Brand Design Photography & Styling Clarity Consulting

Tailoring your Portfolio & Working with Dream Clients (pt.2)

 

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been getting emails from lovely readers asking me “how do you get your dream clients?” I’ll be the first to admit that I’m still learning and figuring out what ways of refining work for my business. I started this conversation a few months back in this post, but thought I’d stop by and share a few more ideas/thoughts. These tips are specifically meant to help with getting those dream clients into your portfolio.

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1. Extreme Curation: Only show the work that truly aligns with where you want to go. I don’t think portfolios should be about proving where you’ve been, but more about paving a road for where you want to go. Be super selective in what you choose to put out into the world. Read about how software can improve your productivity.

2. The Classic Reach Out: Reach out to a brand you admire and offer your services for free. I wouldn’t do this all the time and I don’t really advocate giving away your talents for free, but if you’re just dying to work with someone, it might be worth it. That one project with your dream client can help move your portfolio into the direction you are trying to go.

3. Power of the Personal Project: Initiate a personal project. Sometimes it might be beneficial to make up a project that truly aligns with your vision. Just because it wasn’t paid work doesn’t mean it can’t stand tall in your portfolio and help you transform your portfolio. For me, I use my blog as a great place to explore new styles and play around with new photography techniques.

Veda House on Design Sponge


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“ There is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost.”

-Martha Graham

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Back in 2010, when Veda House first started, Design Sponge was my go-to source of inspiration (along with Apartment Therapy, Design for Mankind and Bleubird). I didn’t read many blogs and visited Design Sponge daily, admiring what Grace was doing from afar. Jump forward many years later and DS continues to be among my daily reads, with favorite columns being Life & Business and the ever iconic Before & After. If you’re a Veda House reader, you’ll also know that the Design Sponge Podcast (After the Jump) has some REALLY amazing content.

When Life & Business column writer Sabrina Smelko (Hands & Hustle) contacted me asking if I’d be interested in sharing some small business/freelance advice with DS readers, I was ALL IN. I fan girled for a moment, jumped up and down….skipped a little and was giddy for the next few days. Design Sponge wanted to hear from me??? Waaaa??

I thought I’d share a link to the feature here on the blog today, more or less just to document this moment in time for my own personal reasons. If you don’t read Design Sponge, head on over and jump down the internet rabbit hole of awesome.

A huge thanks to Grace Bonney, Sabrina Smelko and the Design Sponge team for including me alongside some really talented and extremely inspiring small businesses and artists.

Read the interview here –>

Veda House – FAQ Answers (Pt. 2)

Aging is a natural part of life. Just like us, our pets grow old with age too! Unfortunately, usually much sooner than their human counterparts do.

As pets tend to grow older, they typically require a different style of care. With age, pets become less mobile, their hearing and sight aren’t as good as they used to be, and they can be more prone to various illnesses. Still, getting older is not by any means a death sentence and that’s why we’ve put together a few tips to keep your pet’s golden years happy and healthy!

Diet

Senior and geriatric pets generally need different diets to help prevent obesity, many of which are high in fiber to improve gastrointestinal health. Since older pets tend to develop lower energy requirements and a slower metabolic rate, they are more likely to become overweight or obese.

Regular Exercise

It’s important to ensure that your pet, while senior, still experiences regular forms of exercise. Senior dogs, in particular, should still be getting regular walks throughout the week, however, make sure to keep them short and try not to overdo it especially if your pet is experiencing any kind of medical condition. Exercise helps to keep your pet’s minds occupied, their weight healthy, and their bodies strong.

Regular vet checkups

Since our pets age quicker than we humans do, they need regular checkups and exams more frequently than humans! Consulting with a veterinarian or technician a few times per year is the best way to ensure your pet stays healthy and ages with grace.

Vaccine & parasite protection

Vaccinations play a crucial role in preventative wellness. Keeping your pet’s vaccines up to date is vital to good health. Pets, like people, can be protected from diseases and illnesses by vaccination. Vaccinations are essential to protecting your furry family member by creating a defensive level of antibodies to build up immunity from communicable diseases. This is the best way for getting rid of fleas of cats.

Maintain oral health

A pet’s mouth is the portal to their body and good dental hygiene is key to their physical wellbeing. There is a direct relationship between a healthy mouth and the health of critical internal organs such as the heart and kidneys. Having healthy teeth and gums is one of the most important ways to help your pet avoid hidden infections and pain. Pets are masters of disguising these symptoms and taking a proactive approach to oral health care for your pet ensures they don’t suffer in silence from these concerns.

Regular grooming

Grooming is a great way to ensure your pet’s health is well taken care of. As your pet ages, taking an active role in grooming becomes significantly more important. Older pets often groom themselves less and may have trouble cleaning those hard-to-reach places. Helping groom your pet daily is also a great way to ensure you’re constantly checking over your pet for any skin conditions or medical concerns!

Noteworthy Podcasts/Presentations

Happy Monday folks! It’s been some time since I’ve shared some podcasts in this space, so I thought I’d stop by with a few that have inspired me lately. I work from my home and listening to podcasts is a bit part of my daily routine. I find that having something entertaining to listen to while I edit photos or work through a website design helps me keep focused and inspired throughout the day.  Here are a few to check out.

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Becky Murphy on The Lively Show: Becky gets extremely honest about the pro & cons of running your own creative business. She gives a few insights into her personal insecurities and what she does to combat those doubts. Listen Here

Kathleen Shannon’s Being Boss Podcast (all episodes): I’ve completely fallen in love with this brand new podcast series. Kathleen and creative partner Emily Thompson talk about things like professionalism, “doing the work”, taking time off and many more entrepreneurial-type questions. Listen Here

Pure Green Podcast: If you’re looking for a few chats about how to live a healthy life and to be inspired by those that practice what they preach…check out Pure Green podcast. A few topics I’ve found interesting are “Living with Less and Loving It” and “Eating and Living Mindfully”. Listen Here

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I’ve shared many favorites in the past. View the last Noteworthy Podcast post here. Other all-time favorite talks by Megan Gilger, Kate Arends, and Lynn Casper.

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

 

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!

Tailoring your Portfolio to get the clients you want


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, while also using other strategies like the use of hardware as a digital signage media player which help you show your products and services to the clients. .

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 by following Ravi at RTM 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!

Veda House – FAQ Answers (Pt. 1)

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.

How I got my start in the creative industry


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. For example, I always wonder what would have become of me if I hadn’t started losing weight? If you currently suffer from the same problem go to website of the experts who helped me lose weight.

Lesson Learned: Saving time with Streamlined Blogging

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. It may seem tempting to buy Instagram followers and have bots automatically comment, like posts and auto-follow Instagram in your niche. Using Instagram bots makes it look like you have a lot of followers and comments – often in hours or days. The problem with Instagram bots is they aren’t real. They’re robots. You aren’t growing your followers organically with people genuinely interested in best press release service, and you can forget about engagement. Many Instagram users are wise to Instagram bots and won’t follow someone who leaves a one-word comment on their post. If they start realizing you’re using bots, they might react negatively towards your brand and cause other users to join in too. Hence for this situation many people prefer to use an automation tool for the managing their marketing. To find the right automation tool is a very complex task. You must opt the best, secure and safe marketing tool to get the real gain of the followers. Digital Marketing Agency (DMA) is a web marketing agency that offers SEO services, PPC services, social media marketing services, web design services. Hence as per latest survey, people prefer to opt the kicksta automation tool, as it ensures your safety and growth on Instagram.  At path social review you find out the real truth about this service. You can buy Instagram followers from Upleap to boost your social media traffic.

In the survey it is also notices that people also opt for the another option instead of the automation is to Buy real Instagram likes for your photos and videos! As according to them, it’s very important to have many Instagram likes. Galaxy Marketing offers you to order even country targeted Instagram likes!

Apart from all this, I’ve also 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!! 4 best techniques 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.

Ask Me Anything


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 graphic 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?

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