- Envision turning your craft into a career – one that supports you and your family?
- Get overwhelmed with all the things you feel you should be doing, and can’t gain momentum in the work that matters most to you?
- Want to live a life that is creative, strategic, and profitable?
If you are a writer, artist, designer, entrepreneur, photographer – or someone with vision and a big chasm to cross – then you have come to the right place.
Allow me to introduce an online course that digs deep into taking practical steps to become a creative professional. Everything begins April 27th, so if this sounds intriguing to you, please keep reading.
So what is a creative professional, anyway? Truthfully, it is a clunky term that tries to encapsulate more than it reasonably can. For our uses in this course, I will define it as a person who:
- Does work that they find profoundly meaningful.
- “Creates” something as part of their process.
- Hopes to establish a sustainable lifestyle for them and their family. Translation: It earns real money.
It is the difference between an analyst who studies financial opportunities and decides there is a market gap in yoga centers within urban centers matching certain demographics — versus a holistic practitioner who desperately wants to give people the healing power of yoga because it helped their own life.
If the following are challenges you are trying to work past, then this course may be for you:
- Feel your career has stalled – you want to earn more money while working on creative projects full-time.
- Are looking to build a business that honors professional, creative, and personal goals, and not burn you out.
- Find insights to better manage your time.
- Figure out how to charge for your creative work, and develop a customer base.
- Learn the reality behind what it means to run a creative business.
- Establish a structured process for knowing what steps to take in which order to put your work out there.
- Create a process to manage feelings of overwhelm, fear, and anxiety that you have around any of this.
- Develop clarity around your goals, actions, and the path forward.
We work through these issues by developing a new perspective and new habits that focus on action and momentum.
“I always find nuggets of gold in Dan’s courses. He truly cares about helping you work through the material.”
– Barbara Techel
As an experienced creative professional, I’ll help you explore how to build a meaningful foundation for your career. In the process, we will confront some common misconceptions:
Q: Are all creative professionals starving artists?
Q: Can I be creative and productive?
Q: Is it possible to earn a living while doing meaningful work?
Q: If I’m an introvert, can I still put myself out there?
Q: I’m struggling financially, don’t I have to wait?
Q: I have young kids, is this possible for me?
In Become a Creative Professional, we’ll tackle those unique challenges every creative professional wrestles with, including the fear that comes with managing a creative life.
In 2010, at the height of the recession, my corporate job ended. My wife and I re-assessed our goals and took a huge leap: I started my company, we had a child, and she quit her tenured job as a teacher. (If you want to hear the full story, please check out my essay on The National Endowment for the Arts website.)
Since that time, I have pushed myself beyond creative and professional boundaries, supported my family for more than five years, purchased our house, and spent every single day building memories with my wife and son while working from home.
“I loved that each part was in bite sized pieces that I could digest easily and then get to work. The course was filled with other people who face similar difficulties as I do — I saw that I am not alone.”
– Andrea Goyan
I have also worked with hundreds of creative professionals to help them move past their own creative and professional boundaries. Everything I share in this course comes from practical experience not just in my own life, but with so many others at all stages of their lives.
This online course will cover the following sessions:
April 27 – May 3
I have seen this again and again: someone struggles to create and launch a product or service, sees it flounder, and gives up. In this first session, we will discuss how to focus your vision, your goals, and harness your resources to begin testing your ideas and turning vision into reality.
- Doing less: the craft of focus
- Managing your entire life
- Celebrating milestones and small successes
May 4 – 10
Many professionals I know are overwhelmed with responsibilities and full of anxiety about how to truly manage it all. In this session, we discuss establishing weekly and monthly processes for creating momentum. In this session, we cover:
- Energy and time management
- Productive work processes
- Experiment before you commit
May 11 – 17
This is the behind-the-scenes stuff that people rarely talk about publicly, but drives so much of our actions and decisions. In this session, we’ll talk about realistic ways of managing it all from a human perspective, including mental and physical health.
- Replenishing resources
- The value of collaboration
- Turning off
May 18 – 24
What is the most difficult earnings hurdle to overcome? $1. We are surrounded by stories of financial success, but many of us remain in the dark as to how to actually begin to earning revenue and profit. In this session, we will review different manners of charging for your work, via products and services, and how a marketing funnel works to turn attention into action and revenue.
- Identifying your audience’s core needs
- The $1 hurdle
- How people earn money
- Marketing funnels
“A reminder that my time and creativity are worth something.”
– Melinda VanLone
In working with creative professionals, I have found that these struggles are common:
- Finding time for creative pursuits.
- Knowing how and when to focus on the creative work when it doesn’t yet earn enough to pay the bills.
- Fear of failure that becomes paralyzing.
- The stigma that meaningful creative work can never earn you a living.
You are not alone if you experience any of these challenges. This course addresses them head-on, not just in the course material itself, but in the collaborative process with myself, the faculty and other students.
This is an interactive course, where I offer personalized feedback, and a group dynamic with other students via a private Facebook group. I can’t understate how valuable these discussions have been in other courses I teach, and I have been told that access to that discussion alone is worth more than the price of this course. It becomes a supportive community that keeps you focused and motivated.
I have found this course to have a powerful impact for both those just starting out, to those who are mid-career hoping to take their work to the next level. Regardless of where you are starting from, the lessons are geared to help focus your vision, work smarter, better manage your fear, and learn how to earn revenue. In short: this course is about building momentum.
If you dream of making your career as a creative professional sustainable, but are stumbling at balancing it all, this course is for you.
Don’t miss the chance to work with me and a group of like-minded creative professionals to truly make an impact in your work.
What you get:
- Four weekly PDF lessons. Each is packed with real-world examples and useful tips to help you tackle the challenges that will provide the highest return on investment. These lessons are the culmination of years of work; years of taking risk; years of experiments; years of studying how people really find success as creative professionals. You get all of that in four short weeks.
- Personalized weekly homework feedback from me. You don’t just get the material and are sent off on your own into the wilderness. Each lesson comes with homework assignments focused on producing results. I am there each week with you to provide feedback on your homework, and guide you along the way. This is where the course becomes completely personalized to your goals and challenges.
- Access to a private Facebook group where other students in the course, as well as alumni, share their ideas and advice to help ensure you find momentum. This is where you form relationships with other classmates who are working through the exact same challenges and toward the same goals that you are. The Facebook group is moderated by Lorraine Watson, who serves as the course teaching assistant.
“I was able to pinpoint a mission statement during this course – which was HUGE.”
– Kelsey Browning
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
I have never taken an online course before, do I have to be at my computer on certain days/times?
There are no specific meeting times for this course. You will receive a PDF lesson each Monday (April 27, May 4, May 11, and May 18), and be able to submit homework for feedback during the course period (April 27 – May 24). You will also have 24/7 access to engage in the private Facebook group during this time period.
How long will I have access to the course material once it ends?
Each lesson is delivered to you via email in PDF format, they are yours to keep. For the Facebook group, you ‘officially’ have access to it during the course period itself, though I tend to keep it open indefinitely so that you can continue to engage with other course alumni and new students.
Do you offer an installment plan for the course registration fee?
Normal registration for the course requires full payment at that time. However, if you need a special payment plan in order to participate, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and explain what would work best for you in paying for the course fee.
How much time should I plan to spend on the course each week?
A minimum of two hours to read the course material, and submit homework. Can you engage much more, especially with other students in the Facebook group? Absolutely, but that is totally up to you.
What do I need to access the course, from a technical standpoint?
You will need an email account, high-speed internet connection, and a Facebook account. Feasibly, you could take this course on your mobile phone!
What is your refund policy?
Please see the course terms and conditions.
WHY WORK WITH ME?
Well, there are my professional credentials:
- I have worked with hundreds of creative professionals. My days are spent in the trenches with these people — this isn’t just theory to me — it is always framed in the everyday reality of what truly works for connecting your dreams to reality.
- I have worked with many organizations who support creative individuals; folks such as Sesame Workshop, Random House, Hachette Book Group, Abrams Books, Workman Publishing, Writers House, The Kenyon Review, and many others.
- Oh, and there’s the technical stuff: that I have helped launch hundreds of blogs, I’ve built lots of websites, and consulted on social media strategy with huge organizations. Plus, I have run my own company for years, meaning that I have had to become the master of hundreds of tiny technical details for “getting out there.”
- I have spoken at some of the biggest publishing conferences out there, including BookExpo, Digital Book World, AWP, Romance Writers of America, Thrillerfest, and many others.
- The core of what I do is help creative professionals develop their skills – to help instruct and truly be there to help you work through challenges. My goal is not to “bestow information” to you – there’s plenty of that out there. My methodology is to work WITH you to really figure out the hard stuff.
But I think what is equally important is that my days are spent with creative professionals, and my entire life has been spent surrounded by those hoping to make their mark. As for myself, I have been an artist, a poet, a musician, a paper sculptor, a writer, a publisher, a photographer, a teacher, a radio DJ, a cartoonist, and an entrepreneur. You can read my full bio here.
WHAT OTHERS HAVE TO SAY ABOUT WORKING WITH ME
“Dan Blank is a savvy strategist whose insights really helped me to use social media in a smarter and more effective way, to stay much better connected to my readers and spread the word about my books.”
– Joseph Finder, New York Times bestselling author of Paranoia and Buried Secrets
“I took Dan’s Author Platform course at a difficult point in my career when I could no longer locate my true north. The work in that course helped me define my goals and hone my platform, and reminded me what my dreams were. The truth is, Dan has done a million things for me that can’t be quantified, including cheering me on, offering brutal honesty and moral support, and being consistently available, generous and creative with his time and ideas. He’s helped me find my way home to a career I didn’t know I was capable of making.”
– Miranda Beverly-Whittemore, New York Times bestselling author of Bittersweet
“Dan offers a wonderful mix of understanding the ins-and-outs of the new creative marketplace and the ability to translate and apply that knowledge into action for an author, artist or entrepreneur. He is an invaluable partner to guide you along your journey from creation to execution.”
– Cali Williams Yost author of Tweak It: Make What Matters to You Happen Every Day
“Dan provided a framework and roadmap to help me move beyond my inaction and panic, to develop my platform and grow my readership. By breaking the work down into chunks, it became manageable instead of insurmountable. What I gained was a sense of control, and I no longer felt overwhelmed.”
– Beth McMullen, author of Spy Mom
“Dan is the best kind of guide in that he helped me find one simple thing: how to be me. Whether I’m tweeting, speaking or posting, I now know why I’m doing it. More importantly, I also decided what I’m not doing. And that leaves more time for writing.”
– Claire Cameron, author of the The Bear: A Novel
“This course helped me find focus my goals, determine my target audience (and how to reach them), and try new social media approaches that paid off right away.”
“After Dan’s course, I feel like I’ve regained control of my schedule: I now know what marketing I want to accomplish each day, and have clear goals for the months ahead.”
“Dan isn’t about shortcuts, but connecting with readers in a deeper way. This is what I wanted as a writer. I wanted to find my true, authentic audience. I wanted to continue to make a difference in the lives of my readers. He helped me stay on the right path. Dan is the real deal, he cares.”
– Barbara Techel, author of Through Frankie’s Eyes
“Dan not only helps you find out who you are as an author, but who your readers are and how to make that special, magic connection.”
– Thomas Greanias, New York Times Bestselling author
“Dan guided me to take the steps that I needed to find my authentic voice as a writer, speaker, and to help me develop an online presence. I appreciated the depth of his knowledge, the kindness of his guidance, and the solid process in which to follow. I now recommend Dan to every writer that I meet.”
– Susan Chritton, author of Personal Branding For Dummies
“I’ve taken two courses and one workshop with Dan. He knows and cares about the inner needs of the writer, and has a broad and up-to-date understanding of the rapidly changing publishing industry. I rely on him to help me navigate the whitewater of authorship.”
– Shirley H. Showalter, author of Blush: A Mennonite Girl Meets a Glittering World