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The Marketing Mentor Podcast

432 EpisodesProduced by Ilise BenunWebsite

In the Marketing Mentor podcast, Ilise Benun, founder of, offers short but meaty conversational interviews with creative professionals who are doing what it takes to stop feast or famine, get better clients and command the fees they deserve – and sharing what they’ve learned.

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432: If you need accountability... with Nancy Ruzow

November 24th, 2021


If you need to be held accountable to achieve your business goals, this episode is for you. I chatted with Nancy Ruzow of Ruzow Graphics, a designer who also runs The Creatives Roundtable, an accountability group that …

431: Should your business make you happy? with Kelly Campbell

November 12th, 2021


Is your business making you happy? And if not, what should you do? That’s where I started the conversation with Kelly Campbell, host of the Thrive …

430: Networking vs. “Connecting” with Susan McPherson

October 29th, 2021


Hate networking? Then this episode is for you. I talked with Susan McPherson, author of “The Lost Art of Connecting,” about the difference between networking and connecting, plus how to approach this essential skill as …

429: When to Stop Marketing with Melanie the Marketer

October 15th, 2021


How do you know how much marketing is enough? Too much? Not enough? There’s no foolproof formula but with time you will discover it for yourself. In …

428: “Creator” mode and More on LinkedIn with Beth Granger

October 1st, 2021


Are you overwhelmed by all the things you can do on LinkedIn? Not sure what the heck “Creator” mode is? In my chat with LinkedIn Trainer, Beth …

427: Word of Mouth vs. Referrals with Michael Roderick

September 17th, 2021


What’s the difference between getting clients via word of mouth and referrals? If you’re not sure, this episode is for you. In my chat with Michael Roderick, host of the Access to Anyone podcast, we define our terms and …

426: How to handle tricky client situations with Deidre Rienzo

September 3rd, 2021


If you struggle with the tricky client situations that come up as a self employed creative pro, this episode is for you. In Part 2 of our chat, Deidre Rienzo shared what she does (and doesn’t do) to attract the best …

425: How to get your new business off the ground with Deidre Rienzo

August 20th, 2021


If being an “in demand” creative pro seems like a far-off pipedream, this episode is for you. In Part 1 of our chat, I talked with Deidre Rienzo about how she went from self-doubt and anxiety to mostly moments of …

424: How to ask for more ($$) with Jennifer Barrett

August 4th, 2021


If you suspect you’ve been leaving money “on the table” when negotiating project fees, this episode is for you. In my latest conversation with Jennifer Barrett, author of “Think Like a Breadwinner” (who will also be …

423: How to Pitch Creative Services to a Marketer with Scott Miller

July 23rd, 2021


If your ideal clients are marketers, this episode is for you. I spoke with Scott Miller, a 25-year veteran marketer and author of many books, including his latest, Marketing Mess to Brand Success: 30 Challenges to …

422: Going from Creative to Therapist with Tiffany Butler

July 9th, 2021


If you often feel like a therapist to your clients, you’re not alone. In this episode, I talked with Tiffany Butler, who spent 20+ years as a designer, copywriter and project manager, but often felt like a therapist to …

421: How to Raise Your Rates (excerpt from “Worth It”)

June 24th, 2021


If you want to make more money, the easiest way is to charge more. But how exactly do you raise your rates? And what do you say to clients without jeopardizing the relationships? Those are a few of the questions I …

420: Mining Your LinkedIn Network with Sweta Vikram

June 18th, 2021


Why trust your memory when you have LinkedIn, a.k.a. Your Rolodex? That’s where author, speaker and Ayurveda-based health and mindset coach, Sweta …

419: How to Grow Your Email List with Tim Huelskamp

June 4th, 2021


When it comes to email lists, some people want a big one. So if you want to grow yours, today’s episode is for you. I talked with Tim Huelskamp, CEO of 1440 Media, who shares a simple strategy that he used to build his …

418: All Your Fears Kicked Up By 2 Simple Questions

May 19th, 2021


There are 2 questions that trigger all the fears at once -- simple questions that your prospects and clients ask every single day. Can you guess what they are? Either way, you’re going to love my latest podcast chat …

417: How to Handle The Feast with Danielle Hughes

May 7th, 2021



In this episode, I talked with Danielle Hughes, whose marketing is working so well that she’s got too much good work with good budgets from good people. What to do? It’s a good problem to have but not necessarily easy …

416: Think Like a Breadwinner with Jennifer Barrett

April 23rd, 2021


This episode is especially for women (although the men may learn a little something too). My guest, Jennifer Barrett, a financial expert and author of the new book, Think Like a Breadwinner: a wealth-building manifesto …

415: Corina Ludwig on Etiquette for Video Calls

April 9th, 2021


Now that video calls are the default for any meeting, what’s the etiquette for who does and doesn’t put their video on? I chatted about this with my …

414: Marketing with Heart Soul with Andy Didorosi of Basecamp

March 26th, 2021


If you shy away from marketing yourself because you can’t stand how corporations market to you, this episode is for you. In today’s conversation, Andy Didorosi, Head of Marketing for Basecamp, shares his ideas about how …

413: How content begets confidence with Helen Conway

March 12th, 2021


If a lack of confidence is preventing you from getting your business off the ground, this episode is for you. In today’s conversation, Helen Conway, former judge turned wellness coach for lawyers, describes how working …

412: Popular Niches for 2021 with Pam Foster

February 24th, 2021


If you’re struggling to find your niche, this episode is for you. It may help you find yours, it may help you simply relax about the whole niche …

411: 10 Minutes a Day on LinkedIn with Melanie the Marketer

February 12th, 2021


You know that LinkedIn is where the clients are. And you know you should be spending more time there. But you just don’t know what to do or where to …

410: How to get out of a slump with Michael e. Stern

January 29th, 2021


If you love learning, this episode’s for you. I talked with podcast fave, veteran creative professional and photographer, Michael e. Stern, about how to take action and learn something new as a way out of a slump. If …

409: What “Passive Income” Really Means with Jill Anderson

January 15th, 2021


If you’ve ever dreamed about making money while you sleep, my conversation with Jill Anderson of Jill Lynn Design will wake you right up. Jill is a web designer and long time Marketing Mentor client who has just …

408: What “money confidence” sounds like with Terri Trespicio

December 31st, 2020


If you want to kick off 2021 feeling more self-assured about money, you’ll love my new conversation with writer and speaker, Terri Trespicio, whose confidence about money is downright contagious! In our recent chat, …

407: What it takes to make “newsletter magic” with Sarah Pike

December 11th, 2020


If you’ve been meaning to start (or restart) your email newsletter, this episode is for you. Sarah Pike, of FreeFall Laser, a specialist in laser cutting for artists and designers, shared her process and the mindset …

406: Are your ideal clients “marinating?” with Melanie the Marketer

November 27th, 2020


If you want to stop wasting time on clients who are not ready to hire you, we have just the trick. Let them marinate until they are ready. But how do you do that? And isn’t that kind of passive? Those are just a few of …

405: What is a Book Coach? with Jennie Nash

November 13th, 2020


If you love words and want to read all day and make money doing it, this episode is for you. Jennie Nash, book coach and founder of Author Accelerator, joins me to discuss what is a book coach and who is best suited to …

404: What To Do About “Impostor Syndrome” with Valerie Young

October 30th, 2020


If you are among the 70% who struggle with Impostor Syndrome, this episode is for you. Dr. Valerie Young, the leading expert on the topic, joins me to discuss why it afflicts so many men and women (especially …

403: How to Treat The Money Conversation Like a Game

October 16th, 2020


If you avoid the money conversation with clients, today’s short episode is for you. In it, I share a simple way for solopreneurs and other creative …

402: Why Is Zoom So Exhausting? with Eleanor Handley

October 2nd, 2020


If you feel exhausted from day after day of Zoom meetings, this episode is for you. Communications coach, Eleanor Handley, and I delved into the …

401: On Integrity in Business with Michael e. Stern

September 18th, 2020


What role does integrity play in business? And how can you demonstrate yours to your clients? That’s the topic of today’s episode with veteran …

400: Should You Really Forget Funnels? with Lisa Mullis

September 4th, 2020


If you’re tired of 5-figure funnel fantasies, pointless lead magnets and the barrage of heartless, automated content, you’ll love my conversation …

#399: How to Pitch Yourself as a Podcast Guest with Francis Nayan

August 21st, 2020


Pitching yourself as a guest on the podcasts that your ideal clients listen to is one of the advanced content marketing strategies many Marketing Mentor coaching clients are using. And it can be very effective – when …

#398: How to Go In House Keep Your Personal Brand Alive with Elke Giba

August 7th, 2020


In part 2 of my conversation with marketing strategist, Elke Giba, we talked about what it’s like to close a 10 year old business to take a full …

#397: Is the Grass Greener In House? with Elke Giba

July 24th, 2020


Want to know what it’s like to be an in-house marketer who outsources to creative professionals. In today’s episode, Elke Giba, shares her experience of being on the other side of the table after 10 years of …

#396: How (and What) to Delegate with Melanie the Marketer

July 10th, 2020


Is it cheating to hire someone to help you with writing or design if those are the services you offer? And should you tell your clients if you’re not …

#395: Designers who Coach with Sandra Koenig

June 26th, 2020


What is a designer who coaches? What kind of coaching can a designer offer? In today’s episode, Sandra Koenig of shares her experience as a Brand Coach, just one example of the types of coaching …

#394: Personal Crisis When You’re Self Employed with Jeanine Davis

June 12th, 2020


What happens to your creative business when a crisis in your personal life takes everything you have? In today’s episode, Jeanine Davis of JL Davis Design shares what she’s learned about how to take care of your …

#393: Budgets Bankruptcy with Ean Murphy

May 29th, 2020


Do you need a budget? In today’s episode, Ean Murphy of Moxie Bookkeeping and Coaching answers that question and more. She breaks down all the financial jargon so everyone --- especially creative professionals -- can …

#392: On Signs of Strong Client Relationships with Michael e. Stern

May 15th, 2020


Strong client relationships are the sign of a healthy business. But how strong are your relationships with your clients? And how would you know? …

#391: Pandemic derail your plans for 2020? Not so fast…

May 1st, 2020


You were off to a great start. First quarter of 2020 was almost over and this was going to be your year! And then, well, you know what happened. Now your plans to launch or grow your creative business have been …

#390: How to Strengthen Your Financial Health with Galia Gichon

April 11th, 2020


If you’re wondering how to handle your money at this moment, whether you have a lot or a little, today’s episode with Galia Gichon of Down To Earth Finance will help. Galia is a personal finance expert specializing in …

#389: Perseverance as a Creative Business Owner with Michael e. Stern

March 21st, 2020


This is the perfect time to be self employed and the perfect time to chat with someone who’s been a successfully self employed creative for even …

#388: Should you still be blogging? I think so. Here’s why.

March 13th, 2020


Whether or not you consider yourself a blogger, there are lots of reasons to use a blog for content marketing, and you don’t even have to do it all that often. In this chat with Melanie the Marketer, (that’s Melanie …

#387: Do you need fancy CRM software? I don’t think so.

February 28th, 2020


Get ready to breathe a sigh of relief because I don’t think creative professionals and solopreneurs need any fancy CRM (customer relationship …

#386: Billboards for Creative Professionals? with Bart Bradshaw

January 31st, 2020


Is a billboard an affordable marketing tool for a design firm or copywriter? Don’t laugh it off. I spoke with Bart Bradshaw, host of the Built to …

#385: Why (and When) Not to Trust Your Gut with Dr. Gleb Tsipursky

January 17th, 2020


If you’re someone who relies more on your intuition than your reason, this episode is for you. I spoke with Dr. Gleb Tsipursky, author of a new book called, Never Go With Your Gut: How Pioneering Leaders Make the Best …

#384: How to Avoid Distraction and Learn to Focus with Nir Eyal

January 2nd, 2020


If distraction prevents you from reaching the goals you truly want to achieve, this episode is for you. I spoke with Nir Eyal, international …

#383: Attract Ideal Clients Repel Time Wasters with Pam Slim

December 11th, 2019


If you’ve had trouble picking a niche, this episode is for you. I spoke with Pamela Slim, business coach and author of the best-seller, Escape from Cubicle Nation and her latest book, Body of Work. We talked about how …

#382: You, a Book Coach? with Jennie Nash

November 27th, 2019


If you love writing, writers and words, this episode is for you. I spoke with Jennie Nash, founder of Author Accelerator and author of the new book, Read Books All Day & Get Paid For It, about the opportunity to …

#381: How to Make Your Marketing About Your Clients with Adam Fairhead

November 13th, 2019


If you suspect your marketing is still just too much about you, this episode is for you. I spoke with Adam Fairhead of Fairhead Creative and about his new book, Marketing Isn’t About You, and about …

#380: How to Identify Your Unique Value with Lisa Mullis

October 30th, 2019


If you don’t have clarity about the unique value you bring to your ideal clients, this episode is for you. I spoke with Lisa Mullis of Paraphrase …

#379: How to Build a Simple Marketing Machine with Susan Harper

October 16th, 2019


If you’re tired of coming up with new marketing ideas all the time and you want a simple system that (almost) runs on its own, this episode is for you. I spoke with Susan Harper of about her …

#378: How to Build Long-Term Client Relationships with Ben Callahan

October 2nd, 2019


If you want longer relationships with clients (and fewer one-off projects), this episode is for you. I spoke with Ben Callahan, President of Sparkbox, about how, once inside a client company,  his web firm “spreads …

#377: How to Use Lists to Reduce Stress with Paula Rizzo

September 18th, 2019


If you are always looking for ways to improve your productivity, this episode is for you. I spoke with Paula Rizzo, media trainer and author of the …

#376: How to Be Productive (Instead of Busy) w/ Andy Brenits

August 28th, 2019


If you are overwhelmed and just can’t get a handle on your to do lists (most of us have more than one), this episode is for you. It’s an excerpt from a recent presentation by Andy Brenits, of Brenits Creative, on his …

#375: Learning to Love the Money Conversation with Ilise Benun

August 14th, 2019


If you struggle when talking money with clients, this episode is for you. It’s an excerpt from a recent workshop I gave for creative professionals on …

#374: How to Write Ridiculously Good Email News-“letters with Ann Handley

July 24th, 2019


In the latest episode, I got to chat with Ann Handley, best-selling author of “Everybody Writes,” and the world’s first Chief Content Officer. We bonded over our mutual obsession with email newsletters and talked all …

#373: Asking for Help = Business Growth with Danielle Z. Hughes

July 17th, 2019


If you’re feeling stuck, you’ll get a lot out of today’s episode with strategic copywriter, Danielle Z. Hughes, who generously shares how her business has grown in the short time since she started asking for (and …

#372: Tom Ross on Learning to Love Marketing

July 3rd, 2019


In today’s episode with Tom Ross, podcast host and CEO of, we talked about what he calls “the beautiful marriage that can be design …

#371: How to Use Generosity as a Marketing Tool with Melanie Deardorff

June 19th, 2019


In today’s episode with Melanie the Marketer, (that’s Melanie Deardorff), we explore the idea of generosity as an antidote to that “salesy” feeling that is NOT an inevitable element when marketing your creative …

#370: Podcasting as the Ultimate Marketing Tool with Rob Kennedy

June 12th, 2019


If you’re thinking of trying podcasting, you’ll enjoy my recent interview with Rob & Kennedy of We talk about podcasting as …

#369: Should You Do Facebook Ads w/ Lucas Lee-Tyson

May 29th, 2019


If you’re thinking of offering Facebook advertising as a service to your clients or wondering if Facebook's ads would be a good way to get clients, …

#368: Where Content Marketing Conversational Copywriting Collide w/ Nick Usborne

April 17th, 2019


One way to use generosity as a marketing tool is to treat your content marketing as a gift for your market. That’s just one of the ideas from my …

#367: Corina Ludwig on Increasing Your Billable Hours

April 3rd, 2019


Are you wasting time on your least profitable clients? How much time do you spend hunting for things? Should you be charging for travel time? These …

#366: How Do You Show Up? With Kevin Carroll

March 17th, 2019


In this very special podcast interview, I talked with Kevin Carroll, a HOW friend and past speaker, whom I met when he gave his PATH to …

#365: Should You Become an Author?

February 28th, 2019


Today’s episode was originally recorded for the HOW Design Live podcast, but the information is relevant to my listeners too, so I’m reposting it here. I chatted with Bridget Watson Payne, Executive Editor for Art …

#364: How to Pitch Patiently Strategically with Michael e. Stern

February 20th, 2019


Here’s my latest chat with time lapse filmmaker, Michael e. Stern, who walks us through a recent “warm intro” he did for a big project and describes …

#363: Reading David Whyte on “Courage” from Consolations

February 13th, 2019


For February I’m reading aloud another essay I love from the poet-philosopher, David Whyte, and his book of essays CONSOLATIONS: The Solace, …

#362: Ilise Benun on How to Get Better Clients with Bigger Budgets

February 6th, 2019


This special episode is the audio version of Ilise Benun’s new presentation, How to Get Better Clients with Bigger Budgets, hosted by (Watch it on YouTube here: It is, she …

#361: How to Build Trust Despite Marketing with Nick Usborne

January 23rd, 2019


If you want your words to sound more like your voice, today’s episode is for you. It’s a very “meta” conversation about conversational copywriting with Nick Usborne, who teaches a course on the topic. We covered the …

#360: Reading David Whyte on Work from “Consolations”

January 9th, 2019


Here’s something new for 2019: I’m reading aloud work that I love and that is influencing my work. First up is an essay called “Work” from the poet-philosopher, David Whyte, and his book of essays CONSOLATIONS: The …

#359: The Key to Content Marketing that Works with Ben Callahan of Sparkbox

January 2nd, 2019


I’m kicking off 2019 with Ben Callahan, President of Sparkbox, whose web development firm has grown from 8 to 42 employees. Their winning bizdev strategy? Content marketing. In this episode, Ben shares details about …

#358: How to Handle Tricky Situations with Self Respect with Michael e. Stern

December 19th, 2018


This is my 15th episode with time lapse filmmaker, Michael e. Stern, who shares his proven strategies for dealing with tricky situations with prospects without losing your self-respect, from crazy demands to contract …

#357: Mark McGuiness on Being a 21st Century Creative

November 28th, 2018


Ilise Benun talks with poet and coach to creatives, Mark McGuinness, about his new book, 21 Insights for 21st Century Creatives. (Download the book here.) The focus in this conversation is on important business …

#356: Jane Friedman on How to Get Your Book Published

November 14th, 2018


If you are thinking of writing a book to market your business, listen to Ilise Benun’s conversation with publishing veteran, Jane Friedman, on the difference between publishing for money vs. publishing for credibility, …

#355: Ryan Gill of on what it takes to be a Solopreneur

October 31st, 2018


Ilise Benun talks with Ryan Gill, co-founder of, a new sharing economy platform for creative professionals, about what it really takes to be your own boss. And how his new platform attempts to address some …

#354: Ali Schwanke on Metrics that Matter

October 17th, 2018


In the latest “Revolve Conference Speaker Podcast,” Ilise Benun, of, interviews Ali Schwanke, founder of Simplestrat, who will …

#353: Kevin Rogers of Copy Chief on Finding Your “Bat Signal Talent”

October 3rd, 2018


Ilise Benun talks with Kevin Rogers, founder of Copy Chief, (the community and the live event this Oct 23-25) about 2 sides of the “bat-signal” coin: what he calls “bat-signal talent” and she calls “bat-signal content

#352: Greg Corey on Growing from Freelancer to Agency Owner

September 19th, 2018


Ilise Benun talks with Greg Corey, founder of Porchlight, about how started as a freelancer and found the simplest niche to grow into a boutique branding and packaging agency. It’s the one where you don’t have to prove …

#351: What Is Your Value to Your Dream Clients? with Ilise Benun

September 6th, 2018


Today’s podcast is highlights from a recent webinar Ilise Benun gave for the Graphic Artists Guild on how to identify your value to your dream clients so you get paid what you’re worth and can negotiate the best …

#350: Robert McGuire of on the “Freelancer Plateau”

August 22nd, 2018


Ilise Benun and Robert McGuire of dig into some of the findings from the Career Freelancer Status Report, including the idea that freelancers seem to reach an income plateau after 5 years and the …

#349: Emily Leach, Founder of

August 7th, 2018


Today’s bonus episode is a conversation between 2 unemployables: Ilise Benun talks with Emily Leach, Founder of The Freelance Conference, a free conference for freelancers, Sept. 10-14, 2018 in Austin and …

#348: One Designer’s Story - When You Take Success for Granted

August 1st, 2018


If you crave less hype and more candor, this episode is for you. Ilise Benun talks with Dave Salanitro, a designer who had it all and lost it, about …

#347: Creative Services by Subscription = Recurring Revenue for You?

July 18th, 2018


In this episode, Ilise Benun learns about REACH, a new idea for a business model that provides design services to non profits on a budget and recurring revenue for GDLOFT, a small design firm in Philadelphia. If you …

#346: Should You Barter Your Creative Services? with Michael e. Stern

June 27th, 2018


If you’ve ever bartered your services, you know it can be tricky. There’s an art to it, from deciding whether to do it, to making sure everything is fair and everyone feels valued. In this episode, time lapse filmmaker, …

#345: Getting Started with Podcasting with John Hartwell

June 13th, 2018


It’s a podcast about podcasting! If you’ve been thinking about starting a podcast to promote your creative business, you’ll learn a lot from my conversation with John Hartwell of Hartwell Studio Works, whose content …

#344: How to Start a Digital Product Business with Justin Putney

May 30th, 2018



If you’ve been dreaming about getting rid of your annoying clients and turning your service business into a product business, this episode is for you. My guest is designer/developer, Justin Putney, who has developed a …

#343: How to Get Clients From Speaking Gigs w/ Terri Trespicio

May 16th, 2018


This episode is the audio from a recent webinar with 2X TEDx speaker, Terri Trespicio, on "How to Use Public Speaking to Grow Your Reach & Influence (and get clients!)," in advance of her brand new 2-day workshop, …

#342: Content Marketing The Business of Speaking with Corey Poirier

April 18th, 2018


In the latest episode, I spoke with That Speaker Guy  Corey Poirier, about the business of speaking, whether it’s part of your content marketing strategy or the way you plan to make your living. We covered everything …

#341 The Highly Accountable and Trackable Marketing Process

March 21st, 2018


In the latest episode, Chris Leone of Web Strategies, Inc. generously shares in detail the “highly accountable, highly trackable system” that drives his agency’s marketing. He shares not only the guts of their …

#340: Agency Business Models, Partnerships Mistakes with Carl Smith

February 28th, 2018


In the latest episode, I chatted with Carl Smith, former co-founder of nGen Works about the various business models his agency tried, including the 4 person partnership that founded the digital agency. Smith currently …

#339: Michael Solomon on the Most Important Currency in Today’s Economy

February 21st, 2018


In the latest podcast episode, Ilise Benun continues the conversation with marketing professor, Michael Solomon, who literally wrote the book on …

#338: Managing Your Money as a Creative Professional with Michael e. Stern

February 7th, 2018


It’s almost tax time so in this episode, time lapse filmmaker, Michael e. Stern, and Marketing Mentor, Ilise Benun, talk big picture about how (and why) creative professionals struggle so with money management – and …

#337: Ilise Benun on How to Avoid the Worst Negotiating Mistakes

January 24th, 2018


If you haven’t seen my recent talk, The Worst Negotiating Mistakes…and How to Avoid Them, on the Marketing Mentor YouTube channel, here’s the audio. Also, as mentioned in the intro, learn more about the “Experienced …

#336: Michael e. Stern on how to decide how big your business should be?

January 3rd, 2018


If you’ve been wondering whether you are suited to build a business that employs others, or whether you are better off “just you,” this interview is for you. For the first podcast episode of 2018, Ilise Benun talks with …

#335: Andy Brenits on Confidence as an Experienced Newbie

December 20th, 2017


In the next installment of the Experienced Newbie series of interviews, Ilise Benun talks with Andy Brenits of Brenits Creative  a designer who has gone back and forth between self employment and working in house in big …

#334: How to Break Down Your Services for Tiered Pricing with Michael e. Stern

December 6th, 2017


Many creative professionals give away their strategic services because it’s intangible and you don’t know how to account for it when you price a project. Tiered pricing is a technique that will ensure you get paid for …

#333: How to Do Tiered Pricing with Ed Gandia

November 22nd, 2017


If you hate pricing, you’ll  love this week’s podcast, in which Ilise Benun talks with Ed Gandia about the nuts of bolts of how to do tiered …

#332: Networking for the 21st Century from HOW Design Live 2017

November 8th, 2017


This week’s podcast is perfect for introverts and other people who hate “networking." Listen now especially if you have an event coming up that you’re a little bit nervous about attending. You’ll learn the language to …

#331: Cheryl Smithem on What is PR These Days?

October 23rd, 2017


In the 4th episode of Season 2 of the “Revolve Conference Speaker Podcast Series,” Ilise Benun, of, interviews Cheryl Smithem …

#330: Thomas Heath on Personal Branding on LinkedIn

October 18th, 2017


In the third episode of Season 2 of the “Revolve Conference Speaker Podcast Series,” Ilise Benun, of, interviews Business Coach …

#329: Katie Lane on Negotiating Strategies for Creatives

October 4th, 2017


In this episode, Ilise Benun, of, talks with Katie Lane, lawyer, negotiation coach and blogger at Work Made For Hire, about how …

#328: Dan Mall of

September 27th, 2017


In the second episode of Season 2 of the “Revolve Conference Speaker Podcast Series,” Ilise Benun, of, interviews Dan Mall  of

#327: Experienced Newbie #4 – The Comparison Trap

September 13th, 2017


Here’s the 3rd interview with "experienced newbie," Lisa Mullis, of Paraphrase Communications, in which we discuss the pros and cons of comparing …

#326: Katie Kern on Reimagining PR

August 30th, 2017


In the first episode of Season 2 of the “Revolve Conference Speaker Podcast Series,” Ilise Benun, of, interviews Katie Kern, VP …

#325: Michael e. Stern on How to Handle Demanding Clients

August 16th, 2017


In interview #11 of the popular series of chats between Ilise Benun of and time lapse filmmaker, Michael e. Stern of 

#324: Alan Seiden - From Awkward Techie to Tech “Celebrity”

August 2nd, 2017


In this episode, Ilise Benun, of, talks with an old friend, Alan Seiden of The Seiden Group, about how he left an …

#323: Michael Solomon on Price as a Shorthand for Value

July 19th, 2017


In the second conversation with author and marketing professor, Michael Solomon, of, he explains to Ilise Benun, of 

#322: 3 Simple Steps to Price Your Creative Projects

July 12th, 2017


Pricing your services accurately and talking about money with confidence are essential to success. In the audio version of this recent PaperSpecs webinar, Ilise Benun distills pricing into 3 simple steps. It’s an …

#321: Gigi Rosenberg on Making a Living from Your Art

June 21st, 2017


Ilise Benun, of, interviews author and artist coach, Gigi Rosenberg about how to balance the desire to make art with the need to make a living and how to tell who’s a competitor and who’s a …

#320: Bryn Mooth on Self-Confidence and Self-Employment

June 7th, 2017


It’s already 6 years since Bryn Mooth left her cozy full-time job as Editor of HOW Magazine to strike out on her own as a freelance food and wellness …

#319: Experienced Newbie #4 – Entering the Brand New Cannabis Market

May 24th, 2017


On the 1-year anniversary of her new branding firm for the brand new cannabis industry, Jenn Culpepper of Brand Joint, shares how they got their …

#318: Experienced Newbie #3 – Building Your Email List

May 10th, 2017


Here’s the second interview with Lisa Mullis of the new firm, Paraphrase Communications, sharing details about how she is re-building her online …

#317: Michael Solomon on Making it Easier to Toot Your Own Horn

April 26th, 2017


In the next episode sponsored by, Ilise Benun, of, interviews author and marketing professor, Michael Solomon, of

#315: Wendy Merrill on Overcoming Fear of Self Promotion

March 29th, 2017


In the next in a series of episodes sponsored by, Ilise Benun, of, interviews Wendy Merrill of about how to overcome fear of self promotion. Plus Wendy shares …

#314: Answers to Your Burning Questions for the “Ideal Client”

March 16th, 2017


In this special podcast, Ilise Benun asks Jamie Saunders, Senior Marketing Communications Manager at Neenah Paper and Packaging, all the questions …

#313: Robert McGuire On Getting Started with Subcontracting

March 8th, 2017


In the first in a series of episodes sponsored by, Ilise Benun, of, interviews Robert McGuire on how he overcame obstacles to subcontracting to build his content marketing agency …

#312: “Experienced Newbie” #2 - From Project Manager to Photographer

February 23rd, 2017


When JC Candanedo of heard Part 1 of this new series, he responded immediately and wanted to share his experience of changing careers in his 40’s, competing with photographers half his age and …

#311: Danny Iny on How to Grow and Scale a Business

February 8th, 2017


Ilise Benun chats with Danny Iny, author of Teach and Grow Rich, & founder of (formerly Firepole Marketing) about how to grow a …

#310: “Experienced Newbie” Series #1 - Your Online Presence

January 25th, 2017


Ilise Benun starts a new series of conversations with communications professional, Lisa Mullis, as she goes through a mid-career makeover and …

#309: Creatives - We Need Your Voice by January 31st - Listen Now!

January 17th, 2017


The Graphic Artists Guild needs the help of all creative professionals, creators and copyright holders. Make your voice heard by taking the survey to …

#308: Jeff Sauer on Becoming a Data-Driven Creative

January 7th, 2017


Ilise Benun chats with Jeff Sauer of Jeffalytics, the brains behind the JumpStart Podcast and former agency owner-turned-consultant specializing in …

#307: Ilise Benun on How to Reach Out to Your Ideal Clients

December 14th, 2016


Here’s another excerpt from Ilise Benun’s new marketing plan, The Marketing Blueprint: How to Connect the Dots of Your Marketing. It’s called, How Not To Stalk Your Prospects and Still Get the Project: What to Say When …

#306: Ilise Benun on How to Connect the Dots of Your Marketing

December 7th, 2016


If you’re doing some marketing but still struggling with feast or famine because your ideal clients aren’t knocking on your door, it could be that …

#305: Michael e. Stern on How to Prevent Self-Doubt from Creeping In

November 23rd, 2016


In episode #9 of the popular series of meaty and chatty conversations between Ilise Benun of and time lapse filmmaker, Michael …

#304: Jill Anderson on “Firing” Clients the Right Way

November 2nd, 2016


In this conversation, Ilise Benun of chats with one of her star students, web designer/developer for creative professionals, Jill Anderson of Jill Lynn Design, about how to end a client …

#303: Revolve Workshop on Designing Research Studies

October 19th, 2016


In the final installment of the “Revolve Conference Speaker Podcast Series,” Ilise Benun, of, interviews Meena Kothandaraman and …

#302: Aaron Irizarry of Nasdaq

October 7th, 2016


In the 4th installment of the “Revolve Conference Speaker Podcast Series,” Ilise Benun, of, interviews Aaron Irizarry, Director …

#301: Simple Client Communication Tactics with Michael e. Stern

September 30th, 2016


This episode is #8 in the popular series of chatty (but always meaty) conversations between Ilise Benun of and time lapse …

#300: Robert Prioleau of Blue Ion

September 14th, 2016


In the 3rd installment of the “Revolve Conference Speaker Podcast Series,” Ilise Benun, of, interviews Robert Prioleau, …

#299: Terri Trespicio Paula Rizzo on How to Be a Media Magnet

August 31st, 2016


Ilise Benun chats with Terri Trespicio and Paula Rizzo, the brains behind Lights Camera Expert, who can’t help but share what they know about what it …

#298: Paul Parreira of Company Cue on Content Marketing

August 17th, 2016


In this episode, Ilise Benun, of, interviews Paul Parreira of Company Cue about the evolution of content marketing, the …

#297: Ahava Leibtag of Aha Media Group

August 3rd, 2016


In the second installment of the “Revolve Conference Speaker Podcast Series,” Ilise Benun, of, interviews Ahava Leibtag, …

#296: HOWDesign Live@SCAD #4 - Rigsby Hull

July 20th, 2016


This is the 4th of 5 live interviews from the HOWDesignLive@SCAD Lecture Series 2016 where Ilise Benun of is joined by Lana …

#295: Value-Based Bartering with Michael e. Stern

July 7th, 2016


Here’s #7 in a series of chatty (but meaty) conversations between Ilise Benun of and time lapse filmmaker, Michael e. Stern of In this episode, Stern gives an update on …

#294: Rivers Pearce of Boomtown

June 23rd, 2016


In the first installment of the “Revolve Conference Speaker Podcast Series,” Ilise Benun, of, interviews Rivers Pearce, …

#293: How to pursue projects that are perfect for you -- Chat #6 with Michael e. Stern

May 16th, 2016


Here’s the next in a series of ongoing conversations between me, Ilise Benun of and time lapse filmmaker, Michael e. Stern of In this episode, he shares 2 stories in …

#292: Need help pricing your creative services? Listen to this one…

May 4th, 2016


In the latest podcast, Ilise Benun of chats with Steve Maurer, a copywriter in the vertical B2B Industrial Manufacturing niche, about the changes he’s making to his business, based on Ilise’s new …

#291: Cassie Boorn of

April 13th, 2016


Ilise Benun of talks with Cassie Boorn of Maker Mentors, an online community for creative professionals, about how she knew when it was time to quit her  job and launch her business and what …

#290: Keeping It Human with Ben Callahan Meena Kothandaraman

April 12th, 2016

This podcast episode is a little different: Ilise Benun of is joined by Meena Kothandaraman of Twig + Fish and Ben Callahan of Sparkbox for a quick rehearsal/overview of Keeping it Human, a brand …

#289: HOWDesignLive@SCAD #3 with Tiffany Shlain

March 30th, 2016


This is the 3rd live interview from the HOWDesignLive@SCAD Lecture Series 2016 with Ilise Benun of and #HOWLive 2016 Opening Keynote speaker, author and filmmaker, Tiffany Shlain. She shares nuggets …

#288: How one writer landed a $10K project and is building a portable business

March 16th, 2016


In this conversation with writer, Lori Ferguson, Ilise Benun teases out the details of what Lori did and said for 18 months, until her ideal prospect …

#287: HOWDesignLive@SCAD #2 with Jason Fried

March 7th, 2016


This is the 2nd live interview from the HOWDesignLive@SCAD Lecture Series 2016 with Ilise Benun of and #HOWLive 2015 speaker, Jason Fried, Co-Founder of Basecamp and author of 3 books including, …

#286: Are You Keeping This Secret From Yourself? Chat #5 with Michael e. Stern

February 16th, 2016


If you are a mid-career creative pro with a solid portfolio and lots of experience but you still struggle with pricing, you’re not alone and this …

#285:HOWDesignLive@SCAD #1 with Matthew Manos

February 8th, 2016


This is a live interview from the HOWDesignLive@SCAD Lecture Series 2016 with Ilise Benun of and #HOWLive speaker, Matthew Manos of Founder of, author of, “How to Give Half Your Work …

#284: Dianna Huff on smoother cash flow for freelancers

January 20th, 2016


If your unpredictable income makes your life a roller coaster, you’re not alone. In today’s podcast interview, Ilise Benun of

#283: David Bain On Digital Marketing, the Moving Target

January 11th, 2016


What the heck is digital marketing? Is it online marketing? Is it Internet marketing? Is it a moving target? That’s the question I tackled with David Bain of Digital Marketing Radio. We talked especially about …

#282: Don’t Make The Mistakes We Did: Podcast #4 with Michael e. Stern

December 29th, 2015


The new year is upon us so it’s time to reflect on what worked, and especially on what didn’t work, so we can improve it. In this year-end podcast, Ilise Benun of is joined by time-lapse filmmaker, …

#281: On Package Pricing, Tiered Pricing Value-Based Pricing with Jason Blumer

November 20th, 2015


There has been a ton of interest in Package Pricing for creative services but some confusion amongst other pricing strategies, like tiered-pricing …

#280: How to land the right price every time with Laurie Millotte

November 16th, 2015


Laurie Millotte used to worry that she was undercharging. Other times she worried that she might be overcharging. Even when clients hired her, she never really knew if she had come up with the right price for her …

#279: The Art of Giving Good Phone, with right-brainer, Michael e. Stern

October 13th, 2015


If you’re selling big-ticket services and want to connect directly with your best prospects, the phone is an effective marketing tool, if you know …

#278: How to get access to a wider audience of ideal clients

September 29th, 2015


How do you reach a wide audience when you don’t have thousands of raving fans? In my latest interview, music entrepreneur, Budi Voogt, explains exactly how he gets wide exposure for his talented musicians and how …

#277: Pricing Wisdom for Creative Professionals from 36-year veteran, Michael e. Stern

September 14th, 2015


As a right brainer in a left brain world, Michael e. Stern has learned a lot in his 36 years in business about how to price his creative services. In his 2nd podcast/interview with Ilise Benun of he …

#276: Freelancers + staffing firms? Pros cons + latest trends with Andy Epstein, author of The Corporate Creative

August 26th, 2015


What are corporate in house design managers looking for in the freelancers they hire? Andy Epstein, author of The Corporate Creative, answers that question and many others in the latest podcast interview with Ilise …

#275: Here’s a Niche: Construction Time Lapse Films with Michael E. Stern

August 19th, 2015


From surviving to thriving as a creative professional -- that’s the path Michael E. Stern walked the past 35 years as a photographer. It’s taken him time, but he’s found the niche that fits him like a “fur-lined” glove …

#274: Here’s a niche: Wine Spirits

August 4th, 2015


Cynthia Sterling of Sterling Creativeworks talks with Marketing Mentor, Ilise Benun, about how she chose the wine and spirits niche in 2011 when …

#273: Finding a niche, with Jim Blasingame.

July 21st, 2015


In this interview with the Small Business Advocate, Jim Blasingame, Ilise Benun debates what exactly is a niche and how to go about choosing one. If you're struggling with your niche, download the free worksheet "Is …

#272: All About The Book Design Niche with Scarlett Rugers

June 10th, 2015


For this special “Pick a Niche” podcast, Ilise Benun is joined by Tomas Fransson of and Scarlett Rugers to talk about Scarlett’s …

#271: 16% Response to Prospecting with Chocolate

May 13th, 2015


Copywriter & Marketing Strategist, Amy Posner, describes in exquisite detail the 9-step direct outreach approach (avec chocolat) with has so far …

#270: A Retreat for Creative Professionals in Nashville, June 25-26

April 30th, 2015


Ilise Benun talks with Jenny Poff, founder of the national accountability group, The Designers Roundtable, about the inaugural Designer’s Retreat, an event unlike any other, designed for creative professionals by …

#270: Personal + Professional Passions = Target Markets

April 27th, 2015


Designer, Robin Ridley, describes how she decided to focus on the animal welfare and vegan markets and the steps she took to determine the viability of these markets. Learn about Robin at and Sign up …

#269: #HOWLive 2015 Speaker Podcast Series: Doug Dolan, communications strategist

April 13th, 2015


In Episode 5 of the #HOWLive 2015 Speaker Podcast Series, Ilise Benun, HDL Partner for the Creative Business program and founder of 

#268: #HOWLive 2015 Speaker Podcast Series: Janine Vangool, UPPERCASE magazine

April 1st, 2015


In Episode 4 of the #HOWLive 2015 Speaker Podcast Series, Ilise Benun, HDL Partner for the Creative Business program and founder of 

#267: #HOWLive 2015 Speaker Podcast Series: Mark McGuiness

March 16th, 2015


In Episode 3 of the 2015 HOW Design Live Speaker Podcast Series, Ilise Benun, Partner for HDL’s "Creative Business" program, interviews poet and creative coach, Mark McGuiness, on his topic, “How to Handle Rejection …

#266: Package pricing, with Jim Blasingame.

March 11th, 2015


Ilise Benun joins Jim Blasingame at Small Business Advocate to talk about why packaging your services has many advantages for you and your clients. …

#265: #HOWLive 2015 Speaker Podcast Series: Rob Harr of Sparkbox

February 26th, 2015


In Episode 2 of the 2015 HOW Design Live Speaker Podcast Series, Ilise Benun, Partner for HDL’s "Creative Business" program, interviews Rob Harr, VP of Sparkbox, on his topic, “How to Make Hourly Pricing Work.” He …

#264: #HOWLive 2015 Speaker Podcast Series: Aaron Draplin

February 16th, 2015


In this podcast interview with Ilise Benun, Programming Partner for the "Creative Business" program of HOW Design Live 2015, Aaron Draplin gives a taste of his topic. Officially entitled, "Tall Tales From a Large Man," …

#263: What makes a proposal great? - with Nathan Powell of Nusii

February 5th, 2015


In this podcast, Nathan Powell of Nusii Proposal Software interviews Ilise Benun, Marketing Mentor and creator of the Designer's Proposal Bundle

#262: Sneak Peek: Command the Fees You Deserve via CreativeLive

January 19th, 2015


In today’s podcast, Ilise rehearses the introduction for her upcoming CreativeLive course, Command the Fees You Deserve. This course, presented by Ilise Benun of, will help you enjoy greater …

#261: No More RFPs for K9 Strategy Design

December 5th, 2014


Listen to find out how Jen Neal's Toronto-based firm, K9 Strategy & Design, has evolved since we last talked in 2011. She shares details on their …

#260: Sneak Peek: 2015 Marketing Plan + Calendar

December 4th, 2014


This podcast collage is a sneak peek at the brand new Enhanced version of the Marketing Plan + eCalendar for 2015. You’ll hear clips from 3 …

#259: Sneak Peek: Package Pricing Bundle

November 27th, 2014


This podcast is a little different than usual – it’s a sneak peek at the brand new

Package Pricing Bundle, the newest product in the Marketing Mentor …

#258: Packaging creative services - with Alyssa Martin

November 18th, 2014


Packaging creative services is all the rage these days, but it’s more than a trend. It’s actually allowing creative professionals to take control of …

#257: Talking about what you do - The Creative Freelancer Show

October 15th, 2014


I recently joined Jake Jorgovan to discuss the biggest mistake new freelancers make when telling people what they do. Listen to learn a better way...

#256: Two more questions about starting a business,, with Jim Blasingame

October 8th, 2014



Ilise Benun joins Jim Blasingame of Small Business Advocate to reveal two more critical questions to ask yourself before you become a small business owner.

#255: One important question about starting a business, with Jim Blasingame

October 8th, 2014



Ilise Benun joins Jim Blasingame of Small Business Advocate to talk about why most of us start our small businesses, and to reveal a very important question to ask ourselves when we do.

#254: Audio Article #5: Five Steps to Finding the Right Clients

September 29th, 2014


Here’s the 5th Audio Article written by Ilise Benun of and read aloud by the author, “5 Steps to Finding the Right Clients.” Listen to learn the secret to closing a deal with new clients by ushering …

#253: SEO Copywriting with Heather Lloyd-Martin

September 3rd, 2014


In today’s podcast, The Marketing Mentor, Ilise Benun, chats with Heather Lloyd-Martin, SEO Writing expert and teacher of SEO copywriting, about what designers and writers really need to know about SEO plus the art of …

#252: Audio Article: Closing the Deal: From Proposal to Contract

August 27th, 2014


Here’s the 4th Audio Article written by Ilise Benun of and read aloud by the author, Closing the Deal: From Proposal to Contract. Listen to learn when to talk money, how to present your proposal, …

#251: Audio Article: Film School: How to Create Your Own Self Promo Videos.

August 6th, 2014


Here’s the third in a new series of “audio articles” written by Ilise Benun of and read aloud by the author. There is more and more video being used by creatives to market their services, which …

#250: Problem Clients: how to spot them and turn them into good ones

July 28th, 2014


Battling big egos and unfair deadlines? You're not alone. For small agencies and solopreneurs especially, one bad client can mean big problems, …

#249: Audio Article: A 4-Step Guide to Content Marketing

July 25th, 2014


Here’s the second in a new series of “audio articles” written by the Marketing Mentor, Ilise Benun and read aloud by the author. “Content marketing” …

#248: Audio Article: The Art Science of Pricing for Creative Professionals.

July 16th, 2014


Here’s the first in a new series of “audio articles” written by the Marketing Mentor, Ilise Benun and read aloud by the author. The Art & Science of Pricing covers the basics of pricing for creative services, …

Freelancing While Traveling The World -- Is It Really Possible?

July 8th, 2014


The answer, according to Jake Jorgovan, web designer and intrepid freelancer, is an unqualified YES! In this interview with Ilise Benun, he shares how he kick started his business using oDesk + what and who online …

Pricing Tips for Creative Freelancers from Laura Foley

June 18th, 2014


In this post-HOW Design Live/Creative Freelancer Business Conference podcast interview, Laura Foley (@LMFDesign & generously …

Part 2 - Turning difficult customers into customers for life

May 27th, 2014


In Part 2 of their conversation, Ilise Benun joins Jim Blasingame of Small Business Advocate, to discuss one of the most popular sessions from CFBC …

Part 1 - When good customers behave badly

May 27th, 2014


In Part 1 of their conversation, Ilise Benun joins Jim Blasingame of Small Business Advocate, to discuss one of the most popular sessions from CFBC …

Creating a Business Action Plan – with HOWLive/CFBC speaker, Corwin Hiebert

April 21st, 2014


Marketing Mentor, Ilise Benun, talks with Corwin Hiebert about how to create a Business Action Plan, which is much simpler (and can be better for creative professionals) than a traditional business plan. Listen to this …

A field guide to bad clients – with HOWLive/CFBC speaker, Doug Dolan

March 28th, 2014


Marketing Mentor, Ilise Benun, chats with Doug Dolan, communications strategist, writer and creative director about a cast of bad clients from the …

Self-promotion sales strategies – with HOWLive/CFBC speaker, Jen Lombardi

March 24th, 2014


Started by Jen Lombardi, Kiwi Creative (a small design firm outside Cleveland, Ohio) is now a firm of 6 people - and this growth was intentional. This is what Jen discusses with Ilise Benun of Marketing Mentor, in this …

Survival Strategy for the Soul with HOWLive/CFBC Speaker, Alina Wheeler

March 12th, 2014


In this week’s podcast interview, Marketing Mentor Ilise Benun chats with Alina Wheeler, author of “Designing Brand Identity” on the latest survival …

Surviving as a creative pro – with HOWLive/CFBC speaker, Douglas Davis

March 4th, 2014


If you want to survive as a creative professional, you need to be one who understands business, especially the things in business that trump aesthetics. But how? That’s what Ilise Benun of Marketing Mentor discusses …

Pricing as an intimate act – with HOWLive/CFBC speaker, Jason Blumer

February 24th, 2014


In the next installment of the HOWLive/CFBC 2014 Speaker podcast series, Ilise Benun of chats with Jason Blumer of about the highly subjective art of pricing (especially value-based …

Interview with Ed Gandia: Handling Clients Who Suck Your Time

February 19th, 2014


In this week’s podcast interview, Marketing Mentor, Ilise Benun, chats with Ed Gandia, of the International Freelancers Academy, about time-sucking clients and the things we procrastinate (i.e. tasks we hate, don’t do …

Tips on being prepared – with HOWLive/CFBC speaker, Dana Maciagli

January 29th, 2014


We all know that preparation is important -- but most people don't take the time to do enough of it. And the consequences often sting, especially …

How to put your existing clients on retainer

January 22nd, 2014


In this podcast, Marketing Mentor client, Tiffany Estes, of Whole Brain Creative, describes to Ilise Benun, her step by step process to choose and …

Words of Wisdom on Proposals, Retainers and More

January 8th, 2014


In this first podcast of 2014, Marketing Mentor, Illse Benun, interviews her client, marketing consultant and creative director, Jim Gorman of

What do your goals for the New Year look like?

December 31st, 2013


Do you know how to set and achieve goals? Ilise Benun joins Jim Blasingame to joins Jim Blasingame to recommend goal setting best practices, including using small steps, as you begin the New Year.

The types of people you need in your network

December 18th, 2013


Ilise Benun joins Jim Blasingame of Small Business Advocate to explain that networking is the most important part of marketing, plus the kind of people you need in your network.

Getting your customers to take an active role in your business

December 18th, 2013


Ilise Benun joins Jim Blasingame of Small Business Advocate to discuss getting your customers to take an active role in your business, plus why peer, …

Interview with Marc Harmon: The 2014 Marketing Plan + eCalendar

November 20th, 2013


In this interview with Marc Harmon from Creative Grit Media, learn how to market your business using an organized, step-by-step process -- like the …

Improve customer communication with self-analysis

October 23rd, 2013


Are your attempts to communicate with customers successful? Ilise Benun joins Jim Blasingame to recommend practicing self-analysis before and after …

Common communication problems with customers

October 23rd, 2013


Are all of your conversations with customers successful? Ilise Benun joins Jim Blasingame to discuss common communication challenges we all have when …

From struggling freelancer to hiring freelancers to help!

October 14th, 2013


Ilise Benun talks with creative freelancer, Nick Matarese of Delaware-based, The Creative Barn, about how he went from not knowing where his next project was coming from to signing a 2-year contract with a dream client …

Interview: Ed Gandia on Pricing

September 17th, 2013


Ilise Benun talks with Ed Gandia of the International Freelancers Academy on pricing for creative professionals. Ed shares his strategy for demonstrating value to support your prices and tells exactly how he raised his …

How online networking impacts offline networking

August 30th, 2013


Ilise Benun joins Jim Blasingame to discuss how online and offline networking can support one another.

Interview: Sarah Durham on Pricing

August 9th, 2013


In today’s podcast, Sarah Durham of (a favorite speaker on pricing at CFC 2012) talks with me about how she integrates her own unbillable time into her pricing. 

Interview: How Sonia Quinones landed a job by networking at CFC

July 31st, 2013


Copywriter, Sonia Quinones, first time attendee of the Creative Freelancer Conference (and HOW Design Live), is one more creative professional who, only one month after the event, had already landed a project as a …

Interview with Ilise Benun: How do you schedule your day?

July 19th, 2013


In today’s podcast, Deidre Rienzo interviews Marketing Mentor, Ilise Benun, about how she organizes her day. From Post-It Notes, to dog walks, to getting up early, find out how Ilise balances flexibility with structure …

New Networking Tricks - Interview with Ed Gandia

July 10th, 2013


Ed Gandia interviews Marketing Mentor, Ilise Benun, for his B2B Launcher podcast about her newest networking tricks, including how to choose the right event to attend, how to prepare to make the best of your time, plus …

Positioning and Content Marketing for Design Firms

June 10th, 2013


Join Ilise Benun and Mark O'Brien (CEO of Newfangled) as they offer a Crash Course in Positioning and Content Marketing for Design Firms.

Interview with Jim Blasingame: Replace your hourly rate with value-based pricing…

June 3rd, 2013


Does your pricing strategy need a profitability boost? Ilise Benun joins Jim Blasingame to reveal how to replace your hourly rate pricing strategy for professional services with a value-based strategy that focuses on …

Interview with Jim Blasingame: What can you learn at the Creative Freelancer Conference?

June 3rd, 2013


Ilise Benun talks to Jim Blasingame about the upcoming, 6th annual Creative Freelancer Conference (June 22-24 in San Francisco), and shares examples of the business practices attendees will learn.

3 Answers to Common Questions About Public Speaking for Creative Pros

May 20th, 2013


In the latest podcast/interview in the Creative Freelancer Conference Speaker Series (the big event is right around the corner, June 22-24 in San Francisco), Ilise Benun speaks with Jezra Kaye, author of “Speak Like …

The Art of Saying No with Creative Freelancer, Alisa Bonsignore

April 29th, 2013


In the latest podcast/interview in the CFC 2013 Speaker Series, Ilise Benun of talks with writer and strategist, Alisa Bonsignore about how she went from newbie creative freelancer to speaking at …

A Simple Mantra To Get Things Done (Without Going Crazy)

April 15th, 2013


Marketing Mentor, Ilise Benun, talks with Jim Krause (, 25-year veteran freelance designer and author of many books, …

How to Network With a Purpose and Get What You Need

April 6th, 2013


In preparation for the networking fest that is CFC 2013: The Business Conference for the Creatively Self Employed (, networking expert, author and speaker Dana Manciagli shares with …

Independent Writer Reinvents Herself = Business Picks Up

April 2nd, 2013


In this podcast interview with Marketing Mentor, Ilise Benun, Leila Zogby, independent writer of corporate marcom, in business for 30 years but struggling after the recession, gets unstuck by reinventing herself and …

Turn Traffic Into Leads With a Simple Freebie

March 26th, 2013


Ilise Benun, of, interviews Erin Pheil of about her strategy for capturing visitors to her web site and offering a freebie so she can nurture them into becoming clients. Check out …

What to expect when you're freelancing (interview with Bryn Mooth)

March 13th, 2013


Podcast: Ilise Benun of interviews Bryn Mooth on where she is after 2 years of freelancing and her upcoming CFC session: What to Expect When You’re Freelancing, which is perfect for those who are …

Overcoming your fears (interview with Luke Mysse)

March 12th, 2013


Podcast: Ilise Benun of interviews Luke Mysse for the CFC Speaker Podcast Series on The Arc of Success and how he overcame his own fears by expanding his vision and committing to helping …

Making people love you madly (interview with Colleen Wainwright)

March 11th, 2013


Ilise Benun of interviews Colleen Wainwright (a.k.a. the communicatrix) for the CFC Speaker Podcast Series on the latest trends …

Podcast: Content Marketing for Creative Professionals

March 8th, 2013


For the CFC 2013 Speaker Podcast series, Ilise Benun of interviews Mark O’Brien of about what exactly content marketing is for creative professionals and small firms and what gets in …

How web designer, Jill Anderson, increased business by 17%

March 4th, 2013


Jill had plenty of clients through word of mouth, but wanted to get better quality work. She needed to update her website, manage time better, and find more efficient ways of growing her business. In this interview, …

Finding companies who do good (interview with Sarah Durham of Big Duck)

February 25th, 2013


In the latest podcast interview in the CFC 2013 Speaker Series, Ilise Benun talks with Sarah Durham, Principal and Founder of Big Duck about working with companies who “do good” and suggests how to find them. Also, she …

How to Make Strong Connections (interview with Dana Manciagli)!

February 19th, 2013


Marketing Mentor, Ilise Benun, chats with Dana Manciagli, CFC 2013 speaker (Cut the Crap, Start Networking!) and 30+ year corporate veteran who is also building a freelance business as a speaker/author. This wide …

Podcast: How Jenny Poff catapulted her business

February 18th, 2013


Freelance designer, Jenny Poff (, found clarity, confidence and a niche market at CFC last year. You can hear the …

Podcast: June Walker helps indies with taxes

February 11th, 2013


June Walker, tax advisor to the self employed (she calls them “indies”), talks with Marketing Mentor, Ilise Benun, about why creatives get so confused about taxes and what you can do about it. She’ll be at CFC (June …

Email Newsletter = New Clients!

February 4th, 2013


Toronto-based designer, Sherri Gallowitz of G Strategic (, started sending out her email newsletter to her nonprofit sector clients in …

Podcast: Can Everyone Really Be Their Own Boss?

January 28th, 2013


Rick Carlile and his passionate team are building “the first networked professional marketplace.” It’s called and its goal is to make it easier for freelancers and creative professionals to connect and …

Podcast: Freelancer Reaches 5 Year Goal in 6 Months!

January 16th, 2013


See success in action and we kick off the launch of CFC 2013 (June 22-24, 2013 in SF). In this podcast interview, package designer, Jenn David …

Podcast: Highlights from HOW Interactive with Tiffany Estes, Part 2

December 17th, 2012


In part 2 of this podcast interview, Tiffany Estes of Whole Brain Creative ( shares more takeaways from the HOW …

Podcast: Raising rates with Judy Rosenthal

December 7th, 2012


This week I was interviewed by Judy Rosenthal about raising rates and she had some ideas from the financial planning industry that could also apply …

Podcast: Highlights from HOW Interactive with Tiffany Estes

December 5th, 2012


Tiffany Estes of Whole Brain Creative ( attended the HOW Interactive Design Conference for the 2nd time in 2012 and in …

Podcast: Planning for 2013

November 22nd, 2012


Join us for another conversation with writer and journalist, Bryn Mooth. This time, we talk about Bryn’s goals for growing her network in 2013 and reaching outside her current sphere. We focused on 2 questions: how to …

Can you tell when a prospect is really ready to do business?

November 19th, 2012


Does your prospect's excitement mean he's ready to buy? Ilise Benun joins Jim Blasingame to talk about some of the things to do so you know the difference between a prospects excitement and readiness to sign a contract.

The Cloud helped many businesses during Hurricane Sandy

November 19th, 2012


Ilise Benun joins Jim Blasingame to report on how she kept working off-site, in the Cloud, when Hurricane Sandy kept her out of her office.

Patience is a freelancer’s friend

October 24th, 2012


It’s already been a year and a half since writer and journalist, Bryn Mooth (, former editor of HOW Magazine, started her freelance writing business. Listen to our recent interview to about Bryn's …

Secrets to Winning Proposals –Toronto, Nov 7th

October 17th, 2012


As a preview for upcoming PIC event on November 7th in Toronto (Secrets to writing winning proposals, estimates and RFPs), listen to my short interview with PIC chair Donna Papacosta.

More event details here:

Should you design your own logo?

October 3rd, 2012


Last time, I talked with Julia Reich of Julia Reich Design about her recent rebrand.

Today, we discuss the details of how her logo came about. Listen …

Using your website to qualify prospects

September 19th, 2012


I asked Mark O’Brien, CEO of Newfangled and author of one of my favorite books, A Website that Works, about how to use your website to filter out non-ideal clients.

Listen to this 8-minute interview for his suggestions.

Should you change the name of your business?

September 11th, 2012


If you're considering changing the name of your business or doing a rebranding for your creative firm, listen to this interview with Julia Reich …

How to take action when you have too many great ideas

August 30th, 2012


In my latest interview with Bryn Mooth, we talked about what she learned at CFC and how she is putting that learning into practice. She suggested a technique for taking potentially overwhelming information and putting …

Jeff Tara - Interview 3

May 16th, 2012


Jeff Tara, from Brand Vue Design, is back with his upbeat attitude.

Jeff has been in business only 4 months so far, but he's already accomplished so much. Listen to the latest in this interview...

CFC 2012: Luke Mysse Interview

April 27th, 2012

In this 11-minute interview, Luke Mysse previews his upcoming CFC session, Options for Growth.

Join us at the Creative Freelancer Conference, June 21-22 in Boston. Details here.

CFC 2012: David Baker Interview

April 24th, 2012


For today’s podcast interview with a speaker, we have David Baker from ReCourses ( giving us a preview of his session, “Positioning yourself as if you were outside looking in.”

Join us at the Creative …

Interview with Bryn Mooth - April 2012

April 24th, 2012


How is newbie freelancer, Bryn Mooth, progressing?  

Listen to April's interview with wellness and creativity journalist and copywriter, Bryn Mooth.

Join us at the Creative Freelancer Conference, June 21-22 in Boston. 

Newly-minted freelancer, Kelsey Grafton, is going to CFC...

April 23rd, 2012


Newly-minted freelancer, Kelsey Grafton, of Lewiston, Idaho, knows she has a lot to learn about running her new business, BlueSkyMondays. She said it wasn't hard to convince her new boss (herself!) to invest in sending …

Revised Proposal = 67% Win Rate

April 16th, 2012


Listen to this 15-minute interview, where Allison Manley, from Rogue Element, answers these questions:

  • How much time it takes to do the proposals …

CFC 2012: Missing the confidence to set the right tone?

April 11th, 2012


The 5th Annual Creative Freelancer Conference, June 21-22 in Boston (early bird deadline is April 30!), is rapidly approaching. For today’s podcast interview, we have Marcia Hoeck, giving us a preview of her session, …

Emails and letters are working for Jeff

April 2nd, 2012


Last time we talked, Jeff Tara from Brand Vue Design had gotten a client by sending an email (in which he shared his honest opinion about his favorite wine company’s new label). Recently laid off, this happened one week …

CFC 2012: Don’t drive yourself crazy with quantity

March 26th, 2012


One of the most popular speakers from last year's Creative Freelancer Conference, Allen Murabayashi, CEO of PhotoShelter, will be back this year …

CFC 2012: How to handle pricing for nonprofits

March 26th, 2012


The 5th Annual Creative Freelancer Conference, June 21-22 in Boston (early bird deadline is this Friday, March 30!), is rapidly approaching and for today’s podcast interview, we have Sarah Durham, Founder of Big Duck. …

CFC 2012: Should freelancers price differently than large firms?

March 26th, 2012


The 5th Annual Creative Freelancer Conference, June 21-22 in Boston (early bird deadline is this Friday, March 30!), is rapidly approaching and for today’s podcast interview, we have Cameron Foote, Editor of Creative …

CFC 2012: Can you be a wealthy freelancer?

March 23rd, 2012


As we get ready for the 5th Annual Creative Freelancer Conference, June 21-22 in Boston (early bird deadline is March 30!), we’re doing a podcast interview series with our speakers! Recently, we featured Dyana Valentine

CFC: Are you getting nickel-and-dimed?

March 19th, 2012


As we get ready for the 5th Annual Creative Freelancer Conference, June 21-22 in Boston, we’re doing a podcast interview series with our speakers! Recently, we featured Dyana Valentine, Mark O’Brien and Shane Pearlman.

CFC 2012: Planning for the First Year of Freelance?

March 16th, 2012


As we get ready for the 5th Annual Creative Freelancer Conference, June 21-22 in Boston, we’re doing a podcast interview series with our speakers! Recently, we featured Dyana Valentine and Mark O’Brien. Today, we have

Bryn’s approach to LinkedIn: narrow, participate, reach out.

March 12th, 2012


Bryn Mooth is an independent journalist and copywriter focused on food, wellness and creativity—she blogs at -- and I’ve been …

CFC 2012: Is content strategy missing from your web site?

March 9th, 2012


As we get ready for the 5th Annual Creative Freelancer Conference, June 21-22 in Boston, we’re doing a podcast interview series with our speakers! Last week we featured Dyana Valentine whose topic is “Pitch …

Podcast: What if you don’t want to choose a target market?

March 7th, 2012


Amy Graver’s design firm, Elements, positions themselves as a “virtual marketing department.” It’s a strong positioning for them—but the only challenge is, with such a potentially broad audience (Who doesn’t need a …

Podcast: What It Takes for an Email Newsletter to Get the Phone Ringing

February 29th, 2012

Stephanie Helline, Owner of Strategic Design Studio, had a very surprising response to her latest email newsletter. The topic was, “Is the Business …

Meet CFC speaker, Dyana Valentine

February 24th, 2012


Dyana Valentine is one of our favorite Creative Freelancer Conference speakers; we bring her back every year! This year at CFC (June 21-22nd in Boston) she is going to be talking about Pitch Perfect—and I interviewed …

Podcast: Jeff got 2 jobs in a week since website launch

February 22nd, 2012


“I've already landed 2 freelance jobs since I launched my website this week! Without your materials, I don’t think I would have been as prepared as I …

Bryn says, “This marketing stuff isn’t hard, except…”

February 8th, 2012


Last time I talked to independent journalist and copywriter, Bryn Mooth, from Writes4Food, she confessed to slowing down in December and paying the …

What kind of copywriter can you be?

February 1st, 2012


In this world where “content is king,” more and more of marketing is “content marketing.” With the need for content so vast—you can be a writer who specializes in exactly what a prospect needs, such as a web writer, …

Podcast: Bryn’s tax surprise

January 25th, 2012

When it comes to taxes, are you deducting everything you can?

Bryn wasn’t. 

Bryn Mooth is an independent journalist and copywriter at Writes4Food. …

Podcast: Are you paying the price for a checked-out December?

January 18th, 2012


Bryn Mooth is an independent journalist and copywriter at I’ve been checking-in with Bryn for the past 8 months (since she went …

Podcast: What do art buyers really care about?

January 13th, 2012


Recently I interviewed Scott Hull (, an agent for illustrators who, when you ask what he does, says he, “links creativity to the …

How to position your firm in 6 months (podcast)

December 13th, 2011


Sometimes, all you need is a kickstart.

That’s all it took for Julia Nable, co-founder (with her partner) of SandorMax, to decide how to position …

Crowdsourcing Podcast with Laurel Black

November 30th, 2011


We’ve been talking about crowdsourcing a lot on the Creative Freelancer Blog, and designer, Laurel Black, is central to every discussion.

So, I decided to do an interview with Laurel on some basics of crowdsourcing (from …

Podcast: How to craft winning proposals

November 16th, 2011


Should you be putting samples inside your proposals?

Should higher fees equal longer proposals?

What are the 5 basic elements every proposal should …

Podcast: What’s in copywriter Bob Bly’s proposal/agreement?

November 10th, 2011


Bob Bly, who has been a freelance copywriter since 1982 (and made millions doing it) generously shared his one-page agreement in the new Proposal …

Interview: What is a Request for Proposal (RFP)?

November 2nd, 2011


Do you know how to respond to a Request for Proposal? Recently, I joined Jim Blasingame to discuss:

  • How to prepare for a request for proposal (RFP)

How to find a market (without starting from scratch)

October 26th, 2011


If you know you need a target market—but don’t know where to start, this interview will help. Often, your market is right there in front of you, where you can see a need. Usually, it comes from your past experience. …

Interview with the illustration “king” of self-promotion, Daniel Pelavin

October 19th, 2011


Daniel Pelavin is entering his 5th decade as a typographic designer and illustrator. I had the pleasure of meeting him at the Graphic Artists Guild’s …

How should your proposal be delivered?

October 12th, 2011


Recently, I talked with Jim Blasingame, of Small Business Advocate, about proposals. Though we have a slightly different approach (he says don’t miss an opportunity, I say deliver only when you have a real chance of …

A new freelancer struggles with pricing

October 6th, 2011


Just 5 months into her new career as a freelance food writer, Bryn Mooth is already getting a lot of publicity and great projects. (Follow her …

Scared of embracing a target market?

September 28th, 2011


If you’re hesitant to focus on a target market, listen to this interview with Jennifer Neal, Owner of K9 Design Co. – I bet it will change your mind.

In a nutshell: in 2008, K9 was a busy family-owned design business …

Thinking about renaming your business?

September 21st, 2011


I recently interviewed Stacey King Gordon about her transition from being a freelancer known as “Night Writer Communications” to running her newly named content strategy firm, “Suite Seven,” which has 2 employees and …

When your biggest client disappears

September 6th, 2011


Neil Brown of Brown Advertising ( in Winston-Salem North Carolina recently faced a bit of a business crisis. His …

Talking budget with your clients

August 13th, 2011


I grabbed a few minutes with PhotoShelter's Vice President of Marketing, Andrew Fingerman, to talk about a particularly sticky issue - when and how …

Dealing with a case of the “I don’t wannas”?

August 8th, 2011


It’s 3 months into Bryn Mooth’s career as a freelance food writer, and I’ve been interviewing her along the way. (See our previous interviews: Asking Questions = Looking Stupid and The First Week as a Freelancer.)

In …

Follow up: How much is too much?

July 11th, 2011


Not following up with a contact you meet—is like not watering a seed that would otherwise sprout into an apple tree. Whether you’re back from CFC and …

Follow up: How to do it

July 11th, 2011


Not following up with a contact you meet—is like not watering a seed that would otherwise sprout into an apple tree. Whether you’re back from CFC and …

Thought leadership: Find their common problem

June 29th, 2011


Ann Siegle, President of Tria Marketing ( in Lansing, MI. has recently separated from her partners to embark on her own. She’s enjoying the transition, and in this interview, she shares …

Asking questions = looking stupid?

June 14th, 2011


If you’ve been following along with our story about Bryn Mooth, who left her 20-year publishing career to pursue a career as a freelance writer, …

Monthly billing: yes or no?

May 31st, 2011


Vivienne Scholl, from San Francisco-based Avenue 4 Design, commented recently on a Marketing Mix post about progress payments. She said:

We've …

The first week as a freelancer

May 10th, 2011


Bryn Mooth recently left 20-year career in publishing, and she’s embarking on her own as a freelance writer. Her blog at started as a way to spark her own creativity, and has turned into a business where …

Don't know how to raise your prices?

April 26th, 2011


I’ve been talking to clients lately to get a view inside the evolution of their business. A big signpost in the evolution journey is raising rates, …

If you’re doing too many “one-off” projects…

April 7th, 2011


"A lot of the jobs I was doing were one-off jobs,” said Stephen Hadley, owner of Houston-based Inkwell Media, a creative firm that produces employee newsletters and magazines for the oil and gas industry.

In business …

Where is Lauren now?

March 29th, 2011


At last year’s Creative Freelancer Conference, there was an attendee named Lauren Hybinette. She was employed by a company at the time, but she had an epiphany that made her decide, then and there, that she wanted to be …

Designer Finds Goldmine of Prospects

March 22nd, 2011


Designer (and Creative Freelancer Conference veteran), Charlene Tiedemann, was getting bits and pieces of work, but struggling with how to get more clients and how to become the boss. She didn’t know who the clients …

Results from one week’s worth of direct outreach

March 10th, 2011


Direct outreach works. Here’s proof. Eric Koby from fatrabbit CREATIVE talked about his direct outreach efforts (on his Advanced Marketing Group phone call), and he's given us permission to share it. Listen here...

How excited should you be about your market?

February 22nd, 2011


Now that most of my clients have chosen target markets, things are starting to happen. Some of them are thrilled to have finally found a market that is responding positively. Others are still struggling, especially …

{MONEY GUIDE} Talking price without alienating customers

February 14th, 2011


Ilise recently did an interview with QRCA, Qualitative Research Consultants Association, about talking price without alienating customers. Listen …

How one creative made the transition to full time freelancing

February 10th, 2011


Heather Parlato from Parlato Design talks about how she made the transition from a full-time job to full-time freelancing. In the interview, she …

Healthcare Target Market Starts to Pay Off

January 27th, 2011


Lisa Smith Youngdahl joined the Beginner Marketing Group in September 2009.

In the past year and a half, she has made great strides in her business.

One design firm's whirlwind year

January 18th, 2011


In this interview, Jennifer Neal from K9 Design describes how her company has increased their presence as experts in the publishing industry, and due to specific marketing efforts had a 30% increase in their business …

Do you need to be reminded about marketing?

January 11th, 2011


Do you need to be reminded about marketing? Ilise Benun joins Jim Blasingame to launch a new tool, the Marketing Mentor eCalendar, that will help you …

Are you reaching your marketing potential?

January 11th, 2011


Ilise Benun joins Jim Blasingame with marketing tips, including defining your profile customers and marketing to them strategically with the help of …

Would organizing tools help you become a better marketer?

January 11th, 2011


Would organizing tools help you become a better marketer? Ilise Benun joins Jim Blasingame to discuss how getting organized with technology tools …

One creative firm’s success with retainers more

January 3rd, 2011


In my recent interview with Janet Mobley from Fat Cat Strategies, she talks about:


  • Why 2010 came in like a lamb and went out like a lion

  • How they talk …

How one illustrator is getting business on LinkedIn

December 13th, 2010


In this interview, Ilise talks with talented illustrator, Tim Read, about the marketing tools that are working for his business. He shares:

Is marketing changing in the 21st century?

December 6th, 2010


How is marketing changing in the 21st century? Ilise Benun joins Jim Blasingame to discuss marketing in the new economy, the importance of relationships with customers and vendors, plus tips on developing and …

One creative firm's best year yet - find out why

November 19th, 2010


Cleveland Design is a firm that has been in business for nearly 20 years, and in this interview, Jonathan Cleveland, Principal, shares why this has …

How one creative firm found its positioning

November 3rd, 2010


Here's a recent interview Ilise did with Beth Brodovsky from Iris Creative.


There are two big questions that Ilise asks …

Are you really trying to get prospects?

November 1st, 2010


It sounds obvious, but when you go out looking for clients -- really looking -- you find them.

Ilise saw this last week in Martha Retallick's Prospecting Hour interview, and it is once again the simple lesson from Pam …

The prospecting hour

October 19th, 2010


Martha Retallick, of Western Sky Communications, told Ilise recently about her daily "Prospecting Hour."  

I don't know about the rest of this …

How can you connect with your ideal prospects?

September 9th, 2010


How do you identify and connect with your ideal prospect? Ilise Benun joins Jim Blasingame to talk about the perfect prospect for your small business, how to identify them and why this activity is so valuable.

Listen …

Mom's advice - Part 2

August 3rd, 2010


Remember all that advice Mom gave you when you were growing up? What if it’s hindering your success as a creative freelancer?

Listen in as I look closely at Mom's pearls of wisdom to see how applicable they are today -- …

Mom's advice - Part 1

August 3rd, 2010


Did your mom tell you not to brag?

We bet she didn’t know that one day you’d be creatively self-employed and have to promote yourself. In her new …

The benefits of multi-faceted marketing

July 20th, 2010


Check out Ilise's latest interview with Jim Blasingame of Small Buiness Advocate. In this interview, she and Jim talk about why you should …

Is your website marketing-smart?

June 29th, 2010


Does your website really resonate with your target audience? Ilise shares some checkpoints to help you ensure that your website is “marketing-smart.” If you’re not sure if your site is “hitting home” with your prospects …

Are you a business?

June 3rd, 2010


Are you coming to the Creative Freelancer Conference in Denver this weekend?

We hope so! But if you can't, here is the preview for Ilise's opening keynote, "You Are A Business."

Listen in...

Are you the needle or the haystack?

May 17th, 2010


Last week, Ilise had the pleasure of joining Andrew Fingerman, VP of Marketing at PhotoShelter, to talk about how photographers can effectively market themselves. (The concepts carry over to all creative pros.) Listen …

The Lazy Creative's Guide to Marketing

April 27th, 2010


Why waste time when you can devote your energy to what works for your business? Listen here as Ilise describes The Lazy Creative's Guide to Marketing.

Do you have what it takes? Preparation 5 Freedoms.

April 2nd, 2010


Do you have what it takes? Preparation & 5 Freedoms. From HOW Conference 2009's session: Do You Have What It Takes to Be A Successful Freelancer?

Do you have what it takes? Skills Personality Traits.

April 2nd, 2010


Do you have what it takes? Skills & Personality Traits. From HOW Conference 2009's session: Do You Have What It Takes to Be A Successful …

Do you have what it takes? Myths realities about freelancing.

April 2nd, 2010


Do you have what it takes? What's happening now in freelancing & and myths and realities about freelancing. From HOW Conference 2009's session:

Word of mouth ain't all that

March 31st, 2010


If you ask a creative how they get their clients, they often say, "through word of mouth." But is this the best way to get new clients? Probably not. Ilise takes a look at why Word of Mouth Ain't All That. Listen in.


Freelancers are small business owners too

March 17th, 2010


Here is an interview Ilise did with Jim Blasingame from the Small Business Advocate called: Freelancers are Small Business Owners too.

Week 52, Veterans Calendar- communicatrix- (Year in review)

December 30th, 2009


She made it! Listen in to find out if Colleen's year-long commitment to marketing worked...

Week 51, Veterans Calendar- communicatrix- (The pain of not scheduling)

December 29th, 2009


It's the second-to-last week in Colleen's year-long marketing adventure, but never too late (or too painful) to learn a
really valuable lesson. …

Week 50, Veterans Calendar- communicatrix- (Where opportunity hangs out)

December 26th, 2009


At Week 50, a few events occurred that had Colleen taking a long look back at where they came from. The answers speak strongly to the benefits of …

Week 49, Veterans Calendar- communicatrix- (Growing pains)

December 8th, 2009


Week 49 brought some serious and unexpected lessons for Colleen: one bitter, one very, very sweet. Listen in...


Week 48, Veterans Calendar- communicatrix- (Thankful)

December 8th, 2009


For Colleeen, Week 48 was a rare week off—from marketing, anyway. Listen to the story on when and why that can be a good idea (and what makes it …

Week 47, Veterans Calendar- communicatrix- (Marketing is talking to people)

December 3rd, 2009


Week 47 found Colleen continuing her two-week tour of the Pacific Northwest, combining (marketing) work with pleasure in a way that had her …

Week 46, Veterans Calendar- communicatrix- (Chill marketing)

November 15th, 2009


46 weeks into this venture, Colleen can say with surety that the best kind of marketing doesn't feel like marketing at all. Listen in.

Week 45, Veterans Calendar- communicatrix- (Getting here from there)

November 8th, 2009


A busy week of no real marketing-marketing turned out to be the perfect opportunity for Colleen to review the role that her marketing machine had on …

Week 44: Prospecting

November 4th, 2009


Here is an interview that Ilise did with Kim Duke, the Sales Diva, for Prosperity Cafe. It's all about finding prospects. Listen in...

Week 44, Veterans Calendar- communicatrix- (Cumulative marketing)

November 2nd, 2009


This week, the issue of "regular" marketing is suddenly reframed for Colleen: not only is it a marathon, not a sprint (and cumulative, in a most …

Week 43, Veterans Calendar- communicatrix- (Odds ends)

October 27th, 2009


Welcome to Week 43. This week, Colleen has realized that marketing is becoming as much a part of her routine as brushing her teeth. Listen in...

Week 42, Veterans Calendar- communicatrix- (Lessons learned)

October 20th, 2009


Ever feel like you wish you could turn back time and "unpublish" something really stupid that you did? This week was like that for Colleen. Check out …

Week 41, Veterans Calendar- communicatrix- (No more!)

October 13th, 2009


Colleen is continuing to streamline at a steady pace since her freakout of a few weeks back. She's moving toward her stated goals of clearing backlog …

Week 40, Veterans Calendar- communicatrix- (Regrouping)

October 6th, 2009


With just 12 weeks left in the year, Colleen is taking a look backward at what's been not-so-hot and what's been fun, valuable and energizing. And …

Week 39, Veterans Calendar- communicatrix- (Planning to fail)

September 25th, 2009


Colleen attended two events this week that have already changed her life—marketing and otherwise—significantly. Listen in to find out more.

Week 38, Veterans Calendar- communicatrix- (Short 'n' sweet)

September 18th, 2009


This was one of those weeks where Colleen had to push a little extra hard because so many opportunities came up. Listen in...

Week 38: Now is the Perfect Time for Marketing

September 14th, 2009


Welcome to Week 38! Did you know that NOW is the perfect time for marketing?  Listen in to find out why...

Week 37, Veterans Calendar- communicatrix- (Shutting up)

September 13th, 2009


One great thing about practicing your marketing everyday (other than, we hope, getting better at it) is that after a while, you have lessons thrown …

Week 36, Veterans Calendar- communicatrix- (Looking back to move forward)

September 5th, 2009


It's not everyday that you get yourself. But to commemorate having 2/3rds of a Marketing Mentor calendar under her belt, that's just …

Week 35, Veterans Calendar- communicatrix- (The art of the conference)

September 1st, 2009


Ready to learn the right way to prep for a conference? Colleen shares the mistakes she's made prepping (or not) for conferences and gigs in the past …

Week 34, Veterans Calendar- communicatrix- (It's all in the ask)

August 26th, 2009


What do you do if you're not good at asking for stuff? You look at why. You look at when you have asked, and when you haven't, and what's different. …

Week 33, Veterans Calendar- communicatrix- (Chunking time)

August 21st, 2009


Have you found a schedule that works for you?  This week, Colleen looks into the topic of scheduling and how finding one that's right for you is so …

Week 33: Curiosity, Patience and Self Confidence

August 17th, 2009


This week, Ilise is busy getting ready for the Creative Freelancer Conference in San Diego (it starts in 9 days but it's not too late to register). Here is a short (12 minute) excerpt from the session she gave at the …

Week 32, Veterans Calendar- communicatrix- (Bandwidth and reach)

August 11th, 2009


This past week, Colleen sent out her 28th email newsletter.  She says things are starting to happen as she tightens her focus and feels it makes for …

Week 31, Veterans Calendar- communicatrix- (Eating elephants)

August 6th, 2009


Colleen says that getting your marketing machine up and running is a big endeavor that takes time, patience and a big appetite, much like eating the …

Week 31: Your July goals (and mine)

August 3rd, 2009


This week, Ilise tells how she met her July goals, and shares some useful resources to help you meet yours too.

Week 30, Veterans Calendar- communicatrix- (Marketing on the road)

July 30th, 2009


This week, Colleen takes to the road!  She learns how she's grown, and also  where there's still room to do so.  She calls the week of traveling …

Week 30: Why I don't like word of mouth

July 28th, 2009


This week's sound advice is the first 10 minutes of the workshop Ilise gave for creative freelancers at the recent HOW Conference in Austin. It starts with her perspective on what's happening now in the economy (and why …

Week 29, Veterans Calendar- communicatrix- (Systems and being systematic)

July 24th, 2009


Colleen makes personal marketing history this week!  She calls week 29 the week when everything finally came together. She's really beginning to …

Week 27, Veterans Calendar- communicatrix- (Accountability, flexibility and room)

July 10th, 2009


Type-A personality?  This week Colleen offers a new perspective on business, and demonstrates how she's growing and changing.

Week 27: Is it spec work?

July 6th, 2009


Welcome to week 27!  This week, Ilise talks to Jonathan Cleveland of Cleveland Design.  He recently got a project from a travel company with no travel experience by submitting a few designs!  But is it spec work?  …

Week 26, Veterans Calendar- communicatrix- (The view from halfway)

July 2nd, 2009


At the halfway point in the year, Colleen takes a moment to reflect.  She shares what she's learned about marketing by doing it every day for the …

Week 26: We're half way there!

July 1st, 2009


Today is the first day of 3rd quarter. We are half way through the year, the perfect time to look back and look forward to realistically assess what we've done and what we need to be improve. Listen in for Ilise's …

Week 25, Veterans Calendar- communicatrix- (Marketing as behavior)

June 26th, 2009


This week was all about support for Colleen, both learning the difference it made for her personally, and realizing what a difference it would make …

Week 25: How to approach a new market

June 23rd, 2009


When Ilise was in Boston last week, she had dinner with longtime client Jonathan Cleveland. He told her a great story about how he got a project for …

Week 24, Veterans Calendar- communicatrix- (This one goes to eleven)

June 17th, 2009


Watch out for Colleen, she's really building stamina now. In addition to its cumulative positive effect on your business and cashflow, this week, …

Week 24: One way to set yourself apart

June 16th, 2009


How can you really set yourself apart from the competition?  In this week's sound advice tip, Ilise will share what is making people stand out and getting them jobs.

Week 23: Here's my cold calling strategy

June 11th, 2009


Ilise has been on a cold calling roll this week.  Listen in to hear her strategy.

Week 23, Veterans Calendar- communicatrix- (What does the marketing add up to?)

June 9th, 2009


Now that we're about halfway through the year, Colleen takes a look at the question of how to measure all this marketing and networking.  How is it …

Week 22, Veterans Calendar- communicatrix- (Me-time in a crowded week)

June 5th, 2009


This week, Colleen shares her renewed appreciation of the Grow Your Business Marketing Plan & Calendar, and the art of planning in general.  …

Week 22: Where the work is, right now

June 1st, 2009


Everyone's asking: what markets are growing (or declining the least)?  An article in the New York Times gives some insight to one market that might …

Week 21, Veterans Calendar- communicatrix- (Reasons this week worked)

May 27th, 2009


As Colleen got back in the saddle, she had a great, productive, FUN week of work and marketing. To discover the "why" behind it, she takes some time …

Week 21: This week's marketing tasks

May 26th, 2009


Hope you had a good Memorial Day weekend-- and now it's back to work!  Listen in to get some inspriration from Ilise.

Week 20, Veterans Calendar- communicatrix- (Unsticking yourself)

May 24th, 2009


Blind spots and struggles.  We all have them.  And this week, Colleen  realizes that by sharing openly with people, you can get some great help …

Week 20: How are the calls going?

May 18th, 2009


Welcome to Week 20! How is the marketing plan + calendar working for you?  This week, Start Up Plan users should be cold calling, and Veterans should …

Week 19, Veterans Calendar- communicatrix- (Lessons from maintenance mode)

May 18th, 2009


Still recovering, Colleen talks about what she did accomplish this week (which would seem to be an impressive work load to anybody else!).  She also …

Week 18, Veterans Calendar- communicatrix- (Full stop)

May 5th, 2009


Even when she's sick in bed, Colleen still manages to see the bright side, providing 3 great tips to help anyone's self employment journey.  Check …

Week 18: Did you Reach your April Goal?

May 4th, 2009


Welcome to May!  How was April for you... did you reach your April goal?  This month, it's time for Veterans to work on their "un-newsletter" and Start Up's to begin their research calling.  Listen in for details.

Week 17, Veterans Calendar- communicatrix- (Failing to plan, and other lessons from the road)

April 30th, 2009


In this week's episode, Colleen discusses the cold, harsh realities of what happens when things go haywire. The truth is, we learn some of our best …

Week 17: Cold Calling Tidbit #3

April 28th, 2009


In the third audio cupcake, Ilise and Colleen talk about the realistic and unrealisitc expectations that go along with cold calling... none of which …

Week 16, Veterans Calendar- communicatrix- (Marketing on the go)

April 23rd, 2009


A jam packed week of travel had Colleen thinking a lot about her marketing. Reinspired, she asks the question: Can marketing be a tool for changing …

Week 16, Day 1: Getting Publicity

April 20th, 2009


Getting publicity can help you gain exposure to your prospects and it's a great way to enhance your other marketing efforts.  Ilise gives some tips on getting publicity for your business in today's tip.

Week 16: Cold Calling Tidbit #2

April 20th, 2009


Today, Ilise and Coleen talk about a common roadblock to cold calling.  The discuss the question: Do you need to have something ready to send before …

Week 15, Veterans Calendar- communicatrix- (Life happens)

April 19th, 2009


Things went slightly awry for Colleen this week because of life's surprises, (but she still managed to attend two formal events, a breakfast meeting, …

Week 15, Day 1: Cold Calling Tidbit #1

April 13th, 2009


Today's cold calling tidbit answers the question: Should you leave a voice mail message? Listen in to find out...

Week 14, Veterans Calendar- communicatrix- (Just go)

April 13th, 2009


When it comes to taking the next step in marketing, Colleen realizes that a common pitfall is the idea that you'll never totally be ready. …

Week 14, Day 1: Interview with Jennifer Neal, K9 Design

April 6th, 2009


Today Ilise checks in with Jennifer Neal from K9 Design.  Has Jennifer's marketing efforts gotten her results this quarter?  Listen in to find out.

Week 13, Veterans Calendar- communicatrix- (Star Wars Marketing)

March 31st, 2009


Colleen is really moving now.  And she's offering a different perspective on marketing this week-- Star Wars Marketing.  With her unique ability to …

Week 13, Day 1: Get a little PR

March 30th, 2009


Welcome to Week 13! Start Up followers will turn their newly launched website into promotional materials, Veteran's will use their newly re-launched …

Week 12, Veterans Calendar- communicatrix- (Following up keeping on)

March 25th, 2009


Every small business owner gets their inspiration and support from somewhere, and in this week's post, Colleen shares where she gets hers from... The …

Week 12, Day 1: Why you should pick up the phone

March 23rd, 2009


Are you hiding behind email?  Ilise talks about how picking up the phone this week has made a difference in her business, and how it can make a difference in yours. Listen in to see why... 

Week 11, Veterans Calendar- communicatrix- (Conferences are marketing, too)

March 19th, 2009


Giving herself permission  to put the Grow your Business Marketing Plan + Calendar on hold, Colleen immerses herself in the South by Southwest …

Week 11, Day 1: I'm back...and a favor

March 16th, 2009


This week, it's time to finish your marketing smart website.  Also in today's podcast, Ilise answers a question from a client: "We are behind in our research calls because we have been making lots and lots of calls to …

Week 10, Veterans Calendar- communicatrix- (Why I Slipped and Why I Prep)

March 11th, 2009


This week, Colleen struggles to keep up her lofty goals for 2009 and finds herself slipping.  She realizes that the way things are going, it's …

Week 9, Day 4: Facebook for Feedback

March 5th, 2009


How can you make sure your website is marketing smart?  How can you be more like Google?  And how can you use Facebook to better launch your website.  Listen to today's audio clip to find out. Ilise has also come up …

Week 9: Veterans Calendar- communicatrix- (A website is a work in progress!)

March 5th, 2009


This week, Colleen talks about the work in progress that is her website.  She also discusses the difficulties of being the (self-proclaimed) world's …

Week 9, Day 1: March is here! How to Get Feedback

March 2nd, 2009


Welcome to March! We've been spending a lot of time on our web presence.  Today, Ilise talks about how to get the most useful feedback on your site.  …

February Wrap Up

February 27th, 2009


Goals, goals, goals!  Ilise gets personal and talks about her goals and how she's doing with them.  Listen in to find out. How far have you come towards your monthly goal for February?  The good news is, March is just …

Week 8: Veterans Calendar- communicatrix (Newsletters and other webalicious marketing)

February 24th, 2009


She's a self-proclaimed militant fanatic-maniac when it comes to newsletters.  This week, Colleen is rocking and rolling-- getting her newsletter …

Week 8, Day 1: Wrapping up your online presence

February 23rd, 2009


We're into week 8 and making some serious progress!  Great job!  This week, it's time to wrap up your online presence.  Listen in for some guidance and inspiration. 

Week 7, Day 4: Blog or Newsletter?

February 19th, 2009


Ah, the age old question... Blog or newsletter-- which one should you have for your business?  Ilise discusses the pro's and con's, and helps you …

Week 7: Veterans Calendar- communicatrix- (See my site, hire my brain)

February 19th, 2009


Following the Grow Your Business Marketing Plan + Calendar has inspired Colleen to get some longstanding goals checked off her list.  She's pulled …

Week 7, Day 1: Case Studies

February 16th, 2009


Welcome to week 7! Do your clients ever ask for more information about exactly what you do?  A case study is the perfect way to tell them.  Here is the format that Bending Design uses for their case studies-Project, …

Week 6, Day 4: Excellent Examples of Links Pages

February 12th, 2009


Want to see what a good links page looks like?  Check them out here!  Ilise talks about each page, and tells us why they're excellent.  If you're working on a resource page-- these are sure to help.

Karen Zapp, …

Week 6: Veterans Calendar- communicatrix- (Expressing your Expertise)

February 12th, 2009


Want to demonstrate your expertise and help people at the same time? Then it's time to make a resource page on your website! This week, Colleen talks …

Week 6, Day 1: Your links page

February 9th, 2009


Do you have a website?  If not, it's time to get started on making one.  If you do, it's time to refresh your content and develop a resource or links page. This week, Ilise talks about how to develop a resource page or …

Week 5: Veterans Calendar- communicatrix- (Do your bios suck?)

February 9th, 2009


Have you ever had trouble putting what you do into words?  This week, Colleen shares a three-step tool that will help you write a powerful bios for …

Week 5: Who (and how) to endorse

February 5th, 2009


One of the best ways to get new clients-- is to have them read (or hear) the wonderful things that other's have said about working with you.  In this …

2009: Week 5 (Day 21)- Your social networking profiles

February 2nd, 2009


Did you meet your goals for January?  If not, take a few minutes today to create your goals for February. The focus for February is developing your online presence with social networking sites like, …

Week 4: Veterans Calendar- communicatrix- (Ramping it up YOUR way!)

January 29th, 2009


This week, Colleen isn't sharing demos or how-tos, but a cautionary tale about what not to do.  Remember, it's important to do one task at a time and …

2009: Week 3: Interview with Jennifer Neal of K9 Design

January 22nd, 2009


Today, Ilise interviews Jennifer Neal from K9 Design. Jennifer reveals the tools that make up her "Marketing Machine" and descibes exactly how she …

Week 3: Veteran's Calendar- communicatrix- Cold Calls!

January 22nd, 2009


This week, Colleen tackles unchartered terrian with her very first cold call ever.  Was it as bad as she'd imagined?  Listen in to find out!  You …

2009: Week 3- Listen to this free consultation with designer Dennis G.

January 19th, 2009


Check out this free consultation Ilise had with Dennis G. Dennis is a designer in Indiana who generously agreed to let Ilise tape the phone …

2009: Week 2, Day 5- Is your target market mushy?

January 16th, 2009


How are you doing at the end of two weeks?  Is your target market clear, or mushy? Have you found a list you can work with, events you can attend, or places you can interact with your prospects?  Listen in for some …

Week 2: Veteran's Calendar- communicatrix (Prepping for the Dreaded Cold Call)

January 15th, 2009


Colleen, aka the communicatrix, will be straight with you- she hates cold calls.  Here, she talks about how she's putting aside her hatred and …

2009: Week 2, Day 4- Are you still listening?

January 15th, 2009


Are you still listening?  Good job!  It's important that you don't give up. Just a few minutes each day can make a big difference in the long run. Listen in today for some more guidance and inspiration. 

2009: Week 2, Day 3- Don't get overwhelmed

January 14th, 2009


Marketing doesn't have to be overwhelming.  Today, Ilise deals with not getting overwhelmed, and answers a few questions about trade associations.  …

2009: Week 2, Day 2- Lists of Actual Prospects

January 13th, 2009


Things are really moving now-- it's time to get a list together of actual prospects!  Listen in, and for your reference, here are the links Ilise …

2009: Week 2, Day 1: Trade Associations Galore

January 12th, 2009


After a successful week 1, we're on to week 2!  Today it's time to look more closely at the trade associations you've found.  What kind of contact …

Week 1: Veteran's Calendar- communicatrix (Wrangling your contacts)

January 9th, 2009


Marketing Mentor's Colleen Wainwright, aka communicatrix, begins her 52-week marketing endeavor with the Grow Your Business Marketing Plan + Calendar …

2009: Week 1, Day 5- What to Look for in a Market

January 9th, 2009


You've found some trade associations for the markets you're interested in-- now what?  Now it's time to find out which ones will make your marketing …

2009: Week 1, Day 4- How to Choose a Viable Market

January 8th, 2009


Today you will take your list of 3 possible markets and figure out which market will be the most viable for you.  It's important that the market you choose needs you, realizes that they need you--and is willing to pay …

2009: Week 1, Day 3- Identify your Market

January 7th, 2009


It's time to identify your market!  Every successful business needs a well-oiled marketing machine to keep the prospects coming, and that marketing …

2009: Week 1, Day 2- Set your goals how much marketing?

January 6th, 2009


How much marketing should you do?  Find out in today's tip.  Also, today is the day to set some quantifiable goals for the year ahead.    And don't …

2009: Week 1, Day 1- Let's get started!

January 6th, 2009


Week 1, Day 1- It's time to get revved up for a successful year of marketing!  Which tools should you use? How can you make sure your pipeline is …

Episode 13- Ch 12: How Should I Grow My Business?

July 20th, 2008


What does it mean to grow your business?  Everybody has a different definition.  To some it means moving out of the spare bedroom, to others it means making more money. In Episode 13, we will help you take a detailed …

Episode 12- Ch 11: What Should Be in My Contract?

July 13th, 2008


You got the job!  But it's not time to celebrate just yet.  Before you get to work on the project, there is some business to take care of.  A contract! Episode 12 will talk you through contracts, why you need one, and …

Episode 11- Ch 10: What Should Be in My Proposal?

July 7th, 2008


Proposals- documents that detail what you do for a client and under what terms- are essential to the selling process.  In Episode 11, we discuss your …

Episode 10- Ch 9: How Do I Talk About Money?

June 30th, 2008


Here's the reality. You are in business, and you can't do business without dealing with money.  In Episode 10, we deal with the ever important question, How Do I Talk About Money? You will learn that your prospects …

Episode 9- Ch 8: What Should I Charge?

June 23rd, 2008


The fact is, most designers are not charging enough.  In this podcast, we cover the nuts and bolts of estimating a project and figuring out how much …

Episode 8- Ch 7: How Do I Manage My Money?

June 16th, 2008


There are two aspects to the pricing side of your business: how you deal with your own issues about money, and how you deal with your clients.  Episode 8 shows you how to deal with your own money issues.  Until your own …

Epidode 7- Ch 6: How Should I Follow Up?

June 9th, 2008


It's important to be in front of your prospects.  If you are, they will be more likely to think of you and send a project your way!  In Episode 7, we …

Episode 6- Ch 5: What Should I Say?

June 2nd, 2008


One of the biggest obstacles to marketing is not time or money.  It's not knowing what to say.  In Episode 5, you'll learn about what to say to prospects and clients in all sorts of situations: In person, on the phone, …

Episode 5- Ch4: Which Marketing Tools Should I Use?

May 26th, 2008


Podcast episode #5 talks about networking, e-mail marketing, online marketing, cold calling and promotional materials, and discusses which of these …

Episode 4- Ch 3: How Should I Present Myself?

May 18th, 2008


It's not just corporations that need to brand themselves. Individuals and small businesses need to stand out from the crowd too!  Find out how in Chapter 3's podcast, How Do I Present Myself?  This chapter deals …

Episode 3- Ch 2, Part 2: How Can I Find Clients and Prospects?

May 12th, 2008


The second episode of Chapter 2, How Can I Find Clients and Prospects, deals specifically with small design businesses and how they can find profitable new clients and viable prospects.

Episode 2- Ch 2, Part 1: How Can I Find Clients and Prospects?

May 5th, 2008


Chapter 2, How Can I Find Clients and Prospects, is broken down into 2 episodes.  The first episode shows solopreneurs how to find clients and …

Episode 1- Ch1: Who is My Market?

April 22nd, 2008


Chapter 1: This podcast answers the question, Who is My Market?  Designers will pinpoint the best market for them, learn how to dominate that market, and understand why specialization is so important to the success and …

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