SOME PEOPLE BELIEVE IT’S NOBLE TO CREATE IN OBSCURITY, EARNING NARY A DOLLAR FROM THEIR CREATIVE GIFTS.
You’re not one of them.
Nope, you’re fine with letting your creative brilliance shine and earning enough folding money from it to live life on your own terms, one where you call the shots.
And you don’t want to compromise your creative integrity when it comes to the business of being creative – from the clients you take on and the way you like to work, to the schedule you keep and the art you create – whether it’s photography, design, printmaking, painting, fashion, or whichever creative pursuit you make your living from.
You are a creative rebel.
:: You’re ready to stop taking clients simply because they have a checkbook and a pulse.
:: You want to get off the feast-or-famine roller coaster for good.
:: You want to sell, without selling out.
:: You want clients who “get” your value and respect your creative vision. Yep, those – the ones who want to collaborate, but are happy to let you remain in control of the design process – because hey, you’re the creative professional after all. They also understand the work of a talented soul like you might be pricey, but it’s well worth it – because good clients are profitable.
:: Also? You don’t want to compromise your creative integrity in the name of booking your project calendar to its fullest. Because this one life you have? It’s also about good times . . . and letting your creative freak flag fly on your own non-client projects, too.
That’s where I come in.
I’m Kimberly Houston, and I help creative service professionals – photographers, designers, stylists, illustrators, makers and other creative visionaries and tastemakers:
:: Create a persuasive online presence through personality-driven copywriting and web marketing that captivates, connects and converts your “just right” people into ideal clients.
:: Market in a way that is respectful of your personality through-and-through. (Slick, “salesy” marketing-speak that doesn’t resonate with the real, authentic you not allowed. Blood brother promise.)
:: Implement a combination of web copy and marketing in a way that shines a light on your unique gifts and big talent, so you can differentiate yourself from the other 567,878 lifeless portfolio sites out there that reek of beauty, but don’t make an emotional connection with the right kind of clients, right now.
(Hint: Stop the price-shopping madness by differentiating yourself with powerful copy that weaves your unique story and personality throughout your website and speaks directly to your ideal clients.)
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HOW THE HELL I GOT HERE, OTHERWISE KNOW AS MY “BACKSTORY” (If you want the “official bio,” skip this section and keep scrolling on down. But I know you, you want to read this section.)
If there’s one thing I understand more than just about anything else, it’s how confining and soul-crushing it is to have your creative vision and the way you like to operate in the world force-fed into a world of bosses and rules, policies and procedures, deadly dull meetings and dank windowless rooms (also called “offices,” I believe).
I tried to fit with the 9-5 set, but I never met a cubicle I didn’t loathe. Even when the work was stimulating. Even when my co-workers were whip-smart and funny and seriously talented. (For example, when working at a “creative agency,” which shockingly, is not that conducive to actually being a fulfilled creative. Who knew?)
In my professional life, I’ve had careers and positions in photography, PR and advertising, politics, non-profit fundraising, and sales and marketing.
And while I loved many of those jobs, the one constant was that I never felt truly myself or creatively fulfilled in any of them. Instead I felt like Dwight Schrute at a Grateful Dead show – freakishly out-of-place. Ungratefully unappreciative of jobs most people thought I should be thrilled to have – because they came with healthcare and benefits, a 401K and a career ladder, and the be-all, end-all, apparently – a steady paycheck.
Wait, you mean there’s more to life?
As a creative person, I should have known that if I couldn’t be happy in a creative agency setting, where the hip design creatives in the next room blasted the Black Keys and Ozomatli while creating graphic design masterpieces, web sites to die for, and ads that made me want to weep at their brilliance, and the dress code was “be yourself, but professional, whatever that look means for you,” then I wouldn’t make in the more buttoned-up corporate world of fundraising, politics, sales and marketing, and all those other j-o-b-s. But those were lessons still to be painfully learned when I left the PR and Advertising world.
Wherein security is overrated.
After a few more years of 9-5 confinement in politics, sales & marketing, and non-profit fundraising, oh, round about 2008 or so, I finally got it – I was never going to be satisfied working for someone else, using my talents and skills to make someone else’s business thrive. I knew that if I ever wanted to be really happy, “happy as a pig in sh*t” happy, as we like to say here in the South, I’d have to strike out on my own.
Even if that meant struggling while I got my business off the ground. (And it definitely did mean that. Hey, the entrepreneurial life ain’t for sissies. Or people who insist on having 3 squares a day, at least in the beginning.) So I liberated myself from the golden handcuffs of a steady paycheck, took the leap and put my copywriting and marketing skills to use in my own business, working for people who light me up and make me crazy with delight – creative souls like you.
So here we are. I hope you’ll stay awhile and make yourself comfortable ‘round these here parts. Read some blog posts. Sign up for free weekly updates. Come say hi on Facebook or Twitter.
THE “OFFICIAL” BIO (List of Actual “Bonafides,” and I Do Have Some)
• My marketing journey started in the southwestern jewelry business, where I spent 6+ years in marketing and sales. In this role I helped plan, develop and execute promotional activities such as direct mail, advertising, trade shows, and catalog production, as well as servicing a 3-state client base as a salesperson.
• I moved from there to working for a small, boutique PR agency, where I helped conceptualize and execute public relations campaigns. I provided research and analysis, media relations, strategic planning, and creative, advertising and web visibility services for client accounts in the service, non-profit and manufacturing sectors.
• Next, I made a long-term dream of mine come true: I started working on political campaigns, a crazy, fast-paced, and totally consuming career, which I loved unreservedly. In my work across several campaigns and election seasons, I coordinated community outreach, fundraising, and strategic communications; managed a paid staff and hundreds of volunteers; helped craft campaign strategies, and in collaboration with a team of campaign strategists, developed consistent branding using media, direct mail, research, polling, and field outreach.
• From there, I took a very brief detour into non-profit fundraising, where I worked to increase the size and number of donations for a local public radio station through a branded, targeted messaging campaign and one-on-one outreach.
• I also have a terrific education, which I got not because I had a specific career goal in mind, but because I was passionately interested in the subject matter. I earned a Master of Arts in Latin American Studies from the University of New Mexico, and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Fordham University in New York.
Now that I’ve gone on about myself for what seems like days, it’s time for me to wrap this up.
As for you, creative soul, go ahead and enter your name and email in the form above to get free weekly updates on copywriting and web marketing that shines a light on the real you, helps you roll out the red carpet for your dream clients, and gets you more projects, more bookings and more cash
To your awesome success,
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Or email me at: kimberly (at) kimberlydhouston (dot) com
See you there!