From Photographer to Designer: How One Woman Launched a Branding, Photography & Videography Studio
Ever wondered what it takes to ditch the cubicle and become a full-time girl boss? Our Student Spotlight Series interviews our students who have made the transition from 9-5 to remote CEOs!
From what inspired them to start their own business, their favorite podcasts, go-to morning routine, advice to aspiring business owners, and so much more!
Today, we’re sitting down with our student Lisa Gilby, Founder of Fresh Branding Studio! Originally from London, United Kingdom, Lisa gives us a glimpse into her online business journey…
Q: What type of online business do you own and what services do you offer?
I’m the Founder of Fresh Branding Studio. I offer brand design, marketing material design, and promotional photography and video services for small businesses worldwide! I help strategically re-fresh my clients’ brand identity and visual content so that it is cohesive, unique, and impactful.
“In June 2020, I landed my first client, but I didn’t officially launch my business and website until October!”
At the moment, I run my business alone. So, I’m the designer, content creator, and do all the business side of things too. Eventually, I would like to expand and hire at least one other team member!
Q: How did you discover the Bucketlist Bombshells?
“I had finally found a community full of like-minded women that I belonged in!”
Q: What inspired you to enroll in the Bucketlist Bombshells Academy?
I had been thinking about enrolling in the Bucketlist Bombshells Academy for a while. I felt like Cassie and Shay just ‘got it’ and the Bucketlist Bombshells was all about my dream lifestyle.
When London first went into lockdown due to COVID, I was feeling really lost and decided it was time to try something new.
“It was the perfect time to set up an online business and the Bucketlist Bombshells Academy was just what I needed to get started!”
Q: How have the courses helped you to become an online business owner?
The Bucketlist Bombshells Academy taught me so many new skills. Through the Design Skills Course, I learned a lot of design skills that I now offer as remote services. The Work Online & Travel the World Course prepared me with the business side of things too!
One of my favourite things about the courses is that they lay everything out so clearly. You can literally follow step-by-step what you need to do to set up your business! There’s no time wasted on guessing what you should do next. The courses have also given me confidence, which is so important when it comes to working with real clients!
Q: What type of job were you working in prior to running your own online business?
I’ve been a freelance photographer and videographer ever since I graduated from university in 2012.
Q: How long did it take you to ditch your previous job, and how much time did you dedicate in order to make it happen?
I wouldn’t say I exactly “ditched” my previous job, but rather I’ve expanded and have really opened up a lot more opportunities for myself work and travel wise!
During the first UK COVID lockdown when I wasn’t able to take on photography clients, I started the Bucketlist Bombshells Academy. I worked on the courses pretty much full time for a few months, which really gave me a purpose during a difficult time!
Q: What was the final push in your story to get you to pursue your online business?
I never felt like I quite fit into the typical 9-5 job scenario, so I decided to pursue freelance work as soon as I graduated back in 2012. It was a struggle though, as my university didn’t really prepare me for the business side of things.
When COVID hit, my photography and video job opportunities were really beginning to be limited. I was at a tipping point where something needed to change. So, I thought if I could offer remote, online services it would really open up job opportunities and allow me to continue working for myself.
“I had always wanted to expand my business, so I decided it was time to begin building my empire!”
Q: How long was it until you landed your first client online?
When I heard that my friend’s sister was going full time with her calligraphy business, I had just completed the Design Skills Course. I hadn’t had a chance to complete the other courses yet, but I was feeling so pumped from the Design Skills Course that I decided to ask if she’d be interested in me helping with her branding. I gave her a really good deal because I was so excited to work with a real design client!
“Now, I’m much more confident to charge a higher rate!”
Q: What is your process for finding and landing clients online?
I’ve joined quite a few Facebook Groups for small businesses and entrepreneurs. If the group allows it, I post about my services and am always on the lookout for people in the groups who are asking for help with their branding or any of the services I offer.
I also use my Instagram account to share examples of my work and connect with people. Sometimes, I send emails to specific businesses that I would like to work with and think will benefit from my services. I’m also lucky enough to get clients through word of mouth!
Q: What has been your biggest setback, and how did you overcome it?
When I first launched Fresh Branding Studio’s website, I sent out loads of emails to small companies about my services and hardly got any responses. At first, I felt really disheartened. But I picked myself up and continued reaching out to small businesses and asking people to tell their entrepreneur friends about my new services. Eventually, I got some leads that turned into clients!
Q: What’s the most challenging part about running your online business?
The most challenging thing is that even when you’re working with a client, you need to be thinking about where your next client is coming from. It’s super important to pre-book clients and try to get ahead so you know there’s work coming up when one project is complete.
“I try to dedicate at least one day a week to seeking new clients.”
Q: Looking back on your online business journey, what is something that you’re most proud of?
When COVID first hit London, I was feeling quite low. I had been working on a photography exhibition that had to be cancelled, I wasn’t able to meet with the coworking community that I had been building for the past year, and I had to postpone all of my current photography clients. I felt really lost. But instead of letting these things hold me back, I decided to enroll in the Bucketlist Bombshells Academy and begin my journey to creating my new online business.
“I’m most proud of pushing myself out of a difficult place and taking the leap to do something new!”
Q: If you could speak to your past self, what piece of advice would you give her?
Just go for it and don’t overthink it! You know this is what you want to do, so don’t let your fears hold you back. Also, don’t be such a perfectionist on your website, just get it launched already, girl!
Q: How do you stay inspired and motivated to run your online business?
Staying busy with client work really helps keep me inspired and leaves me no time to feel unmotivated! If there’s a gap between clients and I’m starting to feel unmotivated, I try to remind myself why I chose to run my own business. I look at other girl bosses who inspire me and look back at work I’m proud of. It’s really important to remember what you’ve achieved so far!
Q: Tell us what a “day in the life” looks like for you now that you’re running your own online business!
I’m not a morning person, so I often don’t get up before 8am. After breakfast, I shower and get dressed so I feel like I’m ready for the day (even if it’s jogging bottoms!). Usually, I go for a walk around my local park before making a nice big cup of tea. By about 10am, I get started on work. I like to shake it up throughout the day by working from a few different spots, depending on the tasks I’m doing.
Most days, I go for a long walk just before lunch so it breaks the day up. After a few more hours of work in the afternoon, I wrap up for the day. I try to make sure I log off by 6pm at the latest and don’t look at emails or anything work-related until the next morning.
Q: What’s the best part about being your own boss?
I love being able to make my own schedule. If I want to take a day off during the week and swap it for a weekend day, I can! If I want to start a little later or finish a little earlier, I can.
I also love that I have the power to decide who I work with. If I think a client isn’t the right fit for me, I don’t have to work with them, which is really important for my mental health.
“The best part about being my own boss is that I make the rules and have the freedom to design my life!”
Q: What do you love most about the work you do and the clients you work with?
I love working with small business owners and entrepreneurs because that’s exactly what I am myself. I get their business dreams and I love helping them achieve their visions creatively.
“I love seeing entrepreneurs and small businesses grow, knowing that I had a part in it!”
Q: What is your favorite destination to work remotely from?
Since I’ve only just launched my online business and this hasn’t really been the best year for travel, unfortunately, I haven’t had a chance to make the most of the work-travel lifestyle yet. I love travelling, so I’m super excited about being able to do more of it now that I have an online-based business.
“It’s a dream of mine to visit every continent and I have yet to tick off Africa and South America!”
Q: What’re your favorite business tools that you’d recommend to other girl bosses? Why do you love them?
I love the Adobe Suite and literally use it every day! It has so many key programmes that you need to do your design work professionally. It also has so many useful tools that will help you streamline your creative process!
Also, Later is great for scheduling social media posts and is such a timesaver!
Q: What is one of your favorite business books that you would recommend to another girl boss? Why do you love it?
Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert is so motivating. Seriously, just read it!
Q: What’s your go-to favorite podcast that you’d recommend to other girl bosses?
The Co-Working Club Podcast with Jessica Berry has loads of advice and is really relatable!
Q: What is your number one piece of advice for aspiring Bucketlist Bombshells?
If you feel like something is calling you, go for it! There will always be fears and worries that hold you back, but you’ll never know if you don’t try!
“Stop taking advice from people who haven’t lived and worked the way you want to!”
3 Steps To Building A Wildly Successfull Service-Based Online Business
3 Steps To Building A Wildly Successfull Service-Based Online Business
Meet The Bucketlist Bombshells
Hey! We're Cassie & Shay - we're obsessed with helping women build an online service-based business giving them the freedom to travel the world!
Today, we’re sitting down with BB student Marion, Founder of Modali Branding! Join us as she...
We’re Cassie & Shay
– we’re obsessed with helping women build an online service-based business giving them the freedom to travel the world!
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