Artisan Blog

Perfecting Your Pitch

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Perfecting Your Pitch

Whether you are a freelancer who has to pitch a project to a client, or a seasoned team member who is presenting a new concept to internal and external stakeholders, or you’re interviewing for a new job, it’s important to be able to convey your message in a memorable way that connects with your audience.

Will Greenblatt, the founder of the Outloudnow School, says “speaking is a physical act” and we need to “warm-up before we speak”. Reading your speech out loud several times before your actual presentation can be very helpful.

The first step in any presentation is to make certain you are warmed-up. Just as you need to stretch your muscles and be ready before you go for a run, your face muscles and voice need to be warmed up as well. Articulation exercises are a good way to warm up by working your way through a few tongue twisters.

Additionally, he points out that we need to be aware of our “ speech settings” and adjust as needed depending on the message, and point we are trying to communicate. Our speech settings are our volume, pace, pitch, clarity, inflection and physical expressiveness. Your voice is a powerful tool. As you practice, try adjusting your settings to see the difference.

Your breathing technique is also key to effective message delivery. Before giving a pitch or going in for an interview, nervousness can lead to shortness of breath, so it becomes important to do deep breathing exercises beforehand.

The Institute of Public Speaking suggests deep diaphragmatic breathing as a technique to get more air into your lungs as well as calm you down if your nerves are acting up.

Posture plays an important role in your breathing as well as in the delivery of your message. Ideally, you want to stand or sit straight, make eye contact, keep your hands open down by your side and smile! It impacts your mindset and will make you more approachable once you’re finished speaking.

If you are nervous about speaking in groups or in front of a crowd, practice in front of a mirror and record yourself. Watch your body language, posture, and movements, then make adjustments in your delivery. Ideally, you will invest time in your own self-development and attend public speaking courses like Toastmasters or take online classes.

At Artisan Creative, we look forward to connecting with you and sharing additional tips on interviewing and preparing for your job search.

We hope you've enjoyed the 521st issue of our a.blog.


Creating Trusted Relationships

Wednesday, May 01, 2019

Creating Trusted Relationships

Trust….what does the word mean to you and how does it influence your business and personal life?

All relationships, whether interacting with a partner, co-worker, vendor, or family member rely on trust and will grow because of it, or falter due to a lack of it. As leaders, it’s important to earn and to give trust. Many people work hard to make sure they can be trusted, reliable and someone others can count on. For some, trust is given freely and blindly, until it’s broken. If that happens, they suddenly do an about face and stop trusting. For others, they start from a place of distrust and work their way to trust over time.

In his book, The Speed of Trust Steven Covey says that trust is a function of two things: character and competence.

Character is one’s integrity, intent, and motives. Competence is one’s skills, knowledge, track record, and results.

Both are needed to create and maintain trusted relationships. Covey attributes 4 core principles to building trust – both with ourselves (self- trust) as well as with others. The first two principles have to do with character and the latter two with competence.

Integrity

Do we say and do what we said we were going to do? Do we stick to our core values? Do we have integrity with ourselves? Are our morals and ethics aligned with our core?

Intent

What are our motives? Do we work towards a win-win outcome with ourselves, with our employees and vendors, with our family and friends?

Capability

Do we know how to do what we said we were going to do? Do we have the qualities needed to inspire confidence? Are our skills, attitude, and knowledge aligned so we can grow and establish trust as leaders in our company, family and community?

Results

This is all about getting things done – our performance and track record. If we don’t deliver on our promises, or never do what we say we are going to do, we lose trust.

The next time a situation arises where you get a distrusting feeling about someone or a situation, ask yourself whether it's a matter of their character or competence?

If it's a matter of competence, you can ask for data, for certifications, ROI, KPI, you can run assessments. From an on-going leadership and training perspective, it’s important to ask if someone has been given the proper training and onboarding to do their job well. Also, it’s good to make certain our expectations are clear, so they can do what is asked and expected.

If it's a matter of character, you can check references, and conduct background checks. Julio Olalla of the Newfield Network speaks about the importance of not to assuming all breaches of trust are betrayals—be able to distinguish between sincerity, competence, and reliability.

The first step in building trusted relationships is to lead by example, be authentic, vulnerable and learn to trust. At Artisan Creative, building trusted relationships is one of our central core values. We look forward to connecting with you to build a new relationship.

We hope you've enjoyed the 519th issue of the a.blog.


Marketing Your Business

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Marketing Your Business

We’re all entrepreneurs now. Whether you’re a creative professional or cultivating a side hustle, your path to consistent and satisfying success is to think of yourself as a business. This means that to get the clients and projects you want, you must master the basics of marketing on a budget.

When you understand the most important principles of marketing, and you're willing to put in the reasonable amount of effort required, you'll bring in new business, and you'll have time to focus on the work you really love.

As you grow your freelancing career, here are a few big marketing ideas to keep in mind.

Build Your Brand

Having a strong personal and professional brand means more than having a concise elevator pitch, although that's an essential part of it. You must know who you are, what you can do, what values you represent, and how to communicate your identity. When you put your mind and heart into developing your brand, it will pay massive dividends with the people and projects that come into your life.

Work Your Network

As a creative freelancer, some of the most effective marketing you can do is still old-fashioned word-of-mouth. When you provide value to others, attend networking events to engage with your community, and seek out the peers, collaborators, and mentors you wish to cultivate, new resources and opportunities will present themselves in ways you never anticipated.

Prioritize Product-Market Fit

Author Carolyn Tate describes the "four Ps of marketing" - product, pricing, placement, and promotion - and how they're always interrelated. In the new age of growth hacker marketing, running a business is a constant process of iteration, and great products are built through feedback loops and ongoing processes of community interaction. Remain curious and sensitive to the changing needs of your clients. Let your marketing efforts and your work feed into a constant refinement of improving each other.

Track Your Progress

To better allocate your resources and understand how your marketing is paying off, keep track of your progress and results over time. If you're not naturally comfortable with numbers, charts, and analytics, you can use one of the many free tools that are available.

Share Your Success

Whether you present your work in an online portfolio, create content to showcase your ideas, or engage with your clients and community through social media, don't be shy about sharing your best self with the world. It will inspire others, build your own confidence, and bring lots of new opportunities to your doorstep.

Turn Pro

When you start thinking of yourself as a serious professional, something magical happens. If you're struggling with that transition, or you're ready to take your creative career or small business to the next level, we can help! Contact Artisan Creative today to take your next step.

We hope you've enjoyed issue 518 of our a.blog.


Morning Rituals For Success

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Morning Rituals For Success

If you're a "morning person," you know that the early hours of the day, between when you wake up and when you begin work, can be some of the most valuable, productive, and fun. And, even if you don't identify that way, you may be surprised how a few slight changes in your behavior can have a tremendous effect on your attitude.

When you establish the right morning routine, you can greet the day with fresh vigor, get more accomplished in work and life, and go to sleep looking forward to the next day. Want to stop hitting “snooze” and learn to love your mornings? Here are some ideas for morning rituals that will spread some sunshine on your days.

Get Plenty of Sleep

Sometimes more pleasant mornings are simply a matter of getting adequate rest at night. Before making any changes to your morning routine, make sure you're in good physical health, not abusing drugs or alcohol, and getting the best sleep you can.

Rise Early

When you're not in a hurry, everything seems less daunting. Give yourself more than enough time to transition from sleep to preparation for the day ahead.

Make Time for Yourself

To put yourself in a pleasant and productive mood, start your day with activities you will look forward to and enjoy, with an eye toward building routines that help you cultivate a positive mindset. These could include mindfulness meditation, a solo creative project you're passionate about and want to make time for, or maybe just a bracing cup of coffee.

Get Moving

"Running and walking are both great because they're accessible to most everyone, they can be your gateway remedy to a healthier lifestyle, and they can even give you the momentum to design a whole new morning routine," writes Benjamin Spall, author ofMy Morning Routine: How Successful People Start Every Day Inspired. If a pre-dawn run sounds overwhelming, you can try yoga, stretching, swimming, or any other physical activity that wakes you up, circulates your blood and oxygen, and helps you get into the rhythm and flow of life.

Write

"Something I do every morning is stretch, listen to NPR, and then shower," says Tina Roth Eisenberg, designer and founder of the popular lecture and networking event series Creative Mornings. "Then I sit down and either write whatever my soul needs to regurgitate or post to my blog." Whether or not you consider yourself a writer, an early-morning writing practice is one of the most trusted ways to kickstart your brain, prime your creative pump, and connect to your deeper emotions. You can try Julia Cameron's "Morning Pages," record the previous night's dreams while they're fresh, or keep a decision journal. Or, like humorist David Sedaris, jot down a few notes, lists, or ideas at dawn and return to them later to flesh them out.

Prepare

"Each morning you should prepare, plan and meditate on how you aim to act that day," writes author Ryan Holiday. "Don’t wing it. Don’t be reactionary. Have a plan. Marcus Aurelius rose in the morning and did his journaling - preparing himself for what he was likely to face in the hours ahead. He thought about the people he was likely to face, difficulties he might encounter (premeditatio malorum), and what he knew about how to respond." Developing an early-morning journaling habit can help you build personal confidence and see connections and patterns you might otherwise miss.

Skip Email and Social Media

Most mornings, your notifications can wait. If the first thing you do every day is reach for your phone, try postponing that for an hour, or however long it takes to do something more peaceful and reclaim some of your private psychological space. "This can be hard for many of us, especially if you run an online business or keep up profiles that feel like they require your full attention at all times," writes Spall. What you'll quickly find, however, is that avoiding social media in the morning will allow the calm of the night to carry on a little bit longer.”

The best way to stop a bad habit is to, instead of going cold turkey, replace it with something you'd rather do instead. "If you’re going to do something like intentionally ignore your email for a few hours, you need to be just as intentional about planning how you’re going to spend that time," writes Kelsey Manning, who struggled to implement email-free mornings and gained some insight in the process.

Change One Habit at a Time

Take inspiration from Niklas Göke, who wrote an excellent piece about how he built an enviable morning routine by optimizing one new habit at a time. "I never made a list when I began," Göke writes. "Because it wouldn’t have lasted a day. The moment you make a list, you start trying to check off the items on it. You’ll dream up a big set of habits, try to adopt them all in a day and fail. Instead, see this idea as a process of optimization. Don’t pressure yourself to get it right the first time. Think of yourself as putting one foot in front of the other and improving along the way. This way, you’ll focus on learning and getting better, rather than comparing and getting frustrated."

Take advantage of our decades of experience. We'll help you build the lifestyle and career you've always wanted. Contact Artisan Creative today to get started.

We hope you've enjoyed our 514th a.blog.

 


Digital Spring Cleaning

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Digital Spring Cleaning

Happy Spring! Today is the first day of spring, the vernal equinox when the sun’s rays shine directly on the equator, and our days begin to get longer.

Spring cleaning is in the air, and this year we are focusing not only on de-cluttering our home offices and work stations but also focusing on our digital clutter and noise!

Multi-version files, copies from years ago, duplicate images, a multitude of apps, and incessant notifications lead to not only a cluttered digital space, but also to a cluttered mind leading to distraction and reduced productivity.

Below are several tips to help you with your digital spring cleaning:

Managing your smartphone

Moving all apps into a folder, alphabetizing and deleting those no longer in use is scary, yet liberating. In his article Beautilty, Jason Stirman describes the step by step to do this task.

Duplicate Files

If you aren’t already using proper naming conventions, start now. It’s too easy to get bogged down with multiple file versions with slightly different names. Choose a file naming convention process and stick with it. Whether you start with the name or date, stay true to it and implement it across your team or department.

If things have gotten out of hand, manual intervention may not be possible. In this case, duplicate file management apps like Gemini or a variety of version control options such as Git, SVN, and others will solve your problem. If you are a creative, use Adobe Bridge or DAM to manage those assets on an ongoing basis.

Backup and Delete

Once your files are organized, then back them up to the cloud, or to a drive. Back it up and have the peace of mind that you can always find that one elusive file. Delete all non-current files as well.

Say Goodbye

Turning off notifications, and unsubscribing from emails and newsletters that are overflowing your inbox will give some breathing space. Whether you change the frequency of newsletters or divert them to their own folder, change this flow of digital noise to something that is both manageable and realistic for you. You can use Unroll.me to batch unsubscribe and remove email subscriptions you no longer need.

Inbox Zero

It’s hard to start, however, once you achieve inbox zero, you’ll never want to go back. A few easy steps can get you organized and help build a workflow so you can get to inbox zero. Tools like Sanebox help manage all those LinkedIn invites, or Basecamp notifications.

 

We hope you've enjoyed our 513th a.blog.  Please connect if you are looking to hire your dream team, or looking for your next job opportunity.


14 Apps We Love

Wednesday, February 06, 2019

14 Apps We Love

Your phone is what you make of it. With the right apps installed, it can be a trusted colleague and collaborator, a tool for boosting your productivity, enhancing your creativity, and making your life more interesting.

It’s a good idea to, every so often, go through your apps, delete the ones that don’t spark curiosity, creativity, or productivity and replace them with new ones that help you crush your commute and get more juice from your screen time.

As our Valentine’s Day gift to you, here’s a bouquet of apps that focus us at work, help us relax at home, and generally delight us. Try a new one and let us know what you think!

Notebook [ iOS | Android]

The right note-taking app helps you to, in the words of business guru Tiago Forte, “build a second brain.” We love Zoho’s Notebook for its attractive interface and intuitive card-based system of organization.

Otter [iOS | Android]

For those of us who love to think out loud, Otter’s well-organized voice recorder is essential for catching elusive ideas, immortalizing snippets of rambling conversations, or launching when you wake up to make sure you remember that breakthrough idea you had in a dream last night.

Hopper [iOS | Android]

Travel indubitably broadens the mind, and its logistics can take their toll on one’s patience. With this brilliant flight-booking app, you can save your extra heartbeats for all the new vistas you’ll explore.

Buddhify [iOS | Android]

There’s a gold rush in meditation and mindfulness apps. This one stands out by virtue of its grounding in Rohan Gunatillake’s mindful design principles. Buddhify is flat-out beautiful, with a rich and playful UX that makes it ideal for beginners or anyone who feels a bit lost in establishing a practice.

VSCO [iOS | Android]

VSCO is for anyone who loves the creative side of photography and image manipulation, especially those who want to take their Instagram feeds to the next level. Its filtering tools can help almost anyone post high-quality digital images. Professional designers and photogs swear by it.

Snapseed [iOS | Android]

Here’s another essential image-editing tool for anyone who wants to keep alive the aesthetic principles of great photography in the era of social media. If you wonder how your favorite influencers always make their lemon wedges look so juicy and crisp, this might be your answer.

Chess - Play and Learn [iOS | Android]

Make a playdate with your inner strategist. Whether you’re a beginner or a master, the sleek design of this app makes it easy to love this timeless game of intellect.

Pocket [iOS | Android]

From long reads to listicles, Pocket makes it easy to stay caught up with all the great written content you may find around the web. Robust tagging enables you to organize your library, and the vastly improved text-to-speech capabilities mean you can catch up on your “reading” while you commute, work out, or do the dishes.

Stoop [iOS | Android]

Email newsletter subscriptions are a wonderful way to immerse yourself in niche subjects or to get informed on a broad range of current events. With Stoop, you can now organize and keep up with all your favorite newsletters without overwhelming your inbox.

Zoom [iOS | Android]

Zoom is one of the most innovative video meeting and conference-room apps. It gets special mention here for its addition of “driving mode,” which may actually save on car repair bills.

Pocket Casts [iOS | Android]

Podcasting keeps getting better. Take advantage of the booming audio renaissance with this robust platform for podcasts. It has one of the most user-friendly interfaces for an app of its kind, allowing for better discovery and a more engaged listening experience.

Brain.fm [iOS | Android]

If you use music as a tool to relax, to focus, or to get things done, this unusual audio app may be the one you’ve been waiting for. With settings for “deep work,” meditation, sleep, and more, it lets you choose the state of mind you want and selects music tracks to match. It began as a cult favorite among coders, and now the secret is out.

7 Cups [iOS | Android]

In a time of increasing awareness of the tolls of depression, anxiety, and mental illness, not everyone has easy access to therapy. This revolutionary self-help app connects users with trained “listeners,” along with motivational exercises and a supportive community. 7 Cups may be a big clue to what the future of therapy may look like.

Moment [iOS | Android]

If you’re worried you may be spending too much time on your phone, or you want to encourage your kids to learn to better manage their screen time, the “gentle and compassionate” Moment app can help regain some digital agency. It gives you an inventory of how you engage with your device throughout the day and, if you don’t like the results, provides coaching to help you take more mindful charge of your eyeballs.

At Artisan Creative, we believe life and work are interrelated and we take a holistic approach to help teams and careers exceed expectations. Contact us today to start the conversation.

 


Using CE to Boost Your CV

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Using CE to Boost Your CV

Technology is changing the world continuously, and the world of business is changing with it. To seize the best creative professional opportunities, it's increasingly necessary to adopt the posture of a lifelong learner. You may choose to go back to school to supplement your education or become an avid and engaged student at the school of life.

As a creative professional, updating your Curriculum Vitae (CV) at regular intervals is a must. Make sure that, when that time comes, you have useful and fascinating things to add. Here are four quick pointers on how to take advantage of an increasing array of opportunities for continuing education.

Get Schooled

Graduate programs, trade schools, and boot camps provide opportunities to immerse yourself in acquiring new knowledge and skills. You can also build your network by working closely and in person with teachers, mentors, and peers. If you have the time, money, and bandwidth to devote to it, this sort of continuing education can supply you with Continuing Education Units (CEUs) or certifications that can enhance your next career advancement.

School Yourself

If you want to save time and money, and you have the self-discipline required for distance learning, the internet provides a rich bounty of opportunities to engage with any subject you can imagine. Skillshare, Teachable, Khan Academy, and LinkedIn Learning are just a few of the platforms that provide substantial continuing education online. Through Coursera, university-level courses are available with the support of many higher learning institutions. Anyone interested in professional growth can easily explore the vast and expanding landscape of modern e-learning.

Participate in Your Community

Classes, networking events, professional associations, and volunteer work opportunities in your area can help you get the lay of the land, find out where your passions intersect with market demands, meet people who can help you find the right opportunities for success, and build your resume, portfolio, and CV. Stay informed, so you have interesting things to say. Look around and ask yourself, "how can I help?" With a positive attitude towards service, you'll establish yourself and build strong alliances soon enough.

Ask Your Creative Recruiter

The benefits of working with creative recruiters include access to resources, inside information, actionable insight, and opportunities for training, testing, skill-building, and peer interaction. At Artisan Creative, we have decades of experience in professional self-actualization, and we know how to help you build a resume and develop the body of work that best suit you. If you want some more oomph in your CV, contact Artisan today.

We hope you've enjoyed the 507th issue of the a.blog.

 


Visualize Your Year

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

Visualize Your Year

Our Artisan Creative a.team creates a new vision board every year. What started as a fun team-building project, has grown into a mindset that many of our team members have now introduced to their families and friends to set individual and family goals together.

We each work on visualizing and creating our boards over the holidays, and present at our first team meeting in January. Our boards are as varied and eclectic as we are. They include short and long-term goals, as well as personal and professional aspirations.

We believe that by presenting and sharing we hold true to our values, and create a culture of accountability that enables the team to learn more about each other’s ambitions, dreams, and commitments. Some set a theme for their board or their year—others use inspirational quotes. All have a shared thread of growth, inspiration, and visualization, that tells a story and creates a visual roadmap for achieving our personal and business goals.

In addition to sharing our vision boards with one another to start the year, we revisit the boards mid-year together and also review in our year-end meeting. This way, we help keep one another on track throughout the year.

Here is the process we follow to create our vision boards, so invite co-workers and family members to get your new year off to an amazing start!

  1. Set your intentions & define your priorities for the year
  2. Select words and images that inspire and are true to your core values.
  3. Create positivity and inspiration for yourself and others.
  4. Imagine the integrated life/work that you want to live.
  5. Your board can be divided into sections for career, self, family, and community or be a mix of combined elements throughout. The key is to create the vision where your personal and professional aspirations are represented to help create an integrated life and work.
  6. Hang the board where you can re-visit it daily—read the inspirational messages out loud— and often! Mine is right in front of my desk, so I see it every time I look up from my computer.
  7. Share with others. Having an accountability partner will help you get closer to achieving your goals.

Tools needed:

  • A large poster board to give you plenty of space to visualize your year, yet small enough to hang on your wall. We use the 22 x 28 size available from Staples.
  • A good pair of scissors and a strong glue stick so the pictures stay on all year long.
  • Variety of magazines to look through and find those inspiring words and pictures.
  • (Optional) Markers/stickers to write on or embellish your board.
  • Patience and Creativity.
  • Time to reflect.

I cut images and words throughout the month of December. Then I create the actual vision board in one day. For some, it’s easier to start with a theme and for others, the pictures and words shape the direction of the board. There is no right or wrong method, harness your creativity in any way that works best for you.

Although electronic versions such as Pinterest or Trello also work, going old-school where you physically search for and cut out imagery and words from a magazine and decide where to place them, is in itself an opportunity to reflect and plan via a very tangible exercise.

What is your goal setting process?

Happy New Year!

We hope you've enjoyed the 503rd issue of our weekly a.blog.

 


Our Top 25 Blogs

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Our Top 25 Blogs

We are thrilled to publish our 500th blog today. As we approach the end of 2018, we’d like to share some of our a.team’s favorite blogs.

These cover a range of topics from self-development and time-management to job search, hiring and much more.

We hope you enjoy this top 25 greatest hits compilation.

We hope you've enjoyed our 500th post.  You can find plenty other tips, inspirations, best practices and advice on our a.blog.

We look forward to connecting.




Define Your Personal Brand

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Define Your Personal Brand

 

As a creative professional, no matter what projects you pursue, you can create a lot more opportunities for yourself when you establish a clear, concrete, and powerful personal brand.

Here are five steps to help you define who you are, what you do, and where you want to go.

Get to Know Yourself

No matter what work you do, you have your own skills, style, and experiences that are unique to you. Together, they make up a professional persona that differentiates you from your competition. The more specific you can be about your persona, the more consistent your brand can be, and the more work it can do on your behalf.

Developing an effective personal brand requires taking an inventory of what you do well, how others see you, and how you can help them. It can be difficult to look at yourself objectively, on the flip side, this process of inquiry will pay enormous dividends throughout your career.

Check Your Humility

To maintain a healthy grounding in reality, it's important to be realistic and think critically about yourself, your strengths, and the areas in which you can improve upon. When you're building your brand set this aside for the moment and begin with an open mind.

Flatter yourself. Emphasize your strengths. Present yourself as a legend, a rock star, larger than life. You can always be humble and approachable after people are intrigued!

If you have trouble getting excited about your own brand, this classic Creative Mornings talk from Richard Sauerman will provide a jolt of encouragement and help you fall in love with yourself a bit.

Go on a Vision Quest

Create a detailed picture of where you want to go in your professional life, and your mind will begin to automatically strategize how to get you there.

Before you begin the detailed work of building your personal brand, try this visioning exercise. It will help you understand why you're doing all this. Imagine the fruits of your success and you'll whet your appetite for the work it requires.

Become You, Inc.

Now it's time to open your toolbox and assemble the nuts and bolts you will use to build your brand. You'll develop your own style guide, visual assets, slogan, elevator pitch, and everything else a business needs to distinguish and differentiate itself.

To do this, you can use the same assignments and techniques that top agencies use on branding projects for multinational corporations. This article on the best practices of in-the-weeds brand-branding lists all the essentials you'll need, with examples from some of the world's best-known corporate brands.

Knowing how to stand out in the crowd is key to defining your personal brand.  Check out Winnie & Lorrie Hart's book on Stand Out for more details.

Get Engaged

Your brand may be born in the studio, and it will come into its own when it learns to survive on the street. As time goes on, you will develop and iterate on your brand based on how it interacts with the outside world at networking events, in pitch meetings, online, in the work you do, and in the content you create.

Whether you're an introvert, an extrovert, or somewhere in between, you'll ultimately build your brand through active engagement with your professional community. The more you do this, the more opportunities will open for you. It pays to be strategic, mindful, and deliberate about it.

Consider what you’re comfortable with, and then go slightly outside that zone. You’ll bring back some interesting insights.

At Artisan Creative, we pool decades of experience in the world of creative work to help you become your best professional self and hit goals you didn't know you had. Contact us today to find your next invigorating challenge.

We hope you've enjoyed the 499th issue of our a.blog

 




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