Why cookie-cutter style business coaching is not helpful for creatives

What you need is a tasty dough mix of creative thinking and marketing support

I am an artist at heart. Not even just at heart, I am an artist in my bones! Still, for most of my adult life, I have been supporting other artists and creatives as a marketing expert. I was a marketing manager and consultant for arts centres for years, and produced a zillion press releases, brochures, web texts and other material to shout about their fabulous offers, build their reputation, and up their sales. And now I am a business coach for creatives and small businesses. No, I am not a traditional business coach. I do not offer a cookie-cutter style program to support you in your business. So what makes me suitable for this work, then?

As a coach, I don’t ask standard questions. I don’t go through the same modules each time. I don’t even have the same worksheets for each client I work with. I work organically, and tune in to what my client needs. They are all different. This requires a creative mind.

I tap into their brains, and sift through the junk yard of ideas and projects up there. I understand the creative mind inside out, because I have one too. But I also possess 20 years of experience in marketing and communications, plus I know what it is to start up a brick and mortar business from scratch, on zero budget. And – having moved abroad twice – I know how to reinvent myself, and be resourceful, time and again. I combine all of this knowledge in my coaching programs. Oh – and I have a creative life beyond coaching. I am a singer-songwriter in a band. And next month I am going to brush up on my painting skills (excuse the pun), because I’d love to experiment with abstract art and large canvases.

‘Getting’ the creative mind is not something many business mentors do

Creative ideas, unique events, and people who think outside the box excite me. I love being part of their journey, and helping them succeed and achieve their goals. Often, my clients tell me that previous mentors or coaches they worked with, just didn’t seem to ‘get’ them. They would offer generic solutions and suggestions for their business, which would not be suitable at all. They didn’t seem to be understanding how they work, what a creative process looks like, and how different it often is to market a creative business from someone offering other types of services.

I listen to my clients. I use my intuition. And as a creative myself, I quickly gather what is going on in my client’s mind. I understand the excitement, the jumping from idea to idea, the self-doubts, and the drive to make the world a more beautiful place by offering something unique.

So what types of clients do I work with?

One of my clients is a visual artist in the Netherlands. With her I am working on prioritising her offers, figuring out where her true joy lies, and looking for new opportunities to sell her art. She has grown so much in confidence over the past few months, feeling a lot clearer about what she really wants to do, and also how much to charge for things. We have identified opportunities to sell, but also looked at ways to apply her art in different ways, beyond the picture frame.

Another one of my clients just now is a life and mindset coach in England. After taking some time to work out what her niche was, she finally settled down on helping primary school teachers. We have since been working together on her offer for schools, as well as 1-to-1 programs, and because of becoming more clear in her message each week, she is now attracting the right clients, mainly through LinkedIn (which we identified as the right platform for her). She is about to launch her new website, which no doubt boosts her business even more. She even got interviewed on local TV.

Her biggest win I’d say? Confidence and trust in herself and her abilities. She’s flying.

Another client is a startup event business, offering unique experiences on a Californian beach in a vintage camper van. With her I worked on identifying her niche and offer, and marketing the ultimate date night. In a very short amount of time, we managed to craft her offer, improve her web copy, get brand photos taken, flyers designed, and select the first few couples for the trials, to receive testimonials and create more photographic material to use in her marketing.

All of my clients are so, so different, but all so creative in their own right. I love supporting them, and together coming up with the best ideas and strategy to grow their business.

Photo by Matilda Wormwood on Pexels.com

So, no, I am not your average business and marketing coach. I am a bit quirky. But if you are a little quirky like me, and you are looking to grow your wonderful, creative business, I reckon we’re a good fit.

My offers

You can find more info about my coaching programs for small businesses on my services page. I offer 1-to-1 coaching programmes for creatives for 3 to 6 months for accountability and lasting transformation, but I also offer one-off Power Sessions of 90 minutes, where we dive deep, and we can sort out some of your urgent issues.

And if you’d like to know a bit more about me as a person beyond the coaching, here are some of the more unusual facts about me!

Quirky facts about me…

  • I am from the Netherlands originally, and emigrated twice: once for love (to Scotland), once for sun (Spain).
  • I am a singer and have been in bands for 25 years. My favourite singing style is the blues. My dream is to record a solo album with roots and folk music from all over the world.
  • I have had a lifestyle and decor blog for over 12 years, called Nina’s Apartment, which subsequently became the name of my vintage furniture shop, which I had for four years whilst in Scotland.
  • I hate cycling uphill. Probably something to do with my Dutch roots.
  • I am an enneagram type 7 and a Manifesting Generator in Human Design (look these tests up, they are fascinating!): basically, an ideas factory, positive mind, creative powerhouse, excited adventurer, and hungry for life. I can hardly keep up with myself sometimes 😅🙈
  • Despite being a singer on stage, I am not an extrovert. I am more like a social introvert: easy to get on with, sociable, and love hanging out with friends, but hate crowds and big parties, and need plenty of alone time to recharge.
  • I like pineapple on pizza.
  • I studied Art and Architecture history, and love old stuff. On Fridays I enjoy being a tour guide on a bicycle in Valencia (not uphill thankfully!), telling people stories about this beautiful city.

Do you like what you’ve read? Come and chat to me for 30-minutes on a free call, and let’s see how I can help your business grow. Book a call.

business coach for creatives
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