We have another member perk we want to highlight this week that’s a bit different from the previous two. Successful freelancing isn’t just about having cool software on your side, though it’s certainly a plus that we promote. It’s also about business knowledge. There is a learning curve that comes with any new business that has nothing to do with the actual product or service. Things like budgeting, time management, taxes, and other business fundamentals must be learned.
That’s something a lot of new creative freelancers struggle with. They spend so much time on perfecting their craft that they neglect these. This can lead to some very expensive mistakes. Underpricing yourself, failing to pay taxes on time, or even just spending more than you’re making will turn you into the stereotypical starving artist. With just a little-applied knowledge creative professionals can avoid many of the traps.
One artist-turned-teacher decided to make courses that help freelance artists turn that starving artist trend around. Elaine Grogan Luttrull is a blogger (check out her great post on the AND CO blog!), teacher, and author who teaches business skills to creative professionals that need a boost to their skills. Her website, and one of AND CO’s great member benefits for freelancers, is Minerva Financial Arts.
Elaine realized she needed to make a change in her life when she lost her enthusiasm for her work. Since 2007, she has developed courses and a coaching system to pass on basic business skills that all freelancers need. Some of her courses include:
- Budgeting basics
- To be or not to be… an entity (on whether to incorporate)
- Goal setting for portfolio careers
- Two classes on using Excel to help your business
- Pricing your creativity
- Tax classes
- Two classes on running an arts organization
She also offers one-on-one coaching for professionals who want an extra edge. While these classes are catered to creatives, any freelancer could use the knowledge contained in these classes. We all could improve our budgeting, Excel skills, and portfolio management skills, not to mention pricing ourselves correctly in today’s competitive freelancing world.
To get an idea of her teaching style and what she’s passionate about, she’s written a book called Arts and Numbers. In the book, Elaine communicates the basics of financial knowledge for people running creative careers. The goal is not to make you a financial whiz, but to give you enough knowledge so that your career goals aren’t handicapped by a lack of knowledge. The courses above are extensions of the knowledge contained in the book, so if you like the book, you’ll love the coursework.
And if you’re just curious, AND.CO is offering a special deal for its members. By using our coupon code from the Freelance Benefits page (in the Finance section), you can get 20% off any of the classes from Minerva Financial Arts. The classes are already pretty inexpensive, about the price of a good meal for two, so there’s nothing to lose by taking advantage of this offer. If you’ve taken advantage of this offer, let us know in the comments and tell us what you thought.