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Make Art Work: a podcast for creative small businesses

Make Art Work: a podcast for creative small businesses

By Maizie Clarke

10-15 minute episodes that feature small business resources, strategies as well as entrepreneurial encouragement
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Season 2 - Episode 5 - What do I do with client FAQs?

Make Art Work: a podcast for creative small businessesFeb 28, 2022

Season 2 - Episode 5 - What do I do with client FAQs?

Season 2 - Episode 5 - What do I do with client FAQs?

Do you have questions from clients or customers? Are you launching a new product and want to highlight the features that you wish your prospective client knew about? Looking for social media content? Frequently asked questions are such a great source of social media content and resources for your clients. 

Have a question for the Make Art Work podcast? I would love to hear from you!

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Feb 28, 202210:41
Season 2 - Episode 4 - Interested in building an online community? Start here!
Feb 21, 202210:41
Season 2 - Episode 3 - Would products be a good fit for your creative small business?
Feb 14, 202211:06
Season 2 - Episode 2 - Let's get you some more clients!
Feb 07, 202212:48
Welcome to Season 2!
Jan 31, 202209:54
Episode 25 - Poor planning = poor performance

Episode 25 - Poor planning = poor performance

Ok, so I’ve messed up - have you heard the saying “poor planning leads to poor performance”? Well I have to come clean, I let my planning get away from me and let a week, 2 weeks go before posting a new podcast episode and fast forward to almost 2 months go by, YIKES. So with the end of 2021 just days away, I knew I needed to get my act together and figure out a plan for the Make Art Work podcast. And here is the plan: I’m going to split the year into two seasons of 12 episodes each. With Season 2 launching on Monday January 31st and Season 3 launching June 27th.

And I don’t think the Make Art Work podcast needs only my voice…so that’s where you come in. There is an option to leave me a voice message, so if you have a question, dilemma, or a topic that you want me to discuss, please leave me a message! Leave me a message here!

If voice memos are not your thing, please feel free to send it via email:

So I hope to hear from you soon, who knows, maybe you'll hear your voice on the Make Art Work podcast.

So just a recap, if you are someone who is interested in starting a creative small business, or maybe you’re already running one either full-time or on the side, you fit the description. So send me your questions or concerns. Maybe you need help with expanding your product line, or email marketing, let me know!!

Any questions? Let me know, I would love to hear from you!

So, we can’t have an episode this close to New Year’s Eve without talking about setting yearly goals, right? So I wanted to go over how I’m setting my goals for 2022 as well as how I am formulating a plan to accomplish them. Because goals and resolutions are kind of a moot point if you don’t have a plan in place to execute.

The first thing you need to do is list out the things you want to accomplish. Write it all out, don’t edit, don’t regulate the thinking, yet. Pick the most important, meaningful goals. Then write down all of the to-dos, tasks that you’ll need to do to accomplish those goals. Want to take it to the next level of planning? Make sure you put a due date on the tasks and assign each goal to a quarter in the year. Make sure you don’t over commit, you still need room and time for life to shift.

I would love to hear what you have planned for the new year, be sure to let me know on Instagram at Learn with Maizie.

Thanks for sticking with me this year, I have loved hearing from you and I hope you have enjoyed this first (but not the last!) season of the Make Art Work podcast. Until next time.

Dec 29, 202106:12
Episode 24 - Brand Partnerships - my key takeaways

Episode 24 - Brand Partnerships - my key takeaways

Today we are going to be talking about brand partnerships.

During my career I’ve had the pleasure of working with really great brands and it has been an exciting way to increase my reach and sharpen some skills.

Before we get started, let’s talk about what I mean when I say brand partnerships. Other business owners may have different things that they qualify as a brand partnership. How I qualify this is a relationship between a creative small business and a larger brand where you are able to bring your unique skills and viewpoint to serve a bigger brand. For me, this usually centers around illustrations, since that is my speciality. And this doesn’t always look the same for each brand I work with. Some of these opportunities came up because of the limited travel and shutdowns that came with the pandemic. So I’ll go over a couple of projects, how I got introduced to the brand, what the project consisted of and how you can replicate this in your own business.

My key takeaways from this episode:

1. be tenacious and be committed to the long game: you can’t give up if the first couple of ideas of a collaboration don't work out. 

2. brainstorm and figure out how best you can serve the brand

3. be crafty and do a little bit of detective work when it comes to getting a brand’s attention

4. showcase the work that you want to do on instagram or your website

5. try to stay top of mind - when you start a relationship with these brands, make sure to keep them on your radar

Arhaus Blog Post

Join my email list 

Leave me a voice message

Nov 01, 202107:07
Episode 23 - Introduction to time and task batching
Oct 04, 202110:29
Episode 22 - Content Batching - making the most of your content

Episode 22 - Content Batching - making the most of your content

Let’s talk about a way to make the most of our content for social media and website.

And the way that we are going to do that is content batching - taking different pieces of content and repurposing for different uses.

If you take the time to create content, you want to make sure that you not only use it for its intended social media channel but also be able to use it for other places to get the best proverbial bang for your buck.

Sep 13, 202110:51
Episode 21 - Planning your email marketing strategy

Episode 21 - Planning your email marketing strategy

What do you think of when I say email marketing? Do you feel stressed or excited? Unsure of where to start or planning the road ahead? Well, I hope by the end of this episode you’ll feel excited about the opportunity to connect with your subscribers as well as the content that you’re going to share.

I’m going to share my email marketing plan with you today, how I formed my content pillars, how I use my email marketing as the backbone for my social media efforts, as well as the software that I use to make all of that happen.

I’m sure if you listen to other podcasts, read small business content and books that you’ve heard the suggestion to build your email list. Before we dive into all of the particulars of today’s episode, I want to talk about why you should be building an email list of subscribers. Yes, it’s important to have direct contact with your audience, especially if you’re sharing a lot of content on social media. Because what if Instagram doesn’t exist tomorrow, or Facebook turns into a subscription based model and your fans drop off the platform. They might be able to track you down via your website, but what about your ability to contact them?

So, yes, building content on social media is risky - you’re building on borrowed land. But I think there are some other reasons that you want to build up your email list and improve your email marketing, and that is to build a community online. And the coolest part about that? Is that this is a community that you get to create and lead! How cool is that? It is a whole new way that you get to communicate with your audience.

Try FloDesk here. 

As always, please follow me on Instagram and Subscribe to my email list here. 

Sep 06, 202112:25
Episode 20 - Planning and executing video content for online courses

Episode 20 - Planning and executing video content for online courses

Today on the podcast we are continuing our conversation about planning and executing a course for Skillshare or another online teaching platform.

I know I’ve talked about online classes, but I want to reiterate how useful getting started in creating online course content is going to be for your creative small business. Not only is the process of putting together an online course helpful in solidifying your understanding. But it positions you as an authority. And having as many different sources of passive income as you can is never a bad thing.

So let’s talk planning - once you’ve picked your online course topic, let’s get to planning. When planning, think of the goal in mind: what do you want your student to walk away with? Think of planning your course in chapters, this will allow you to break down your content into bite sized pieces that your students can watch chapter by chapter or if they choose, all the way through.

For me and the course that I’m working on, my end goal is to give creative small business owners an overview on getting started with video and that includes three sections: first, strategies for planning and brainstorming video content, second, the equipment that I love, and finally, how to edit and share your video content. I’ll wrap up everything by giving ways that you can use all that you’ve learned in the class and put it into actionable steps.

In each of your main video lessons, try to include the following: (1) Introduce what you’ll be covering and define key concepts up front. (2) Demonstrate what you’ll be creating or doing in the lesson. (3) Share personal tips, tricks and hacks. (4) Recap key takeaways from the lesson. (6) Share what students should do or consider at the end of this lesson before moving on and let them know what the next lesson will cover.

Once I have that framework, I need to start planning out how the content is going to be delivered. For longer form videos, it will be crucial to mix up camera angles and video deliverables. You’ll want to have a couple of the following:

Talking head: this video will consist of you talking directly to the camera. Screen capture: you can use a software like Loom to record your screen while you explain something on the computer, this would also be great to share slides and do a voice over. Zoom: if your class included interviews, or guest speakers, you can conduct the interview on zoom and record it. Workspace: record your desk or other work area for a bird’s eye view. B roll: this is an industry term for video footage that adds to the ambiance and sets the scene for your viewer.
Aug 16, 202107:01
Episode 19: Brainstorming an idea for a Skillshare course

Episode 19: Brainstorming an idea for a Skillshare course

Today we are going to be talking about creating a course for Skillshare (try Skillshare free for 30 days, here). I’m going to be walking you through brainstorming and planning your first (or next online class).

Before we dive into today’s episode, I want to ask you to consider a question, what are your hesitations when it comes to creating online courses within your creative small business? Are you afraid that someone will take your classes and copy your business? Are you intimidated by creating all of that content? Do you feel like you’re not quite the expert on this topic and who would want to learn from you? I’m guessing that some (or all) have crossed your mind, because they’ve crossed my mind, too.

So, I would encourage you to take this week, consider these points and figure out a topic that you can teach.

When you find your topic, I hope you’ll drop me a line.

Also, I wanted to let you know about my mailing list, when you sign up (linked here), in addition to getting a weekly email from me, you’ll receive a PDF that outlines all of the things that I wish I had done differently when starting my custom art business.

Aug 09, 202106:06
Episode 18: Using video in your small business, cont.

Episode 18: Using video in your small business, cont.

Today we are going to be talking about all of the equipment and software that I use for video in my creative small business.

Like I mentioned on last week’s episode, I am still a beginner and teaching myself through YouTube and asking my friends who are more savvy in video than I am. So I’m excited to pass all of the knowledge along to all of you. In fact, I’m so thrilled with the compilation of this information - that it has inspired me to create a Skillshare class turning these two podcast episodes into a short class on using video in your creative small business. If you’re not familiar with Skillshare, here is a link for a free 30 days.

I’m going to break this episode into two parts: beginner and intermediate.

The first part we are going to talk about all of the equipment and software that you can use with your phone.

You can do so much with your phone, the camera on it is super powerful and there are some really great apps so you don’t even have to touch your computer.

Let’s dive into equipment first. If you are wanting to add more video, you need to set yourself up for success - if it takes forever to rig your phone into position, you’re going to be way less inclined to hit record.

So I would recommend getting a ring light or even better the light that I love and use everyday  - Canvas’s desktop light it has a built-in bracket for your phone, perfect for catching those timelapse videos or holding your phone when you’re talking direct to camera. The light quality is great and the built-in bracket is perfect for those impromptu shoots.

I also have an adjustable iPhone stand that sits on my desk, it’s light, portable - it doesn’t have a light, but it’s great to bring over to my shipping area to record a quick video of packing orders or folding tea towels.

External microphone for your smartphone, I use a Rode mic - it plugs right into the charging port and captures crisp audio, much better than the ambient mic on my phone, which picks up everything.




Cantilever Tripod

DJI Pocket 2

Small tripod 1

Small tripod 2


External Computer Mic

Aug 02, 202110:39
Episode 17: Using video in your small business

Episode 17: Using video in your small business

Today we are going to be starting a series on all things video: how to plan your video content along with some ideas to, how to capture video and how to share it.

I have to be honest with you - I’m not an expert on video, but I have learned some things the last couple of years, taught myself via youtube and asked my video savvy friends. But the silver lining of not being a full blown expert is that I still have a beginner’s mindset, and know that there are different ways to achieve great video results and everything I am going to share with you is not going to be super technical.

First, I wanted to go over the two main ways that I use video in my creative small business: social media and teaching platforms. And with Instagram’s recent announcement of moving away from being known as a photo sharing app, and  leaning into entertainment and video, more like competitors TikTok and YouTube.

I know that announcement has ruffled some feathers and instagram users are speaking out about their feelings (whether positive or negative). But the half glass full person I am, thinks it’s a great time to really dive into video.

So, back to how I use video: first social media. And when I talk about social media, I’m going to be talking about Instagram today: it’s the platform that I have the most experience with. I do have a TikTok account, but haven’t really been super active in putting content on that platform, and the same goes for YouTube.

But all of these strategies that I’ll share today, as well as the equipment I’ll link to can help you with video on all platforms.

So let’s start with planning and strategy, because all of the fancy tools and software won’t help you much if you don’t get started with it!

And you might be saying, Maizie, I don’t want to be on camera. And I get it, but I really think video is going to be a great way for your audience to get to know you. Once you start gaining new followers and subscribers, most likely, you’re not going to be able to introduce yourself in-peron, but video is a great substitute.

And it’s like a lot of new things, it gets easier the more you do it. So I’m urging you to have a good attitude and an open mind.

So let’s start brainstorming about ways you can use video on your social media; here are some great ways to start:

What are your top 3-5 most asked questions that you get? Answer those, either facing the camera or pointing it towards your product or workspace.
What is your favorite part of your business? Did you grow up baking cookies with your aunts and grandmother and that love of connecting people through baking inspired you to start your custom cookie business. Or maybe you were the layout pro on your high school yearbook committee and now you love helping brands layout their marketing material. Tell people about your story.
What is your favorite project? OR What was your first project? Maybe it was the one that inspired you to start the business?
Video is a great way to hear from your audience, maybe you’re a virtual assistant and you want to ask your followers what questions they have about starting their own VA business. It’s a great conversation starter, pretend you’re talking to your best friend on Facetime.

Virginia Kerr 


Jul 26, 202109:16
Episode 16: Creating your content pillars

Episode 16: Creating your content pillars

Today’s topic - social media content pillars, or if you’re like me, and a student of Allie Martin’s Social Media Success Shortcut - your social media talking points. (Learn more about Allie's Shortcut, here). And since I’m starting the branch of Learn with Maizie - I thought it would be helpful to walk you through the social media talking points for this account. Allie Martin explains it in her class - the way you want to introduce yourself online.

I have really enjoyed crafting the message of Learn with Maizie and figuring out what I want to say and how I want to say it - social media talking points are a great way to craft that message. In today's episode I walk you through the different buckets that contain the different messages that I want to weave through my instagram. You want this approach on social media to be multifaceted and approachable, but also part of a strategy so you can stick to it and be consistent.

I would love to see you on Instagram or on our email list

Jul 19, 202107:35
Episode 15: Your entrepreneurial summer reading list, continued

Episode 15: Your entrepreneurial summer reading list, continued

Today on the podcast, we are continuing with some of my favorite business books for my fellow small business creatives. We are going to be talking about a couple different categories of books including business strategy and philosophy as well as mindset as well as a wild card :)

Jul 05, 202110:41
Episode 14: Business Books Series

Episode 14: Business Books Series

Today we are going to be talking about my favorite business books. And as I was planning this episode, I realized this will have to be a series, because I love business books and building my library.

Before we dive into some of my most recent favorites, I wanted to talk about a pitfall when it comes to business books that sometimes we can sometimes fall into. Sometimes we get into the habit of reading a lot and taking little or no action. I am speaking from experience - in the beginning of my entrepreneurial journey, I would fall into this pattern - collecting the latest and greatest in non-fiction, have great ideas and intentions and then once I finish the book, all of those great ideas and intentions turn into overwhelm. It’s like reading a bunch of recipes and cookbooks without ever baking the cake!

But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t read business books - I think it just means that you have to be more intentional about how you’re reading them and how you’re implementing the information that you glean. 

Jun 21, 202107:29
Episode 13: Growing your team series

Episode 13: Growing your team series

As you know, I can’t say too many good things about my accountant, Amy Northard and her team. She is calm, knowledgeable, and so incredibly helpful and patient. I found her from a friend who had used her for her small business accounting and bookkeeping needs. I can’t wait to share more of the contractors that I work with to make this small business run.

If you follow along on Instagram, you’ll see that I just rolled out a new brand that my friend Hannah at Brackish Creative created for me. My existing logo (I can’t really call it a full blown brand since it was really just a logo) is going to be moved over for the time being to my Learn with Maizie side of the business until I build up a little more revenue on that side to get a proper rebrand.

Along with a new brand, I wanted to improve my website and the ordering process on Shopify and I knew that beyond swapping out logos and the colors, it was above my paygrade. I came across a company called R+R Creative through a class I am taking about building and launching an online course. I looked at their website and scheduled some time to chat about what I was thinking for my website. They sent me two recent projects that they completed that were two Shopify websites that were very similar industries to me, which was super encouraging since I felt like they understand the space my business is in. I’m super excited about getting started with them as I know they are going to knock it out of the park.

Jun 14, 202106:34
Episode 12: Growing your team series

Episode 12: Growing your team series

Questions? Be sure to email me at

Also, sign up for my small business email list, here.

Today we’re going to be talking about where your first hire or outsource should be in your business. This can be an intimidating thing to do, especially if you are working on a tight budget as many small businesses are when they are starting out.

Remember from last episode, I talked about ways to identify where you might want to hire: a pain point in running your business, lack of knowledge, something to give you an edge over competition, or mentor relationship.

Keeping those in mind, we need to get more information about your day to day - if you’re anything like me, you are going to be hesitant about committing to spending money. This is an exercise that I would encourage you to complete: first, you need to record the different tasks you complete on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. Don’t worry, this is not going to be a super detailed list, we simply need a list that has a general task type along with an approximate time spent on each task. For instance, if you spend two hours re-ordering shipping supplies, packing up orders and heading to the post office for drop off, simply put packing orders, 2 hours on your list.

Once you have a couple of weeks recorded (I would aim for a full month), take the tasks with the time allotted, and divide them into three columns - love, hate, indifferent. The love column is most likely going to be parts of the business that made you start the business in the first place. The hate column is going to list tasks that you know need to be done but you struggle to get through - for me, it’s accounting. Tasks in this list can also be things that you would love to do but you don’t have the skill set or the time to learn the skill set to complete: for me, it’s creating a custom website - I would love to be able to edit the code in my Shopify website to create an awesome customer experience but I don’t have time to teach myself to code. And the indifferent are tasks that you complete without any strong feelings - for me, it’s packing and shipping, I kind of like the mindlessness of it, it gives my brain a break.

From here, you’re able to identify with real data who you want to reach out to for help. You might be asking me, where on earth do I start with finding help once I identify what I need help with? I’m so glad you asked! I have a couple of suggestions: first, use your network, do you know others who run small businesses? Ask them who they love for different services. If your small business network is still growing and you don’t have friends you can ask, facebook groups that are focused on small businesses or your industry are a great place to start, too.

Jun 07, 202109:29
Episode 11: Growing your team series
May 24, 202110:42
Episode 10: A Sketchbook Practice
May 16, 202107:30
Episode 9: What to do when things go wrong (or not to plan)
May 02, 202113:15
Episode 8: Let's go for the goals!

Episode 8: Let's go for the goals!

Today we are going to be talking about goal setting - I’ve always loved planning and setting goals, but it took me a little while to figure out how to plan out my goals to achieve them, as well as identifying the best kind of goals to set for my business to move it forward. 

If you’re familiar with goal setting, then I’m sure you have come across the acronym for SMART goals: Specific / Measurable / Attainable / Relevant / Time-Based. And this is great - you don’t want goals that don’t have a timeframe, those go on forever, and unattainable goals are just discouraging. I like combining the system of SMART goals on a quarterly goal setting sheet (if you sign up for my email list in the show notes, you’ll receive your own PDF template). And if you notice, there is only room for three goals - and this doesn’t mean that I only want to accomplish three things this quarter. It means that these are the three most important this quarter. 

I’m going to share with you another metric I use for setting goals for my business. It’s sort of a past / present / future way to look at goals, and I like to think about the following triggers: 

Pain point / product / Prospecting 

Pain point is a goal related to something that needs addressing, when I’m working on this, I’m wishing for a better way or I’m cursing past Maizie for not having the foresight to plan for this. But if a system or plan was in place, I would be more productive and profitable. 

Product - I’m a physical product kind of gal - I sell original paintings and products on ecommerce and I’m always looking for ways to improve this experience - and I think the extra touches are something that I think will move the needle to make someone a happy customer into a fan for life. 

Prospecting - there always needs to be a goal in the mix that is going to help you get new business - whether it’s a new marketing campaign or circling back on inquiries. It also might be a strategy on developing a new revenue stream or offering in your business. 

Thanks so much and here’s to a goal driven quarter!

Sign up for my email newsletter, here.

The Pin Method

Social Media Success Shortcut

Apr 25, 202108:09
Episode 7: Building a loyal audience by adding value to the customer experience
Apr 18, 202107:60
Episode 6: Inspired to be inspired
Apr 12, 202110:49
Episode 5: My favorite Gmail features
Apr 05, 202113:03
Episode 4: Automation station - the apps I love that make my life easier
Mar 28, 202112:16
Episode 3: We're going on safari

Episode 3: We're going on safari

When we talk about the customer experience, this includes everything before, during and after the sale or project. How does your website work? Are customers or clients kept in the loop about milestones? What about when things go wrong? My customer experience is always evolving and improving (or at least I hope!). I like to keep in mind really good customer experiences that I've had as a consumer and see how there are ways that I can incorporate that feeling, personal touch,, etc into my own business. We are also talking about how documentation, analyzing and improving on your customer experience will do for your business - giving them an experience that they will remember for time to come!

Be sure to visit me at or on instagram @maizieclarke

Mar 28, 202108:39
Episode 2: Documentation: the habit I wish I developed earlier
Mar 28, 202109:47
Episode 1: An introduction and the entrepreneurial journey
Feb 15, 202107:53