10 Signs You’re a Creative Coach, Not a Freelancer

10 Signs You're a Creative Coach Not a Freelancer
Don’t you just love it when people tell you what you are and what you’re not? . . . No? Strange. But here’s the deal, it’s possible that you are a creative coach disguised as a freelancer, and if that’s the case, I have a few tips for you. First, the warning signs:

hr10 Signs You’re Actually a Creative Coach, Not a Freelancer
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1. Clients ask you about much more than they hired you for.

Example: You’re a web designer and your client starts asking you about SEO, and the best web hosting platforms, and how to create a consistent brand through the rest of their online presence, and how often they should blog, and what you think of their logo, and . . .

2. The majority of your projects end up way out of scope because you let them get there.

You feel like an addict. I’ve been there. You just can’t stop answering questions and doing extra little things for your clients because you know they’d be so much better off + so much happier if you just did “this one small thing” that they didn’t pay you for.

3. You want to take 5,011 classes + can’t stop learning more and more about your skill set.

If someone gave you a $300 gift card to Skillshare, you’d marry them. I know I would.

4. You just discovered you’d love to one day teach after you started taking some of those classes in #3.

You love the concept of organizing and sharing the information you’ve spent hours, days, months, years, or a lifetime acquiring.

5. You find yourself wanting to give your clients advice on how they should use what you make for them, even when they don’t ask you for said input.

For the clients who aren’t asking you a ton of extra questions, you still want to recommend a ton of extra things that you know would make them more effective in what they hired you for. You’ve done it for free sometimes, and considered doing it for free many more times than that.

6. You’ve wished you had an employee or subcontractor to delegate your work to so you could help your client with overall vision or bigger picture items.

When you get all dreamy, scheme-y, plan-y, and big picture-y, everything is clear. You’re high. You’re on drugs. But the kind that bring extra clarity. Do those exist?

Whenever you get in the thick of a project, you start intensely desiring a subcontractor at your skill level to finish your work so you can help your client get high . . . or get clarity, however you want to say it.

7. You actually have fun creating tutorials or help files for your clients.

When your client asks you how to do something and you respond with a 5-page PDF or 10-minute tutorial video or 22-point checklist–yeah, you’re a creative coach homie.

8. You’ve had seven business ideas in the last six months.

Ya see, if you insist on only providing freelance services when what you actually want to be doing is big-vision work, your creative muscles that yearn to work out will start scheming up other things. Like whole other businesses. Just stop. Ask yourself if all you really want right now is to build your current freelance business into something else.

9. You feel like you might cease to exist if you had to do anything else (other than use your passions + gifts to help other people be awesome) for a living.

I do not have any idea what I would do if I couldn’t help people build brands and blogs. I would cry every day, but I’ve been told I have a very beautiful, lady-like cry. I mean, I told myself that, but that still counts.

10. You want to write a book some day because it’s a simpler way to spread your knowledge + tips to more people at once.

When you get to this point, just succumb my friends. Succumb to the greatness that is you.

hr. . . and what should you do now that you’ve discovered you’re a creative coach? Start planning. Here’s an in-depth list of 21 things you can do to build your creative coaching business.
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Photo: © olly – Fotolia.com

14 Responses to 10 Signs You’re a Creative Coach, Not a Freelancer

  1. Kelly Brito says:

    Have you been peeking on my brain? lol I match all points 100% -perhaps 90% on number 7.
    I absolutely love reading what you write. It’s always fresh, super fun (makes my day!) and spot on!

    • regina says:

      Kelly, yes . . . that’s exactly how I wrote this post. Mind reading. How else?

      Thank you thank you for that compliment. Your blog is always addicting so your words mean a lot to me. I appreciate your time!

  2. Sadie says:

    Regina, yes this article is spot on and very timely! I am going through a bit of a career identity crisis and this post resonated with me to help figure out my role when helping my clients. Thank you so much for sharing and so glad I discovered your blog, will be a big fan following along (and I’m a fellow Longhorn grad, hook ‘em!)

    • regina says:

      Yes, another Longhorn! Thank you for stopping by Sadie. I completely understand an identity crisis as it relates to business and helping clients. I think it’s common among highly motivated people who are always learning and evolving.

      I’ve made the wrong move so many times when it comes to redefining my business identity or “pivoting,” if you will. It is truly the reason I developed an e-course for creative coaching and also this completely free post, if you want to check it out: How to Start a Creative Coaching Business You Love

      So glad you found the blog. Thanks for your time reading and commenting today! (P.S. Totally unrelated but I love your sleek logo on your site!)

      • Sadie says:

        Regina, totally agree! Creative people by nature are restless hence always changing which is good thing – I like your term “pivoting” :) Thanks for sharing your creative coaching link and appreciate the kind works about my logo too! Look forward to digging in more to all the create content on your site. Thanks for the inspiration and motivation for us fellow entrepreneurs.

  3. Regina, have I told you lately that I love you? I need more time in my day to read all of your articles. I’ve added about 8 of them to my ‘Pocket App’ today alone. I dont know how I lived without Pocket. I printed out your check lists and laminated them :p I always use them. I might have to tape them to my desk! I also just printed out your ‘Creating customer delight’ work sheets so I will need more time to relax and get into the groove of answering those questions! I’ve signed up to your newsletter too, simply because you are awesome and you motivate me (and my friend Janna!) smooches for the week! xo.

    • regina says:

      Claire, aww, thank you so much. I really need to start using Pocket. I already use Feedly regularly and I understand you can easily put things in Pocket from Feedly.

      I’m so happy to hear about the laminated checklists being helpful. I love how much paper it saves. I used to print multiple copies and think, “There has to be a better way.” And haha to taping them to the desk. I actually considered that for a moment. You’re so sweet Claire–it makes me happy to hear you enjoy some of the blog’s content.

      Thanks to you and Janna for tuning in + thanks for joining my email friends list. Lots of virtual hugs to you.

  4. Bunny White says:

    Yes!! Regina you are on a roll! Not only do your posts speak so acutely to me, but I can see that they clearly do that for your other readers too and I really enjoy seeing what I’m thinking expressed in their comments as well. I don’t know what kind of magic you’re wielding to be so in tune but well done!

    • regina says:

      Bunny, thank you so much for your words. I’m glad the posts speak to you. Thank you for spending some time here, can’t wait to connect more. >>> Definitely digging your Instagram feed . . . did you name your camera? I love that.

  5. Chrissy says:

    I feel like you’ve been reading the inside of my soul. This describes me to a T! My problem is that I have two passions that I’m torn between.I help small business owners to do build WordPress websites.but I constantly find myself doing so much more than that..offering little tips about branding, SEO, social media and even content. My other passion is about clean eating – anytime anyone asks me I just start talking and next thing you know it’s an hour later. I so want to write a book because I’ve learnt so much and taken so many courses and read so many books on wordpress, blogging, business, building a brand…I totally geek out about this stuff. I have spent many hours creating tutorials and PDFs for clients because my brain doesn’t understand the concept of a simple explanation…LOL. Thanks for this great article Regina and you’ve definitely given me some food for thought. I love love love your blog!

    • regina says:

      Chrissy, I am your twin from another mother. Seriously. My top interests right now are blogging (as it stemmed from making WP sites–not as wonderfully as you do though) and clean eating (with tons of veggies, raw recipes, and juicing). I don’t even know how that last one happened to me, but I love it.

      If you chose to wrote a book, what angle would you come from? Helping beginners? Recipes? A guide to planning meals for families? It’s seems so cool that you already have so much experience creating tutorials and PDFs because I feel like a lot of clean eating blogs are missing some of that practical (and pretty) “how to” type stuff.

      Thank you for the sweet compliment to the blog . . . and I appreciate that you left a comment.

  6. Chrissy says:

    Hey Regina! I would probably write a book on all of the above! Getting started, recipes and meal planning. I absolutely agree with you that there are a ton of clean eating/ healthy/ paleo recipes blog out there that don’t that the “how to” and practical tips. I have already started a blog on that ( I wont leave the link because I dont want to come across as spammy) and mostly I’ve just posted recipes. I had a friend reach out to me who is trying to eliminate dairy, wheat and gluten and she practically begged me to write some of those “how-to-get-started” tutorials” which really inspired me! It’s hard. I started making WP sites to make some extra money on the side so that I could focus on my clean eating blog without feeling guilty about ignoring my kids and husband for a few hours LOL( joking!). Now both are starting to do well…ay yi yi. Anyways thanks for letting me vent and so looking forward to the 30 day creative cleanse( you are brilliant). Where do we sign up for that though?

    • regina says:

      Chrissy, your book ideas sound so useful. Can’t wait to read. I’ll email with you about the other blog because I think it’s grrrreat. P.S. the tutorials on getting started will benefit so many people, especially in your very approachable tone.

      I came to answer you but I see you signed up for the cleanse already. Thank you for that and thanks for your answer to my questions.

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