Are you serious about growing your craft or design business? Looking for practical, honest, real-life creative business training that’s easily accessible and created by true experts who know what it takes to start and grow a creative business themselves?
The Design Trust’s Business Club is the ultimate online business training resource & community for ambitious, creative business owners.
Get access to over 150 pre-recorded inspiring and thought-provoking classes on a wide range of business and marketing topics, as well as 3 monthly live classes with some of the UK’s best small creative business experts and successful creatives.
Are you ready to boost your business knowledge and take action to create that business you really want?
the key facts:
- Monthly/annual membership. Immediately access over 150+ online classes and 3 live sessions/month.
- Learn and grow at your own pace. Whenever you need inspiration or extra business knowledge.
- Outcomes: Get strategic & practical business training to grow your craft or design business.
- Especially created for: Ambitious, self-motivated creative soletraders, freelancers and business owners who want to grow their business.
- Our guest speakers are all small creative business specialists or successful creatives. For full list see bottom of page..
- Time commitment: Really up to you! You can dip in and dip out whenever you need to, or join our monthly live sessions.
- Join nearly 300 other creative business owners from across the UK and world.
The Secret Online Studio Sale session really inspired me … so I hosted my own! It was a great success…woohoo!! I emailed my list on Saturday 10am, and within 15 minutes most things had sold out! It was a great way to get new people on my email list. It re-invigorated my approach to marketing, brought in some extra cash and cleared lots of space in my studio! Thanks for the inspiration!Ceramicist Catherine Lucktaylor
I signed up to the Business Club three weeks ago. I wish I’d done it a long time ago! I’m slowly working my way through the videos. Each video is really quite revelatory, and I’m overwhelmed with ideas, inspiration and enthusiasm. I’m really looking forward to putting into practice everything I’m learning.Printmaker & textile designer Victoria Glover
Brilliant session! I’ve used Pinterest forever as an Art & Design teacher, but never for my business. This is something I am going to start today. Really useful information!Ceramicist Louise Condon
I had no idea how to construct a business plan. This webinar has been inspirational and given me the confidence to know what needs to be included. Great that it’s from a creative industry perspective and that the jargon is explained.Arwen Banning – Gower Gallery
Get answers to all your creative business questions from the experts
Learn at your own pace
Whenever you want to,
where ever you are in the world.
The Design Trust Business Club is our flagship membership programme that gives you immediate access to 3 monthly live sessions, and an extensive library of specialist creative business classes with small business experts and successful creatives. Explore over 150 pre-recorded workshops, masterclasses and interviews, covering everything from identifying your business purpose and strategic planning to marketing strategies, practical financial management to the latest social media, time management and much more. Scroll down for the full list of all the Business Club sessions and experts.
You can join our live monthly sessions with subject-matter specialists like gallery owners, journalists, craft fair organisers, successful creatives and many more. Get real-life advice, the latest tips and insights straight from the horse’s mouth. And a unique opportunity to ask these experts and creatives your questions too!
The Design Trust Business Club has been designed from the bottom up, especially for ambitious soletraders, freelancers and small business owners who want to grow their creative product and services business, and have been in business for 2 – 10 years.
As business owners ourselves, we know just how busy you are with growing your business, and often juggling other jobs and family responsibilities as well.
That’s why we created The Business Club as an on-demand service. Learn at your own pace and find answers to your small and big questions. The Business Club is here whenever you need answers. 24/7. Pick and mix from our extensive online learning library to focus on specific questions and challenges, and create your own learning path.
But it wouldn’t be a The Design Trust membership if we wouldn’t also encourage you to take action and meet other like-minded creatives!
Growing your own business can be lonely. We know how important it is to learn from and with other creatives. We invite successful creatives to share their own ups and downs, insights and advice. You can ask questions in the membership hub and get answers from us and your fellow members. We run regularly practical Challenges to get you into action, or host Eat That Frog sessions where you can tackle those jobs you have been putting off for too long! We firmly believe in learning-by-doing and learning from each other!
Because you’ll be learning in real-time throughout the year, we’re able to keep sessions timely and super-relevant to the challenges you face as a creative. Find the secrets to social media success, get your finances in order and become more profitable, make better use of the quieter times in the year, learn how to launch your collections and get more visitors and buyers to your website and events – no matter your goals right now, you’ll find in-depth lessons that help you grow your creative business.
You can join on a monthly or annual basis. There is no contract, so you start or stop your Business Club membership at any time.
If you’ve got the ambition to drive your business forward, The Design Trust Business Club is the perfect companion to support your progress. Stay inspired and get the practical, expert business training you simply won’t find anywhere else.
Are you ready to take charge of your own business learning and grow your creative business step-by-step? Join the Business Club today.
MEET YOUR HOST
The Design Trust’s Business Club & Social Media Manager
Anne-Marie Shepherd manages our Business Club: selecting the timely monthly themes and expert speakers, interviewing our creative guests, and answering any questions from our members during the live sessions and in our lively private Business Club membership hub.
She regularly runs timely and very practical sessions on social media and marketing too – based on our own experience of The Design Trust social media results. And she truly loves getting our members involved in the online community with Challenges and the Eat The Frog sessions to take action in their business and learn from each other.
She invites a wide variety of guest speakers for our monthly Business Club sessions – from successful creatives sharing their journey or marketing secrets, to social media experts talking about the latest Instagram trends and journalists on how to get published.
You can see the full list of 150+ speakers and topics below.
Who is The Design Trust’s Business Club for?
The Design Trust Business Club is for ambitious creatives who want specialist, affordable, honest, practical and easy-to-access business training to grow their own creative business.
Our Business Club members create, design, promote and sell their own creative products and services, including commissions, (online) training, licensing and freelancing. Most of our members are designer makers, Etsy shop owners, illustrators, stationery designers, homewares and giftware companies, visual artists, photographers, and even some shops, galleries and event organisers.
We have members who sell at a wide range of price points (from small gifts on Etsy all the way to thousands of pounds worth of commissions for collectors or in the luxury sector). Our members sell online via their own website or online market places such as Etsy or Not On The High Street. They often sell or want to sell at events such as Craft Festival or trade show Top Drawer, or make money through creative income streams such as teaching workshops (in person or online), licensing of their designs, or sell to other businesses.
Most of our Business Club members have been in business for at least 2 years, but often for much longer! Our monthly topics are based around growing your creative business, including strategic planning and becoming more profitable, marketing and social media.
Our Business Club members are busy and very committed people. They often work full-time in their business, but we also have busy part-timers who have another job or family commitments.
Our members want easy access to relevant, timely training provided by specialists, or to get inspired by listening to successful creatives. They love to learn at their own pace, at choose their own topics to work on, at a time that suits them.
I am a new creative. Is the Business Club for me?
The Design Trust Business Club is especially for creative sole traders, freelancers and business owners who have been in business for two years or more, and are beyond the start stage.
The topics we discuss in the Business Club do not cover start up topics such as how to start your business, costing and pricing or how to start selling, but focus more on growth topics including business planning, marketing, finance and social media.
Also, we have found that creatives who are starting out might need a bit more hand-holding at the beginning. The Business Club format assumes that you pick and mix what you want or need to learn and focus on, and create your own learning journey, at your own pace.
If you are thinking about starting a craft or design business, or have recently started then we suggest you check out one of our online courses instead, as they provide more step-by-step guidance and accountability than the Business Club.
How does the Business Club work?
The Design Trust Business Club gives you immediate access to over 150+ online classes, workshops and interviews.
You can watch these practical and strategic sessions with a wide variety of experts, whenever you like, as often as you like, from your own computer from our easy-accessible private membership hub.
All the 150+ Business Club audio-visual recordings are grouped into themes such as business planning, marketing fundamentals, selling online. You can see the full list of the themes, recordings and the experts if you scroll down on the main Business Club page.
Every month we choose a (timely) theme and invite at least 3 experts or creatives to discuss or teach on that topic. (except for August and December when we run fewer).
As a Business Club member you will get a weekly email from Anne-Marie Shepherd (our Business Club Manager) with info about upcoming and recent sessions. You can sign up for these online Zoom sessions if you want to join live, and ask the guest speaker questions. Or if you missed the session you can ask a question or leave a comment in the private hub on the page with the recording.
All our Business Club sessions are recorded and will be posted on the private Business Club hub within a few days. So if you are unable to join live you can watch the recording when it suits you.
We also regularly organise Business Club sessions specifically to get you into action, for accountability or to meet other like-minded Business Club members. Our Email Marketing and SEO Challenges have been popular in the past. We have organised group website reviews. And our Eat That Frog sessions have been popular to work on a job for two hours that you have been putting off for too long.
How can I make the most of the 150+ Business Club sessions?
You do NOT need to join all 30+ live sessions each year to make the most of the Business Club! (Frankly it would be a bit much!)
We recommend that you either:
- join the live sessions on topics that are relevant to you right now or the near future,
- or create your own learning journey on business topics you want or need to work on, such as selling online or wholesale, or creating a new brand. We highly recommend 90-day projects to focus on one topic specifically to move your creative business forward!
- or to simply dip in and dip out of the extensive library of sessions whenever you want a boost of inspiration or need to work on a specific topic. Especially the interviews with the creatives are ideal to listen to while making!
- or join one of our regular Challenges, group review or Q&A sessions, or our Eat That Frog sessions to take action, and to get to know other Business Club members.
To make the most of The Design Trust Business Club we recommend that you make regular time for learning and growing in your creative business. Set aside 1-2 hours each week to learn, and then 2-3 hours to take action and take deliberate steps to improve your business.
We believe in learning by doing. Watching the sessions is step one, taking action in your business is that all important step two!
What if I am not very tech-savvy?
We have made the Business Club as easy as possible to access. All you need is basic knowledge to navigate a website, and access to a computer.
At the heart of the Business Club is our private membership hub, which is a website that’s only accessible for our members. This is where you can access all of the 150+ online workshops, masterclasses and interviews.
We’ll send an email with the latest details of upcoming and recent sessions at the start of the week so you can sign up for the monthly live sessions. You will get a confirmation email immediately and a reminder too. You click the link in the email to connect live to the Zoom session, where you will be able to see and hear the guest speaker and Anne-Marie Shepherd, our Business Club Manager.
If you miss the live session then you can watch it afterwards in the private membership hub as all sessions will be recorded.
Is there a contract?
We like to keep things simple and transparent here at The Design Trust so there is no contract.
You can sign up for a monthly or annual Business Club membership.
The monthly membership automatically renews and you will pay on the same date every month. If you want to cancel your membership you simply stop your Paypal or Stripe payment or you email us, and your membership will stop.
If you sign up for the annual Business Club membership then you will get access for 12 months. You will get a reminder 10 days before your new Business Club membership is due, so you can cancel it if you want to.
Big bonus: We have a FIXED PRICE policy for our Monthly and Annual Business Club membership, which means that the price of your membership will NOT go up*. This means that if you stay a member for a few years that your membership does not increase if we decide to increase the membership price. (Indeed some of our most loyal Business Club members are still paying only £8,- per month, which was what we charged in 2014 when we started the Business Club!) This is our way of saying THANK YOU to our most loyal clients.
*not valid if we have a special sale on, as you will get a big discount then anyway!
Are there any special Business Club membership perks? (Hint: Oh yes!)
If accessing 150+ online classes wasn’t enough …
If you join our Business Club membership then you will get a 20% discount on all our online courses! Plus we regularly give you special offers from us or specially selected partners, and early or exclusive access to additional training too.
Al the details are on the home page of the Business Club, which you can access when you are a member.
I would like personal advice or coaching. Do you offer that?
The Design Trust specialises in providing online training and memberships for creatives in a group, because we believe that learning from each other is a crucial part to take action and develop your business.
We also want to keep the costs down as much as possible for our expert training. (Expect to pay around £100,- p.h. for professional business coaching!)
The Business Club especially is aimed at creatives who are self-motivated and committed to grow by themselves, and want easy access to a wide range of business topics and experts.
If you are looking for private advice or coaching then note that we only provide that as part of some of our online courses, such as Sell More Online or Teach Your Creative Skills Online. For more details see these course pages.
Can I share the Business Club with somebody else?
Sorry, you can’t.
When you join the Business Club it’s for you only.
If you work in a formal business partnership then you can share it with your business partner, but please do not share with creatives who have not paid for the membership. If we become aware that you have shared content with others then we will terminate your membership immediately and we will not provide any refunds.
Like you, The Design Trust is a small creative business and the Business Club is based on our 25 years+ experience and that of all the guest speakers and successful creators (we pay all of our speakers by the way!).
It’s full of our and their proprietary knowledge and copyrighted strategies. Please do not share it with others. You wouldn’t like it if others would ‘use’ your ideas either, would you?
I have another question ..
If you have got any questions about The Design Trust Business Club membership or any of our online courses then please email us on [email protected] We are happy to help.
What you’ll learn
Rolemodels: Learning from Successful Creative Professionals
Creative Business Planning & Goal Setting
Management & Getting Organised
Finance & Money
Grow & Diversify Your Creative Business
Legal: Intellectual Property
Wellbeing, Confidence & Mindset
Getting started with branding
Photography, Film & Video & Styling for your Creative Business
Selling Online & Websites
12.3NEW* Masterclass: ‘How to turn website visitors into buyers’ with Patricia van den Akker (2h36″)
12.4Webinar: ‘How to write product titles & descriptions that sell’ with Patricia van den Akker (56″)
13.10*NEW* Webinar: ‘An introduction to TikTok for your creative business’ with Penny Walker (1h01″)
14.0Masterclass: ‘Practical email marketing to boost your sales’ with Patricia van den Akker (1h35″)
Selling to Shops, Galleries & Trade
Selling higher-end creative products & services
Making the Most of (Virtual) Events & Trade Shows
Getting into the Press
Design, Create, Produce & Manufacture
Sustainable Business Practice