Artisan Blog

5 Free Online Courses for Creatives

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

5 Free Online Courses for Creatives

Another long, hot summer is upon us! If your business takes on a slower pace and you’re planning to take some time off, we’d like to recommend taking this opportunity to build on your professional skills and enrich your creative awareness by taking free online courses.

Coursera is one of several popular online platforms for massive open online classes (MOOCs). It offers engaging college-level courses in partnership with major universities, in a variety of creative disciplines and new technologies, all free of charge. Along with video lectures and reading material, many of these include tests, graded homework, discussion forums and some offer certificates of completion that add more experience to your resume or LinkedIn profile.

Here are five free creative courses that can give you a professional upgrade.

While predicting the future isn’t easy, there are some core thinking skills and mental models that can help leverage change and prepare for whatever comes next. This knowledge is widely applicable to those who do any sort of creative or entrepreneurial work and need to remain relevant to stay successful.

The essence of “design thinking” is “doing more with less.” This course explores how to pull off brilliant innovations under challenging and shifting circumstances, with ideas that are essential in UX or product design and relevant to anyone in business.

This is the first in Professor Scott Klemmer’s series of classes on interaction design, highly acclaimed by those in UX, information design, and computer science. You’ll learn the basic skills of ideation, research, and rapid prototyping that drive the latest trends in human-centered design, which is the art of working with your users and customers.

Content marketing uses the skills of advertising, branding, storytelling, and journalism to hook audiences and drive conversions. While this class is about communication and messaging strategy, its knowledge applies to anyone who wants to do business in the always-on digital age.

This course takes a serious, analytical look at the cutthroat social dynamics of high school that have inspired comedic films such as Mean Girls. By tackling a taboo topic with rigor and compassion, it has become one of the most popular MOOCs of all time. Its lessons have profound implications in design, in marketing, and across the cultural and professional spectrum.

Besides online courses, this is a great time to revamp your design portfolio and resume with updated information.

At Artisan Creative, we believe that the best opportunities are always reserved for those creative professionals who are most eager to learn. Contact us today to see how we can help you enrich your career, and yourself!

We hope you’ve enjoyed the 479th issue of our a.blog.


America’s Best Recruiting Firms 2018

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

America’s Best Recruiting Firms 2018

We are delighted to have made the Forbes’ list of “America’s Best Recruiting Firms 2018.”

At Artisan Creative, we believe that successful placements change lives. They provide our talent with opportunities for personal and professional growth, and our clients with the right team members to make a difference in their businesses.

We have loved every minute of our 22+ years in the creative staffing and recruitment space. A special thank you to our clients and talent who have shared this journey with us.

This couldn't have been accomplished without our amazing a.team, who over the years have demonstrated heart, grit, passion, commitment, tenacity, and dedication to create trusted relationships.

Here's to continuing to build a more creative world together.


Using Video to Impact Your Brand

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Using Video to Impact Your Brand

Whether you're a small business or an enterprise-level company, there's one thing you can do that's just as important as attracting new clients and customers, and that's attracting top talent. Just as you can use the tools of the internet and social media to communicate your value proposition to potential buyers, you can use them just as well to showcase your brand's culture and story for potential new hires, the people whose skills and hustle you need to succeed into the future.

A full 82% of Fortune 500 executives don't believe their companies recruit highly talented people. Attracting top talent gives you a serious competitive advantage. To make an unforgettable first impression, make full use of online video.

You don't need a Hollywood backlot to create video content that engages highly skilled job seekers. Just keep these tips in mind, and to make your brand a star.

Be Transparent, Be Authentic

Honesty and authenticity work wonders on the internet. Take pride in who you are and what you do. Videos that feature members of your company team will strike a more authentic chord than those with actors or special effects. If you can, shoot in your own offices and facilities, and provide a visual sense of what a day at your company is really like. If you present your company culture in a way that's fun, true, and realistic, you will attract talent that will be excited to work with you and appreciate the things that make it special.

Approach Potential Hires as Potential Customers

According to Glassdoor, more and more job-seekers are taking a consumer approach to the job hunt, treating it more like comparison shopping. 70% read company reviews before they apply, and most look at multiple competing opportunities before zooming in on one. Therefore, in order for your video to stand out from the competition, it must address the hopes and ambitions of your ideal candidate with empathy and enthusiasm. When planning your video or writing your script, be specific - not every job-seeker will be right for your team or vice versa. Craft your pitch for the ones who are.

Tell Your Story

In order to communicate your brand value, be clear on your mission, your culture, and what sets you apart. Your core principles set the foundation for any message your video will communicate. When you are clear on these, ask yourself, "how can we present our story in an intriguing and memorable way?" Does your company or its founder have a relatable story of risk or overcoming adversity? How are you changing the world? Determine how to tell your story visually, in a way that will stick, and then familiarize yourself with some of the insider tips and best practices of video storytelling.

Be Creative

Be willing to experiment with a fresh, out-of-the-box approach to your video. Check out some of the innovative, reasonably priced tools that are available, and brainstorm different approaches until you decide on the one that best suits your message.

At Artisan Creative, attracting top talent and matching them with career-making opportunities is our mission. Contact us today and discover new ways to elevate your recruiting and put your brand in the limelight.

We hope you’ve enjoyed the 472nd issue of our a.blog.

 

 



Maximizing Your LinkedIn Profile

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Maximizing Your LinkedIn Profile

If you are looking for work, considering a change, or have any interest in industry networking, we all know that a profile on LinkedIn, the top social media network for professionals is the place to go. Potential employers and recruiters may find it unusual if you aren't on the site in today’s highly competitive job market. It only takes a few minutes to launch your profile, and with a bit more time and effort, you can make your LinkedIn profile a powerful tool for advancing your career and achieving your goals.

Here are a few tips to help maximize the potential of your LinkedIn presence, build your network online and offline, and gain access to opportunities that others might miss.

Complete Your Profile

Only 51% of LinkedIn users have fully completed their profiles, and LinkedIn's search algorithm strongly favors those who have. Take the extra time to flesh out and optimize all areas of your profile, including education and work history as well as volunteer roles and interests, to gain a significant advantage in your job search.

Be Real and Be Specific

When writing descriptions for yourself and your previous roles, eliminate fuzzy buzzwords and replace them with metrics, achievements, and real-life examples of what you've accomplished. Your headline should be succinct, and your profile should communicate a clear idea of who you are, what you can do, and what you value in your work. Be true to yourself, and you will stand out from the crowd. And, of course, always keep it positive - highlight what you've learned and how you've grown. Your profile should reflect well on you and on those who have given you their trust and invested in your career.

Use Multimedia

Media presentations add detail and credibility to your profile. If you have design portfolio samples, slide decks, videos, articles, or other files that showcase your work your expertise and your overall approach to business, be sure to include them where they best fit.

Connect Strategically

Profiles with 300+ connections get more attention and appear more substantial, so endeavor to build a robust network. When you reach that threshold, be more judicious about whom you add, to ensure that your feed remains useful and that your virtual network reflects your real life. When you request a connection, send a personalized message to let the recipient know why you value their work, their trust, and their time. Make sure your network is focused on those with some leverage in your industry. At a glance, it should give you credibility with anyone you might want to work with in the future.

Participate in Groups

LinkedIn Groups can be a useful way    to monitor trends and participate in discussions, and they have some less obvious perks as well. For example, when you join a LinkedIn Group, you can privately message any other member. This can afford opportunities to connect with people who are passionate about the same things as you but may be harder to reach through traditional channels.

Update Regularly

Every few months, inspect your LinkedIn profile from top to bottom, and update anything that's out of date or that could simply use a polish. Take the opportunity to improve your profile on a regular basis, not just when you're looking for work. Over time, you will build a much stronger presence than the vast majority of users. And, you may be surprised at the opportunities you discover through LinkedIn.

At Artisan Creative, we help top creative professionals get the most out of their careers. Contact us today, and we'll help you master digital networking and take your work to the next level.

We hope you've enjoyed the 470th issue of our a.blog

 


How to Build a Design Portfolio

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

How to Build a Design Portfolio

"It's easier to get a job when you have a job."

There is some ring of truth to this cliche. If you're a designer starting out - perhaps you're a fresh graduate, or you're changing careers - this can seem frustrating and paradoxical. Most high-status job openings are available only to those with years of experience. If you must have experience to get experience, how does anyone ever get started?

Fortunately, it is easy to build an impressive design portfolio with no professional experience whatsoever. Even if you've never had a paying client, you can do remarkable work and showcase it in a manner that will open doors.

Think Like a Designer

Before you create an online portfolio or get an account on Dribbble or Behance, rethink your entire life story, from the perspective of your identity as a designer.

"If you’ve ever solved a problem, then you have design experience," says Jason Early, a designer, entrepreneur, teacher, mentor, and author of the career guide Getting Hired. "You just need to reframe how you present it. The design process is used to address a challenge. Any challenge. And showing how you worked through the process to address that challenge can be a portfolio piece. Show your work. Just like in grade school math class, showing how you got to a solution shows how you think through a challenge. And that is what a portfolio is. A collection of examples showing how you reached a solution."

Say "Yes"

As you move forward in your career, you will learn to say "no" to opportunities that don’t serve you. However, in your early days as a designer, you must err on the side of taking on more work and saying "yes" to as many different projects as you can. Then, follow the green lights.

Look for pro bono projects for nonprofit and charity organizations you support. (Taproot Foundation, a clearinghouse for pro bono creative work, is one place to start.) If you have acquaintances who perform or promote shows, offer to design graphics and fliers for them in exchange for free admission (or beer and pizza). Seek out any opportunity to show up and create something.

If you're passionate about the early work that goes into your portfolio, you will likely find opportunities to do more work like it, for more generous compensation.

Make All the Things

Keep solving problems, embracing fresh challenges, flexing different muscles, and adding work to your portfolio. At first, you may be frustrated that your own work isn't up to the standards of the successful designers you admire. This means you're right on schedule.

Work through the "taste gap," push through the resistance, and keep showing up. The only way to do great work is to do lots of work. As you consistently generate more new samples, you can continuously update your portfolio to showcase better and better examples of what you're capable of.

Find the Others

You are one of many people building a creative career. It may scare you to think you have millions of skilled and hungry competitors. But you can shift your thinking and instead see the creative people around you as potential collaborators, eager to work and grow together. Being independent doesn’t mean being alone.

Attend networking events and reach out to those who have complementary skills. Then, work together on projects that showcase and challenge you both.

For instance, if you are a designer, join forces with a like-minded copywriter. You may build a fruitful long-term partnership, like copywriter Jeff Gooodby and art director Rich Silverstein, with a joint brand that combines your talents. At the least, you will build your professional network, enrich your thinking through cooperation and mutual respect, and do work together that you wouldn’t and couldn’t do alone.

At Artisan Creative, we have years of experience helping new and experienced designers build their portfolios, their networks, and their careers. Contact us today to learn more and get started.

We hope you've enjoyed the 466th issue of our a.blog.



Body Language Speaks Volumes In An Interview

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Body Language Speaks Volumes In An Interview

Body language plays a big part in our daily interactions—from interacting with clients and vendors to public speaking to conducting interviews—whether you are the interviewee OR the interviewer.

I once interviewed a brilliant candidate, who was extremely skilled in his craft and (on paper), had all the qualifications our client was looking to hire.

However, during our pre-qualification interview, the candidate never made eye contact and looked down for the better part of our conversation. And, when he did look up, he would look a few inches above my head.

There were three of us conducting this group interview, so perhaps his nerves took over or he didn’t know which one of us to look at.

He was very smart—however, the role was asking for more than smarts—our client was looking for someone with strong interpersonal skills to interface with their clients and vendors. And, they were looking for a leader, who could command attention and the respect of his peers and team.

It is a fact that first impressions are made within 7 seconds.This means initially body language speaks much louder than words and often sets the tone of whether someone decides to take you seriously or not!

In an interview, this could be the difference between getting that desired job or not getting it!

In today’s digital age, video interviews have become commonplace and often take place over Skype, Zoom, Facetime or Google Hangouts as a first interview.

Body language in a digital interview is just an important as in person — maybe even more since the goal is to do well enough to get to the ‘in person’ stage.

In an ‘in person’ interview, your body language is critical the moment you enter the building—from the time you greet the receptionist, to waiting in the lobby, to finally meeting your prospective boss. Imagine you are on stage the entire time—you never know who else will be called upon to join the interview!

In a group interview setting, greet and shake everyone’s hands and make the essential eye contact.When answering a question, share equal time looking at the interviewers. Start with the person who has asked a question, then pace yourself and look at the others as you share the specifics of your background. Do not make the mistake of only looking at and addressing the big boss.

If asked a difficult question, or a question that requires you to think before answering—do not start staring around the room or the ceiling as if the answer is magically written on the walls!

Hopefully, you’ve prepared for this moment. Take a moment, breathe and speak to a specific or parallel experience you have, in a confident articulate manner.

As a candidate, you must research the industry, the company and the role in advance to be fully prepared for the tough questions!

Pay attention to your ‘sitting’ body language: are your arms crossed, could you possibly be seen as reserved or distant? This can sometimes portray insecurity. Or are you leaning in to demonstrate paying attention?

Your gestures and facial expressions are windows into your personality during an interview. As much as you are being interviewed for your skills, you are also being interviewed for fit within the team. Are you friendly, confident, outgoing, articulate? Eye contact and smiling are a quick assessment of these traits.

Be aware of your gestures and how much is too much—in an interview you want to demonstrate excitement and passion for the role. However, since you are on a much smaller stage, scale everything back to fit the environment.

Body language speaks volumes—Let it speak loud and clear!

At Artisan Creative we will share our 20+ years of experience to help prepare you for your interview. Contact us today.

We hope you've enjoyed the 465th issue of our a.blog.

 


The Art of Marketing Your Skills

Wednesday, April 26, 2017


Artisan Creative is celebrating 20+ years in staffing and recruitment of creative professionals. Over the years we have learned a thing or two that we'd like to share with you. We hope you enjoy the 422nd issue of our weekly a.blog.

Our work landscape is changing rapidly and we have to be prepared to change with it. Whether you're looking for new freelance opportunities or a full-time job, it’s important to think like an entrepreneur.

Even if you've never thought of yourself as an entrepreneur, one who often has to be the top salesperson, the marketing expert, as well as the billing and collections agent, you can create more opportunities and open yourself up for greater success if you think of yourself as an entrepreneurial brand. That means it’s your responsibility to market yourself and flex your creative muscles in new ways to bring fresh clarity to your priorities, values, and goals.

As you become more comfortable with marketing yourself, here are some core principles to keep in mind drawn from the work of respected marketing authorities and tested in the crucible of international business.

Own Your Own Niche

Being the first one in your category is the first law of Al Reis and Jack Trout’s 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing.

Inventing your own category gives tremendous advantage and allows you to make the rules that your competition must follow. If you can't be the first in a broad category, claim a subcategory, and be the best to market in your own distinct niche.

For example, your focus may be web design. Although you may not be the first web designer in your city, you may still have an opportunity to focus on a specific clientele base or have an expertise in a vertical. To build your reputation in a specific niche, attend industry and networking events, study hard, learn a lot and become a subject matter expert.

Think Like a Storyteller

Even if you're not trained as a storyteller or fiction writer, you've probably loved enough films, novels, and anecdotes to intuitively appreciate the power of a good yarn.

When you describe your career trajectory, victories won, and challenges overcome, try thinking in terms of the "mono-myth" of "The Hero's Journey." Fiction writers, filmmakers, and marketers have used this structure to guide them down many different paths.

Share your story, your inspiration, your process—tell the story of why you stand out in your field and how you differentiate.

Start looking for the "Hero's Journey" structure, and you'll see it everywhere. It has shaped careers, lives, and civilizations. How can you harness the power of story telling to tell your own tale?

Be Candid

A candid approach highlights your sincerity and shows you have nothing to hide. A sense of humor or a quirky personality will resonate better with potential clients and employers with a similar sensibility. If you are clear as to who your target audience is, then it’s easier to be yourself.

Some brands have had tremendous success by poking fun at their own shortcomings. Avis struggled for years to overtake Hertz, to no avail. Finally, it increased its profile and drew a lot of new customers when it embraced the slogan, "We're #2, so we try harder."

Be your best self, and be proud of it. This gives you the freedom to be comfortable and honest.

Continue Learning

When defining your unique combination of skills, keep one eye on how relevant you expect them to be in five years. In the digital world, bubbles form and burst often. Job titles may change, so build continuously on your core competencies and adapt.

Continued education is key in many industries and the creative and marketing industry is no different. Be sure to continue your learning and sharpen the tools of your trade.  Sites such as Lynda.com or General Assembly are great resources.

Continuously iterate on your own marketing message. Use methodologies such as A/B testing to refine your ideas, build on what others respond do, and discard what isn’t working.

Represent Yourself

As you blend your range of skills and experience into a coherent, memorable storyline, make sure the story reflects who you really are. Heed the advice of marketing guru Seth Godin, to "under promise and over deliver."

If you make promises you can't keep, you will find yourself in positions you aren't qualified for, or assignments you aren’t excited about.

A well-branded portfolio will continue to support your story and be a representation of your skills. The story of your creative thinking, along with a display of your most current work, your involvement in a project, and your collaboration with other team members will speak volumes. If you are unable to create a website for yourself, there are wonderful options in the marketplace such as Dribbble or  Behance.

When using social media to market your skills, make sure it’s well branded with a cohesive message woven through all channels. Whether it’s LinkedIn or Instagram—create a unique branding voice that represents you.

Bring your own unique story to life and share it. If you need additional help marketing your skills contact Artisan Creative for representation. We work with hundreds of clients in different verticals who are looking to hire new talent. Your next assignment could be waiting!

 



Integrating Action Into Your Goal Setting Process

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Artisan Creative is celebrating 20 years in staffing and recruitment and over the years we have learned a thing or two that we'd like to share with you.   We hope you enjoy the 406th issue of our weekly a.blog.

You’ve set your goals, created your vision board and have gathered all the momentum and excitement you can muster to get everything accomplished right now…. so how do you keep your determination going to see your goals come to fruition?

Once you set your broader vision for the year, the next step is to break down each goal into actionable steps. Otherwise,  just the thought of how to get started can rapidly become overwhelming.

Below are 5 tips to help integrate action into your goal setting process.

1. Work with the end goal in mind.

What action steps are needed to happen daily or weekly in order for the goal to be accomplished? For example, if your goal is to learn a new language, the actionable steps may be:

  • research online classes or sign-up for physical classes
  • download the Duolingo app
  • study
  • join a meet-up/group

2. Be Specific: Add a timeline or date for accomplishing each step.

For example:

  • research and sign up for onlineor physical classes by 1/15/17
  • download the Duolingo app by 1/5/17
  • study 1 hour per day ( or 7 hours per week) at 4 pm each day
  • research meet-up/groups by 1/10/17, join a group by 2/1/17

3. Protect the time on your calendar.

It’s easy for urgent matters to take over what is important. Schedule time for the important items, otherwise the weeks will fly by with little attention to the steps needed to attain your goals. Make an appointment with yourself and set a reminder!

4. Get an accountability partner.

Share your goals with friends and co-workers. Ask one of them to be your accountability partner and plan a monthly check in with them.

5. Celebrate your wins along the way.

Be proud of your accomplishments—no matter how small… as long as they are on the right path to help you accomplish your goals, then it’s worth a celebration.

An action plan and timeline for accomplishing each step will put you on the right path to accomplish your goals

Please share any tips on how you set goals and develop plans for accomplishing them.


Visual Goal Setting

Wednesday, December 28, 2016


 

Artisan Creative is celebrating 20 years in staffing and recruitment and over the years we have learned a thing or two that we'd like to share with you. We hope you enjoy the 405th issue of our weekly a.blog.

 

As part of our annual goal setting, each member of the Artisan Creative a.team creates a vision board and presents it at our first meeting of the new year. Our boards are a collection of short and long term goals that include both personal and professional aspirations.

Presenting it to the team develops accountability and enables the group to learn more about each team member’s ambitions, hopes and dreams. Some people set a theme for their board/year—others use inspirational quotes. What they all have in common is the shared use of imagery that inspires, tells a story and conveys a message to create a powerful visualization tool.

In addition to sharing our visions and goals with the group at the onset of our new year, we review our boards mid-year, and also share a recap at our year-end meeting. This sense of accountability and the revisiting of our goals helps keep us on track. This activity in one of our strongest team-building exercises, as it stays “evergreen”.

Here are 5 tips to create your great vision board and get 2017 off to a good start!

  1. Select words and images that inspire and are true to your core values.
  2. Create positivity and inspiration. Have fun…imagine the integrated life/work you want to build out.
  3. Create an integrated board where elements from both your personal and professional aspirations are represented.
  4. Keep the board where you can re-visit it daily—read the inspirational messages out loud— and often!
  5. Share your hopes and dreams with others. Having an accountability partner will help you get closer to achieving your goals.

Tools needed:

  • A large poster board to give you plenty of space to visualize your year, yet small enough to hang on your wall. We use the 22 x28 size available from Staples.
  • A good pair of scissors and a strong glue stick!Make sure you invest in good glue so the pictures stay on all year long.
  • Variety of magazines to look through to find those inspiring words and pictures. 
  • (Optional) Markers/stickers to write or embellish your board.
  • Patience and Creativity!

Although electronic versions such as Pinterest also work, going old-school where you physically search for and cut out imagery and words from a magazine and decide where to place them is in itself an opportunity to reflect and plan via a very tangible exercise.

What is your goal setting process?

Happy New Year!




Reasons for Being Grateful

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Artisan Creative is celebrating 20 years in staffing and recruitment and over the years we have learned a thing or two that we'd like to share with you.

 

This is the time of the year to reflect on the past year and look forward to new opportunities and adventures ahead.

As Shawn Achor states in his popular Ted Talk and best-selling book “The Happiness Advantage” one of the ways to create happiness and positive mental change is to express gratitude on a daily basis.

Here at Artisan Creative, we are grateful for so many things and wanted to share a few with you.

We are:

  • Grateful to celebrate 20 years of creative staffing & recruitment.
  • Grateful for the incredible, dynamic a.team. Always giving, always striving to be at their best.
  • Grateful for our amazing talent who continuously push the creative envelope.
  • Grateful for our long lasting client relationships and for the opportunity to help grow their teams.
  • Grateful for our furry 4-legged friends who keep us company at work.
  • Grateful for the opportunity to write the 400th issue of our weekly a.blog today.

Below are additional gratitudes from our a. team:

Laura
  • Grateful for my family and their health, support and love.
  • Grateful to work for a company I love.
  • Grateful that I get to spend every day with my husband.

Stephanie

Grateful that I live in Los Angeles. I'm grateful for my health, home, and to have worked with a great company for 10 years.

Margaret

Thankful for my family and friends, my wonderful husband and my "a" recruiting team who comes ready to work every day and is so dedicated.

Jen

  • Grateful for a supportive and passionate team that pushes me to my full potential every day.
  • Grateful for the ability to work from home.
  • Grateful for my husband who caters to my every pregnancy craving and mood swing.

Regina

I'm so grateful for my job! I am so happy every day.

Ana

I am grateful for my family that supports each other through thick and thin, for my long time friends that are like extended family, for my employers that provide an environment to live a balanced life and for my excellent health!

Cammy
  • I am thankful for the privilege of becoming a new aunt to my amazing nephew.
  • Also my family, everyone's health, and good food!

Jamie

  • Working with a dynamic and committed team on a daily basis for over 20 years.
  • The opportunity to learn something new every day.
  • Simplicity in life and communication.

Katty

  • Grateful for the amazing a. team.
  • Grateful for family, friends, health and love.
  • Grateful to learn and grow every day.

What are you thankful for this holiday season?

 

 






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