You know what’s funny? I’ve been a freelancer for more than half my life (I’m only 33) and I’ve always had a struggle when it came to finding consistent business until recently. Yes, my skills have developed a LOT, my style has changed (I’ve grown a lot since 16) & I’ve completely rebranded (You may have known me as Lou Ink); but most importantly, My Mindset & my reasons for being in business has changed- My WHY has become defined.
In order to be successful in your business, you’re going to have to sit with yourself & some other people (who DON’T think like you) or your team, & clearly define your purpose (your why) I know it sounds crazy & redundant, but it’s so relevant! Ask yourself these questions:
Why are you in business? (to make money & pay the bills is not sufficient)
Why do you want to start or Keep this business?
Why does the world need your business?
Why does your neighborhood need your business?
What problem does your business solve?
What solution does your business provide?
Why should people listen to you?
Why should people purchase from you?
Why should people TRUST YOU?
Why YOU & Not them?
It’s crazy cause it’s taken me 10+ years to be able to answer these questions and actually see the relevance in them. The reality is, these questions help you define who you are to the world, and the purpose of your brand. By defining your purpose, you set the tone for how the public views you, how your audience sees & receives you, how your message is delivered, and how effective your services or products are. By defining my purpose, I now offer WAY more than just graphic design. I offer branding, marketing solutions, and sometimes, the support you need to help establish your business.
Just a little background information…
When I first started, I was young (16-22), hungry, & was doing it soley for the money. I saw that i could work for myself (I watched my dad do it all my life) & I was like “That’s Me! I don’t want to work for anyone but myself!” I knew the basic premise of business (get paid) but i wasn’t ready. When i first went out completely freelance, i tanked in 5 months. I had to humbly go find a job, ask Mom & Dad if they could bail me out, & take that loss. I didn’t have any systems in place, i didn’t know any better & I didn’t ask for help. All i knew was that i was in Atlanta, I was young, I was talented & ANYTHING was possible if you lived in Atlanta! SIKE!!!! (this was in 2011)
Fast forward to 2014, I started designing wedding stationery to get my creative juices flowing again. I didn’t want to design for businesses anymore, but i kept getting business clients AND i still had a regular job. in 2017 I rebranded (to signify my Glow-up), I changed my focus from “Making money” to “Helping other businesses make money” and EVERYTHING changed. I Realized that MY entrepreneur calling is to help others visually communicate their message to the world; and by doing so, I’m communicating mine!