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Success Stories with Louise Clark from Designsta

by | July 18, 2018 | Success Stories | 0 comments

I interview Louise Clark, the founder of Designsta.com. 

An online design platform for entrepreneurs, bloggers and creatives, Louise shares how she came up with Designsta, how it went from an idea into a reality, her favourite social media platform, how she stays motivated and more! 

 

How did you come up with the idea for Designsta?

The idea for Designsta as it is today kind of came about by accident. I didn’t set out with a plan to create a full graphic design platform! I had an e-commerce store where I was selling postcards that I had illustrated and I decided to search for a simple plugin (so I thought!) so that people could edit my postcards and personalise them.

At the same time I was searching for ways I could create the business of my dreams - I had been running my freelance graphic design business for around 5 years and I wanted a change. I started offering feedback and help whenever I saw people posting their graphic designs in groups and I soon realised that there was a huge amount of entrepreneurs out there tackling their own design but with not much support.

I continued search for plugins and developers and started to realise that the scope was much bigger for what I could build. So began the planning for my own graphic design platform where I could offer users plenty of support, unique, editable templates and design elements.

 

How did Designsta go from an idea into a reality?
Ridiculous amounts of research, searching for a suitable team of developers and weeks of midnight calls to India (where my developers are based!) The initial three months of creating Designsta are a bit of a blur. I went into full on creation mode building templates and stocking up the libraries with design elements. It all seemed slightly crazy at the time and I wasn’t sure I was actually going to pull it off but I kept giving myself strict deadlines and I think that really helped. It felt like a big leap of faith but I’m so glad I went for it.
How did you market Designsta when it first started to get your first paying customer?

When I first launched Designsta I had 20 beta testers who I gave a free membership to. I think this really helped as they were great at helping me spread the word. I emailed my list to announce the launch and I was posting the link in groups when allowed. My biggest marketing success has come through Facebook ads which work really well for Designsta.

What is your favourite thing about running your own business?

Having creative freedom. Even when I ran my freelance graphic design business, although I was my own boss I always felt restricted to client briefs and guidelines. With Designsta I get to create designs that I love and attract the right people that my designs resonate with.

What is your favourite social media platform?
My favourite platform to look at is Instagram. It's great for doing Instagram stories and discovering new account to follow. I use Facebook the most for business, including Facebook ads. I also use Pinterest a lot and it's great for growing my email list.

How do you stay motivated?
Like most people I lose motivation from time to time, but the thing that always gets me back on track is how passionate I am about Designsta. If I feel like I’m not motivated, I get back into it by getting creative and whipping out some new templates and design elements - seeing new creations in Designsta gives me the buzz back. Watching users get more confident in their design skills and sharing their designs is so exciting too. Also, thinking back over how far Designsta has come over the last three years always spurs me on and gets me excited again!  
What has been the best piece of business advice you have been given?

To stay in my own lane and not care about what others are doing. Comparisonitis is real and it can really drag you down if you let it. Also that building a successful business does not happen overnight - we see so many ‘overnight success stories’ when really there has been years of hard work that has gone on behind the scenes, I’m three years into Designsta and still have a long way to go with where I want to take it but I believe in it 100%.

What is your favourite quote?
Oooh I love quotes! There’s too many to choose from...
This one is a goodun - “Why fit in when you were born to stand out!” I love a bit of Dr Seuss.

 

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