Now I cry less and earn more!
As a sensitive creative who struggles with self-esteem, I priced myself too low and felt guilty about charging higher prices. As a result, I experienced moments of burnout and depression. To stop this, I watched Ilise Benun's Creative Live Course: Command the Fees You Deserve and read her book, The Creative Professional's Guide to Money. Ilise understands the insecurity problems that us sensitive entrepreneurs experience and she confronts them head on. I learned to become more objective about my work and money. I don't use my "worth" as a pricing factor anymore because it's too subjective. I charge higher prices because I need to make a living, not build my self-esteem. Now I cry less and earn more!
our happy clients say it all
thanks for the help getting started in my own business
Things are fantastic. Perhaps a little too fantastic. With your insights to get me started, my business is off and running. So much so that I can’t keep up with the demand. I turn down many more projects than I accept! I’ve built up a base of 10 clients, mostly friends or friends of friends, at ad agencies, direct clients or their own firms. A nice mix of assignments, from respectful, appreciative people and something different to write about every week or so. Your expertise on negotiating price has been especially helpful. With so many choices, I hold out on price and have had to do very little discounting.
thanks for the clarity
I must say that even with such a short conversation, I have been able to come away with an action plan and a clearer idea of how to move forward. That is a huge relief for me! I shall certainly be keeping your services top of mind moving forward...
thanks for guiding the process
“Ilise has a keen ability to sharpen the focus of a message. Great collaborator who uses her knowledge and experience to guide the process and bring together ideas.”
thanks for being so responsive
hey, you are the best, Ilise! responsive, available when you say you will be, and good ideas to help us non-self-marketing Creative Director/Designers! I'll be back!
thanks for helping me reach my 5 year goal
Five years after we started working together, I’ve fulfilled all my goals and exceeded my income goal. I’ve been able to narrow my niche to one specialty. And I’ve expanded my company to included an on-demand team of 10 to 15 freelancers.
You’ve played a big part in my success and I continue to encourage people who are starting their own companies to reach out to you for counsel. Thanks for everything.
thanks for "the direct and impactful" call
I've done free calls before, but none were as direct and impactful as my call with Ilise. I was working on a complex proposal and feeling incredibly overwhelmed. Ilise dove right in and got to the root of the issues. In less than 30 minutes, she gave me the clarity and tools I needed to simplify my process and in turn, the proposal.
Shannon, design firm owner
thanks for being "100% clear in your delivery."
My first impression of you was on a phone based interview where you were the guest. I first thought you sounded marmish. But the things you said made a lot of sense despite my initial hesitance. The more I listened to you, the more I realized that I could fully understand and follow every word you said. You were 100% clear in your delivery. I could follow you every inch of the way through your presentation. That was probably what first converted me to be a fan.
The more I listened, the more I realized what you offered, I could do. So I looked into your books and packets. YIKES!!! The pricing about sent me running out the door. But then... again... I looked more and saw there had to be something to this or how could you ask $100 for this book or $50 for another? I saw that you had put a lot of work into your packets. Also I saw that this wasn't fluff. There was very well thought-through processing.
The more I followed, the more I realized that what you offered was doable, reasonably affordable, but not rock-bottom-bargain-basement-caca. You built trust and value on a very steady, consistent basis. I drift off then I drift back, and arrive convinced that your methods are valuable and worth working toward.
What you offer is genuine in a way that very, very few people can replicate. It's more than the sum of all the elements that make it what is is, such as persistence, clarity, patience, pragmatism. You are solid without being rock-hard.
thanks for "refreshingly no-nonsense advice"
Ilise is a powerhouse of deep expertise for designers looking for guidance on how to take their business to the next level. I first learned of Ilise's services when she spoke at an AIGA NY event many years ago. Since then I've continually sought her advice via her podcasts, blog posts, in-depth Marketing Mentor bundles, and a consultation.
She practices what she preaches - her target audience is designers and it shows in the extensive, timely advice offered in her published materials. I highly recommend her Marketing Mentor bundles as they have all addressed business situations that I've run up against as a designer, and having these resources is truly like having a personal mentor.
Whenever I take advice from Marketing Mentor, I am newly energized and inspired to keep growing my business - and letting go of routines and behaviors that no longer serve my business. Because of Ilise's refreshingly no-nonsense advice, I have gained clarity on the focus of my business, along with efficiencies in the sales process: how to think through and execute pricing, creating packages, and proposal writing. She also breaks down marketing so that it is realistic and manageable, a huge plus as it is challenging to keep marketing a priority when design work needs to be done!
Thank you Ilise, for helping me grow my business!
thanks for "sharing highly relevant information"
At a time when information is abundant, it's hard to sift out the most useful nuggets, much less figure out how to apply them meaningfully. But never fear: Ilise does that for you. Unlike so many consultants who hoard what they know, reserving their expertise for their highest-paying clients, she shares highly relevant information, casting the widest possible net. I just viewed the session on how to research and identify clients--and what I learned is helping me move from a scattershot approach to a strategic one: just what I needed as I embark on my new business venture. Now, I can't wait to sign up for the whole course.
thanks for the quick diagnosis and direction
Ilise was able to quickly size up my challenges as a new entrepreneur and give me some valuable direction. If you're a creative entrepreneur, I highly recommend her as a coach- you'll be investing in your own future success.
thanks for "invaluable content" and "helping me close 6-figure contracts"
Over the course of the past several years I have poured through hours upon hours of Ilise's Marketing Mentor content. Her book 'The Designers Guide to Marketing and Pricing' helped me build a successful creative agency. Her Proposal Bundle helped me close six figure contracts.
Years later, after leaving the agency, I took those same skills and applied those to building a booming freelance career.
Ilise's content is truly invaluable to anyone wanting to launch or grow their creative career
thanks for the proposal bundle -- I got the project!
I hadn't done a proposal in a long time, so when a new prospect asked for one, I immediately bought your 2 proposal bundles and used them as a guide for flow, what to say, how to say, check list, etc. Last week I submitted the proposal when I met with the prospect in person. As soon as she pulled it out of the envelope and flipped through it, she said "You win for best looking proposal, I can tell you that right away!" So hopefully, I'll win for content as well. Either way, I did it with a lot of help from your proposal bundles! I'm glad to have one finished and feel more prepared for others that may come my way. THANK YOU!
(1 week later) I wanted to tell you I was awarded that proposal last week! I meet with them tomorrow to nail things down, but they want to start right away. They said they hope to go with the 3rd option which was the most complete and expensive. So thanks so much for all of your stellar advice! I'm thrilled with the bundles I bought. They were very helpful to say the least!
thanks for helping me get new clients
I know it's been a while since we chatted but I wanted to send a note of thanks. In the short time we worked together your advice was invaluable. Because of the updates to my Linked In profile per your suggestions, I landed one of my biggest clients. And the warm email prospecting has proven to give me a new client and some great leads that are in the works. I wanted to take the time to say THANK YOU!! I hope to work with you again the future because I would like to see my business evolve and grow more and more.
Christine Case - Bootcamp Designer
thanks for being "better than a fairy godmother"
Working with ilise is better than having a fairy godmother. She teaches you how to connect with your dream clients and price appropriately, helping you grow your business into what you've always wished it to be.
Kathleen - bluebirddesignco.com
thanks for "getting me out of feast or famine"
Ilise's guidance and support helped me move from the feast-or-famine cycle - in which I did sales calls during slow times, then dropped the ball completely when busy - to a comprehensive marketing program that has transformed my business. In our year of work together we refined our firm's positioning, launched a dynamic new website, started a monthly newsletter campaign and got two articles published in a major industry magazine. I narrowed our area of specialization after she helped me see how much easier and more effective that made marketing. Once we did that, the opportunities seemed more abundant, not less. Best of all - I'm working with more my dream clients doing my dream projects.
Cynthia - sterlingcreativeworks.com
thanks for 18% growth
I worked with Ilise over a period of 1 year and her advice and support led to an 18% growth in our sales. Her unfailing enthusiasm, intelligence and intuitive grasp for marketing were of a tremendous value to my company.
Robin - robinhill.net
thanks for "saying it like it is"
I saw Ilise present at a small networking lunch, and was so impressed by her straightforward, honest, clear ability to communicate so simply the complexity that is running your own business. But most importantly, she's a model for women: She says it like it is, doesn't shy away from money talk, and knows what she is worth and doesn't take less. We should all aspire to be just like that.
Terri T - http://territrespicio.com/
thanks for the "actionable and inspiring" tips
Fabulous talk. Most excellent, actionable and inspiring. Wow.
I used the "How much is your budget?' line to secure a fee for a speaking gig at a place where speakers are generally not paid at all. So, hurrah!
It's already working. I'm grateful. I liked the non-nonsense vibe of the workshop and am excited to put more of your tips into action.
Laura Silver - Author of "Knish: In Search of the Jewish Soul Food" (Brandeis University Press, May 2014)
thanks for the helpful, confidence-building nuggets
Thanks so much for your great presentation. I've scoured the web for the volumes of useful advice out there, from client management to pricing to prospecting, and wasn't sure I would learn that much more. But your presentation offered many helpful, confidence-building nuggets and I'm glad I went.
thanks for the great insight and tips
We sure enjoyed your talk at EFA — everything was pertinent, digestible, relatable, and fun…just what we want from our communications. Beyond the great insights and tips, I learned a lot observing your effective communication style: the relaxed cadence, pauses, audience exchanges, succinctness, and humor. It was a pleasure! Now, to integrating some of those brilliant strategies.
John Ewing - http://the-efa.org/
thanks for the confidence
I really love your online freelancing course. It helped me a lot and kind of opened my eyes. The thing is, some of what I've learned I kind of already knew (deep in myself) but I always kept myself down because I was a bit afraid to be self employed. I know there is still a long way to go, and I have to change my homepage, write down my values, positioning/specialising,... but I know that I can do that now. Thanks to you!
thanks for being "a valuable resource for my business"
In one fell swoop Ilise asked the questions to which I needed to find answers, got a sense of who I was & where I was going, and prescribed step by step directions to get where I now knew I wanted to go. She is warm, open, encouraging but firm. (Read the rest here.)