Table of Contents
When Lauren Hom was doodling on the back of her notebooks in school, she never suspected that she’d be able to turn her skill into a full-fledged career. But that’s exactly what the Detroit-based designer and letterer has done.
Lauren’s career was kickstarted in 2013 when she signed a publishing deal to turn Daily Dishonesty, a hand-lettering blog she created the previous year, into a book. Not long after, she decided to leave her full-time marketing job, start Hom Sweet Hom design studio, and pursue a career in lettering instead.
Now, in addition to being a published author and successful freelance artist (with a roster of past clients that include Starbucks, Google, and TIME magazine), Lauren teaches online classes and workshops to help other people learn how they too can use passion projects to shape their career.
And with MailChimp’s email, automation, and landing page tools in her corner, she never has to worry about staying connected with her audience.
Grow your list with a landing page
“When I first started teaching online classes, my business coach told me that I needed to build up a mailing list,” Lauren says. So she started sending out a weekly newsletter through MailChimp, each with a new creative challenge that encouraged her audience to practice lettering and share their work.
“It’s been really successful. I have about 21,000 people subscribed to that challenge, so then when I sell my online classes, I market to that list, too.”
But when it came time to advertise a new livestream series she was planning—which, in turn, would drive people to sign up for her paid classes—MailChimp’s landing page feature caught her eye.
The series—called The Inside Scoop—was a free 5-day livestream event, covering 5 of the most successful passion projects Lauren has worked on throughout her career. And she decided to incentivize the signup process by offering exclusive, lifetime access to each video, so people could go back and watch anytime they wanted.
Each day, viewers had the opportunity to go on a virtual behind-the-scenes tour of a different project, learn about its origins, its outcomes, and the lessons Lauren learned along the way.
Lauren needed a way to not only bring awareness to the livestream itself, but also to drive people to sign up for her list so she could let them know about her upcoming paid classes.
A landing page was a perfect fit.
“I could’ve just promoted [the livestream] on social media, but I think when it has a landing page it looks more legit, especially when coupled with nice graphics and a nice design. That’s really important.”
Design a page that matches your style
As an illustrator and graphic designer, Lauren knew she needed to create a landing page that was a good representation of her brand, which hadn’t always been easy for her to do.
“A lot of marketing websites or landing page tools are just geared towards capturing the email, and the design kind of comes secondary,” she says. “And that’s OK, it works for a lot of brands. But for me, because I’m an illustrator, the design is just as important as the form to sign up for the email. If the page doesn’t look good, it takes away credibility from what I’m teaching.”
“I could've just promoted [the livestream] on social media, but I think when it has a landing page it looks more legit, especially when coupled with nice graphics and a nice design. That's really important.”
As she started designing in MailChimp, she discovered that she was able to easily build a great looking landing page. “I thought I would just give it a try since it was already included in [my MailChimp account]. And if it didn’t go well, I’d just go back to using a different landing page service. But I found that the design capabilities of the MailChimp landing page were way more intuitive than anything else I’ve tried.”
In addition to the signup form, Lauren’s page included a fun GIF that she designed, descriptions about each project (with vivid, colorful photos), links to learn more, and a short bio.
Once it was finished, she promoted the landing page across her Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook accounts for about a week. The results were impressive: The page was visited over 4,100 times, leading to more than 3,200 clicks and 2,200 signups.
Have a plan for new subscribers
Once someone signed up for the list, they received a welcome automation confirming their subscription, followed by a series of emails to help get them acclimated with each of the projects and remind them when it was time to tune in. After each day’s livestream, contacts would receive an email recapping that day’s lesson.
“I push online classes so hard because they completely changed my business model to have a second source of income that is just as powerful as my freelance work, if not more so. It's basically doubled my income. And MailChimp has been huge in helping me grow my business in a way that I never thought I would incorporate.”
After the week of livestreams ended, Lauren then kicked off another another 7-day email series to promote her next batch of paid online classes. The tactic proved successful, leading to the largest number of signups she’s ever had for one of her online classes.
Based on the success of The Inside Scoop, Lauren plans to use landing pages to help spread the word about—and drive signups for—her next round of biannual online classes.
“I push online classes so hard because they completely changed my business model to have a second source of income that is just as powerful as my freelance work, if not more so. It’s basically doubled my income. And MailChimp has been huge in helping me grow my business in a way that I never thought I would incorporate.”
Put yourself out there
If you’ve considered using a landing page for your next project but you’re not quite sure where to start, Lauren recommends reading through MailChimp’s collection of resources. “The resources are a big reason why I started using the platform and felt comfortable with it. They’ve been so helpful for me.”
And if you’re an aspiring artist, Lauren has a valuable tip for you, too. “You have to get over your self-doubt and just start putting your work out there. Don’t let perfection hold you back from sharing your work. The pros of sharing work that we might not think is perfect greatly outweigh the cons.”