Do you need a personal consulting session to help you go freelance or shift your careers?

Hi there, 

Want to plan your career moves and need a personal coach to help you do some of the strategic planing? 

I’m running a limited offer (book before Thursday 6am London time) on helping ten people plan their strategy to finally go freelance this year. 

As you might know I've written three books on the subject and also have a Skillshare on the subject. Book a spot via my Kickstarter campaign and let’s Skype or meet in person to discuss your future. 

Here is the link:

Cannot wait to help you make the moves.

PS: If you wonder why so fast and why now. Here is the explanation:

It’s a wrap! February

February started with the launch of the Veganz Online Shop in Austria. We’ve gathered a fine group of bloggers and Instagramers and invited them to shop in the store. For me personally, it was quite fun to watch what different people bought for the budget we gave them. Given Veganz is currently working on making it as easy as possible to shop vegan food in all sorts of convenience stores all across Europe, it was also super lovely to be a part of the contract signing with Carrefour, the largest food retailer in France.

Having been working freelance and mostly by myself for the past four years, my collaboration with Veganz challenges me in a whole lot of different ways. I’ve been setting up internal comms and briefing processes. One of the solutions I’ve found valuable to communicate with distributed teams in the past years has always been Trello. I organize my own workload using the app and I’ve always really liked using it when working with others. I believe Trello brings more transparency and structure, so I introduced it to the marketing team at Veganz. 

Seeing how much more transparency Trello has brought to the marketing team at Veganz has really helped kill some of the time consuming projects the team had to deal with. We’ve been using the software for a little over five weeks, and while there is still a long way to go for the system to really bring all the benefits, it’s been an improvement that’s helped organize and communicate projects without having them disappear from people’s sights and minds. 

This past month I’ve also started teaching. I’m giving a course on social media for designers. The first lesson must have been quite shocking for the students. I care very little about follower counts and engagement rates. To me, what matters most when it comes to social are the human connections and opportunities one can unlock using the available tools. I’m not planning on teaching how to make a living being a social media celebrity. I don’t know if one can study how to have genuine relationships, but I do know I’m not very interested in teaching people how to trick different platforms' algorithms. I really believe that people follow others online who they find inspirational. They follow people they think do cool stuff, so it’s more about doing cool stuff and less about following/unfollowing to get people’s attention in a rather unethical way. We’ve, for example, watched Mr. Bingo’s Kickstarter video, talked about Lauren Hom’s idea to letter blackboards in restaurants around NYC in return for a free lunch, and we’ve also discussed LadyVenom’s article on how she got to 270K followers. 

I also had the chance to participate in a workshop organized by the incredible agency (and one of my incredible clients) Hanzo. I also spoke at the LifeStartFest at the London College of Fashion amongst some other incredible people, such as Victoria Stoyanova, Erik Rodin, Kristi Kuiken, Gemma Milne, Luke Whitehead, and other wonderful minds who joined the crowd as mentors. I really hope I get to work with LifeStart even more in the future. 

As a fun fact, I was one of the sources for the New York Times article about the Viennese ball season. Anyway, I’m still really busy working on way too many projects, but will be launching another Kickstarter project in March to fund a guide of the Berlin café scene. If you’d like to have a coffee, please check where I am these days! I’ll try to make it happen. 

Okay, bring it on, crazy busy March! 

How I made the Berlin guide before showing up at my client’s office every day at 10am.

The other day I got up at 4am. I needed to wait for my flatmate to finish his morning routine. He usually gets up so early, which sometimes wakes me up too. Whenever I fall asleep early the night before, it’s almost impossible for me to get back to sleep. (Now you know how I sometimes manage to work on so many projects simultaneously.)

I sat up in my bed and logged into the Google Doc with all the text I wrote for the Berlin guide. I noticed Diana started editing them. Within a couple of minutes, I implemented all the texts into the Kickstarter page before taking Orion out, then cooking her breakfast rice. She was pleased. She’d finally get breakfast earlier than usual. Eating is her favorite pass time. Once we were both ready, I jumped on the subway and went all across town to Wilmersdorf. I’m glad dogs can't talk back and are just happy to follow along. 

At this point, I still needed to take ten pictures for the Berlin guide and do so within a week if I wanted to meet the deadline I set for myself for the Vienna guide. (At the time, I had no idea I’d print a guide about Berlin too.) 

Of the ten places I had on my list to photograph, Benedict is the only one that opens before 8:30am. 

One thing is sure: Berlin’s not for early birds. 

The reason I decided to create a second Kickstarter project so quickly after publishing the one about Vienna is because I didn’t want to compromise on the quality of the paper I printed these guides on. It’s common for printing to become cheaper the more one prints, so instead of printing more of the Vienna guides, I simply decided to create another limited edition and print a guide about Berlin’s cafés. 

Those who follow me on Instagram know I’ve probably spent more time in Berlin’s cafés than Vienna’s coffee houses in the past couple of years anyway. 

I’ve already commissioned MOO to print both guides. That also means I’ll be shipping both sets simultaneously. This second project is for me to refinance the printing I’ve already paid for. 

Thank you so much for supporting this project. I really appreciate it.

The story of how and why I made two city guides within the past few weeks.

A few months ago, an email request trickled in asking me if I’d be interested in teaching a class on social media with the aim of showing young creative students how to best utilize the platforms to get a job. They all share the same problem in that no one wants to give them work unless they have experience (I’ll never get over this). My ambition to this class is to help students simulate they have the experience. Technically, having a company attached to a work experience is nothing more than proof that you have done a certain something. Publishing your work on social media is like getting social proof for having actually really done something. (Is this something I should write more about?)

Many of the projects I’ve been trusted with have come my way because of some other something I shared online. Now, it would have felt weird to me to come into a classroom and talk about publishing a book. I needed a much smaller project that would be technically and logistically easy to pull off. Even for students. That’s how the Vienna guide came to live.

Then I realized, if I actually wanted to do something like this, the paper had to be absolutely exceptionally beautiful. I needed to increase the print run, so I decided to publish a second guide; one to highlight Berlin’s best cafés. That one is now live on Kickstarter:

I’d really appreciate if you’d take a look. Possibly even share the news with others.

Thanks a million!

It’s a wrap! January 

At the end of last year, it became clear that I’d return to Berlin once again. It’s not even that I was actively looking for opportunities to be in the city. It really feels like every time I open myself to being in Berlin, the city draws me back immediately. 

On the 15th of January, I began working with Veganz. At first it was planned I’d oversee the social media strategy for 2018, however - and given I care about integrated communication throughout all departments - I’m now leading the marketing team. It’s a team of twelve responsible for communication, brand management, graphic design, online store, and of course, customer care. We’ll soon be hiring native English, French, and Italian speakers to help us with translation and copywriting, given we’re planning to expand to new markets. 

I've also started working with Student Life Start, which is an initiative to help students start a career they love. It's something I’m very vocal about and even more excited to be involved in a project like that. 

Given in the past three years I always ran a Kickstarter project, I couldn’t help myself but published one this year too. Last year, Kickstarter began an initiative called #Make100 inviting you to create something, anything, 100 times. I decided to create a small guide about the Viennese coffee culture and print it on MOO business cards. It’s a fun, small project, which I’m mostly doing as a case study to use in the classes I’m teaching at the New Design University. I’ll start teaching there at the end of February. 

And because I always aim to share the wisdom that has served me well, I’ve recorded a class on editing and monetizing smartphone photos. The class is now available on Skillshare. 

I’m fully booked until mid April. If you already know about a project for any time after you’d like me to get involved in, please get in touch! 

#Make100: A Pocket-Sized Guide to Viennese Coffee Houses

I’m excited to tell you about my latest side project. A couple of years ago, a dear friend gave me a card game, a quartet, featuring Viennese coffee houses. Since then, I’d pull out the deck from time to time and count how many places I’ve already been to. Sometimes I’d take a few cards with me and carry them in my purse and then put them back in the deck after I’ve visited them. I used them as a visual reminder to explore more.

Then, some weeks ago I posted a photo to Instagram of an incredible café I just discovered that wasn’t a part of the card deck, and I joked how I too should probably create a guide of places in Vienna where you should have a coffee one day. I thought it would be a fun idea to share my dearest café tips with you. To tell you where you have the best view of the city, where you should go in just to wash your hands in the bathroom because the tap is so memorable...where you should order a breakfast for one, or where it’s easy to talk to strangers.

In the past few years, I’ve been taking pictures and sharing them on Instagram. And now, I’m bringing 50 of these photos out as print with little, short, personal notes why this or that place is one you should discover for yourself. I’m printing them on business card sized cards so that it’s easy to stuff the whole deck or just a few cards in your pocket.

Whether you’re new to the city, planning to visit Vienna in the future, or already live here and want a fun, pocket-sized reminder that you can carry around with you to help you explore new places, this deck of cards is for you. As a try-out to see if you enjoy this format as much as I do, I’m doing a print run of 100 sets only. Now that I have launched this project, you have less than 14 days to snatch one of these sets for yourself. Please tell your friends who’d be interested! Thank you!



Editing and monetizing your smartphone photos.

Do you sometimes wonder how some people manage to take stunning shots? Do you feel a little discouraged because you can’t afford all the expensive gear professional photographers and leading Instagrammers have? You shouldn’t!

In this class, I’ll guide you through photo editing and show you step by step how to create stunning images you took with your smartphone. Additionally, I’ll share how you can monetize your smartphone photos to supplement your freelance income.

It’s a wrap! December 2017

When I thought about what I’d like to achieve in 2017, I had two things on my mind: I wanted to share my learnings at Creative Mornings and I wanted to teach. Now that December is over, I’ve come to realize I’ve reached both of these goals. Through a weird series of coincidences, I was asked to speak at Creative Mornings Vienna last February. (My plan was to launch my Kickstarter campaign at the end of the talk, which, given there was a technical bug, wasn’t meant to work out. How apt given the title of the talk which was "Plan B is always better.")

My second goal – to teach – came about unexpectedly as well. My original plan was to discontinue my freelance practice to join the Teach4Austria initiative. Given I went to a secondary school with a high quota of immigrants, I’ve had the desire to give back for a long time. Unfortunately, I didn’t make it through the assessment center. However, my goal to teach happened in a different way. After giving a lecture at the New Design University in November, the students seemed to have enjoyed it so much that I was asked to come back and teach a whole seminar. I lead a seminar on how to use social media to position yourself as a designer online. That brings me to the article I wrote that was published on the Kontist blog where I explain how designers can monetize their talents. 

This past month, I’ve joined the Berlin-based strategic consultancy Beluga to participate in an innovation workshop for a global beauty brand. I might also work with them on a project in the vegan foods industry, which would be incredibly exciting. 

One of the things that happened this past month that I’m most excited about is that SOS Kinderdorf finally tried a different approach to fundraising. During the Edelstoff market, we teamed up with letterers to create beautiful Christmas cards in exchange for donations. On one hand, we had boxes there for people to donate immediately, and on another hand, people were invited to use We’R’SOS to raise money online. I’ve been working with SOS Kinderdorf on different approaches to fundraising for some time, so I'm glad we’re slowly moving forward. 

A small side project also went live a few weeks ago: I made a new website for my yoga teacher. Feel free to book a retreat or come to one of her classes in Vienna. She’s amazing! 

Last but not least, I’m currently learning SQL. If you have any tips, feel free to share! Also, if you need someone to help you with positioning, retention, and/or marketing, don’t hesitate to drop me a line! (helloATmkanokovaDOTcom)