Creating a digital business – an interview with Janine Nel

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“Our mission is to create an authentic and intentional design for creative women in business.” 

Janine Nel is the owner of Nish Creative, a modern multidisciplinary design studio that tells the stories of women-owned businesses through branding, website design, social media solutions and photography. Cliffordene Norton chats to her about what it takes to create a digital business.

What inspired you to start Nish Creative?

Where to begin! After a successful corporate career and mastering my creative craft as an art director, I finally took the leap of starting my own modern multidisciplinary design studio. Thus, Nish Creative was born out of love and the desire to build something that would make a difference in society. I’ve always wanted to help and empower other female entrepreneurs by telling their stories through branding, website design, social media solutions and photography.

What skills do you need to start a digital design studio?

  • Tech savviness and digital design knowledge – Being proficient in a wide variety of graphic design software will allow you to meet and exceed the expectations of your clients consistently. 
  • Creative thinking – To make an impact and to create innovative design, you need to push the boundaries and combine ideas and processes you haven’t before. 
  • Communicate efficiently and effectively – Clear communication upfront and throughout every meeting, e-mail and call with clients will ensure that you have everything you need to do what you do best and produce great design. 
  • Ability to take criticism – Taking criticism for work done is probably the most difficult thing for any creative. However, to be a successful designer, you must be willing to accept direction for improvement and to build on communication. 
  • Time management – In the busy world of design, you need to be able to track your work, manage time effectively and meet deadlines without compromising quality.

And then, lastly, keep on learning, practising and growing – creativity needs constant exercise and pushing of limits. If you do not put your skills into constant practice, you will lose your flair and soon become obsolete.

Nish Creative focuses on women-owned businesses. Why did you choose this market?

Women entrepreneurs are on the rise and have long been undermined in the entrepreneurship world, but that trend is slowly changing. That’s why I’ve decided to focus on growing female-led businesses and to empower women one brand at a time.

I also find female-founded companies to be transparent, with ethics and values I can easily associate with and, therefore, stand behind and support.

How do you attract new clients? How do you build a good client base?

Word of mouth and online marketing. I’m deeply committed to the long-term success of each client and helping them create lasting growth in their businesses.

What are the three social media platforms that any business should utilise? Why?

  • Instagram – One of the best benefits of Instagram is that it allows you to tell your brand’s story with unique and engaging visual content. Both its feed and its story feature allow you to show off your work and services better than anywhere else.  
  • Facebook – Facebook is a far-reaching platform that has users all over the world. Whether your business goal is brand awareness, website traffic or online conversions, this platform should make a notable difference in reaching your goals when used properly. 
  • Pinterest – If your business falls within a creative industry of any kind or caters more to females, then Pinterest is a social media platform you want to be on. Statistically, about 85% of Pinterest’s user base are females.

What are your tips for someone who wants to start a digital business?

  • Know your goals – Having the end in mind every day ensures you’re working toward it. Set goals, and remind yourself of them each day. 
  • Don’t be afraid to fail – You don’t learn when things go smoothly; you learn when times get tough and solutions and strategies are needed. 
  • Never stop learning – The key to growth, innovation and success is knowledge. 
  • Identify and know your target audience – Focusing on a specific market and delivering them an exceptional product and experience will help grow an impressive client list.

  • Get creative – Always be looking for ways to improve your business and make it stand out from the competition. 
  • Just go for it – If you have an idea and you have the passion, nothing should hold you back from trying.
  • Photos: provided
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