Are you a small business owner who feels a little overwhelmed with aspects of branding, need some help with design, or maybe you just want help honing a clear vision? That’s where super lovely graphic designer Liz Mosley comes in.
With a decade of branding and design experience under her belt, she helps small businesses nail their aesthetic through branding packages, power hours and short courses. She also makes super cool animated GIFs for Instagram Stories, and has her own podcast called Building Your Brand, sharing tips for selling and building a business that you love, with the help of some very special guests.
Aime and Liz became Instagram pals a while back, bonding over a passion for typesetting websites to make them readable and feeling jaded by small business experts giving questionable advice. They later met at an event with Lou from Spark Social, and the rest was history. Aime has even been on Liz’s podcast twice, because she blimmin’ loves talking all things small business and sharing her expert advice.
1. Why did you start your small business?
There have been different strands to my business at different points. I initially registered as self-employed while I still had a full time job because friends and family of friends started asking me to do design projects for them and I decided – why not give them ago. I thought it would be nice to have some of my own projects that weren’t related to my 9-5 job.
I quit my 9-5 after having my first child and focused on running my own business. After my second maternity leave, I realised that I wasn’t going to be able to run the two sides of my business the way I wanted to. So I made the decision to close down my product based business and just focus on the design services.
At the time I was worried I would really miss it, but it’s so nice to look back and be really sure that I made the right decision. As the children have gotten older, I’ve had more time to work on Liz Mosley Design, and while It’s definitely up and down, I am really enjoying being self-employed and the work that I am doing at the moment.
2. Tell us about your background before Liz Mosley Design
I was employed as a graphic designer – I started in a small studio in London and then moved to a big university as an in-house designer. I learnt so much at both jobs and they really set me up well for running my own business – especially the in-house job where I managed my work load on projects from start to finish. Now I find it hard to imagine ever working for someone else full time again.
For quite a few years I sold printed stationery online. I really wanted to do creative work that wasn’t client-related, as that was what I was doing all day every day. Sometimes it’s just nice to design things you want to design, rather than what someone else wants.
I had loads of fun going to craft markets around London, meeting lovely customers, making lots of incredible small business pals. I also think this experience of running a product based business helps me so much now, working with small business clients who also sell products.
3. What is your personal favourite product, collection or service, and why?
I think it would be my branding packages for small businesses – they are bigger and longer packages, but there is something so satisfying about seeing a new/updated look that really reflects the businesses well, and to see how much more confident the client feels afterwards.
4. What’s your bestselling product, collection or service, and why do you think it’s so popular?
Currently, the most popular is my Design Your Own Branding course. This 12-week course walks small business owners through the process of designing their own branding, with lots of help and support.
Not everyone has the budget to be able to outsource branding. After having quite a few inquiries from people who couldn’t invest in my services at that particular point in their business (but knew branding was important), I knew I wanted to create something to help them too.
5. What’s the loveliest thing a customer or fan has said about Liz Mosley Design, that still makes you smile now?
Every now and then a potential client pops into my inbox that makes me squeal out loud with excitement. One was Gemma who runs incredible business Mutha.Hood. She got in touch to ask me to make some GIFs, and gave me some great feedback.
“Working with someone who not only gets the brief, but delivers exactly what you’re looking for at a speed of lightning is what everyone dreams of. Liz’s understanding of GIFs and what looks good is absolutely fantastic, and she is now my Go-To-GIF-Girl!”
It definitely still makes me smile every time of think of it. I have a Trello board full of testimonials, so that I can go back and read them when I need a boost.
6. What’s the loveliest part of running your small business?
It has to be the relationships I’ve built up with clients and other small business owners. So many of my clients have become friends, and I just love getting to know them better and supporting their businesses, even once the project is over. There are so many incredibly inspiring small businesses owners out there, which is why I find it such a lovely community to be part of.
7. Tell us about a significant turning point that positively impacted Liz Mosley Design
At the height of the pandemic in 2020, the lovely Melin Edomwonyi from the Cardiff chapter of Creative Mornings got in touch to ask me if I would consider doing a Virtual Field Trip. In the past, different Creative Mornings chapters had organised these field trips as in-person events, but obviously they went online during lockdown. I was nervous, because at this point I hadn’t done much teaching online, but I decided to go for it.
I had some success creating GIFs for my business which people could use on Instagram or TikTok, and at that point they had had over 1 billion views, so I decided to teach a class on creating your own animated GIFs. Over 300 people turned up from all over the world, and I had really great feedback from the session.
That was the spark which got me really excited about teaching online. I fleshed the workshop out and turned it into a short course, then later made a bigger course, and have taught many many workshops since then.
It MASSIVELY transformed my business, and I am now doing fortnightly live streams for Adobe about Adobe Express. I honestly believe that initial workshop set everything in motion, and I will always be so grateful to Melin for encouraging me to do it.
8. What’s a terribly unlovely thing that you’ve experienced that might have had unintended positive consequences?
I think something a lot of other small business owners can relate to is a much higher than expected tax bill. Although it didn’t feel great at the time, I made sure to remember that it meant that my business was growing and I was earning more.
I hired an accountant, got familiar with accounting software, and started to actually make plans and put money aside for different scenarios. While I still have a long way to go, it feels much better not having that January tax return stress anymore.
9. Sing the praises about of organisation or professional that helped you on your small business journey
One that really stands out is Menekse Stewart. At the beginning of lockdown I did her marketing course, and that coupled with working together on various projects over the last few years has totally changed my business. She is a brilliant marketeer and has helped me to fall in love with email marketing and SEO in particular – both things I never imagined loving!
10. Tell us about a step you’ve taken to make Liz Mosley Design more lovely
Setting up a podcast. It has honestly been one of the mostly lovely things I have done in my business. I get to talk to incredibly inspiring guests (including Aime from Studio Cotton, twice!) but it also genuinely helps small businesses owners, and I am so grateful for all of the lovely DMs and reviews that I get from people telling me how it has helped them!
11. What’s a lovely thing you have planned for the next 12 months of running your small business?
I am planning to take August off work. I am not very good at taking time off, so I am really excited about it, and think it’s going to be brilliant for my creativity and to have an opportunity to focus on my family, travelling and hobbies for a few weeks.
12. As recommended by Liz Mosley
We asked Liz to recommend 3 podcasts, blogs, or Instagram accounts that she’d recommend to other small business owners…
I love the topics they cover and how I am just listening to two friends chat through all the business things I think and talk to my friends about
There are so many really helpful blog posts some that I have even bookmarked so that I can keep coming back to them.
So many helpful tips for doing your own PR and a similar passion and love for supporting small businesses as me!