Do you remember the moment it first hit you?
The moment you knew, without question, that you wanted to be a designer.
That you were going to grow up to design beautiful things. Being a graphic designer is a job that dreams are made of – fun, flexible and positively overflowing with creativity. Until you end up working for the man & designing soul sucking real estate ads for 7 years.
(True story. I really did that – and I know you can relate!)
So you decide to start your own graphic design business only to discover it’s not as easy as it seems… … you feel like you spend your whole life working & you’re still not bring home the big bucks (or many bucks at all) … you’re so busy with client work that you never actually have time to work on your own business … your clients are unclear & indecisive & micromanagers. (Why is it so hard to make them happy, dammit?) … you feel glued to your computer & have no time to enjoy your life.
If you can relate to any of these then keep reading, this is definitely for you, my friend.
Firstly, none of this is your fault.
Here’s the problem…
Design school didn’t teach you how to run a business
I’m here to help fill in the gaps!
“How do I interpret a design brief so that I get my design right?”
Your client has spent time writing a brief to tell you want they want. But what did they mean when they said “I want a boho feel but nothing too hippy-ish or out there, simple but elegant yet textured” – yep, I get it. We’ve all been there. You desperately want to hit the nail on the head, but don’t know how to interpret the sometimes bizarre stuff your clients ask of you.
“How do I find creative confidence & structure my creative process?”
Have you ever wondered… Am I doing this design process thing right? Quick note: you can’t do creativity wrong. It’s just a matter of getting confidence that your creative thought processes and ideas are on the right track. Because it’s scary when you’ve got no one to bounce your ideas & creative processes off.
“I have no idea how to manage my clients so that we’re both happy.”
Your clients nit pick. They give you vague feedback. Maybe they draw a design on a napkin at a bar & just want you to digitize it. In other words, they make it hard to do your best work. But it doesn’t have to be like that. It’s not your job to obey your client’s orders. It’s your job to give them smart branding & design advice.
“How do I deal with client feedback (even when it hurts my creative pride)?”
Not many people enjoy criticism. But it’s an unavoidable part of business when you’re a designer. Although criticism can bruise the ego, it keeps you grounded, making you easier to work with and more open to learning from others. The trick is to learn how to deal with it, so that you keep moving forward without crying, face down in a tub of slowly melting ice cream.
“What’s my niche? How do I find it? Do I even need a niche?”
Have you thought about “finding your niche,” but are concerned that you’ll need to start rejecting clients? Or that you’ll get bored? Or maybe that you’ll pick the wrong niche? Well, you’re not alone. I hear this all the time: “I don’t want to box myself into a creative corner, Anna! I love all kinds of design!” I know. But you’ve probably also heard the saying, “If you try to appeal to everyone, you’ll appeal to no one.” But you know that clients love a niche.
“I don’t know how to price my services so that I get client & can pay the bills”
“I can’t possibly charge that!” ’Will anyone really pay me that much?” We’ve all felt blocked around our pricing at one point. Pricing your work is hard. But important. So let’s just get one thing straight… You are worth more than $500 per website. Full stop. Now say it with me: “I am worth more than $500.” “I am worth way more than $500 for a website.” “I am talented. I have a lot to offer.”
But first, before I share the solution to these problems, you may be wondering:
“How’d you figure all this out, Anna?”
It took me 10 years to piece these graphic design business lessons together…
yep, THAT’S 22 year old ME
It took me 10 years to piece these graphic design business lessons together…
I’m Anna Dower, the founder & CEO of Design with Style. I’ve been a graphic designer for 15+ years and have been the CEO of my own businesses for the last decade. I was also the founder and art director of ROOOAR, the digital magazine that redefined the landscape for female entrepreneurs.
On top of all that, I’m also a business mentor for some of the most brilliantly passionate graphic designers out there. But it hasn’t all been smooth sailing to get here. When I first started, I was just like you.
Here’s some things that we might have in common:
• Like you, I wanted to design pretty things for clients that adore my work.
• Like you, I wanted to run my design business, my way.
• Like you, I started with zero followers, zero clients, and zero dollars.
• Like you, I wanted to love my work and make a living from it.
• Like you, I want to have a life outside of work & need to take action that
gets real results.
I learned by trial and error.
(Sometimes, a lot more error than I would’ve liked.)
When I was starting out, I would have given anything to get help from someone who’d been there before me.
Someone who could show me how to dominate my graphic design business.
That’s why I’m ready & willing to give you all my secrets.
Introducing… the Design Business Accelerator. The only 100% personalised program specifically for graphic designers.
Design Business Accelerator is a 1-on-1 mentoring program. I crammed 10 years of business lessons into a few short weeks that’ll grow your business in a fraction of the time it took me.
Imagine, not having to go at your business alone & tearing your frazzled, unwashed hair out by the roots because you have no idea how you’re working so hard & seemingly getting nowhere. Imagine what a relief it would be to have someone in your corner who has been where you are, who you can bounce ideas off & who will be your own private business cheerleader. Imagine knowing that you’ve got all your ducks in a neat little row to make sure that your clients get the designs they want, love your work & tell all their friends about you.
The best part? Whether you’re just getting started, or you’ve been at it a while, you’ll get the exact tools & strategies that I personally have used in my business to take yours to the next level. These are tried & tested, baby.
Now you can grow – or start – your graphic design business with the tools and strategies that I’ve tested “behind closed doors” in my own business for the past 10+ years.
In this 1-on-1 mentoring program for passionate graphic designers, you will:
Get your personalised roadmap to achieve
your business goals
Discover how to finally get a constant flow
Stop being a people pleaser that feels pressured into delivering ugly designs
because the clients make weird demands & don’t respect your expertise.
Quit underpricing yourself & losing money when you
spend more time on designs than you quoted on.
Design a solid brand for yourself without ripping your hair out
(it’s easy for us to do it for other people, but torture to do it for ourselves, amiright?)
Put processes in place to bring clients through the door AND
take much-needed time away from the computer – even while your business grows.
Demolish your mindset barriers by getting the non-negotiable,
no BS accountability to stay on the wagon and make shit happen
How does the Design Business Accelerator work?
I’ll show you how to identify your niche, find your target market online, clarify your brand &
master your processes so that your graphic design business accelerates like a mofo.
The mentoring sessions are tailored to your individual business & unique situation –
no cookie cutter content here, my friend.
Whatever you need to work on is what will be on the agenda.
HERE’S HOW WE USUALLY ROLL….
Phase 1: Defining your why & your who
>> Get clear on what your version of success looks like in your business. Do you want to work 20 hours a week? Or do you want to be the go-to designer for your niche? The first step to achieving it, is knowing what you want
>> Get clear on who you want to work for, so that you can attract clients that appreciate you & pay you healthy wads of cash.
>> Piece it all together so that you’ve got the internal motivation to keep going, even on the days when business gets hard.
Phase 2: Mastering your offerings & creating an action plan
>> Create your offer & structure it so that value is clear & makes your dream clients line up to work with you.
>> Design & price your program to deliver results & set rock solid client expectations.
>> We’ll make sure you & your clients are equally invested AND equally compensated through working together.
Phase 3: Branding yourself like a pro
>> Create plan of attack that’ll almost guarantee your success, instead of making the (very common) mistake of jumping straight to colours and fonts.
>> Package your expertise into a brand that radiates with juicy, heartfelt confidence, so that you can focus on what you do best: heart-fuelled graphic design.
>> Take action, design & hit publish on a standout brand that separates you from everyone else in the world who does the same kind of work that you do.
Most importantly: Overcoming mindset blahs that keep you stuck
>> Discover the different ways you’ve been sabotaging yourself without even realising it, so you can work smarter, not harder
>> Get clear on what is keeping you stuck, so that you can move forward & get out of the cycle of one step forward, two steps back.
>> This is ongoing work throughout the Design Business Accelerator.
We’ll probably talk about this mindset stuff every. single. session.
The Design Business Accelerator is a must-do
for all graphic designers, but especially if…
You want a mentor who has been where you are & can relate.
But this isn’t for you if…
You’re simply looking for quick fixes. I’ve included many templates from my own business, and I’m happy to share them. But Design Business Accelerator is not merely a quick series of templates and scripts. You’ll learn how to build your graphic design business on your own. This takes work. Be prepared.
Here’s what having me as a mentor has done for other graphic designers, like you…
–– Jacqui Gleeson, www.whitedeer.com.au
I couldn’t even put a price on how much value I
got out of the experience
“Working with Anna has been a breath of fresh air for my business and I’m so grateful for the experience! Before signing on, I was not actively investing in my business beyond my own personal time and energy, so suffice to say I was definitely a little hesitant about how the cost would weigh up against the value I’d get out of it. I’m pleased to report however, that from the very first meeting with Anna, I found that we instantly clicked and she immediately gave me the kick I needed to make some huge changes to the structure of my business, so that I could better work in my sweet spot and have a more fulfilling business and life.
Now at the end of the three months, I can honestly say that for me personally, I couldn’t even put a price on how much value I got out of the experience, because it changed my mindset and approach to running my business so profoundly.
If you’re anything like me: so busy with client work that you never actually put the energy into planning and implementing bigger and better things for your own business, whilst also being SO fixated on making everything you put out into the world perfect that you end up not actually doing anything for yourself, then I think you’ll find working with Anna has been an amazing tool for learning to get out of your own way and take action on the things you’ve been dreaming about doing!”– EMMA BROWNSON • www.soulstirringbranding.com.au
A good mentor can save you 10 years of learning on your own With that in mind, here’s what can you expect from the Design Business Accelerator
Move your business forward – and do it faster than you could on your own. No more trial and error. It’s time to get deliberate about your design business.
Got ideas? Bounce them off me.
I’ll help you plan & organise how to put them into action & make them
Motivation can be a hard, but telling me you’re going to do it means I’m going to hold you accountable to yourself. How’s that for motivation to get things done?
I’ve got decades of experience, advice & insight to share. I’ll help you reframe the challenges you’re facing right now, so that you can face them head on.
It’s all too easy to get distracted these days. I’ll help you stay on track & focus your attention on the important things to help you smash your goals.
Reached a milestone? Let’s celebrate together! It’s my job to make sure you acknowledge & celebrate how far you’ve come.
Here’s what having me as a mentor has done for other graphic designers, like you…
I would tell anyone who has been thinking of
investing in Anna – JUST DO IT.
“I had been looking for a mentor for a long time but as soon as I found Anna via ROOOAR Magazine, I knew she was the perfect fit for me and she was exactly what I had been looking for in a mentor. The number one thing I loved most about our mentor sessions together was the confidence I gained and the fact that I started to believe that I am, indeed, a kick ass graphic designer & business woman. Also, Anna helped me set boundaries with my clients, which has changed everything for me.
The knowledge I gained from Anna was amazing. The little changes to my business and processes have streamlined my day-to-day work and has definitely grown my client base and income. In fact since starting work with Anna I have doubled my income and even tripled it last month by working actually working less hours! This is what working smart, not harder looks like #winning.
I wouldn’t change a thing about Anna’s style of mentoring and I would tell anyone who has been thinking of investing in Anna – JUST DO IT. You need a mentor in order to grow you business and enjoy running it – you need someone looking at it from the outside. Someone who has been there and done that. A good mentor will tell you how it is (NO BS) and will help you find your own path to business happiness and success and Anna did that for me.” – JENNA-RAE HALLETT www.jennaraedesigns.com.au
Anna you have an amazing ability to help
others achieve the possible!
“There is nothing quite as intense as the moment of clarity when you suddenly see what’s really possible for you. Anna you have an amazing ability to help others achieve the possible! Thank you for sifting through my mind’s creative chaos and helping me move forward with clarity and confidence!
The biggest benefit of having you as my mentor was tapping into your expertise and guidance in a non-intimidating environment.
I think it is essential to have a mentor who not only understands your vision but also understands how to nurture your needs, and who also wants to work with you. Mentoring can mean the difference between dreaming about your goals and kicking them. You were all of that and more for me. Keep doing what you are doing Anna, I have been raving about you to anyone willing to listen :)” – SARA KRAMAR
You’ve worked too hard to stop now
You’ve probably spent nearly 10,000 hours learning how to design like a rock star. Now you’ve got to spend another 10,000+ hours becoming a business, marketing, and client-wrangling expert too? What the?
Luckily, there’s a shortcut.
You need someone who’s been where you are. Someone who knows the shortcut around the pile of B.S. and straight to the pile of dazzling dollars waiting just for you. Someone who’s built a sustainable, 5-figures-a-month business herself and who can help you do the same.
Because there’s no luck in that. It’s all about strategy, heart, and taking action.
Having a mentor is a massive, underused lever for growing your graphic design business. Top athletes have coaches and trainers. They don’t do it alone. Why should you?
You deserve the best mentoring.
It’s powerful. It’s authentic. And it works.
There’s no pride in growing your business alone. You can go through the same grueling ordeal of trial & error for 10+ years as I did. Or, you can bypass this misery and get instant access to your own private mentor in your back pocket.
So you’ve got a decision to make. Are you going to go it alone? Or are you going to give yourself every advantage with a proven, experienced mentor that’s had hundreds of clients & hit $20,000 months in her own graphic design business?
I’ve done the hard part for you. Take what I know and have learned and use it in your own business. You don’t need to wobble down the path like Bambi learning to walk — there’s a path already laid out for you.
The choice is yours, my friend.
Your Investment: $1600 + gst
paid in 4 equal instalments
Includes: 4x 60-minute 1-on-1 mentoring sessions over 8 weeks
A week off between each session so that you have time to take action
Lifetime access to the recordings of your sessions
8 weeks of unlimited email access to me
FREE BONUS: 1x 30min 1:1 emergency session, valid for 6 months (value: $250.00)
1x private Facebook group with daily access to me & fellow graphic designers (value: priceless)
“It has been such a rewarding experience working with Anna. As a designer in a corporate environment for the past 8 years it’s easy to often feel isolated and a bit stuck. Working with Anna has reignited my passion for design and helped me fill the gaps in my knowledge and delve into new skill sets. She has gently pushed me along encouraging me each session to explore more and get comfortable being uncomfortable.” – SARAH GROENWALD
“As a freelance designer that is new to the industry, working with Anna gave me invaluable knowledge to take my business to the next level. She helped me to develop my strategies, procedures and overall direction for my business was a really enjoyable experience and something that will benefit my business for years to come. Thank you so much Anna for helping me get in the right frame of mind to get my boss lady on!” – KATE BRITTON
I’m not sure I can afford this right now… Should I sign up?
Here’s the thing: you have to invest in yourself first in order to see results. This principle applies to everything. If you wanted to lose weight & get fit, you’d probably hire a trainer to help you reach that goal, right? Business is the same.
Deciding to hire a coach or mentor only once you’ve reached a certain level of success is like waiting to hire a trainer until after you’ve lost the weight.
Rather than continuing on the small business rollercoaster in an effort to build your business alone, it makes way more sense to work with a serious mentor who is specifically focused on to helping you grow.
Seriously – everyone who’s killing it in their chosen industry has someone who’s walked the path before them to guide the way, offer insight, and equip them for the journey ahead.
Can’t I just figure this stuff out on my own?
Maybe. But have you figured it out yet?
It’s hard to see the wood for the trees when you’re going at it alone. That’s why I have my go-to advisers for my business too. The right mentors and advisers can spot the things that you can’t see & help you get results soooooo much faster than you’d ever get on your own. Trying to figure it out on your own is doable – but it’s the long, hard road.
What if “I don’t have enough time” or “I need to get myself & my business more together first”?
I want you to know that mentoring with me is about us doing it together. Rather than trying to achieve your big goals alone, you’ll have me to help you get there faster.
I’m here to make sure that every time you flip open your computer, you know exactly what to do to get maximum results in the shortest possible timeframe.
How are our mentoring sessions held?
We’ll meet online via Zoom, so that we can see each other & share screens. It’ll be just like we’re meeting in person… except you don’t have to get out of your pjs.
If you’ve never used Zoom, it’s easy & free. You download it once & never have to worry about it again. It’s virtually foolproof.
How do I schedule our mentoring sessions?
Once you’ve paid, I’ll send you a link to my calendar where you can book your sessions at any time that suits you.
What will our sessions focus on?
That depends on you. This isn’t a one-size fits all approach. We’ll talk about what you’re dealing with right now & agree on where we should focus our attention, so that you get results asap.
Is there a guarantee?
You’re your own guarantee, baby. You do the work, you get results. I’m no magician. My job is help you focus your attention on the right areas, so that you’re moving your business in the right direction.
But attention alone won’t get you anywhere. You’ve got to do the work. For that reason, I can’t guarantee what results you’ll get. That ball is fully in your court.
How quickly will I see results?
That’s completely up to you. The great thing about this program is that if you’re serious about putting it into action, you’ll start seeing results straight away. But you’ve got to do the work. It won’t happen by magic.
I’m not a graphic designer. Can you help me?
I’m sorry, but no. I’m sure the perfect mentor is out there for you. It’s just not me.