited to improve my business with the processes and knowledge gained. Thank you Dina!!