Special offer for friends of Shillington! $100 OFF Anna Dower’s Design Biz Bootcamp. Enrollment opens mid-February 2018. Use the code: shillington100
Anna Dower is a graphic designer, entrepreneur and creative mentor that harnesses 20 years of industry experience to enlighten, empower and elevate the businesses of graphic designers on a mission to make their mark. She shares lots of amazing (free!) resources, offers mentoring services and created Design Biz Bootbamp, a 6-week ecourse to ‘overnight’ design biz success.
A bunch of Shillington graduates have worked with Anna in the past and give a major stamp of approval. Here’s what they had to say:
Mayte Pell, Shillington New York Graduate on Design Biz Bootcamp: “My favorite modules were those that were focused on getting rid of money blocks and learning how to communicate with clients in a way that makes us look amazing and at the same time sets the right boundaries.”
She shares all of her processes, cheat sheets and forms as well, which is frankly invaluable. It’s like a roadmap to success.
Danielle Hall, Shillington Sydney Graduate on Anna’s Designer Boss-Ladies Facebook Group: “She has created such an amazing, supportive network of girl bosses that have helped me in sticky situations, and I love the flipside of being able to help out other designers. I wish I had found her sooner!”
Leah Mayes, Shillington Brisbane Graduate on Anna’s mission: “As women, I think we all try and squeeze too much into our already busy lives. Anna’s mission is to help other women discover their strengths, focus on them and work smarter, not harder to make a successful living as a Designer. As a mother of two school-aged children, and having built my career around working for others, running my own design business was becoming a real chore. Not anymore! It’s certainly a breath of fresh air to hear Anna talk about working less hours to make more money. If you haven’t considered joining Anna’s e-course, or if you can afford personal mentoring, she is amazing! So much love for Anna.”
Frankie Young, Shillington Brisbane Graduate on Anna’s mentoring: “Mentorship is really important when you want take that next step up from side-hustle. Anna helped me understand the necessary processes to streamline my business, allowing me to work more efficiently. Designers can be great at their job, but lack the knowledge of how to run a successful business. Having worked in design studios and freelanced for about three years, I had an understanding of what I needed to do, but no idea where to even begin. It was a little daunting to set out to run my own show full-time.”
Anna’s mentoring was invaluable in providing me with a clear direction and actionable steps to build up both my branding and website, and get a handle on the business side of things through clear communication and client management processes.
“Without Anna’s guidance I wouldn’t have pushed my brand design and content as far as I did, transforming a freelance portfolio site into a full studio website complete with downloadable client kits.”
Melissa Cashman, Shillington Graduate on Design Biz Bootcamp: “The course helped me define what sort of work I wanted to do, who I wanted to do it for and, most importantly—how to do it! It covered all of the important stuff that you need to put around your core design skills to run a successful and profitable business.”
Read on to hear more about Anna, links to valuable resources and what you could potentially get out of Design Biz Bootcamp!
Tell us about your creative journey.
I was one of those weird kids that just knew what they wanted to do when they grew up.
I was obsessed with paper and drawing. I took my pen and paper with me everywhere I went and I had a serious hoarding problem with my artwork. My cupboards were stuffed with drawings I simply couldn’t bear to part with.
It was never a question: I was going to be a designer.
So when it came time to graduate high school, I happily enrolled in art college and loved every single minute of my two-year diploma in design.
The future was looking bright.
That was, until I started my first job working for a graphic design studio where my sole purpose in life was to create soul-sucking real estate ads.
Yep, they have graphic designers for real estate ads. It wasn’t something I’d thought about before then either.
You’d think I’d have high-tailed it out of there like my butt was on fire, but I actually stuck it out for ten (very long, very dull) years before I decided to start my own business.
And then, THEN, my future lit up like a Christmas tree.
I’ve now had my own design business for over ten years and have been a mentor for designers for nearly four years.
What led you to wanting to support women in business and share all your secrets to “fellow boss ladies”?
Even though design has always been my jam, it hasn’t always been easy figuring out how to make a living doing what I love.
It was a hard slog getting from where I was (stuck, lost, overwhelmed, unsure how the heck to even run a business) to where I am (making a – helluva – living doing what I love).
And it wasn’t until I got really clear on some vital elements of my biz – including who I wanted to work with – that my business skyrocketed.
Wanna know something though? It took me ten years to make that journey.
But if I’d had a mentor that had shown me the ropes, I could have saved myself all of that time (and late nights wondering wtf I was doing with my life).
Today, I am SO proud to work with designers who are at where I was so I can be that mentor that accelerates their growth and business success. That’s what lights me up.
Because the truth is that there is more than enough clients for all of us and we all deserve to win.
You’ve written some super-helpful content for aspiring designers. Could you link to 5-10 of your most popular blog articles as a starter kit?
You’ve mentored and taught a handful of Shillington graduates. Can you tell us about those experiences?
Frankie and Danielle were both in my last round of the Design Biz Bootcamp and over the last few months I have had the pleasure of watching them grow in confidence and business capability.
At the beginning of Bootcamp, both ladies were lost and confused. They wanted to run successful graphic design businesses, but they didn’t know where to start and how to start.
Today, their stories are dramatically different.
After putting into place everything she learnt in Bootcamp, Danielle has been flooded with new client work.
Frankie is now crystal clear on her brand personality and visual identity and has done an incredible job at creating a new look for her business that is completely aligned with who she is and who she wants to work with.
I have no doubt that both ladies will achieve their best year yet in their businesses.
I am super proud of both of them – and all of my graduates!
Tell us about Design Biz Bootcamp. Who should sign up and what will they get?
The Design Biz Bootcamp is a complete system that, over six week, shares everything I’ve learned over the last 10 + years of growing my design business and my students’ businesses.
You’ll learn the exact systems, strategies, mindsets, and hands-on tactics that make up my six-figure business strategy – a system that brings an endless stream of AWESOME new clients to my business day in and day out.
You can join the VIP waitlist now for the February enrolment here – www.designbizbootcamp.com
What’s your biggest piece of advice for design students?
My biggest piece of advice would be: Don’t get STUCK!
It is so easy to get stuck in a job that sucks your soul doesn’t allow you to be creative! #speakingfromexperience
Instead, look for a mentor and a community that lifts you up and pushes you to be the best designer you can be.
And don’t forget—special offer for friends of Shillington! $100 OFF Anna Dower’s Design Biz Bootcamp. Enrollment opens mid-February 2018. Use the code: shillington100