Skip to Content

How is it that something can simultaneously feel super-niche and over-saturated?

On the one hand, most people on the street probably have no idea what hand lettering is. On the other hand, it can feel like it’s hard to stand out in a new field that everyone seems to be flocking to.

Everywhere you turn, you see more hand lettering. Everyone and their brother is getting into it—at least it seems.

This is actually extremely good news when it comes to getting paying clients, but I want to focus more on the emotional struggle we feel when we are discouraged from trying something because so many other people seem to be doing it.

Hand lettering is no doubt experiencing a significant resurgence, but more likely what you’re experiencing is confirmation bias.

In an upcoming post, I’ll be talking about the selling power of hand lettering. Of course, you need clients first in order to sell.

There’s two basic ways of getting clients:

1. Chasing them.
2. Attracting them.

First, I’m going to make a case for the latter and explain why chasing clients is the worst thing you can do for your business.

A common response I get to Learn Lettering is “I don’t plan to make a living with hand lettering.” Neither did I!

Who in the world makes a living as a hand lettering artist? Most people haven’t even heard of hand lettering!

Well for one, I’ve been able to. And so are many others. But I’ll get to that more in a minute.

Let’s be honest: hand lettering may be experiencing a resurgence, but if you ask anyone on the street, they most likely haven’t heard of it. Hand lettering is still fairly niche.

The good news is you can still make a living at something super niche.

Since last year, thousands have purchased the Learn Lettering class and now it gets even better. Learn Lettering 2.0 launches on July 27th, 2015 with fully reproduced videos and all-new modules!

That’s one month from today. To celebrate, I’ve prepared an epic, 30-day series leading up to the reopening of the class to help you get better at hand lettering.

Here’s a teaser of what you can look forward to in the coming days…

I’ll be honest with you: I’m a night owl. I always liked staying up late. On good nights, I’d go to sleep at 12 or 1am and wake up at 7 or 8am. Yet, I always felt like I could never get enough done.

I decided to try waking up early. All I did was shift my sleep: go to bed at 11pm, get up at 6am. When I woke up, I would write as the first thing I did. This changed everything.

In 2014, I wrote a million words.

Since 2014, thousands have purchased the Learn Lettering class and now it gets even better. Learn Lettering 2.0 launches on July 27th, 2015 with fully reproduced videos and all-new modules!

I’ve gone through hundreds of emails from hand letterers like you sharing their biggest struggles, and as a result I’ve completely re-engineered the course. It’s tailored to the most important things you need to learn.

I’m producing an all-new Starter Class. I’m jam-packing it with modules on typographic terms, deliberate practice, in-depth lessons on drawing letters, the full digitization module, and a bonus module called Lettering Masters.

Having an audience is a powerful thing. With a relatively modest number of people dedicated to your brand and products, you can easily sustain yourself.

You don’t have to have millions or hundreds of thousands of followers—the beautiful thing about the internet is its ability to bring people with unique interests together. Even if you have a very specific focus, there are a ton of other people across the world that share those interests and that adds up quickly.

Yet, many people worry about narrowing their focus. It feels like you’re excluding a bunch of people! It seems counter-intuitive: What if the niche dries up? What happens if interest suddenly goes away?

The good news is, you don’t need to be afraid to niche down. If you’re about the people and serving their needs, you’re going to adapt naturally without even noticing it. You might suddenly realize you’re in a different industry because you followed the people—that makes you immune to an industry going away or drying up.

Why grow an audience? This is what growing an audience can do for you…

Do you want to set money on fire?

I don’t think anyone does, but most people do something that’s equivalent.

Workers are interrupted once every 10.5 minutes on average.

That’s not even the worst part: studies show it takes on average 23 minutes to regain focus.

7-minute interruptions cost you a half hour in actual focused work time.

I’m going to take you behind the scenes and show you how to digitize hand lettering using Image Trace. This video starts off in Photoshop for some initial prep work to clean up your lettering and then we take it to Illustrator for vectoring.

If you like this video, it’s a very small sampling of the 50 other lessons you’ll find in the Learn Lettering Master Class. Hope you enjoy!

Commitment is hard.

I recently witnessed someone say they were going to start a new video show. In an introductory video, they were trying to build up momentum to the launch of the show.

They mentioned it’d be a weekly show, but then they said something that made my heart sink a little: “It’ll usually be on Fridays.”

Usually.

Does that word sound familiar? “I hope to stick with my new blog.” Ever catch yourself saying that? “I’ll do my best to get a new podcast out weekly.”

Have you ever had someone ask to pick your brain? Sometimes they’ll use those exact words, but other times it looks like this:

“Can I buy you coffee?”
“Are you available for a quick Skype call?”
“Can you help me real fast with just a couple questions?”

It’s flattering and at the same time a very strange feeling. On the one hand, it feels good to be asked for advice, but on the other hand, something seems a bit weird about the exchange. Why does it feel weird?

I love the cozy mood my office has in the evenings. I shot this panorama earlier this evening and thought I’d update my gear list from the last time I posted about my office.

I’m most excited about the new insanely cool, color-changing LED strip I got (listed below). It’s ridiculously inexpensive, comes with a remote for changing colors or brightness, and was a breeze to setup. You can even cut the strip to the length you need.

The colored lighting adds such a neat dynamic to the room. I’ve been using it on seanwes tv to color coordinate with the desktop wallpapers that change every 10 episodes on the show.

I just turned 26 on Friday, November 21st.

To celebrate, I wrote a HUGE blog post with 26 things I’ve learned in the past year. I share what’s new with me, what’s changed since 2013, and what I’m looking forward to.

I hope you enjoy it.

Tomorrow, I take a purposeful week off. It’s my second break since starting Small Scale Sabbaticals. Every 7th week, I take the week off to rest, recharge, and pursue my secondary passions.

I apply myself fully to whatever I’m doing which means when I’m working, I’m working hard. I realized if I was ever going to rest, I’d have to be just as intentional about my breaks. Focused work time. Focused break time.

I plan to continue taking every 7th week off and making sabbaticals an integral part of my routine. During my sabbatical, I take a break from my regular commitments and output. I don’t record podcasts with Ben and I don’t shoot any seanwes tv videos.

I’ve long had aspirations to do some form of daily show.

I liked the idea of it, but the reality of planning, executing, and maintaining such a high frequency output is a whole other matter entirely.

This past year has been a year of investment and a year of delegation. It’s been an exercise in eschewing Superhero Syndrome and bringing on help.

My brother, Cory, has moved down from Dallas to work for me full time as Video Producer at seanwes. Later this month, my wife, Laci, will also be joining full time as Administrative Assistant at seanwes.

I have goals. I have things I want to accomplish. Things I’m striving towards.

I have plans. I have blueprints for making amazing things. Things that will help people.

I have aspirations. I have places I want to be. Destinations that I will one day reach.

I have dreams. I have visions of big things. Things that will be but are not yet.

But I am here. I will always be here. Not that I will always be in this place, but here in the sense that I am where I am. Where I am is now.