Today I’m talking shop with designer Kory Woodard. Kory has an eye for minimal design, and a blog that is packed with sound advice for bloggers and creatives, as well as insights into her design process.
Tell us a little about yourself, and your business
Alrighty, I’m Kory, 22, and I run a small design business. I primarily work with women who are ready to take their blog or branding up a notch. I’ve been in business for about 21 months, since I was a junior in college, and I absolutely love it. Doing work that I love just fuels me like crazy, and I’m passionate about helping other women get to the point of working for themselves as well.
How long have you been a designer?
I would say I’ve been a designer since I was about 13. Back in middle school I played around creating designs for my Xanga blog, I explored creating icons and little graphics on LiveJournal, and so on.
Do you have formal education in design, or are you self-taught?
A little of both, I’d say. I have a degree in Visual Communications, so obviously I have a formal education, but I would also say that I’m a little self-taught. As for my coding knowledge, I’m comfortable saying I’m entirely self-taught there!
You say you’re an introvert, (me too!) what’s the hardest part about running a business as an introvert?
Having clients who’d like to talk on the phone and trying to build up my consulting side of business with video chats. I’m so much more comfortable with email, so those things are hard for me. Luckily, those clients who want to talk on the phone are few and far between. As for the video chats, I try to do more because I know the more I do the more comfortable I’ll get 🙂
What was the hardest part about starting your business?
Without a doubt I’d say finding clients. I get lots of emails from other freelancers who want advice on finding clients, and it’s hard to give back something that’s not disheartening. I found my first clients through Twitter and a few referrals, thank goodness for those referrals! It’s hard, but you just have to keep putting yourself out there.
What’s the first thing you do when you meet a new potential client?
The first thing I do is have them fill out my design questionnaire form. I know that I’m not a good fit for everyone, and that’s one of the first ways to find out if I am. I ask questions like what their blog or business is about, their budget, and what sites or brands they really love. It’s fun because I usually see all these great designs that I’ve never seen before, and I also can get to know the person a little rather than just jumping straight into work with them.
Where does most of your business come from?
This is a toss up! I would say it’s half and half around now. Half of my clients are referrals from other designers or past clients, and the other half comes from social media. I work hard to keep my name out there and associated with design so that when someone needs design, they or their followers may think of me!
What makes you stand out from other designers?
I have an eye for minimal design. In college, my professors didn’t always like that; however, most of my clients are looking for that. Since I work primarily with bloggers, they’re looking for designs that aren’t going to distract the reader from the content they spend a lot of time on. I truly believe that my designs are the perfect mix of minimal yet they have enough personality to relate to the blogger or brand!
You share a lot of great advice on your blog, what advice would you give a reader who wants to start a blog?
Just do it! I could say a lot on this topic (just ask my fiancée or my friends), but it comes down to just doing it. We all have something unique to share with the world, and there is always going to be someone out there who wants your experience with X, Y, and Z over the other persons’ so why not share it? So, if you’ve been thinking about starting a blog, just do it already!
You say you like tea, what’s your favorite flavor?
That’s a no brainer… chai! I especially love the vanilla chai. Also – for my fellow apple cider and chai lovers, next time you go to Starbucks, get a Caramel Apple Spice with 2 Shots of Chai. You’ll thank me later.