Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Chris Hannon, Founder of Chris Hannon Creative, located in Seattle, WA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I’m in the business of helping designers create job-winning design portfolios. My customers are designers who are looking to upgrade their design portfolios – from those that are just starting out to well-seasoned designers who just haven’t had to search for work for a while. I want every designer to get promoted, be paid more, and be better partners to their design clients and teams.
Tell us about yourself
I first got started in what is essentially design education after a lengthy stint of being a designer and speaking with younger designers entering the field. I realized that many of them hadn’t been exposed to the business side of the conversation, and as a result, their approach to their portfolios was less than ideal for winning a job in today’s fast-paced market. There can be a big difference between what you learn in school and what employers are looking to hear, and I wanted to close that gap.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Honestly, I think the thing I am most proud of was that first sale. It was challenging to put all the pieces together. I didn’t really know anything about marketing, content generation, sales funnels, etc.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Well, there is a lot to think about, and I got overwhelmed the more I learned. More specifically, I think learning to collect and understand the data about your target market and sales versus your beliefs about those categories when you start out can be ambiguous and intimidating. I knew I had good content and something to offer, but it was hard to find my market and calibrate my marketing efforts toward what my data was showing me. That and finding the time. I have had to put a lot of things for my business on autopilot, and it has been hard to get back to making things fresh.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Figure out what your weak spots are and invest in courses or knowledge in these areas. As a business owner, there are lots of things you may be good at, but chances are you are not going to be great at all of them. Search Google or YouTube to find courses (paid or otherwise) that can help you fill the gaps.
- Find mentors who can motivate you. Business is a marathon, and sometimes it can feel like a slog. I like to listen to folks like Justin Welsh or Gary Vaynerchuk, who can help me from both an execution point of view as well as a motivational point of view, and make them a regular part of my media intake.
- Go for volume, not perfection. Again, channeling Gary Vee and Justin Welsh here – I really struggle with generating the content, and I think the key really is going for volume when it comes to social media and where the intention is. With that in mind, there are mentors out there who can help you crack the code to generating content in a way that is scalable and manageable.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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