The Design Diaries
By Alyssa Nguyen (@atnndesign)
The Design DiariesNov 20, 2023
Ep 35: How to Consistently Grow Your Business (Without Burnout)
Brand designer Alyssa Nguyen talks 3 key things to consider when approaching growth strategies for any part of your design or creative business. These tips will allow you to make actionable steps towards building a sustainable growth plan that won't overwhelm you.
Ep 34: Avoiding Legal Issues & Hiring a Lawyer with Guest Attorney Ivy McNeill
Guest speaker and Business & IP Lawyer Ivy McNeill joins us to discuss legal strategies for assessing legal risk and avoiding legal issues. We discuss questions to ask your clients to minimize your chances of trouble and questions to ask a lawyer when considering hiring representation as a brand designer. This episode will help you understand what a designer-attorney relationship can do for you and how to take the first steps with forming one.
- The Legal Checklist for Brand Designers: 8 Key Questions to Ask Your Clients
- Lawyer Up: The Brand Designer's Guide to Hiring an Attorney
These resources are only free and available to our listeners for a limited time, so sign up now before it's over!
Check out more of Ivy below:
Ep 33: Design Portfolio Tips (What to Include)
What types of projects should I put in my portfolio? How many? What do I put on my about page? What do I put in the case studies? I'll answer all of these questions and more to help you build the best graphic design portfolio possible.
Ep 32: Red Flags in Clients, Coaches & Contractors
Figuring out if a client will be hard to work wit, if a contractor will be reliable, and if a coach will be worth it is hard! Here are 3 red flags that I look out for in each to maximize my chances of a good match.
Ep 31: How I Found my Design Style
Let's talk about finding a design style! In this episode, I break down the difference between a design style and a design aesthetic and then share my journey with finding my own. I'll tell you all about my strategies for figuring out your signature and give you 3 tips to start.
Ep 30: Finding Community & Fighting Loneliness
Let's talk about how lonely it is to be a self-employed creative...and then let me give some tips for finding community when you work by yourself! It's so important to take the time to connect with people in our industry, but it can be hard to figure out when, where, and how to do it. My best tips are in this episode!
Ep 29: The End-of-Year Checklist for Creatives
"What am I missing???"
I know it's stressful leaving for the holidays not knowing if you've done *everything* you were supposed to, so here's a checklist of things I recommend doing at the end of the year to help you prep for the new year! In this episode, I'm talking accounting, improvement, planning, marketing, and more, so give it a listen and let me know what you think!
This is the last episode of season 2, so leave us a review and DM us on Instagram to let us know what you're thinking of the podcast so far!
Ep 28: My Annual Budget as a Creative
I spent HOW MUCH?? I spent almost 40k this year, and in this episode, I break down all the categories for my expenses and tell you exactly how much I spent and on what!
Diary Entry: My 2023 Business Goals
It's a little early, but I'm sharing some of the goals that I have for the new year!
Ep 27: TikTok for Creatives
In this episode, I'm giving you my top 5 tips for optimizing your content for TikTok because YES it's completely different from Instagram.
Ep 26: Avoiding Burnout (Especially During Q4)
In this episode, I'm sharing my best 3 tips for avoiding burnout to plan your year more intuitively and give yourself a break.
Ep 25: Budgeting 101 - Self Employed Edition
I'm covering my tips for figuring out how to budget yourself as a self-employed freelancer or creative! I discuss tracking expenses and income and figuring out how to pay yourself!
Ep 24: Courses & Coaching: Are They Worth It & How to Pick the Right One for You
In this episode, I cover how to decide if a course is going to be worth your time and money and how to go about deciding if one is right for you!
Ep 23: Dear Diary... (Declining Work with Family, Feeling Unprepared for Business, and Work-Life Balance)
In this episode, I asked you, my listeners, to submit some struggles that you need help with for this new advice column-style episode "Dear Diary." I'm giving advice to 3 different submitted situations: saying no to working with friends and family; holding yourself back from starting a business; and struggling to balance work and life as a freelancer without a formal schedule.
Ep 22: Contract Must-Haves for Creatives
I'm listing the top 5 sections that I always look for in a contract that I highly recommend you have in yours!
Ep 21: Legal Mistakes that Freelancers Make!
I'm talking through 4 major legal mistakes I've made in my business and giving you the tips and honesty to help you avoid making the same ones!
Diary Entry - Healing my Relationship to Productivity & Success
I'm talking about the progress I've made with self-perception, productivity, self-worth, and achievement as someone who struggles with feeling satisfied!
Ep 20: The Process of Rebranding My Studio & Things I Would Do Differently
I'm talking all about the steps I took to rebrand my studio and tips for making it *easier* for you!
Ep 19: 3 Tips for Making Big Business Changes
I'm sharing my biggest 3 tips for how to approach large business changes like restructuring, scaling, etc! We're talking figuring out what to change, how to find a solution, and how to approach executing it.
Ep 18: Taking Mental Health Breaks & What Comes After
I'm talking all about what it's been like taking a mental health break from the business and how I'm approaching getting back into the swing of things!
Diary Entry - Am I Sharing Too Much?
With all the content I've been putting out recently over Instagram, Close Friends, TikTok, this Podcast, and now my YouTube, I've been struggling with the question of whether or not I'm sharing too much and how to deal with that uncertainty.
Ep 17: 3 Things I Regret in my Business
I give a lot of advice on what to DO, but now I'm trying to show you what NOT to do through sharing my regrets and things I wish I knew when I was growing and starting out.
Ep 16: How to End a Project Early
I'm covering early termination as both a client and a creative: when to know, how to do it, and how to cope!
Ep 15: Designer Talk — Juicy Q&A with Matthew, Wilda, and Mackenzie
What brands do you hate? Do you have anything cringey to admit? I ask my friends @bymatthewmiller, @helloimwilda, and @m.b.i.r.d some juicy questions that you sent us in a long, candid, and fun conversation!
Diary Entry: Imposter Syndrome & How I Deal
In this episode I'm talking Imposter Syndrome and some tips on how I've dealt with it over the years!
Ep 14: Tips for Raising Your Prices
This episode covers some tips for what to do once you've decided to increase your rates!
Diary Entry: We're Back + An Update!
It's time for season 2! We're officially back and ready for a whole ton of exciting episodes!
Ep 13: Let's Talk Passive Income Streams
In this episode, I cover key things you need to consider when starting to develop passive income streams and how to make them with minimal extra effort from you!
Diary Entry: Toxic Trends I'm Over
I'm getting a lil juicy today and talking about 4 trends that I think are TOXIC in the creative community!
Ep 12: Client Red Flags to Avoid
I cover my top 5 things that I keep on the lookout for when meeting potential clients to avoid possible nightmare situations!
Ep 11: How I Handle Client Feedback
In this episode I share my best tips for managing client feedback like how to disagree with feedback & how to get the best feedback possible!
Ep 10: Handling Difficult Clients and Situations
In this episode I cover my best advice for approaching tense or awkward client situations and I go through 5 client scenarios, talking you through my recommended approach for dealing with them: 1. Client Trust Issues, 2: Scope Creep, 3: Late Payments/Feedback, 4: Mismatched Vision or Negative Interactions (aka Terminating a Project), 5: Working with a Friend
Diary Entry: Copying Designs vs. Being Inspired
WTF do you do when you feel like someone has copied your designs? In this diary entry I tell you about my experience with people taking my work and how I feel about the debate between copying and inspiration + a mini rant on the "be original" narrative!
Ep 9: Instagram Marketing 101
I share my tips and methods for using Instagram in a sustainable and natural way to grow your business! Instead of giving you the classic algorithm tips, I'm sharing ways to view Instagram as a community tool to help you grow without the extra effort.
Ep 8: The Essentials for a Great Client Experience
I'm sharing my top 5 things to consider and implement into your project experience to maximize client satisfaction and get you some good reviews! I talk systems, strategies, and things to consider when building your workflow.
Ep 7: Finding Clients & Attracting Your Target Audience
We're talking strategies and methods for attracting clients that align with your business! I'm sharing some tips and things to consider that will help you attract your dream clients sustainably over time.
Diary Entry: Marketing Anxiety & Putting Yourself Out There
In this episode I talk about the scary moment when you decide to start being the spokesperson for your business on social media and how it's not all rainbows and butterflies! I talk about being anxious about hate, becoming an influencer, and how to balance marketing with personal comfort.
Ep 6: All About Pricing & Charging What's Right for You
We're talking about how to price yourself in a way that's right for you and what's comfortable! I discuss how I go about pricing my services and suggest ways to think about how to structure yours. I don't cover any particular numbers, but rather I talk about how to think about your own comfort level to customize your pricing structure in a way that makes sense for you!
Ep 5: My Best Advice for New Creatives
In this episode I cover my best advice, like real advice!, that I wish I had been told when I first starting out. I cover a variety of topics like pricing, service offerings, passion projects, and more!
Ep 4: Balancing Mental Health & Running a Biz
In this episode I share realistic and simple steps to improve your rest-work balance! Instead of just telling you to rest and practice self-care (like what does that even mean these days?), I give you my actual tips that I use to help relieve anxiety, burnout, and more.
Ep 3: Finding your Niche & Target Audience
Your niche and target audience are one of the main pillars of your business' foundation! In this episode I cover ways to thoughtfully find your niche and strategically find your audience while also having a bit of fun!
Diary Entry: Breaking Up with a Client & Being Talked Down to...
In this episode I get vulnerable and talk about an unpleasant but real experience that I had in my week...breaking up with a client and getting talked down to in a meeting. I talk about the experiences of dealing with both and what I learned from them!
Ep 1: Who I Am & My Story
Welcome! Get to know me, your humble host, by learning about my unconventional journey into design and how I started freelancing, designing, and opening my own studio. I share my experience going through a MAJOR career change and following my passion. It's nice to meet you!
Ep 2: How to Start Freelancing or Your Own Biz
In this episode I outline my best tips for starting a creative freelancing career or business! I include tips for laying the foundation of your business to set you up for success and I also cover my top 5 admin essentials to get the ball rolling!