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Designers: Expand Your Knowledge Beyond Design – Here’s Why

February 24, 2024

I’m Nelett
You're powerful, way more than you might think. And in this cozy corner of the internet, I'm all about keeping you inspired, pumped, and ready to take on the world.
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Let’s face it: as designers, we are often head over heels for the creative process. We live for those aha moments when a design clicks. But here’s the thing – we must dive deeper to truly thrive, especially as freelancers or in-house designers. We need to understand the world of business. This includes concepts like revenue, expenses, profit, marketing, branding, and project management. Don’t worry; I’m not suggesting you become a finance guru overnight. However, a little business know-how in these areas can make us more successful and confident in our roles.

Here are some reasons why every designer should dip their toes into the business waters:

Make Better Decisions

Imagine this: You’ve just landed a project with a dreamy budget. You’re excited, but do you know how to manage that money? By understanding business concepts like revenue, expenses, and profit, you can make smarter choices about pricing, project budgets, and your financial goals. For instance, knowing your expenses can help you determine a fair price for your services, while understanding profit can guide you in setting financial goals for your business. This knowledge helps you avoid the common traps many creatives fall into and ensure you invest in your future wisely.

Communicate Effectively

We often find ourselves explaining our design choices to clients who may need to learn our creative language. Learning the language of business can bridge this gap. When you can discuss design in terms of ROI (return on investment) or customer engagement, you’re not just a designer anymore – you’re a strategic partner. This builds trust and shows clients you get what they aim for, making collaboration smoother and more productive.

Position Yourself as a Valuable Partner

Think about how much more impactful your designs could be if you understood marketing and branding principles. You can create work that looks good and drives business goals. This insight positions you as a valuable partner, not just a service provider. It leads to stronger client relationships and a respected place in the business world, giving you a sense of accomplishment and fulfilment in your career.

Build a Sustainable Career

Freelancing can be a rollercoaster, with highs and lows that can be financially challenging. But by understanding business basics, you can manage your finances better, ensuring you’re prepared for slower periods or unexpected expenses. This knowledge in project management means you can deliver high-quality work on time and within budget, which keeps clients coming back and referring you to others, providing a sense of security in your career.

Adding the Skill of Understanding Business

Blending your creative skills with business savvy not only gives you a unique edge, but it also empowers you. You’ll feel more confident in your decisions, trust your ideas, and be able to articulate them in a way that resonates with clients and colleagues alike. It’s about feeling empowered to share your vision and knowing you have the chops to back it up.

So, let’s get real here. Learning business basics isn’t just about adding another skill to your toolbox. It’s about building a career that’s creative, sustainable, and respected. It’s about making sure your talent shines through in a way that’s understood and appreciated by those who might not share your creative eye. To start, you can explore online courses, books, or even seek mentorship from business professionals. The key is to start small and build your knowledge over time.

To my fellow designers, let’s embrace the business side of our craft. It’s not as scary as it seems, and the rewards – better decisions, stronger communication, and a more sustainable career – are worth it. Let’s continue creating beautiful, impactful designs while understanding the bigger picture. Here’s to being not just designers but business-savvy creatives who make a real difference in our clients’ worlds and our own.

So next time you’re working away in your home studio, remember that you’re not just designing – you’re building a career. And with some business know-how, there’s no limit to what you can achieve. Keep creating, keep learning, and let your talent and knowledge shine.

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Hi there, I'm Nelett, and I'm a designer just like you. Life's always changing, and being a designer can feel like a wild ride. But we're more than that, aren't we? We're caregivers, friends, and life lovers who find joy in more than just our work. We're all on this journey, each in our own way, but somehow, we're together in it.

Here's what I believe: You are powerful, more than you might realise. In this cozy corner of the internet, I'm here to keep you inspired, motivated, and ready to take on whatever comes your way.




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