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Keep reading to learn how I started my digital planner business!
Would rather watch a video? Watch my complete walk-through below.
Hey there, I’m Claudia! I’m a digital creator with a passion for creating digital planners and the face behind my digital planning business, Creatively Claudia. Today I’m going to share my journey with you on how I started my digital planner business from scratch and hopefully it can give you some insight, motivation, and inspiration into how you can do the same thing.
I’ve gone from creating personal digital planners that would fit my needs, to now having a business that I have learned to scale in the most wonderful ways.
Although I only started my business 6 months ago, I have already made profit, and am starting to see the growth that comes with hard work and dedication. My ultimate goal is to show you that it is possible to follow your dreams and turn them into a reality.
I also want to be realistic about the process and will be 100% honest with you which means I will also be sharing the not-so-happy side of starting a small business. There is a lot of work that goes into creating and starting a small business of your own. Things like Imposter Syndrome, and constantly worrying if this is even worth it is a VERY real thing.
I am not here to show you how to get rich quick and am definitely not some kind of overnight success story. I am simply a girl that loves to create digitally and am now sharing my work with the world.
How It Started
I’ve always been a fan of digital planning and creating organizational tools that fit my needs. I found myself creating custom digital planners for myself all the time, and after some time, I decided to share them with some of my close friends. After receiving a positive response, I decided to take a leap of faith and turn my passion into a business. I created my business, Creatively Claudia, to share my love for digital planning and help others become more organized and productive.
I started my business at the end of October of 2022. I had just quit my full time job, and saying it was a scary time for me is an understatement. I was getting paid well and knew we had just lost our second source of income. I quit after I realized that I needed to create a better life for myself and my family. One where I had more freedom of time, and freedom of pretty much everything.
Mom guilt was getting to me pretty bad and it was hard having to give things up because I had to work. I knew something had to give and I knew I had always wanted to create something where I was the one in control of my time and my freedom.
I had no idea where to begin. I spent countless hours researching, learning, and experimenting with different ideas. I knew I wanted to start a digital planning based business. I decided this because it was something that I was passionate about so I decided to start small, with a website and a few products.
I focused on building a solid foundation, creating quality products, and providing great customer service. Here are some things I did and focused on when I started the process of creating my business:
- Came up with a Plan – When you decide you want to start something new, especially a business, having a plan in mind is crucial for success. I knew the kind of style I was going for, as well as the kind of people I wanted to attract with my products. I also started thinking about things I needed to do in order to track progress and see if my efforts were working with any new products I put out. I wrote out a business plan and started out with a clear idea on what my goals were and what I needed to do to reach them.
- Set Realistic Expectations – This is a big one! If you don’t set realistic expectations from the very beginning, it’s possible to become really disappointed, really fast. I decided to give myself one year of seeing continuous growth so I could validate this idea of starting my own business. And while I’m a little over the halfway mark at this point, I’m happy to say that hard work is starting to pay off.
- Created an Email List – I’ve always heard of the importance of creating an email list when starting a business so I made sure to make it a focus when I got started. I personally love having an email list because although the algorithms change all the time on social media, your email list subscribers will always be there when you send out an email. Instead of trying to chase down an audience on social media and depending on the platform to show your posts, just send out an email and your subscribers will get your message almost instantly.
- Chose Platforms – From Early on I knew I had to choose what platforms I would be sharing my content and products on. I’ve heard time and time again, “Don’t try to do everything all at once because it will only lead to burnout.” And guess what I did? Yup, I tried everything. I decided this was something new for me so I wanted to give it a try and see where there seemed to be more interest for my content. I created my website, an email list, and used social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Tiktok, and of course, YouTube. I knew it was important for me to stay consistent on these platforms but I’ve also learned to give myself grace so if I’m not feeling it on a certain day, it’s totally okay. I can try again tomorrow.
- Be Genuine – Okay, this one may seem a bit cliché and you might be thinking everyone always says this, it’s true! Always make sure to stay true to yourself and who you are. You will attract people who love you and your work for you. Pretending to be someone you’re not, whether it’s through your videos, posts, or even your work gets exhausting and it’s always fun to attract like-minded people.
- Don’t Compare Your Beginning to Someone Else’s Middle – Oh boy! I feel like this one is for me. I’m certainly guilty of playing the comparison game and it’s something that I am still working on. Don’t get me wrong, I’m good at staying true to myself and being genuine but every now and again I’ll talk myself down by comparing my work to someone else’s or my numbers to someone else’s. This is completely normal and I think even those who have been doing this for a lot longer than I have go through this every now and again.
- Quality Over Quantity – If there’s anything that helped me stay consistent on my social media, YouTube channel, and website, it was focusing on the quality of my content rather than the quantity. From the very beginning I knew I wouldn’t be focusing on the amount of followers or likes I had, but rather, how well my content was performing. Of course, as a small business, I wanted to grow my audience. But, not putting my focus solely on that helped me remain focused and not get unmotivated if the numbers weren’t growing.
I faced many challenges in the beginning, such as figuring out how to attract customers and market my products effectively. I had to learn how to balance my creative side with the business side of things. With all that being said, I have made my fair share of mistakes, however, I persevered which has helped me grow and improve my business along the way.
You only get better by doing the things and sometimes making mistakes only helps you get better at doing what you do.
How it’s Going
Since launching my business six months ago, I have made profit and have seen steady growth. I am grateful for every customer who has supported my business and has given me the opportunity to share my love for digital planning with them.
One of the keys to my success has been creating a community around my business. I’ve built a social media presence, engaged with customers, and provided value through free resources and helpful tips.
I’ve learned that running a business is a never-ending process of learning and adapting. I’ve had to pivot and adjust my strategies based on customer feedback and market trends.
There’s definitely times where the things you work hard on don’t perform well at the time. So there are certainly weeks and days where I’m simply just showing up. I know that my hard work, persistence, and dedication will pay off in the long run. As of right now, I’d say there are 4 things that are important to where I’m at today:
- Established My Brand – For a while I was afraid of sharing my brand and what I do with the world. It took confidence and courage for me to put myself out there and say “this is what I do,” and “this is how I can help you.” Because at the end of the day, the purpose of my business is to help people plan a better life by creating planners and systems that work.
I have shifted my mindset and started gaining the courage to believe in myself a lot more than I did at the very beginning. I won’t lie, imposter syndrome was high on my mind but I knew that the people who were already doing great things in the digital planning world had started from the bottom just like myself. After the growth I’ve seen as I put my content out there, I know it’s completely possible to reach my goals and dreams as long as I remain determined and put in the work.
- I Found What Worked For Me – There are so many ways to start a digital planning business, grow an audience, and build an income stream but I didn’t focus on what others were doing and rather focused on what worked best for me. I made sure that every decision I made stayed true to myself and what my goals were. This helped me stay motivated and find my path in my business.
- Set Up Income Streams – One of the most important steps in my path and where I’m at currently have been setting up my income streams. I’m currently making an income from my products as well as some collabs but have also started the foundation of what my future income streams will be such as YouTube, courses, and my website. These aren’t the only way to make an income as there are other sources such as affiliate marketing and sponsorships, but as of right now I am happy with where I’m at and will continue working on it each day.
- Review Business Plan and Progress – I mentioned that when I started my business I knew I had to come up with a plan. Now that I have that plan created, I make it a point to go back and check it often and see how my progress is going. Sometimes things change along the way and I’m sure things will keep changing as my small business starts growing. I like to look back and take note of things that have worked for me, as well as things that haven’t worked as well. I also keep track of my stats and growth and work on doing more of what does work.
Now let’s get into what I’m sure you’ve been waiting for. Whenever I watch videos like these I love seeing stats because it helps me visualize the possibilities for myself.
To start off let’s go over sales. As far as my shop where I sell my digital products, I have made $1,231.23 within the last month. I’m excited to see where the growth with this part of my products will go as I start adding more products and courses within the coming months.
Here are my current social media stats:
- Youtube – 700 Subscribers
- Instagram – 9,578 Followers
- Facebook (Page) – 97 Followers
- Facebook (Group) – 81 Members
- Tiktok – 2,450 Followers
- Email Subscribers – 2,305 Subscribers
And there you have it! Be sure to follow me on any of these or subscribe to my YouTube channel to help me grow!
Where I’m Headed
My ultimate goal is to continue growing my business and community as well as to expand my products. I’d love to create more products that I know my audience will love and find helpful. I am excited to launch new digital planner designs and add more value to my existing products. I’ve also learned that I really love teaching others what it is that I do and how I do it so I’m really excited to start working on course creation and creating more posts just like this one. I hope to be able to collaborate with other digital creators at some point and explore new ways to reach my target audience.
As I continue on my journey, I am committed to staying true to my values and providing high-quality products all while building great relationships within my community. I want to create a business that not only helps people become more organized but also inspires and empowers them to live their best lives.
I also want to teach what I do to people just like you. I’ve always been motivated to help others reach their greatest potential and if I’ve motivated you even just a little in this post, I’m happy because I know that what I’m doing is working.
Top Tips for Starting a Business
Starting a business can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are some of my top tips for you if you’re thinking about starting your own digital planning business:
Find your niche: Take the time to figure out what sets you apart from other digital planner creators. Maybe you specialize in minimalist designs, or perhaps you focus on creating planners for specific hobbies or types of people.
Build a community: Reach out to other digital creators and small businesses, and find ways to collaborate. This can help you expand your reach and find potential customers who are interested in what you have to offer. You can also build a community that loves what you have to offer. Focus on creating communities through social media such as Instagram, Facebook groups, and Tiktok. I’ve made some great friendships through these platforms and am truly so grateful.
Focus on quality: Make sure that your products are high-quality and meet the needs of your audience. Take the time to test and refine your designs to ensure that they are easy to use and aesthetically pleasing. Offer more of what your audience loves and don’t be afraid to give things away for free. This not only helps your community grow, but it also helps build trust.
Be patient: Building a successful business takes time and effort. Don’t expect to become an overnight success, and be prepared to put in the work necessary to achieve your goals. If this is not something you love doing, I wouldn’t recommend going for it. There have definitely been tough days in my business and I think that if it wasn’t because I absolutely loved doing what I do, I probably would have given up at one point or another.
Believe in yourself: Starting a business can be scary, but it’s important to believe in yourself and your abilities. Remember that you are capable of achieving great things, and that with hard work and dedication, you can turn your dreams into a reality.
Overall, starting my digital planner business has been an incredibly rewarding experience. While there have been challenges along the way, I am proud of how far I have come and am excited about what the future holds. If you are thinking about starting your own business, I encourage you to take the leap and pursue your dreams. With a little bit of passion and determination, anything is possible.
So where are you on your journey? Have you started planning what your business could look like, or is it just an idea right now?
Also, please let me know if you like these kinds of posts. I tried my best to share things that I think are important when starting a business like this and I truly hope you found it helpful and motivating.
Let me know in the comments down below!