Running a thriving creative business isn’t a reality reserved for a few “lucky” people
Let’s take that talent of yours and build something sustainable, satisfying, and seriously successful…
This one’s for you, the maker.
The designer, writer, photographer, artist, calligrapher, letterer…the creative souls serving the world by dreaming up something that didn’t exist before.
Only, you’ve started to lose sight of that dream — and your freedom — amidst the struggles of actually running your business.
> You’re on the brink of burn out, juggling the intricacies of running a business with your love of making
> You feel directionless and distracted by all.the.things when you finally do sit down to create
> You fear that growth is out of reach when you’re already overstretched and overworked
You can enjoy a crystal clear focus on your business direction, develop integrated systems for efficient client experiences, and spend every day doing what you love.
And it doesn’t involve working harder. It means making your business smarter.
(Did I feel you just relax a little? Good. This is gonna be fun!)
The self-paced program for creative professionals who want to make their businesses smarter, leaner, and more profitable…without investing more time or increasing their workload.
Over three in-depth modules, we’ll look at what you’re already doing and help you find the hidden money and opportunities that lie in your business right now.
Your Smart Creative Business isn’t theory. It’s not slides for you to watch that will just add to that never-ending to-do list.
It’s actionable tools you can start implementing right away, complete with worksheets, templates, scripts, workflows, and interactive tracking to help you measure the results you’ll start seeing right away.
Don’t waste another day spinning your wheels — let’s grow this brand of yours together. And let’s do it the SMART way.
From burnt-out dreamer to thriving, profitable creative business
At this time next month, you’ll be asking yourself:
“Why didn’t I ‘get smart’ sooner?”
Module 1: MAXIMIZE YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS
Get smart: Map the activities that are contributing to your profit and eliminate the ones that don’t.
- Value + Waste
- Create an inventory of what it takes to create your product
- Evaluate the value to the client at each stop (are you over delivering?)
- Value stream mapping + flow
- Identify ideal flow to your creative process
- Discover how you can make it even more effective
- Tools To Manage Workflow
- Google Sheets, Trello boards, and other steal + tweak content to help you get an at-a-glance view of your workload and spot potential problems before they happen
How it’ll transform your business:
Module 2: WORK (ONLY) WITH THE RIGHT CLIENTSGet smart: Create a screening, intake, and client communication process to set yourself up for success with creative projects (and ward off nightmare clients from the start!) with the completely customizable Splendid Client System.
- Screening and Proposals
- Shortcuts to weeding out clients that aren’t the right fit BEFORE you start working together
- Start every project out on the right foot so everyone involved is committed and excited to work towards a common end goal
- Communication and Client Experience
- Learn to set the tone and boundaries for a smooth working process
- Make your customers trust you and your work process so you can spend less time hand-holding and more time delivering great work
- Wrap Up and Plan for Next Time
- Leave those customers smiling and ready to make referrals
- Plant the seed for repeat business AND gain valuable information on future offers and products you can create
This modules is full of scripts, templates (including my winning proposal outline), worksheets, and a Trello board that you can customize and put to use right away!
How it’ll transform your business:
Module 3: PLAN FOR SUSTAINABLE GROWTHGet smart: Create a growth plan for 1 year, 5 years, 10 years — and create a decision-making process for opportunities that come along.
- Measuring changes
- Learn simple steps to work into your everyday plan
- Find out if your efforts are working and when it’s time to pivot
- Scaling Options and New Product ideas
- open your eyes to the wide array of options open to you as a talented creative. Your business growth doesn’t have to look like everyone else’s!
- Learn how YOU work best and what scaling options support your favorite parts of your business- so you aren’t sacrificing satisfaction for the sake of growth.
- Identifying the Right Opportunities
- Stop saying “yes” to everything, and instead figure out what works specifically for you.
- Includes the decision-making matrix so you can find focus with confidence and not FOMO (that’s fear of missing out!)
- Evaluate your current business decisions against how they lead you towards your future “YES PLEASE” options – that means finding some real direction, friend!
- BONUS lesson on hiring and outsourcing for your creative business, should you decide to take that step in your business!
How it’ll transform your business:
Stay focused and know what projects are a great fit for your business and your creative process to achieve that sustainable growth you’ve dreamt of.
Create more value for your customers…with fewer resources.
Do less work, while maximizing what you’re already doing that’s awesome.
Build a business around what supports you and you creative work…and get rid of anything that doesn’t.
Join Your Smart Creative Business today and get instant access to…
3 value-packed modules
Steal + Tweak templates, workflows, and scripts
In-depth video lessons
Interractive Google Sheets & Trello boards
Worksheets to help you apply lessons to your unique business
…with more resources and tools being added regularly!
you’ll have lifetime access and get all future course updates at no additional cost!
People Are Saying…
“Suzi Istvan is a powerhouse brand strategist, with a strong sense of what works online and off. She has a keen sense of the different marketing landscapes, and where your business can carve out a special place to thrive. She’s done it for herself, and she’ll help you do it, too!
I highly recommend working with Suzi, because this is one investment that will lead to more profitable offerings and a happier business too!”Nathalie Lussier
…your fellow Smart Creative Business owner & full-time efficiency nerd
I’m a designer, brand strategist, podcaster, and marketing expert whose passion is helping creative, spirited business owners grow a thriving brand doing work they love with clients they adore.
Over my 15-year career, I’ve worked with brilliant creatives and industry leaders, have appeared on CreativeLive as a guest expert, spoken at live events, and have established myself as a trusted design and branding pro who delivers results.
And I’ve also been the girl who was so burnt out she didn’t want to open Adobe Illustrator one more time. Or write one more email. Who tried to do EVERYTHING and as a result, saw NO results.
The strategies I’m teaching in Your Smart Creative Business come from my hard-learned lessons over the years and from what has worked for my design and mastermind clients. Proven tools that I can’t wait to share with you and some best-kept secrets that are so simple yet SO effective.
AND, you get a bonus nerd! Adam Istvan, my professional, certified lean process engineer husband (seriously he travels the world making manufacturing facilities more efficient and effective!) has consulted on every step of this program. So you’ve got my creative brain and experience, and his know-how working on a powerhouse program just for you.
We can’t wait to help you get smart!
This sounds great, Suzi…but I already don’t have time to create, how am I going to have time for this?
I get it…you’re already working ALL the time, missing time with your family and lives outside of work.
But here’s the thing: Setting your foundation up and building lean processes that will make your business smart now means hours upon hours in the future to focus on what you love.
While we’re here, let me dispel a few other myths you might believe about your creative business:
> You’ve already tried it all. I see you…You’ve bought into marketing courses. You’ve tried all the productivity “hacks”. You’ve studied your competitors. Yet those solutions never seem to hit the mark. Here’s why: None of them took into account your creative process. And none of those solutions will work until you drill down and figure out what WILL be effective for you, your process, your clients, and your unique growth plan.
> Working “smarter”, not “harder” requires way more time. Oh, friend…this couldn’t be farther from the truth! You’ve heard this mantra preached, but the truth is, no one’s showed you how to work smarter. Smart creative businesses know when to say no, know how to keep their eyes on their own paper, and know the activities that have exponential impact in their business. In other words: They do less, but better.
> Adding more structure into your business will eliminate room for creativity. Repeat after me: Structure enables flexibility. Let’s break the stigma of structure meaning rigidity. With a strong structure in place, you create more space for creativity, for flexibility, and for freedom. For good measure: Structure enables flexibility.
Have questions? I’ve got answers!
When Does This Course Start? When Will I Have Access?
All modules and lessons are waiting for you in our membership site RIGHT NOW. You can access this course at your own pace, and you’ll have lifetime access- as long as this product exists, you’ll be a student! And you’ll also get any updates, additions, and new tools that are added to the course in the future.
When you secure your spot this summer, you’ll locking in our lowest price before it increases in the Fall. See, you’re smart already!
What Happens After I Purchase?
Well first we jump up from our desks and happy dance all around our house because YOU are joining us.
But then, you’ll be taken to our private membership site where you’ll create your login. You’ll then be able to access all modules and lessons so you can start learning and implementing right away!
I've Been In Business A While...Is This For Me?
Yes! If you’ve seen your growth plateau, spend ALL your time working, wonder why other creative brands seem to blow up while you keep toiling away… it’s time to look at your foundation.
If you’re overwhelmed by decisions of what to do next or which direction to grow, it’s time to look at your foundation.
And if you’ve had some success and you’re ready to scale, let’s make sure you’re scaling something SMART rather than scaling problems that you’ll have to deal with later!
My Business Is Brand New...Is This For Me?
Is This For Product or Service Based Businesses?
How does this compare to the cost of hiring a business coach?
Business coaches are great! But they can also be pricey- think thousands of dollars. Your Smart Creative Business is priced to be an affordable way to get a solid, smart foundation for your business at your own pace, with lessons you can return to over and over again.
And the cost is a fraction of what you’ll pay for a coach or a mastermind membership.
What's The Time Commitment?
Is This A Marketing/ Designing / Social Media Course?
No. This is the deeply important work that comes BEFORE all of that. Setting up your smart business foundation will give you direction to grow with more confidence and a far better chance of success.
In other words, before you put any more money into marketing, sales, or technology, DO THIS WORK FIRST.