In this episode we talk about the importance of selling yourself as a creative. Sales can feel sleazy and unnatural for many of us, but it doesn’t have to be! When done right, properly selling yourself is an essential and positive part for any creative business.

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Meet Your Hosts

The Honest Designers Show started when our founder Tom found he was regularly chatting and sharing tips with top designers; Ian Barnard, Lisa Glanz and Dustin Lee. We soon organised a weekly call where we would help each other with areas we were struggling with and try to give each other actionable feedback. Soon we realised that the collective experience of the group was proving so valuable for each of us, that we thought ‘why not share these conversations with the world?’.

And so, The Honest Designers Show was born! This podcast is an insight into how to succeed in the creative industry, as well as giving you a totally transparent, under the hood look at some of the tougher, less glamorous hurdles to overcome! We also tend to get a little goofy along the way, so this is a chance to get to know each of us a little better :). We’ve loved recording this show for you, and we hope that you find value and enjoyment in listening to it.


Please find full show notes for this episode below:

[1.00] Designers are often not natural sales people
[2.40] Tom feels he’s not a sales natural, in the traditional term
[3.45] We all sell things to others all the time (just not our own stuff)
[4.30] Why you should focus on the steak not the sizzle
[5.15] Looking at selling for designers
[6.30] Be honest, transparent and win trust – that’s effective selling
[8.00] Why sales doesn’t have to be sleazy
[8.30] Dustin pushes back – because sales tactics do work, and we all do them to some extent
[9.30] Tom went down the wrong path of putting marketing ahead of everything else
[10.30] You need a solid foundation, but sales absolutely do matter on top of this
[11.45] Don’t be arrogant in your marketing, but just tell people how what you’re selling will help them
[13.00] How Ian doesn’t feel like he can sell, but he is doing some things very right
[14.00] When selling is done really well, you almost don’t know it’s happening
[14.45] Dustin recommends building a list of potential clients
[15.15] He also recommends lowering the bar to getting the contact information of potential clients
[16.00] The importance of having a sales funnel (not as scary as it sounds!)
[17.40] You can start figuring out where you’re losing people in your sales process
[19.00] Dustin and Tom have a hypothetical sales call
[24.00] Pay an interest in the customer
[26.00] Don’t underestimate how bad many designers are with their potential clients, which gives you scope to stand out in a positive way
[27.00] How Tom sold Dustin on working with Design Cuts in the early days
[28.45] The importance of empathy
[29.00] Give each potential client a personalised experience, not a generic one
[30.30] Treat people right, as you never know where relationships will lead in the future
[32.00] How Ian could handle customer/client questions, whilst playing to his creative strengths
[34.00] The common question designers get ‘what’s your prices?’ – and the right way to respond
[36.00] Tools for making email responses easier
[37.00] An example of how a company justify their higher prices in a really creative way
[38.00] Get a loved one to play devil’s advocate with you to put you on the spot and get more used to selling yourself
[39.30] How to weed out unsuitable clients on your contact page
[41.00] Lisa’s mindset shift to help her to sell herself
[42.45] How to set up a trade of work with other designers in your space, to get them to help with selling your services
[44.45] How Lisa plans to grow her patterns business
[46.00] Tom’s advice for how Lisa could approach her dream clients
[47.30] Never SPAM
[48.30] Closing tips for selling yourself
[50.00] Ian asks: how do designers sell physical goods/prints?

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