Ilise Benun is an author, consultant and national speaker, the founder of Marketing Mentor.com and the co-producer of the Creative Freelancer Conference. Her books include “The Designer’s Guide to Marketing and Pricing (HOW Books), “Stop Pushing Me Around: A Workplace Guide for the Timid, Shy and Less Assertive” (Career Press), “The Art of Self Promotion” and her latest, “The Creative Professional’s Guide to Money” (HOW Books 2011) .
Notes on Design: Can you tell us a little about yourself and what you do?
Ilise Benun: As the founder of Marketing Mentor, I coach creative professionals, solopreneurs and small firms, to identify and find their ideal clients, market themselves, get paid what they’re worth, and take control of their businesses. I provide guidance, accountability, and practical strategies through one-on-one and group mentoring , and marketing plan creation. I’m also a public speaker, the co-producer of the Creative Freelancer Conference and author of several books.
Notes on Design: Your book, “The Creative Professional’s Guide to Money” can you tell us more about it?
Ilise: My new book is for creatives who aren’t satisfied with what they’re earning, who worry that their rates are too high or too low, or who get nervous talking money with clients. It offers a wealth of guidance on deciding how much you’re worth, presenting that figure with a straight face and then managing all the nuances of what happens next if, to your astonishment, someone actually agrees to your price.
Notes on Design: Who is the book written for?
Ilise: This book is aimed at creative types who have a special talent or service to offer the world, but haven’t quite figured out how to get people to pay for it. They have the creative skills, but have never been trained in the business skills. That includes full-time freelancers or moonlighters, solopreneurs (or aspiring entrepreneurs), and small firm owners.
Notes on Design: What were your motivations to write the book?
Ilise: Marketing and money are interrelated and during my 20+ years of coaching creatives on marketing, I’ve noticed so many people who manage to get the clients but then don’t know how to handle the financial side and sometimes lose the clients as a result. The biggest struggles seem to deal with pricing, budgeting, talking money with confidence, getting out of the “money fog,” and developing the business mindset required to take their business to the next level. After watching and learning for a while, I thought it was time to write a book about it.
Notes on Design: How has the book been received?
Ilise: I’m getting a lot of great feedback, even from authors of similar books! Here are a couple of comments:
“This is one of the best books I have read (rather than skim) in a long time. Your writing style is so straightforward, on point, relevant, and easy to read, I find myself reading entire chapters in leaps and bounds…” -Lee Silber, author of “Money Management for the Creative Person” www.leesilber.com
“I just wanted to write to say how wonderful your new book is and how much it has given me hope for a better 2011… I spent most of this weekend with your book, amassing several pages of notes doing all the exercises, and I finally started planning for my business in a very real, concrete way, that up until now I think I’ve been too overwhelmed or afraid to do. This kind of strategic thinking (and putting into action!) is exactly what I need to do get my business back on track and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your book for making it possible for me to tackle these issues. I’m excited and confident about my ability to generate new business for the first time in months. Thank you!” – Rebekah Hickey, www.rlhcreative.com