Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in freelancing but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Christopher Corr, Founder of Chris Studios, located in Chicago, IL, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I am a graphic designer who focuses primarily on social media branding and the sports industry. My clients can really be anyone, but my specialty and focus right now are on digital/social media designs and an emphasis on the sports industry.
Tell us about yourself
My name is Chris Corr, and I have been a graphic designer for over nine years. What sets me apart from most is that I am self-taught. The way I was able to get my start was I started creating YouTube videos almost a decade ago, and that led to me having to create and design assets for my own channel. Eventually, others started hiring me to design theirs, and it kind of took off from there. Throughout the years, I have been able to work with thousands of clients in all industries and thousands of different types of projects and create lasting connections that have turned this into a career for me. Currently, I am a graphic designer at The United States Golf Association and am hoping to build upon having a career in creative within the sports industry. I hope to leave a lasting mark on the industry itself and set new trends while progressing through various roles within the industry.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
For me, the most rewarding aspect of being creative is that I am able to make visions into reality. Now, this might not be the case at all times, but still, the ability to take an idea from my head and create it visually is a skill that not everyone may have. On top of this, one of the best and most rewarding aspects for me is seeing my work in the wild. This may mean a social post, a printed copy, etc., there was a time when I created a poster that was handed out at a Chicago Cubs game, and this experience truly changed my life. My artwork was not only used at the game but appeared on TV and social media, and I was able to attend the game and see hundreds of fans walking around with my artwork in their hands.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
I think the hardest thing is marketing yourself. As the owner, there is no one else helping you get clients or get your name out there and recognized. It is important and key for you to take this on with as much importance as doing the work or learning your skillset itself because, without great marketing and clients, your work will lead to nothing.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
The first tip I would give is to start. It may sound simple, but a lot of people keep pushing it off each day, and then it never ends up happening. If you're afraid of failing, then that is not a reason not to pursue it. You need to fail fast and fail hard; it is the way to grow. My second tip would be what I mentioned before, which is to learn how to market yourself. This could mean a few things, but a quick process would be to find your niche and then decide how you can approach that market and differentiate yourself from your competition. Lastly, I would suggest always expanding on your skillsets, new ideas, and emerging your business. Don't let your product get stale; it is important to keep changing and growing. For me, as a designer, it is important that I don't do the same thing in every design, or else that will grow stale; the same goes for any business.
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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