“Startup Studio: The Help Desk” has officially arrived—a series of five free videos that walk you through the basics of biz, from design, data analysis, finances, getting press, to effective communication.
Whether you scored a digital Girlboss Rally ticket to watch our Startup Studio workshops from the comfort of your own screen, or missed ‘em all together, we’ve got some good news for you: We’ve dropped a whole new batch of video lessons designed specifically to help budding entrepreneurs and creatives such as yourself figure out the nitty gritty basics that will help take your business to the next level.
Coming to you straight from the Girlboss headquarters, Puno, founder of I Love Creatives, dishes out expert advice in five videos that walk you through the basics of design, data analysis, finances, getting press and effective communication. Below, catch a preview of some of the knowledge she’s dropping in each video, and check out the full-length videos here.
Learn how to edit and produce photos for all your entrepreneurial needs using Pixlr and LucidPress. This crash course in graphic design basics will set you on the path to establishing that all-important “visual credibility.” What does that mean, exactly?
“Thoughtful design helps communicate that your brand is professional and trustworthy,” says Puno. “A site that is clear, functional, and visually pleasing shows your customers that you care about detail and quality.” And one of the primary principles of effective graphic design is the ‘rule of thirds.’
“Imagine a tic tac toe grid over your photo or website,” says Puno. “The four points where the lines intersect are the strongest focal points. That’s where you want to place your main subject. When you do that, your main focal point is slightly off-center. That creates visual interest and makes the piece stand out. This rule sounds a little weird, but when you start looking for it, you’re gonna start seeing it literally everywhere.”
We get it; for a lot of creatives, the prospect of analyzing data can seem real daunting. But Google Analytics wants to be your BFF, if only you’d let it. Learn how to set up and interpret data analysis that will help you better understand your audience, whether you’re running an e-commerce website, an ad-supported business, or a subscription platform.
“The idea is that if you know your customers habits and demographics, you can better customize your product for them,” says Puno. “Market research tracks your customers’ online habits—where they found you, how they interacted with your site, and their demographics.”
Two key principles Puno touches on are behavior data, which tracks what people do once they’re on your website and how long they spend on certain pages, and conversion data, which shows you how people go from coming to your site to eventually making that purchase—one of the most important learnings out there for e-commerce business.
Another tough learning curve for a lot of creatives? Finances. If you don’t know WTF a FPNA or P&L is, this lesson sorts it out for you. “Even if you didn’t start your business to make money,” says Puno, “knowing about it keeps your business sustainable while also growing it.”
Learn how to make that money move for your small business or project by building a basic budget sheet in Google Sheets, with insights on necessary steps like adding a 15% buffer to every budget. “Worst case scenario,” says Puno, “you end up not using that 15% and it’s money you get to keep, re-invest, roll around in, or whatever else you do after business hours.”
Once you’ve done the work of building a product or service or whatever it is you’re working on, it’s time to let the world know. But easier said than done, right? This lesson delivers a side-by-side analysis of a good press release vs. a weak one, and will highlight what you should and shouldn’t include if you’re hoping to catch some press. “But that doesn’t mean you should go off and write random boasty emails to random weirdo people,” says Puno. “You have to be strategic.”
Some tips to get you started? “Don’t make it vague, boring, and not specific to the writer. Do make it personalized, clear, and include a call to action,” she says.
Ever feel like you went from innovator and Queen of Ideas straight to 24/7 email-answerer? Same. This crash course in organization and best practices for staying on top of communication will keep you from feeling like your entire job is responding to emails and Slack messages.
“First and foremost, deciding how to communicate with a team member usually 100% depends on the context, so above all else, listen to your gut,” says Puno. “Take designated email breaks (rather than keeping your inbox open all the freaking time) and use that time to respond to the urgent emails, delete the junk, and move the less urgent emails to ‘tasks.’ Then, at the end of the day, take 30 minutes to go through your tasks.”