Shayna Hodkin Creative
Shayna is a forever freelancer working with startups on branding, creative, and culture. She lives in the desert and has two dogs.
What’s your background and what type of services do you offer to clients?
I entered the freelancer market as “a person who likes to write.” Since then, I’ve whittled down what I do to copy (web, email, and product), as well as creative strategy. My specialty is working with small startups on developing voice and tone, and then using that to build community and content.
What motivated you to start your freelance career?
I became a freelancer because it was the only way to achieve what I wanted, which was to write. Both of my parents, both of my grandfathers, two of my uncles, and a few cousins are business owners, so it’s what I know.
Who’s your ideal client?
I’m looking to pair up with an accelerator where I can mentor early-stage startups on developing branding that speaks to their products.
What can you tell us about finding clients?
There’s no shame in asking! If you love what a company’s doing, if you’re a loyal user of an app, if you heard a guy running a company is really cool, send an email and say hello! The worst thing that can happen is you’ll be ignored.
Is there an achievement or project you’re most proud of?
The things I’m most proud of are publishing my post about depression for The nuSchool, which was a huge risk but hugely rewarding, as well as my advice column for InVision, which has put me in touch with some amazing designers and their real-deal issues.
What was the biggest challenge you’ve faced while growing your business and how have you tried to overcome it?
Money. 100%. Spending what I don’t have, investing in tools and resources that don’t help, cheaping out where I could have spent more time, and overworking myself with shit projects to make more money to make up for past mistakes. Thankfully, my accountant is helping me put the pieces back together.
What advice would you offer other freelancers that are just starting out? Any online resources/services/apps/tools, books, or courses you would recommend?
The nuSchool changed my life and my career. Their course about pricing (and the newer course about marketing) is what taught me everything I know about running a business and not just owning a laptop.