You may remember me introducing Gemma from the blog Little Pieces in my recent snapshots from the sidebar post, but as one of my top advertisers last month I wanted you all to get to know her a little better. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed getting to grips with her gorgeous blog over the last month and I’m certain you will too.
Gemma’s actually a graphic designer and runs her own design agency business, LP Studio, full time so as you can imagine her blog is a very stylish extension of this. She blogs about all things lifestyle focused with each and every post being a feast for the eyes, design wise. I love her Freelance Files section with tips on working for yourself and her inspiration boards are dreamy.
But enough from me, let’s hear from the girl herself on what inspires her to blog, how she handles being her own boss and what a typical day for her looks like…
1. Hi Gemma, So seeing as your blog, Little Pieces is an extension of your design agency, LP Studio, why don’t you start by telling us a little about both and how they both started?
Sure thing, I’m super excited and grateful to be here today! I run a design and coaching business, LP Studio, where I work with creative entrepreneurs and small businesses to help them tell their story and attract clients. It’s a mix of branding, web design and creative business coaching.
I am also the founder of Little Pieces, a lifestyle blog focused on designing a creative and intentional lifestyle. I have actually been blogging under various guises for almost 10 years now and it was through blogging and the connections it has brought that I was able to start my business.
2. I love reading posts from fellow freelancers as so often we have the same experiences, and I especially loved you recent post ‘5 tips to stay inspired’. How long have you been working for yourself and do you have any top tips on how to make it work?
I first started out running an Etsy shop alongside my 9-5 job but in 2013 I was lucky enough to take my business full-time. My biggest tip is that there is no magic formula so don’t get caught up with what everyone else is doing. Go with your gut and carve your own path.
3. So tell us about a typical day for you? What time do you usually wake up and begin working and are there any rituals that make up your daily routine?
I’ve really been working on creating routine and structure. Typically I wake up somewhere between 7am-7.30am and have a cup of green tea with the family before they head out to school/work. I then spend some time checking emails, social media and catching up on blogs. I try to make time for mediation and Yoga before getting ready and sitting down at my desk as it helps keep me sane! I’m not really a morning person so I usually schedule tasks such as editing blog posts, responding to emails and catching up with admin for this time. Around 11am I will take my dog out for a long walk before getting down to work. Afternoons are a mix of client calls, coaching sessions or working on design projects. I try to finish up for 6ish so I can cook dinner and spend the evening with my family.
4. With design being your trade, it’s obviously a big factor within your blog too. How important would you say a good design and branding is to a blog nowadays? And would you say that a blogs success factor relies heavily on a good brand?
I think as blogging as an industry has grown, the quality of content and design has really improved which as a reader is great! Having a strong brand really helps you to stand out, as does having a well designed blog. The most important thing is to keep your reader in mind and make sure that your design and layout is not confusing or cluttered.
5. Coming back to the blog, how big a part does this play in your freelance business?
I love this question! It plays a huge part in my business. I started blogging as a hobby but over time I got enquiries about designing blogs for others which is how LP Studio began. These days the majority of project enquiries still come via the blog, I would say it’s probably my most effective form of marketing.
6. And do you choose your content based on what potential clients might be keen to see?
Another great question. For a while I tailored all my content to what I thought might pull new clients in, but it wasn’t long before I lost my love and motivation for blogging. I decided to blog about what I wanted (lifestyle, photography, personal posts) and I actually get more enuiries now. i think people like to see behind the scenes.
7. Do you have a favourite type of post/ series that you love to write?
I love writing my Freelance Files series. I feel like I have learnt so much since starting my business so I try to share that with others in the hope it might help someone else. It’s also allowed me to build connections with other freelancers which is amazing as working from home can be isolated at times.
8. And can you pick one post from the last month that readers simply must see?
I recently wrote about my process for choosing a word to guide me, this year I am focusing on “Flourish” and I’m excited to see where it takes me!
9. And similarly is here one design project you’ve worked on this year that you’re really proud of?
I was so fortunate to work on a number of great projects in 2014 but I think I probably had the most fun designing a conceptual brand identity for my local farm shop. As there wasn’t a set brief I had the luxury of complete creative freedom.
10. Finally what’s the future looking like for Little Pieces and LP Studio, do you have some big plans for 2015?
2014 was a real growth year so I’m super excited to see what happens in 2015. I am launching a new branding and web design package in the next couple of weeks which takes everything I have learnt and offers clients a really comprehensive service. I have also just launched creative coaching packages – in 2013 I decided to train as a life and business coach and I’m looking forward to incorporating more of that work into my business.
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Hope you all enjoy the rest of your Sunday!