Speaker bios & List of APpearances

Industry-shaping programming and leadership

Ilise Benun speaks to groups of creative professionals large and small on marketing, money and other business topics.

Short bio

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In her more than 30 years in coaching, Ilise Benun has developed and delivered programming for creative professionals as instructor at the Maryland Institute College of Art and as “Business Coach” for the Savannah College of Art & Design. She’s also co-founder and host of the creative business and design entrepreneurship program for HOW Design Live, and has conducted marketing workshops for art schools and trade organizations catering to the creative community, including International Freelancers Day, the NYU Entrepreneurship Summit, HOW Interactive Conference and many more.

The longer story

As coach and mentor to the creatively self-employed, Ilise has helped thousands of creative professionals learn the skills to build the businesses, and lives, they dream of.

She has developed and delivered programming for creative professionals, previously as instructor in the “Business of Design” graduate program at Maryland Institute College of Art and as co-founder/host of the Creative Business/Design Entrepreneurship program of HOW Design Live.

She has also developed popular online courses for Domestika.org and CreativeLive.com


Since 1993, Benun has been conducting marketing workshops for art schools and trade organizations that cater to creative professionals, including HOW Design Live, HOW Interactive Conference, Registered Graphic Designers of Ontario (Canada), Graphic Designers of Canada, NY Designs (LaGuardia Community College/CUNY), AIGA, Spark, Graphic Artists Guild, SCAD, Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), The School of Visual Arts (NYC), Pratt Institute, Kendall College of Art and Design, Sage College of Albany, New Jersey Creatives, The Freelancers Union, Editorial Freelancers Association, International Freelancers Day, International Association of Business Communicators, Business Marketing Association, NYU Entrepreneurship Summit, the 92nd St. Y and many more.


Benun is the author of 7 books, including, “The Creative Professional’s Guide to Money,” “The Designer’s Guide to Marketing and Pricing (HOW Design Books), “Stop Pushing Me Around: A Workplace Guide for the Timid, Shy and Less Assertive” (Career Press), “The Art of Self Promotion,” “Self-Promotion Online” (HOW Design Books) and “Designing Web Sites:// for Every Audience” (HOW Design Books). She also co-authored “Public Relations for Dummies, 2nd Edition” (Wiley) with Eric Yaverbaum and Bob Bly.

Benun is also the host of the Marketing Mentor Podcast and the lead author on The Marketing Mentor Blog (named by QuickBooks as one of the 100 Best Business Blogs). She publishes bi-weekly via email, “Quick Tips from Marketing Mentor,” which is read by 16,000+. Her work has also been featured in national publications (both online and off), including Entrepreneur.com, HOW Magazine, Toronto Globe and Mail, Inc. Magazine, Nation’s Business, Self, Essence, Crains New York Business, Dynamic Graphics, Working Woman, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Denver Post and more.

Curriculum Development

Ilise Benun is Program Partner for HOW Design Live and co-founder in 2008 of one of its original events, The Creative Freelancer Conference.

She has developed and delivered “business basics” online courses for various institutions including: The Savannah College of Art & Design, Maryland Institute College of Art’s Graduate Program, The Business of Art & Design, American Writers & Artists Inc.

For HOW Design University, her courses in the Certificate in Creative Business Entrepreneurship include:
Graphic Design Proposals 101, The Key Steps to Earning More in Your Creative Business, Strategies for Creative Freelancers, Developing A Successful Online Marketing Plan, and How to Start Your Own Freelance Business.

She was also the lead developer and trainer of a curriculum for the Freelancers Union called, “Freelance 360: How to Be a Better Boss of You,” which included a series of six workshops and panel presentations led by expert freelancers, covering:
Work, Life and You: Staying Sane While Managing All Three; Setting a Strong Foundation for Your Freelance Business; Thriving Networks: Marketing and Connecting That Works; Be Their Go-To: Building Lasting Relationships with Clients & Collaborators; Work Smarter, Not Harder: Streamlining Your Day to Day Freelance Life; and Planning for Growth.

Just as I expected, you presented a phenomenal webinar about LinkedIn today. Gems throughout.

When Ilise isn’t coaching, writing, podcasting, or speaking about marketing creative businesses, you can find her walking Fanny in Forsyth Park.