How to succeed in business

How to succeed in business can often feel like a huge mountain you have no idea how to climb. When you are starting out you have to manage all aspects of it, from the marketing, book keeping and social media updates. It barely gives you time to do the thing that you are passionate about- which is the creating! 

I’m pleased to let you know that there is this fantastic event coming up that you can attend for FREE from the comfort of your own home (or if you’re like me- the local coffee shop!).

What is also great about this conference of over 100 business experts, is that if you can’t make the exact time they are talking live, as long as you have registered, they will send you a recording to listen to later on. A win, win!

I will be speaking all about imposter syndrome and how it can actually have some benefits for your career. To book to hear my talk on the 4th September 2pm UK time 2018, head over to the schedule page on the Uppercase Missinglettr page by clicking here: PHILIY’S TALK

There are so many more great speakers and you can book as many slots as you like. This is the link to the whole schedule where you can choose them all. CLICK TO BOOK

Let me know in the comments below the Imposter Syndrome issues you are having. 

Winning on Instagram

Winning on Instagram might feel like something you have to hire an entire PR team to achieve. There are loads of great tools and simple wins that you can start right away to win engagement on Instagram.

Now you might be thinking that as a creative you don’t have a need to use Instagram for business, but I wanted to tell you that it can drive traffic to your website, help you to make sales and get people to attend your events. You can even network on it too!

I used to have a different account for Instagram when I worked in the film industry. I have switched to a Creative Women International account now and am in the process of learning all the ‘tricks’ to help build the site into an amazing space where I can chat to you and help you make connections.

It’s tiny at the moment, so I thought this was a fun time to share my knowledge with you so that we can grow together.

  1. The Instagram algorithm– This has been a hot topic since it changed in 2016 and has gone through another change in 2018. There are certain things that it now looks for, which you should be aware of to make sure that your posts are seen.Interest– How much your post has comments & likes/ will be relevant to your audience.Time of day– New content is shown before old content. So posts from the day before won’t appear before posts sent an hour ago.

    Relationship– Are they people you engage with regularly, or are they part of your family/ friends? Instagram will learn this from your previous actions.

    So how would you make this work for you? 

    I would say you need to create content that you are excited about and know that your followers would love as well. Make sure that you are posting at a time that they are likely to be viewing Instagram- so not in the middle of the night if you are talking to the same time zone for example!

    And for relationships- you need to make sure that people want to engage with your content by asking them questions or calls to action (like clicking twice if they agree, or tagging a friend who would love this too).

    Think about how you yourself use the app and what excites you. Borrowing ideas can help you to get started. 

  2. Stories– You might have seen stories appearing in the header of both Instagram and Facebook. These are a great way to engage with your audience and avoid getting lost in the noise of the feed as they appear at the top of the page.You can also have some fun showing them behind the scenes.
    You can also add up to 10 # in your story. (More on Hashtags in a moment).This podcast that I did about Storytelling to engage your audience might help. You can listen to it here. CLICK 
  3. A business account– You might still have a personal Instagram account, but this means that you are missing out on loads of stats that might help you understand your audience better.You can switch your account to a business one easily, and at the moment it is free to do that. You can read more about it here: Business Account
  4. Hashtags #– Love or hate them, they are a valuable tool for growing your audience. You can add them to stories, your photographs but also your bio at the top of your home page. It is the way that people can find you, and you find others like you.You can add 10 to stories and 30 to your post. Hit return and then a fullstop/period 5 times to make them appear after your description. This cleans it up for your viewers.Top tip– you can save your favourite Hashtags in notes on your phone, then copy and paste them into a post to save you time.

    There is loads to learn about Hashtags I have found- so this might take a whole article another time!

  5. Scheduling– You might not want to be on your phone all the time, or are working with an international audience, so don’t want to get up in the small hours of the morning to post.

    I use a software called Later to help me. They have a fantastic blog as well and one of my favourite posts is about hacks to help you with Instagram. You can read it here: GO TO LATER

Finally here are some tools that I like to use.

VSCO- This is a great app that you can use to edit photos from your phone.

Web.stagram Lets you search for Hashtags on Instagram.

Typorama– Lets you add text onto images perfect for Instagram.

Let me know in the comments below what is the one thing you would like to master on Instagram. 

How to build a successful creative business on Shopify


You might be wondering how on earth you build a successful business on Shopify? It can feel like an endless list of jobs-to-be-done. This is why I was so happy to have Arianne Foulks the founder of Aeolidia as a podcast guest.

Aeolidia began  in 2004 setting up online shops for designers, makers, and other creatives. It’s an amazing company that designs custom Shopify ecommerce websites, creates logo and brand identity design, and supports these services with stats analysis, product photography, copywriting, business naming, marketing strategy, and SEO! She certainly knows her stuff!

Arianne shared some of her top tips during the podcast about what you need to do to have a successful Shopify site, and common mistakes that people make. She talked through ways that you can improve your site to drive more traffic, which in turn leads to more sales.

I certainly felt inspired to consider my own Shopify site after this interview!

You can listen to the podcast below.

If one of the things that you are worrying about is how to price your own products or services, you can read about and listen to a previous podcast that I shared about pricing. Click HERE.

You may be considering setting up your own Shopify site, or have one that needs improving, as an extra bonus, Arianne wanted to share a free resource she has made to help you get more traffic for your Shopify account, which helps you make more sales. You can download it here:

I’d love to hear about your own Shopify journey, the pains and the success. Share your story in the comments below.

Take away the guilt.

Let’s take away the guilt from freelancing. I’m re-posting this image of my morning coffee on a mini break to Cornwall. You might be wondering what this has to do with guilt?

When I started my career as a freelancer I was on call 24/7, I would jump if the phone rang and I was still checking messages well into the night. All of this made me burn out. I was worried that if I didn’t appear available at all times, that I would never work again. Have you had that feeling?

So jump forward several years and I am pleased to say that I have figured out that no-one is going to black list you if you don’t reply to that email they sent at midnight, or you won’t ever work again if you take the afternoon off to sit in the park or on the beach.

Freelancing is tough. We have no medical care, no paid holiday or sick days. So we need to take the perks as well. If the sun is shining and you are up to date with your work, go on out there and enjoy it.

There is a quote that I read the other day that sums this up perfectly;

“No one wishes that they spent more time at work when they are on their death bed”.

This week’s podcast talks you through how to take the guilt away and how these mini-breaks can help your creative output.

I have a challenge for you….look at the week ahead and book yourself some time, guilt free. Let me know what you plan to do in the comments below. 

How to leave a corporate job for a creative one

Sometimes we have a dream to leave a corporate job for a creative one. But how on earth can we do it? For this podcast I was lucky enough to interview Bree Noble who did exactly that. She left her corporate job as a Director of finance to pursue a career in music.

Bree talks candidly about the journey she took from University, to the corporate world, and then finally leaving to fulfil her dreams of a creative career.

Bree was able to carve out a successful career, not only as a musician, but as a podcaster, and as a supporter of other musicians through online courses, sharing the tools that worked for her.

Listen to the podcast to find out more, and you can follow these links to see more of Bree’s work:

Women of Substance Podcast

Female music academy 

Bree’s own website

Continue reading “How to leave a corporate job for a creative one”

Starting a creative business at any age

Tricia Cusden proves that you can start a creative business at any age. I was so impressed with Tricia’s outlook on life and it was a real pleasure to be able to interview her for this podcast.

Tricia founded the pro-age beauty brand Look Fabulous Forever  when she was 65 years old and already retired. Tricia had become frustrated with beauty products that weren’t suitable for mature skin, so decided to take herself back to school as a make-up artist and then launch her own range of beauty products.

What I loved about Tricia was that she was repeated told that her vision wouldn’t work and that older women wouldn’t buy make-up. Rather than stop Tricia, it only encouraged her to continue.

Starting a creative business at any age can be daunting, but when you haven’t grown up with social media or computers from a young age, it can be hard to know how to connect with your audience through these methods. Tricia’s daughter helped her to upload a video to Youtube showing you how to apply make-up for mature women and it went viral.

This changed how Tricia decide to run her business. Originally she was going to follow the formula of holding selling-parties, where a host helps to sell the products to a group of friends at a small event. With the success of the online video, Tricia realised that she could connect more easily with her audience on-line.

Her business has gone from strength to strength and now turns over nearly £2 million. Not bad for someone who was told that older women wouldn’t buy make-up!

You can listen to her whole story and the advice that she gives the younger generation on starting their own business by listening to the podcast below.

Continue reading “Starting a creative business at any age”

Value your creativity

Successful failing

When we are creating something new we often forget that the failures along the way are as important as the final success. Valuing your creativity in all of its forms is so important. It helps you to keep going when the process is hard and it can help you to negotiate higher fees for your work.

In this podcast I talk through ways of valuing your own creativity and how you can use this to explain to new clients and customers the creative process. This can then help you negotiate higher fees for your work. If you don’t value the creative process yourself, how is anyone else going to value you it and pay you for it?

As creatives we often forget to build reflection time into our work. Because being creative is instinctive to us, we forget how much brain power and energy it takes each day to create.

Listen to the podcast and let me know in the comments below how you value your own creativity. 

There are tips below on how you can value your own creativity….

Continue reading “Value your creativity”

Timelines can help you achieve success

When we are busy focussing on our own career we often forget to look backwards at how far we have come. Timelines can help you achieve success if you use them in the right way.

I am writing this article a couple of days after my birthday (yes that’s crazy eyed me on my first birthday!).

Birthdays are always a good point in the year to reflect on how far you have come, and what you have achieved with your life so far. It isn’t a moment to put undue pressure on yourself! It is a time to appreciate all that you have done, to get where you are right now.

We forget that when we entered this world we didn’t know anything. We had to learn how to blow out that candle on the cake until eventually we were baking our own. It is the same with your career path. We gaze lovingly at the people who are ahead of us and believe that we can never do as well as them.

Not only is this damaging to your self confidence, but you also have no idea whether they have had help to get where they are today, or have grown up with family members to help them into the industry.

It is important to focus on your own path. In this week’s podcast I talk through ways that you can do this, and how to use timelines to plot out- not only where you have been, but where you are heading as well.

Continue reading “Timelines can help you achieve success”

How to work with passion rather than money

There are moments in your career when you need to forget about the money. This might sound like a strange thing to say, so let me explain why.

As creatives it is nearly impossible to be creative if you are thinking or worrying about money. Have you ever tried to design something from a starting point of money concerns? If you have, you’ll discover that the creative part of you becomes stilted. You panic. You over analyse. And before you know it, you haven’t been about to design anything.

Creativity needs freedom. It needs to know that anything is possible and it needs to come from a starting point of passion.

In this week’s podcast I talk about ways of making passion your priority, and how and when you need to stop thinking about the money.

Continue reading “How to work with passion rather than money”

Dealing with imposter syndrome

At some point in our careers imposter syndrome will strike. I have suffered with it many times, and it always feels like the little monster on your shoulder telling you that you shouldn’t be there.

Imposter syndrome was first coined in the 1970’s when a study in America at Georgia State University noticed that successful women suffered from chronic self doubt.

Men also suffer from imposter syndrome but not as often as women. There are several examples of high profile women who have come out and talked about their own feelings of dealing with imposter syndrome.

“There are still days when I wake up feeling like a fraud, not sure I should be where I am”
Facebook Chief Sheryl Sandberg

So why does hearing about how successful people also struggle with this help you? Imposter syndrome strikes when you are reaching out of your comfort zone and growing. If we can take a moment to thank it for showing us that we are challenging ourselves, we can gain some control back from it.

In this podcast I talk about why imposter syndrome strikes, how to overcome it & I set you a challenge to help you deal with your own imposter feelings.

Continue reading “Dealing with imposter syndrome”