blogging / cocktails / personal

Cocktail Talk… Blog vs. Design Work (I’m Hiring!)

07.01.16

Blog Vs. Design Clients

I decided after my last ramble about who knows what (with some pretty pictures thrown in) that I was going to make this a thing.  I just feel better about myself adding the pretty pictures to these posts, you know?  So “cocktail talk” series it is.  Maybe some people have an interest in reading rambling rants and some people don’t, but for those people who don’t, at least I am still sharing some pretty cocktail photos + the recipe.  Plus it kind of feels like a happy hour thing…….and I love those.

So here we go.

Blog vs. Design Work

(Side note – how deliciously summery does this shot look?)

I read several blogs but more than that, I “research”/borderline stalk what other people are doing.  It’s not healthy, and I’m trying to do less of that because we all know that the comparison trap is the worst.  No secret there.  I’m only telling you this to say that I watch what successful people do.  Particularly people that have a blog and/or a design business.  And I’ve noticed a trend……. There aren’t a lot of people that do both full time.  Some of my favorite designers started a blog way back when and now their blog has fallen to the wayside because they decided their true passion is designing for other people rather than sharing their own home through their blog.  I also know of another favorite of mine that did the opposite – Emily Clark started a blog way back when, started and ran a successful design businesses then ended the design business because she loved blogging more and wanted to focus on that.  So a lot of people start doing one or the other and then end up choosing.

More importantly, I am now starting to understand why these people choose one route over the other.  It just doesn’t add up for a one man show to pursue two full time gigs.  It’s totally logical to pursue one gig 100% instead of attempting to pursue both gigs full time but always feeling like you have to leave one on the back burner in order to pursue the other because there just aren’t enough hours in the day for both.  And I’m not saying there aren’t any blogger designers that do both.  Because there are.  I really don’t know how they do it, but they figured out a secret I would love to know.  It’s also important to note that everyone has different priorities and commitments, which allows them to commit more or less time to their job.  I, for one, do not have kids, so that gives me much more time than someone who has kids.  We also decided how much of our lives we want our careers to consume.  We all want balance, but balance looks different for everyone.  Anyway, I just want to continue doing what I love (blog + design work) but not lose my mind any more than I already have.  Is that too much to ask?????

Truth be told, I would never let design work go.  I love the challenge and creating unique spaces far too much.  I also really love my blog.  For the obvious reasons, yes, (connecting with you, opportunities that blogging gives you, having a platform to just talk about design, etc.) BUT the thing is that most of my clients right now are coming from the blog…….. So that would not only be completely silly to scale back on the blog, but I also just don’t want to.

So maybe this is a half attempt at putting something out there along the lines of “I’m Hiring!!!” (???) If I were to hire, I would of course want to find the perfect person. (Who doesn’t?)  I am SO flexible on what I need and could totally go blog assistant route OR design assistant route.  I could work virtually with someone or you could come over to my house and work from my dining room/guest room with me.

What i’m looking for:

Blog Assistant Brief:

-Photoshop knowledge – Putting together graphics for blog posts (round ups, design boards, etc.)

-Graphic design knowledge – Knowing how to create clean and attractive graphics for blog posts

-Wordpress knowledge – Prepping blog posts (naming/uploading images, scheduling posts, etc.)

-Social media knowldge (Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook,) – Running social media accounts

Design Assistant Brief:

-Floor planning!!! – This is the majority of what I would need from an assistant.  I’m on Sketch Up but am open to any software you know.

-Pinterest – Pinning with clients to determine the style of the space, coming up with concepts for client projects

-Design boards – Putting together design boards in Photoshop for clients

-Communication – Communicating with potential and current clients

____________

So, if you have any interest in assisting my design business or blog, please shoot me an email with your resume and any portfolio/experience work that is relevant.  As I mentioned, this job would be totally flexible and part time (10 – 15 hours a week).  Pay would depend on experience.

And now what you’ve really been waiting on….

Blog vs. Design Work

Watermelon Moscow Mule

Ingredients:

-Watermelon

-1 shot of Vodka

-1 small lime

-1 bottle ginger beer

 

Instructions:

-Add watermelon to cocktail shaker.  Use muddler to juice 1 ounce of watermelon juice.  Strain the juice.

-Add the 1 oz. of watermelon juice,  shot of vodka, juice from one lime into cocktail shaker filled with ice.

-Strain into Moscow mule.

-Top with ginger beer and watermelon slice.

 

*Images: Kayla Snell

xx,

Claire

 

White Painted Floors
My Favorite Way To Spruce Up a Bedroom
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8 comments on “Cocktail Talk… Blog vs. Design Work (I’m Hiring!)”

  1. Oh no! I love your blog because of your rambling, stream-of-consciousness thoughts about design and life in general 🙂 Plus I love your style. BUT, as a big design blog reader, I’ve come to dread the “I’m Hiring!” posts. It always means one degree of separation from the Thinker of the Thoughts that I’ve enjoyed so much. The focus always seems to shift to “content” – I guess the advertisers are pushing this? And before you know it there are a dozen people at the other end, cranking out posts like crazy, and I’m only reading like a tenth of them.

    I know I’ve made an unfair leap here. You’re just hiring one person. And I know that it’s a real problem of time, and I don’t have the solution. I’m just voicing a concern, as a reader, and longing for the days when blogs were just blogs, before big business realized what a cash cow they were missing out on. I also wanted to ask if you’ve read Lauren Liess’s blog? She’s an example of keeping the blog low key – she just posts once every week or two. So maybe if you can hang in there until your design business starts self generating? Seems like that should be soon cause you do amazing work! Anyway, good luck 🙂

    1. Laurie – I think this was some of the most insightful feedback I’ve ever received on the blog! Thank you for taking the time to share it.

      You haven’t made an unfair leap at all and I know exactly where you are coming from. I love following design blogs as well and have stopped reading a few that now feel too big and unrelatable.

      I honestly don’t know if bringing on an assistant is the right move for my business right now. I do know that I feel like I’m almost drowning so just trying to explore some options. I think the “answer” for everyone is different, but as long as one stays true to who they are, why they started blogging (and listens to valued feedback from blog readers 🙂 ), I don’t think that growth is ever a bad thing.

      Thanks again for taking the time to read and share your feedback. I really appreciate it!

      1. Oh, and I don’t read Lauren Liess’s blog (need to add it to the list!) but I do read Elements of Style and Little Green Notebook and think both do a great job of juggling design work and blog!

      2. I’m so glad you took my input in the spirit that was intended. I agree that growth is a great thing – best wishes on finding the help you need!

  2. Hi Claire! I, for one, think this is great news! It means that both your blog and your business are growing and you should be very proud. One suggestion you may have already thought of/done is to raise your pricing on the design work side of things. Now seems like the time to do it. You might decrease the number of projects you book, but you’ll be making more per project which will make up for that. I read somewhere that if you are super busy and you never get any complaints or objections to your pricing, you’ve set your rates too low. Also, if you get all anxious about setting pricing like I do, just remember this quote: “An artist is not paid for his labor but for his vision” – James Whistler. You offer real value to your clients and you deserve to be paid fairly for your work!

    Either way, I think hiring an assistant is a good move for you. With someone else on your team, you will be able to keep up the momentum and grow your blog & business even more all while introducing more balance into your daily life.

    I understand what Laurie is saying, but I think Emily Henderson is a great example of someone who has blog assistants working under her, but keeps her content top notch and a consistent voice. Non-bloggers don’t understand how much work OTHER than writing goes into publishing a blog post. I don’t see anything wrong with having someone help do the leg work for you, like editing photography, designing graphics, linking to products, communicating with sponsors, etc.

    I do think that a design assistant might be a better fit for you at this stage in the game. As a fellow “solopreneur” interior designer, I know how beneficial it would be to have someone to help tackle my workflow and keep things moving. Even better if their strengths are in areas where you feel weak and if they love doing the tasks that you generally dislike. From a business perspective, I think your design work is more “scaleable” in the long run and is where you should invest more of your resources.

    Blogging is a wonderful hobby and marketing tool, and I’m sincerely glad that you’re able to earn some income from your blog as well. There are many people in the blogging world who have been able to turn it into a full time income, but it’s a lot harder to do now than it used to be. Even if you can earn a livable income from your blog alone, that level of production and pressure seems like the fast track to burn out. I’m not saying you should ever quit blogging, especially because you enjoy it and because you are so great at it! But if I were in your position, I would invest in my design business first and not be afraid to scale back a bit with blogging in the short term. You can always hire a blog assistant down the line! I hope this helps!

    1. Stevie, This is great advice! Thank you so much!!! I have been thinking about a rate increase….. It’s interesting that we all feel so anxious about raising our rates, but what you said is so true!

      What you said about design business vs blog is so spot on. I love them both but do feel more invested in my design business and if I were forced to choose, it would be that. I never plan to quit blogging, but stepping back might be a healthy option in the future.

      Thanks again for your advice! I really appreciate it!

  3. Congratulations on the expansion of your business! I have enjoyed your blog so much, I only wish I had the experience you are looking for. I also like reading about your rambles. To me, it helps to keep it real. And I totally read way too many blogs. But for me, it’s to study. I’m a total ameutur of my own blog and reading other people’s blogs help to serve as an inspiration. Good luck with everything!

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