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Episode #121: Website Design for Museums With Eric Holter

Eric Holter of Cuberis talks about how their niche of designing websites for museums has helped their creative business get work easier, be more profitable, be memorable and be seen as industry experts. He also talks about how he gets clients.


Eric HolterEric graduated from Rhode Island School of Design in 1991. He began his first web design firm in 1995. Having grown his original company to 18 employees, he successfully sold the business to a key employee in 2013. From 2013 to 2016, Eric consulted other design firms helping them to effectively manage and market their practices. Eric’s insights on the business of creative entrepreneurship can be found at holter.com.

Among Eric’s consulting clients was Ray Parrish, owner of Cuberis. In 2016, after Ray relocated from Durham, N.C. to San Diego, Calif., Eric and Ray began an ownership transition, which was completed in 2020. Eric is a craftsman at heart and enjoys putting his decades of experience to work on complex, multi-faceted museum websites.


Getting to Know Eric

Colleen Gratzer: Welcome to the podcast, Eric. It’s great to have you here.

Eric Holter: Thanks, Colleen. I appreciate it.

Colleen: I thought we’d start off with some fun questions.

Eric: Sure.

Colleen: Would you rather be able to talk to animals or would you rather be able to speak all foreign languages?

Eric: I’m going to go with the foreign languages. Because I think in general, most human beings are more interesting than animals.

Colleen: Oh. I think I might have to disagree with that part. But I would go for the foreign languages too. Sound like fun. I love foreign languages.

Eric: If you actually could talk to animals, you’d find that most of what they have to say is, “Feed me.” It probably gets tiring very quickly.

Colleen: I would like to know what my dogs are thinking.

Eric: Probably, “Feed me.”

Colleen: Yeah. Most of the time, sure.

If you had to choose between chocolate or coffee, which would you choose?

Eric: Chocolate. No doubt about it. I drink coffee, but mostly out of necessity. I actually love it that much. So chocolate without question.

Colleen: I would choose chocolate too. I’m not a coffee person.

Picking a Niche

Colleen: You have a really interesting niche. I really wanted to talk about this because so many designers are hesitant to pick a niche because they feel like they’re going to be alienating other people that come to that.

You have a great website. You have an awesome business going and you have a really specific niche.

I wanted to ask you some questions about that. I want to find out how you got into museums as a niche, to begin with.

Eric: Yeah, yeah. It’s part of a slightly longer history with that first company that I sold. Afterward, I started consulting other similar design firms. One of my clients in that period of time was Cuberis, Ray brought me on as a consultant.

One of the things that I taught all of my clients is you have to position yourself narrowly. If you’re going to effectively market yourself, there’s just no other way to do it. If you’re going to effectively market, it requires a pinpoint positioning.

I walked him through all that as well as other business management aspects to running his firm. He began the process of deciding, “OK, well, if I’m going to do this, what am I going to choose?”

One of the things that you ought to do if you’re looking for a position for your firm is to look at your past work.

  • What have we done?
  • What have we enjoyed doing the most?
  • What projects have been the most successful—the most profitable?

As he looked at all the work he had done, they had done a couple of museum sites at that point and they eventually landed on that. It took them quite a while, which is also very common. When you make that decision to narrowly position yourself, you have to decide, and it’s a bit scary to decide to focus so much. You want to make that decision carefully.

They chose museums, but I was still just a consultant to them at that time. It was a couple of years later when Ray relocated. We began an ownership transition. I essentially inherited the museum space, though, I did kind of help them as they were working through that decision-making process. But at the time it was for their company, and now it’s mine as well.

Colleen: When you took over the company, why did you decide to keep that as a niche? Did you consider changing it at all?

Eric: Yes, I definitely considered it. At one point, I was just about ready to do that. The museum work itself is fantastic. But one of the things I didn’t know about museums–when Cuberis started doing it, they didn’t know it either—is that museums have extraordinarily long sales cycles. They are locked into just institutional decision-making processes.

With normal marketing, if you pick a niche, and then you start marketing to that niche, you can persuade the owner of a company or a CEO of a company that you’re the right fit and they can just decide to hire you. It’s just a matter of coming up with pricing.

With museums, it’s just not the case. You have to engage in a lengthy RFP process. They have to wait for grant funding to come through. The decision making is going to be by committee, always.

I could have a conversation with a museum director or a marketing director at a museum and completely persuade them. They should definitely hire our firm. But that doesn’t mean they’re going to start a project next week. It’s still going to be a long time and in the institutional process, it doesn’t… The institutions don’t always make the best decisions. Often, they make a safe decision.

There are a lot of challenges there. As a result, it took a lot of time to get traction in marketing to this niche. I think we had some early success right away, which was a little bit of an anomaly actually, because then, we entered into a relatively long 2- to 3-year season where we were picking up new clients, but not nearly enough new clients.

It was just getting too long. Not fast enough. So I was thinking about switching.

Benefits of Niching

Eric: Then we hit that stride where all of the work we’ve been doing over those years, started to come back around.

Now that we’ve been doing this for 5 or 6 years, I’m regularly getting RFPs and requests for conversations. I still engage in active marketing.

But one of the nice things about positioning is once you’ve been successful with it, it’s like you roll the boulder uphill getting it started. But once it starts rolling down the other side, you don’t really have to market anymore.

I mean, I do, and you should, but it just builds on itself.

We’re now more or less at that point where we’re getting way more inbound inquiries than we have to go out and find work.

I’m glad I stuck with it. But there was a moment there where we did almost switch to something else.

Colleen: I’ve seen a similar thing with my business when I started focusing on accessible design and accessibility services. I started that back in 2016, and I found the same thing.

For several years, I felt like I was going uphill, trying to do all the things and the different types of design and doing them for so many people. I felt unfocused.

Once I got that focus, it seemed to really gain traction over time. I could totally relate to that.

Eric: When I was consulting, I would always tell my clients that once they picked a position, it was going to probably take them maybe 6 months to implement.

You have to redesign or rebrand perhaps. You have to build content. You have to do some planning and your marketing.

But even then, once you kick that off, they should assume at least 18 months. It takes time. You’re putting in a lot of upfront effort. But there’s a great long-term payoff in the long run. It’s worth doing but you have to be patient with it.

Like I said, with museums, it wasn’t 18 months. It was more like 5 years. So it just took a lot longer. But you could pick a niche that’s far easier to move into. But even then, 18 months is kind of a minimum for getting the real traction going.

Colleen: The type of work that you do for them is only websites or do you do other types of work?

Eric: Nope, it’s solely websites. It’s only WordPress-based websites.

Colleen: Very specific.

Eric: Yes, very specific.

Whenever I talk about positioning, I talk about horizontal and vertical.

You want to pick your vertical. So for us, our vertical is museums.

Then you want to pick a horizontal. In our case, it’s websites—WordPress websites for museums.

If you don’t pick both, you don’t get that axis to focus on.

If you really have that targeted, you can be extremely effective in your marketing. You can be extremely effective in how people respond to your marketing, whereas, if you lose, one or the other, if you’re just a website specialist but you don’t have any specific area, well, there are a lot of web developers out there.

Or if you’re a design firm and you focus on the medical industry, that’s pretty good.

But if you’re also trying to sell every possible service into that, you really water down that positioning. So being able to find a pinpoint on those 2 axes is really important for effective marketing.

Colleen: Yeah. It’s like what you’re saying about targeting different audiences. I remember early on, I got into serving nonprofits by accident because of my first job out of college. I was working in a nonprofit.

I would freelance. I would get all kinds of other nonprofits that knew I worked there. They liked my work and they would just continue to give me work. I would work on that as a freelancer. I just kept building up this client base that happened to be nonprofits. I was kind of thrust into it.

Eric: Yeah.

Colleen: On my website, though, I’m like, “Well, do I want to target nonprofits, or do I want to focus on certain types of small businesses?”

I was constantly finding myself in the position of—when I’m using the wording on the website—talking about your organization or your business. Because organizations and businesses use very different terms.

Eric: Right.

Colleen: Some different industries use different types of terms. It’s totally like what you’re saying about when you pick an audience to focus on. It makes it so much easier.

Eric: Absolutely. It’s also a lot easier to find your audience.

Colleen: Right.

Eric: So if you’re just a designer doing design work for whoever has a significant or sufficient budget, then how do you go out and find a client? Anybody, any business, any nonprofit is in your potential clients, so you can’t even build a list.

One of the things that I talk about in Marketing for Creatives is if you can’t effectively build a list of, say, between a thousand and maybe on the very upper end to 5,000 names that cover your industry, then you can’t even begin. You have to be able to pull a list at a certain point.

If your list is: open the Yellow Pages… Um, Yellow Pages? Definitely dating myself there.

If it could be anybody in a directory, then you have nowhere to start. If you start even speaking into that market with just a general, “Hey, I’m a designer. Do you need anything?” You’re lost in the noise. You can’t even begin.

Colleen: The museums that you work with, do they ever come to you and say, “We also need this display designed, which is a print piece or we need this design.”? How do you handle that?

Eric: Well, actually, we don’t get asked that very often because it’s very clear right up front at what we do.

If we were to, we would certainly look for a partner. Maybe social media might be an example. We don’t do active social media work. But sometimes a client might need some help with that and we can make a recommendation to somebody.

But we are very clear. We just work on just the website. We do broaden it out a little bit in that museums often have a third-party platform that they have to work with, specialized CRMs or marketing platforms. We will help them with those because it’s integrated into websites. It goes back and forth.

We will help with some of those specialized platforms. But, beyond that, we just stay focused on their website.

Colleen: Most designers might say, “Oh my gosh, then you’re just giving away work.” Why would you give up the work and refer it out rather than take it in?

Eric: Well, for one thing, once your positioning is working, and your marketing is working, you know it’s working because you have far more demand than you have capacity. That’s by definition if that’s what you want to have.

More people want to work with you than you can possibly work with. Your options at that point are to scale, hire more people, or say no to some and only take on the best ones.

But that also means you’re completely busy. So why would you take on projects that you’re probably not very efficient at doing because you don’t do it all the time?

Colleen: Exactly.

Eric: In place of work, you know exactly what you’re doing and it’s highly profitable and highly efficient, which is another huge benefit of having a narrow focus. You only increase your efficiency and expertise. That makes your work—if you’re billing by fee is post hourly—all the more profitable.

Once you’re there, and it’s happening, you have more demand than capacity. It’s obvious that, well, why would I spend time doing stuff I don’t know how to do very well, for less money and efficiency?

I’ll just keep doing what I know I’m doing well and stay focused on that.

Colleen: Like what you’re saying when you’re doing the same kind of work all the time, it’s like you can come up with a process. That’s where efficiency really comes in…

Eric: Yeah, 100%!

Colleen: …the processes. If you start throwing other things in there, well, what do we have to do for this?

Eric: Yeah.

Colleen: It’s also like you’re changing up. You have to put on a different hat sometimes. You’re switching skills.

Eric: Absolutely. The efficiencies are involved when you do the same thing all the time. That’s actually another reason creatives don’t really want to do this sometimes.

It’s not just they’re afraid they’re going to lose out on opportunities. They also think they’re going to get bored.

Colleen: Right.

Resistance to Niching

Eric: Creatives have that artistic identity. They want to explore and experiment. That’s fine. But that also comes as a pretty high cost of never gaining efficiencies, always learning something new and never making real good profits in your business. You do have to overcome that sort of don’t want to be only doing the same kind of work all the time.

I think what I found, generally speaking, and working with various creatives at different stages in their careers, the younger creatives who are maybe still freelancing, or in the first few years of starting a firm, that’s a real problem for them. They just don’t want to do it.

Still too exciting and new.

But it’s the ones that have been doing it 5 years, 10 years or 15 years, getting really tired of burning the candle at both ends. Never turning a profit. Always being feast or famine. That’s when they’re, “OK, I have to get serious.” Then some of the costs associated with it become more tolerable.

Understanding the Unique Needs of a Niche

Colleen: Well, with serving museums, have you found that they have any particular… This kind of goes back to who you’re targeting too. What kind of unique needs do they have that maybe others don’t have? Or how are their needs different?

Eric: They’re quite different. Museum sites’ content is related to one another a lot.

They have events, exhibitions, programs, resources, and collections. They have their blog and their articles. All of those things often interrelate.

If you have a big exhibition you’re putting on. You’re going to have a whole bunch of events that are a part of that exhibition. You’re going to have some marketing and blog posts you’re going to do. You’re going to want to showcase those events and that content specific to your exhibition. Likewise, your collection objects, they’re going to be related to exhibitions, and your programs and events.

There’s a lot of relating of content behind the scenes that has to go on. It just makes the information design a little more complex. The architecture of how you build on WordPress is a little more complex. Then they have their collections themselves, which is a little all over the map.

A lot of museum sites, you’ll notice if you click on their search the collection, most of the time, it’s going to hop over to another third party site. That’s because they have specialized software called collection management software. There are a handful of companies that specialize in providing that and they’re using one of those to keep track of all of their object information.

Those systems will feed into some kind of an online portal. That’s the easiest path for a museum to present its collection online. That’s quite typical.

When we get involved—sometimes that’s the case—if the museum doesn’t have the budget to do integration or to pull those collection objects in-house, into the main website, then we just help them with that aspect.

But other times, we can actually integrate that collection data and pull it right into the WordPress site. That then becomes information that they can relate to other kinds of content. That’s one major difference.

You’ve probably experienced this too with nonprofits. They have specialized customer relationship management systems for managing their donations, and their funding and ticketing events. We want to integrate as much as we can with those, and they tend to be quite difficult to work with.

So just knowing what those limits are, being familiar with some of those platforms and helping our clients to make the best of it sometimes. Or in some cases, being able to integrate some of those transactional form elements, membership forms, and so forth into the site can also be a specialized requirement for museum sites.

Colleen: I imagine you know all of that already. When they come to you, it’s probably an easy yes. Because if they go to another designer who’s not familiar with their needs. They’re not going to be bringing that up. They’re not going to have that experience.

Eric: Oh. Yeah, yeah.

Colleen: That they would know those things.

Eric: Absolutely. I wrote a book called Blazing the Freelance Trail. In it, I talk about the difference between the sales call of a generalist firm and the sales call of a specialist firm. It’s one thing when you finally get an opportunity, right? Everyone’s trying to market so they have lots of opportunities.

But even as a generalist, you get the opportunity—someone finds you, they’re interested in working with you. You have that initial phone call. You get on that call. If you’re lucky, you have an hour. In that hour, you have to pitch yourself, right? Why are you different? Why should they work with you? That takes up 5 to 10 minutes.

Then the client wants to explain who they are. You’ve got to learn, what kind of a company is this? How big is it and what industry are they in? Do I know anything about that industry? You’re asking all these questions about their industry.

You’ve got to start to figure out what their budget might be. You don’t even really know what it ought to be because you have no idea. You’ve never done this kind of thing before. But you’re going to come away having to write a proposal. You’re just doing this dance.

The more questions you have to ask the prospect, the more that prospect knows that you don’t really know their industry very well. They might move on.

Or maybe you just get lucky and they like you personally. There’s chemistry. There’s a good recommendation or something and you get the project. But then you got to learn how to do this whole thing from scratch.

Whereas, when I take a sales call, we do the initial discussion and then show how our approach is different and some similarities there.

But then I just jump in to start asking them questions:

  • Are they using Blackbaud for their CRM?
  • Are they using this other one?
  • Do they use Tessitura for collection or gallery systems?
  • I ask them what their events are and how often they repeat, how many have to be transactional and about their donation system.

I’m asking them questions. They don’t even know what the answers are.

But the difference is in my being able to isolate those specific questions. I know I need to know more in order to write a proposal. Then them having to say, “Oh. I’ll get you that information. Oh, that is good. That’s a good point. Let me find out.”

Just that experience, that almost always closes the sale, because they know that they’re dealing with someone who’s going to be able to lead them through the project because they’ve done it dozens of times before—instead of this being the first time that they ever talked to a museum.

Colleen: Right. You’re in that expert position versus the order taker position. They come to you and say, “This is what we need. This is what we want.” You’re kind of asserting yourself with those questions. You’re not only demonstrating interest in them by asking the questions. It’s also asserting yourself and putting yourself in that position with those questions.

Eric: 100%. That’s yet again, another benefit of positioning. The expertise that you gain from it is right out of the gate. You’re in the leadership position.

Colleen: Yes!

Eric: From the sales call, through the proposal, to the kickoff meeting, they see you as the leader, someone who’s leading them through a process.

You’re confident because you have done this before. That confidence the client has in you gives you enough credit in the trust bank to actually lead the project and move them in the right direction.

I just had a kickoff call today with a new client, had about 12 different people in there, from the museum on the call. I walked them through our process and the whole thing. They just received all of the leadership that I’d done. They’re ready to do the next phase of prototyping. They have a high degree of confidence. I had the director applauding—literally—on the call.

Colleen: Wow.

Eric: The difference between that and if this was my first museum website was me asking them a thousand questions. Trying to get my head around these things and them saying things like the donation platform that the school uses and I’m writing that down, talking about EmbARK in web kiosk and writing that down. I’ve got to find out about that now.

Instead, I would be able to say, “Oh, yeah, we’ve worked with EmbARK, you know, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts uses it, and I’m aware of the new version and how its templating structure will allow us to pull in the continent display.”

Boom, you’re leading.

That leadership now lets you produce an excellent project, because the client’s not nervous. They’re not second guessing. They’re not designing by committee.

Having that expertise that comes from your positioning is so valuable in actually doing great work.

Colleen: I’ve totally found that to be the same experience as well. It feels so much better to be on that side of things than on the other side of things, for sure.

Eric: Right, right.

Challenges With This Niche

Coleen: Yeah. You were saying that one of the challenges that you face with this niche is the long sales cycle. Are there any other challenges that you have with this niche? Or is that the main one, which is kind of a big one?

Eric: Budgets are always in a normal sales situation. Blair Enns is one of the guys that I followed. I used to actually work with him. We did their setup in Cuberis, but my previous company did his site as well.

He’ll talk about how you can anchor your pricing and value pricing. It’s all really important.

With a museum, they have a grant and it’s got a number associated and that’s their budget. Full stop. It doesn’t matter whether they think you might be worth more value. They don’t have any more money.

That’s a reality I’ve had to do a ton of exploration and a ton of behind the scenes. Figuring out how to build efficiencies so that I could pull off all of their needs and at the same time, have room in that budget for profit. It’s taken many years.

When I first started, I’d say the budgets would go over by double. Day 1 when I began working at Cuberis originally and now I can finish a project at almost half of the budget and the other half being profit margin.

I’ve got plans to build even more efficiencies. When you do work over and over again, you’re able to find those efficiencies. I don’t have to go out and find tools that might work for this museum, or I might not. I will have sunk all that time. I know which tools are going to work. I know the limits of those tools. I know how to get around those limits. I know what tools aren’t going to work.

I’ve got all that experience and I bring that to the table as part of the value of what we offer.

We can meet those budgets that they have for their proposals. Deliver way more value and make a profit on it, which is always nice when you’re in business. You don’t always want to be hitting or going over budget for every single project.

From a business perspective, there’s just no argument against it. From a personal creative perspective, I can see why a lot of designers often hesitate.

If you can overcome that, there’s a pot of gold at the end of that rainbow.

Colleen: Well, I guess the thing with what you were saying was budget. That could also be an advantage because they are probably more forthright with giving you that number.

In my experience, when a nonprofit organization comes to me with a grant, they usually want or they have to spend all the money or they lose it. They will tell you what it is. Sometimes they’ll even say, “OK, well, if you wouldn’t charge the full amount for that, what else could you do for us so we can use the entire thing?” In that sense, I think it makes it easier.

Eric: At this point, I publish my pricing on my website in ranges. But I’m able to even quantify what kind of museum site would fit this range and what kind of site would fit this range. That also gives them a lot of confidence. I know those ranges are relatively in the ballpark for what most grants are going to be.

I want to be able to deliver that value for that grant. We do provide more value. The sites we built in the past, they’re really great sites. But honestly, because we’ve learned how to bring so much value to these projects, the client ends up with a framework that’s so much better and that’s going to last for them than what we could do for twice as much money even 5 years ago.

Efficiency With Niching

Colleen: It’s like what you were saying earlier, if you had to write down on these things, taking notes during the call, and then you have to go look them up. I mean, I remember doing that at some point in my career.

You don’t want every single project that you take on to be, “I’m reinventing the wheel.”

That’s very easy to do with websites, because there are so many different components to them and different functionality.

Nonprofits are maybe going to use certain plugins or functionality, and then you’ve got other ones that might be available. It’s getting to know that system or what they’re used to using. It makes it so much easier because you don’t want to take it on.

Then it’s like, “Oh, my gosh. I really sucked everything into this. I didn’t even make any money off of it.” It’s like the next job is the same kind of thing.

Eric: Yeah. If you just keep going on to new areas, then you never gain that efficiency. You never gain that expertise.

But if you do it twice, three times, dozen times, a hundred times, you really know what you’re doing. You’ve gained all those efficiencies.

That’s been the cornerstone of my creative career, for sure.

It’s learning how to execute that. Learning how to take advantage of that over the years. But it does take time, there’s definitely a lot of front end work.

There are a lot of investments in some ways when I’m talking to creatives. Often, they’re not interested in making a change until they’re in a tight spot. Often, they’re at the end of their rope, but you tell them, well, it’s going to take a whole lot more work to fix it.

It makes it difficult. But if you can get over that hump. If you can get over that mountain and be able to get out to the other side. It is huge. It really makes a real difference.

Niche Marketing

Colleen: Oh, you were saying earlier that you really don’t have to do any marketing, as everybody comes to you. What did you do to actually get to that point? Do you feel like you’re well known in this niche? Is that why that’s happening?

Eric: Yeah, yeah. I’m a huge content strategy person, publishing websites and articles. I’ll write a monthly article, typically, on various aspects. These are specifically museum-oriented issues and questions.

So when people view that content, just seeing the titles they don’t even have to read an article. They have to scan the page of articles. They can see that we’re writing about all sorts of aspects specific to museums.

It serves from that perspective, from a sales persuasion closing standpoint. But also every time you put out a piece of content that is a hook. That’s something someone might be searching for. They find it. They discover our site. Then they say, “Oh, wow, a museum expert, this is great. I didn’t know such a person existed.”

From there, the process goes very smoothly. Once you do that long enough, not only do you get, those long-tail inquiries… In other words, someone’s typing in best museum blogs and they find our article that reviews different blogs and museums. Now they know about us. It would be like a long-tail lead.

Then you also can get, over time, that position on the first page of Google. If you type in web design museums or web development museums, we’re on the first page of Google. We have been for a long time. Most of our inquiries come that way.

Of course, the referral network as well, once you’ve been doing enough sites in a space long enough. People move jobs. They talk to each other. They go to conferences. You get that word of mouth going. We’re on that other side. We’re getting lots of those inbound leads.

Getting there, though, you do have to do a lot more work. You have to produce all that content in the first place. You have to give it time. It’s got to be out there. You have to have people find it and find you. You can just accelerate your pace early on, do a little bit more content development.

We spend some time going to museum-specific conferences. Ideally, speaking at museum-specific conferences. If you can be a speaker, at one of those very specific industry conferences, that’s huge.

We were able to do that a few times. That helps to accelerate our progress a bit.

I also use LinkedIn a lot. I think that’s just an amazing platform. When I first was marketing, I had to literally type names and addresses out of parent directories into a FileMaker database…

Colleen: Yup. I love FileMaker.

Eric: …send physical letters, make phone calls and literal cold calls.

The fact that I can just click a connect button and make a connection, it’s beautiful. I’m a big fan of LinkedIn.

Marketing for Designers

Colleen: This has been so insightful. I’m sure designers are really going to find this helpful. You’ve given out so many great tips.

But what’s funny is that when I first reached out to you about your client business site Cuberis, it was because of our mutual—well, your client that you had me do a website accessibility audit for.

Eric: Right, right.

Colleen: So only then did I find out that you had a course for designers, which just happened to go superbly with this whole conversation that I had planned to talk to you about just based on your own business.

Eric: Right, right.

Colleen: Do you want to go ahead and talk about your marketing course for designers?

Eric: Yeah, sure.

I was consulting in this space for about 5 years and then I changed gears. Decided to help one client out full time as opposed to consulting and working with many different clients. Then I just have entrepreneurship in my blood.

I also have just a desire to help designers out—creative entrepreneurs out—because I’ve walked that path. We go to art school and they don’t teach you anything about business. You get thrown into a business, a service business which is a really hard business model to run. You have no idea what you’re doing. You can do great work but you don’t know how to make money doing that work.

I’ve always wanted to help. I did it from a consulting perspective. I wrote a book because I wanted to help in that way.

I launched a sort of a side hustle business called Holter Marketing, where I wanted to provide more resources.

I’ve got articles and a podcast there. I’m not producing it right now but there’s a bunch of episodes there, as well as a course that I built. Because I’ve found over the years, it just takes so much time for creatives not only to warm up to the idea but then implement that idea. Then see it through until they get to that 2-year mark where they’re really starting to see it pay off now.

Colleen: Right, right.

Eric: Then post all of the differences it makes in running their business. That’s a lot of time, fear, and confusion to endure between now and success.

I made it into a course so that creatives could do it at their own pace. It’s 3 hours of material. It talks about positioning, the specifics of positioning, barriers to positioning, how to go about picking one, how to validate it using LinkedIn, how to do a content strategy around that positioning, how to actually roll that out using LinkedIn and AirTable, and finding prospects and reaching out. It goes through the whole process.

Then Cuberis—that’s when we started hitting our stride with Cuberis. I had to say, “I’m going to leave this for creatives to benefit from.” I’m not actively running that side because I’m literally, at this point, actually a little overwhelmed with my museum work.

I do offer some lightweight advisory services. Someone could book a half an hour with me, paid half-hour through Calendly.

I will do a positioning workshop with somebody if they are that far along, where they’re ready to really do this now. They want to work with somebody who can really test and make sure that’s good positioning and that they’re not going to invest a lot of energy moving forward with the positioning that’s perhaps not there yet. I will do some of that with some creatives.

Colleen: That’s great. Where can they find your course?

Eric: They just go to holter.com where they will find my articles, links to my book, the podcast, as well as the course, which is called Marketing Mastery for Creative Entrepreneurs.

I did set up a $50 promo code for your listeners. So just use DD at checkout and they’ll get a $50 discount if they’re interested in it.

Colleen: Awesome. DD as in Design Domination.

Eric: That’s right.

Colleen: That’s awesome. Well, thank you so much! It’s really been great talking to you.

Eric: Yeah, likewise.

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