Brutally Honest: No-bullshit business strategies to evolve your creative business

by Emily Ruth Cohen

Rated 5.00 out of 5 based on 3 customer ratings
(3 customer reviews)

$38.00

Paperback | 276 pages

Need some tough love for evolving your creative business? Brutally Honest is the book for you!

Description

Brutally Honest is:

  • Opinionated, direct, and, at times, downright painful. Don’t agree with everything? Great. Use Brutally Honest as a tool to spark debate and stimulate deeper thinking about your business.
  • Real-world smart. I didn’t read about these strategies in business books; I’ve lived and breathed them for over 20 years as a consultant to creative businesses. Just like you, spreadsheets give me a headache.
  • Inspired by my clients and colleagues and a direct result of the collective learnings I’ve gathered from the mistakes they’ve made, the challenges they’ve encountered, and the innovative business ideas and strategies they’ve experimented with, refined, and implemented.
  • Written by someone that loves design (this is actually what I have a degree in!) and cares about our industry.
  • Delivered to you the only way I know how: Brutally Honest!
A teaser of what's inside! Are you excited?
A teaser of what’s inside! Are you excited?

I never make a serious business move without first consulting Emily Cohen. With ‘Brutally Honest’ Emily makes her immense professional knowledge available to you. Ignore this book and abandon all hope of a career.” – James Victore, Victore Productions

What makes Brutally Honest different?

Yes, there are many business books out there, many of them are even for creative firms and some of them have been written by my colleagues and friends. But, I’ve always felt there was a need for a different type of business book. One that is smart and insightful, yet designed well and fun to read. One that includes a larger perspective from an industry expert (not just from one firm’s perspective). One that dives deep into a topic, but gets straight-to-the-point with lots of actionable and easy-to-digest insights, tips, and checklists.

It also includes a collection of real-world, insightful, and honest case studies that provide a rare behind-the-scenes look at a variety of tested, effective, and often times unique business strategies from your colleagues and peers: 2communiqué • Barrel • Hagopian Ink • Hunt Design • ink + mortar • Intend Creative • Kiss Me I’m Polish • Knox Design Strategy • Local Wisdom • Louise Fili LTD • Matchstic • MCKL • MSLK • Suburbia Studios + FunctionFox • Visual Dialogue • Worstofall Design • We Are How

A sampling of spreads
A sampling of spreads

Thought you knew everything about running a successful design firm? Think again. Emily’s insights make her the designer’s secret weapon—her book will show you the way.” – Louise Fili, Louise Fili Ltd

I would be a brutal liar if I said that working with Emily Cohen did not change my business. Emily’s work made me finally understand the real value of my own work. And, I’m sure her book will do the same.” – Matteo Bologna, Mucca Design

Brutally Honest covers the who, what, when, why, & how of:

  • Evolving and positioning to stay competitive and remain sustainable
  • Marketing and promotional strategies
  • Writing effective case studies
  • Building new relationships and pursuing new opportunities
  • Qualifying and winning the best prospects
  • Evaluating and refining your organizational structure
  • Recruiting and managing staff
  • Crafting effective, value-added pricing strategies
  • Writing winning proposals
  • Crafting retainer relationships
  • Understanding must-have industry terms and conditions
  • Improving project and client management strategies
  • Learning about industry trends and peer-created best practices

 
Why did I write Brutally Honest?

As a brutally honest consultant, I have been honored to consult and work with many leading design firms across the country. Through these experiences, I have developed, tested, and curated key business insights and strategies that have helped firms become more effective, profitable, and fun to work at. I am a designer by education, but quickly transitioned to the business side of the creative industry out of love and passion. I love to share this passion and my expertise through speaking engagements, guest posts, teaching, webinars, industry activism, and, now, Brutally Honest: No bullshit strategies to evolve your creative business.

Some of my AMAZING clients

Heads of State

Hyperakt

Open

Viscul Creative

About the Author

Emily Ruth Cohen As a “brutally honest” business consultant, the author, Emily Cohen, consults and works with many leading design firms across the country. Through these experiences, she has developed, tested, and curated key business insights and strategies that have helped firms become more effective, profitable, and fun to work at. A designer by education, she quickly transitioned to the business side of the creative industry out of love and passion. She loves to share this passion and her expertise through speaking engagements, guest posts, teaching, webinars, industry activism, and, now, Brutally Honest: No-bullshit strategies to evolve your creative business.

Emily Cohen is definitely not a SWOT style consultant that comes in, gives advice, and leaves. Rather, she works with her clients over several months and, often, over many years. She helps her creative clients develop, build, refine, and grow their firms or in-house teams. Emily’s consultations usually start with a full-day engagement during which she works with them to outline their business goals and develop a prioritized action plan. She then continues to advise them throughout the next few months or years, keeping them on track and helping them pivot, when necessary. For longer-term clients, she works with them periodically, as their virtual business partner, on an as-needed basis to problem solve or work through and strategize a particular challenge or opportunity.

Additionally, for over 30 years, she has been an active member of AIGA (since graduating from college), served as Secretary for the NY Board of Directors, and has spoken at both their national conferences as well as to over 20 chapters across the country, including their Design Camp in Minnesota. Emily has also taught professional practices at New York University (NYU) as well as The Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) and, currently, at Temple University’s Tyler School of Art.

Learn More   Contact Me

3 reviews for Brutally Honest: No-bullshit business strategies to evolve your creative business

  1. Rated 5 out of 5

    Mary-Lynn Bellamy-Willms, CEO, Founder, Partner, FunctionFox

    I have to say, WOW!! I did a quick review of your book and it is AWESOME!! Congratulations!! This book is something that will SAVE people from a lot of the pain of starting and/or running a successful design business. It’s so instructive, and – as promised – very honest and easy to follow and understand. You’ve taken away the mystery and shown your audience exactly what to do and how to do it if they want to succeed on a high level. ( I also THANK YOU for including our story!! That is so cool for us! )

  2. Rated 5 out of 5

    Laura Wertkin

    I just got my book and I am blown away! Emily, you did an incredible job sharing a dense amount of information in a user-friendly, engaging way. The book is beautiful and the content is just as high-quality. You certainly don’t do things half-assed! Congratulations are definitely in order.

  3. Rated 5 out of 5

    Steve B

    What a great book. I picked this up after I saw Emily speak thinking it may not have much for me personally (I’m a creative consultant) and wow was I wrong. Even though this book is focused to the creative business I found it easily applies to any small business.

    Also I can’t say enough about the straightforward style of this book. So many business books are filled with so much useless fluff and redundant examples. “Brutally Honest” gives you just what you need with pertinent examples that are seperated from the “what you need to do” advice. This let’s you get right to what you want — It truly is a No BS guide. Highly Recommend.

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