Tools and stories about how to grow your brand as a creative ✍
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Photo by Marta Filipczyk on Unsplash

Plan, review and analyse

As the year ends, and we’ve been reading loads of ideas, quotes, suggestions on how to make it YOUR year, right? I am guilty of that too, so don’t you worry, it’s just the way it is.

It’s really inspiring to get down to planning (I love planning), however, you won’t see me going crazy over a 5-year plan anymore.

I believe in big goals, incremental upgrades, and consistent tracking (what gets measured will increase pretty much seamlessly). Enough of my motivational speeches, let’s dive into 3 practical steps to prepare you for this year!

Milestone planning

Understanding the principle of specialisation

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Photo by Viajero from Pexels

I am a multi-passionate human, and as such, I have a bucket-full of ideas.

Yet, I am also smart enough to be able to check my ego at the door and do the work before jumping into a new venture. I want to work from a place of flow (intuitive business is a new buzzword, dear reader), but also common sense.

As I am about to start a new business in 2021, I spent some time reflecting on what can truly make you stand out from the crowd and give you that unique positioning in a competitive market.

You may be lucky, and start a new business that fills a gap in the market. …

Key lessons from a 30-day writing challenge

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Photo by from Pexels

In the good old days, when I still wanted to be a full-time novelist, I had this idea that in order to be a writer I had to subscribe religiously to the teachings of Stephen King’s On Writing.

It took me over 20 years to realise that writers are much more than, well, writers these days. Some of them are mothers, full-time employees, and others are entrepreneurs (like yours truly), freelancers, and unemployed graduates.

Something my 30-day challenge showed me (and one of my biggest lessons from 2020) has been that every writer is different. …

Lessons from working with a copy editor

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Photo by rawkkim on Unsplash

After roughly 18 months in the making, the date for the pre-order of my second book is fast approaching. My first book taught me that the book writing process is not necessarily what we idealise it to be.

This second book opened my eyes about a few things, including the importance of a well-written proposal. Oh, and proofreading — and here’s the killer. I genuinely thought my proofreading skills were quite decent, if not damn good.

Proofreading 20–25 pieces for our online magazine gave me a sense of false confidence, because the truth is, dear reader, that it’s much easier to proofread other people’s writing than my own. …

4 steps to a more professional way of living

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Photo by Daria Shevtsova from Pexels

Entrepreneurship has always been somewhat of an unknown quantity to me. Until recently, I’ve only had menial part-time jobs and never had a vision of my own.

I’ve begun the process of developing an online business, and, frankly, I have no idea what I am doing. I don’t feel like an entrepreneur — I’m just some guy writing in his bedroom.

It got me thinking, however. Do you have to be on Forbes Under 30 to call yourself one?

My guess: it’s a gradual process.

I don’t have a detailed plan mapped out; I am just taking it one step at a time. …

Why it’s holding you back from completing your task

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Photo by Lacie Slezak on Unsplash

I believe the majority of you reading this have had struggle transitioning to working from home, right?

It’s hard to concentrate when you have so many distractions coming from all directions. I know, frustrating. But when you finally sit down and eager to work, you don’t feel like working anymore and decide to leave it for later.

That’s procrastination at its best. It takes you from being eager and energized to a save-it-for-later kind of mood. There’s a reason why you do it. Keep reading and you’ll uncover the reason.

There are many reasons why you keep delaying the work. Most of the time, it’s psychological. The brain relies on motivations and willpower to get things done in time. …

Writing from the heart with Greta Solomon

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Photo by Rachel Claire from Pexels

I had the pleasure to chat with the gorgeous Greta Solomon for our upcoming conference, and she shared more about her amazing book ‘Heart, Sass, and Soul’.

She is a writer, author, teacher, and Journal Healer.

Through her books and courses, she guides people to use journaling, writing, and creative self-expression to wake up, connect to inner wisdom, and heal the tender, violated parts of their inner worlds.

“My work really is about teaching people to use writing, creativity, and creative self-expression to really wake up and to heal some of the more tender inner parts of our world” explains Solomon “ and also to more fully get in touch with who we are discovering and recovering those parts of us that we kind of left by the wayside, perhaps in childhood, or perhaps more recently.” …

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Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

We want to hear from you

It’s been a while since we called for submissions, at the Creative Handbook. However, as I was approaching Monday with a newfound sense of purpose, I realised that 2020 has been a minefield of realisations, lessons, and changes.

This has been the case for businesses, startups, and individuals alike.

From the rise of the entrepreneurs to the new ‘working from home’ life, everyone has seen, in one way or another, their professional life altered for good.

We are asking you to share your very own story, the lesson that truly stood out from you this year.

Question prompts: What is a big A-HA moment? What do you wish you knew at beginning of the year? Which step did you take, you would have not otherwise? …


Email marketing tips to more open rates

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Illustration courtesy of the author
This post contains affiliat links. If you take action, we'll be getting some coffee money at no extra cost to you ☕ - which we promise to drink whilst creating more incredible content for you.

New series, boys and girls, and I called this affectionately marketing lingo.

These short pieces will focus on one simple marketing hack, or little tip you can read in 3 minutes or less, and take action straight away to improve your overall marketing. You are welcome.

First up, I am coming back to a good old friend. Email marketing.

Instagram features that shaped 2020

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Photo by Randalyn Hill on Unsplash

I will be honest, keeping up with Instagram’s updates has become almost a full-time job for marketers like myself.

New features, updates, improvements and new trends prove that the platform is here to stay, and it’s one of the most important tools in the arsenal of any creative.

These features and trends can help you create and shape your content on a whole, new level.

As you may still be looking to make the most out of the platform, I thought I’d do a quick roundup of a few exciting features you should get familiar with.

Feature: Instagram live

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Credits: Instagram blog

Instagram Live is just like a webinar, but condensed in a vertical layout. With people spending more time at home, live content grew in popularity by 75% in the past 6 months. …

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