Today we are talking all about running a design business and simplifying systems for creative businesses with Karima Neghmouche. Karima is an incredible designer and I am so excited for her to join us on the podcast today!
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Karima is a brand and web designer, podcaster, and rescue dog mama x2 working out of Raleigh, North Carolina.
Karima works with high-achieving entrepreneurs to help them stand out + show up confidently online by creating their dream brands that attract their DREAM clients and feel perfectly aligned with who they really are. She’s able to create this magic by taking an intuitive approach to design and tapping into each client she’s working with.
Over the last 3 years, Karima has created a multi-six-figure business doing what she loves and created her business from the ground up after getting fired from her first job out of college. Designing resumes for $25 out of coffee shops in 2017 led her to creating a booked-out brand and web design empire with a team of six. She credits everything to community, passion, and radical self-care.
She’s been deemed the “brand and website fairy godmother” and it’s a title she’s happily adopted.
Do you find that the analytical side of business is challenging for creative minds?
Karima says that the systems side of her brain definitely isn’t her zone of genius, but she has figured out how to make systems work in her biz.
Even if you run a creative business, you still have to step into the analytical role sometimes. The tricky part can be figuring out how to make each side work for you!
What would you say to those who feel like systems aren’t necessary in a creative biz?
Karima stresses that systems don’t have to be super complicated. You don’t have to have crazy built out funnels or endless automations set up.
For simplifying systems “I really just stripped it back to the basics and thought, ‘okay, what is my process?’. How do I serve my clients and how can I literally simplify it not for just them but for me. And I think that’s just a really big permission slip to know that, systems can really be whatever you make it.”- Karima Neghmouche
Karima says that starting with the basics and then building as you grow your biz is key to simplifying systems.
“I think that’s the thing too is people feel like they have to have it all set up at once or when they begin. But instead, I feel like you should just start with the bare minimum and then find the holes and then fix it instead of trying to have it all set out from day one because then a lot of times so many people just never do it.” – Karima Neghmouche
Karima talks about how important it is to create systems that work for you and that you will actually use. Running a biz is a constant experiment where you are changing, learning, and growing. So instead of worrying about having it all figured out from day one, give yourself permission to start small and grow from there.
What is your favorite platform or tool that you currently use in your business right now?
Karima’s favorite platforms right now are Voxer and Loom.
She uses Loom to send off projects like logo designs so she can explain the decisions behind her designs. This has helped her increase client satisfaction (and has saved her hours of work) on the first try because she can help her clients understand the why behind her designs.
Karima finds that sometimes it’s so hard to talk things through as a creative. Voxer helps Karima prevent important conversations from being lost in messy email threads.
What are some actionable steps that creatives can take to outline their processes in their biz?
For Karima, brain dumps are a game-changer when she is feeling overwhelmed.
For example, earlier in the year she made a brain dump of all of the tasks in her business and highlighted the things that were stressing her out. From there she thought about what she could delegate, automate, or eliminate.
She was able to get rid of unnecessary, time-sucking tasks by hiring a team member to delegate to. She also found places to set up simple automations like sending questionnaires automatically after a client sends back their proposal in HoneyBook. This helped her clean things up in the back end to streamline her processes and increase her productivity.
A game-changer for Karima was creating canned emails. Karima loves to communicate and collaborate, but as a creative, communication can be an energy drainer. Karima now has an autoresponder set up in her inbox to let her clients know that she “believes creativity is fueled by a dedicated time where she can really get in the zone” so her clients know to expect a 48-hour response.
“Instead of feeling like I was absolutely getting drained at the end of the day, every day just sitting in my inbox, I was allowed extra time to actually create without interruptions and it has also been such a changer for me.” – Karima Neghmouche
Karima says that it’s all about figuring out how to bring more joy into the day-to-day and eliminating things that drain you. Of course, there are going to be mundane tasks that are necessary. But it’s important to simplify things in your business so that everything works for you.
Instead of trying to do what everyone else is doing, run your business how you want to as opposed to how you think that you’re supposed to.
To connect with Karima, check out the links below!
Check out HoneyBook (and use code ‘systemsup’ to get HB for $1/mo for 8 months!)
CONNECT WITH KARIMA
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