Today, I’m over-the-top excited to announce one of the biggest developments at Design Blender in a long time!
We’re announcing the release of Stoked our upcoming design community built to help you throw fuel on your design business.
You may remember me talking about GDBPro last year. This post will cover why GDBPro has now become Stoked PLUS how you can win one free year of access to all the content Stoked has to offer.
Keep reading for your chance to win!
What Stoked is (what it isn’t) and what happened to GDBPro
Stoked is an all-new design community starting Feb 3, 2014. It’s built around the belief that designers will do more, achieve more, and succeed more when we work together.
In english: designer-entrepreneurs rock; designer-entrepreneurs rock more when we stick together.
Creating Stoked has been a long, fun, and hard process. Originally, I wanted to create a premium content service for the blog.
Can you say “boring?”
I thought I could model it after someone like Chris Spooner who offers tons of excellent PSD files, tutorials, templates, etc for a fee each month.
Then I realized I would be doing the Design Blender community a huge disservice by creating a program like Chris’s. Not because it’s not a great program, but because that’s not what Design Blender is about.
Design Blender (almost 5 years old now) has consistently been a place where designers can come for tips on building their business. It’s never been about PSD brushes, tutorials, vector downloads, and all that stuff.
It’s about helping you grow your business.
Simple as that.
So then I started thinking through other ways I could offer premium services to Design Blender readers who were really serious about taking their business to the next level.
I toyed around with the idea of video master classes.
I even wrote up a bunch of lesson plans and started shooting.
But it just didn’t feel like me. And it didn’t feel like Design Blender.
So, I was stuck again.
How could I add more value to the Design Blender community (you guys) without feeling like I was going against what the blog stands for or offering you a less-than-awesome service?
As I was thinking on it one day, I started getting all sorts of facebook notifications for our GDB Insider Group on facebook.
People were asking some really tough questions and other designers were giving some really great answers.
It was magical. You guys totally rock.
Then it hit me:
One piece that GDB is lacking, one place I wish we could offer more value, one way I have always dreamed of helping you more is to connect you with other designers and creative entrepreneurs who have gone through what you’re going through now.
(PS: Did you know when I started this blog, my idea was to build a community where “creative juices mix”? Terrible tagline, but honorable mission: to bring designers together to help each other succeed. I’m glad GDB is to a point where we can finally do that!)
I also didn’t love the name GDBPro since it sounded so corporate and stuffy. I wanted something I could be excited to build and you could be excited to be a part of!
And when I’m excited about something, I always tell people I’m stoked.
So… Stoked was born.
Stoked is not a master-class series. It’s not an online course. It’s not shady, expensive, complicated, lengthy, hard-to-understand, or boring.
Stoked is a community for designers who are anxious to throw fuel on their business – and grow fast.
To Stoke a fire means to fuel it, to make it bigger, to get more heat from it. And when someone is “stoked” about something, they’re anxious or excited.
Stoked exists to fuel your business, to get more out of it, to make it more powerful; and to help you be more excited about the work you do every day.
What to expect from Stoked
Each month, the Design Blender team will release new content exclusively for Stoked members. You can expect things like:
- audio and video interviews with designers who are actually making a living doing what they love
- monthly “bonfire sessions” with myself and other entrepreneurs using an open Q&A format where you can ask anything
- new ebooks, guides, and articles for designers who are most serious about building a business they love
- access to the Stoked book club where we read new-releases and old classics in the creative business genre and discuss how to take action
- monthly perks and discounts on printing, hosting, software, templates, and more
- access to the Stoked member forums where you can ask anything about your design business and get a helpful answer
- and lots of other stuff we’ve got up our sleeve all for only $15/mo USD.
For example, for the month of FEBRUARY, for only $15, here’s what we’ve got planned for Stoked members:
- An all-new ebook from April Greer on how much to charge your clients.
- An audio interview with Brent Galloway on how he is building his design empire, diversifying his income, and finding success as a freelancer.
- Another all-new new ebook about how to overcome the most common excuses for starting a business.
- Access to the Stoked book club where we’ll read a great book for the new year (Switch, by Chip and Dan Heath), discuss the book weekly and make plans to grow and build our business from the things we learn together.
- Access to the Stoked member forums where you can introduce yourself, connect with other designers, form mastermind groups, find a mentor, ask questions, learn and give back to the community.
- An exclusive invitation to our first “Bonfire Session” where you can ask me anything you like about your business and get real-time answers live via webcast.
- Discounts on our entire ebook library. Get our entire growing library for just $1.99 per title.
- Extra perks from people we love like Dreamhost and PrintKEG. Plus, a few free PSD files (just for fun) and other freebies.
- And more. We’re still cramming in as much awesomeness into the first month as we possibly can. More to come on that later. Stay tuned.
How to win 1 FREE year of Stoked access
If you’re as…ahem…stoked as I am about February, then keep on reading because we’re giving away a free one-year subscription to Stoked THIS WEEK (a $180 value)!
Here’s how you enter (both steps required):
- Enter your name and email address in the fields below and click Submit. (Can’t see the form? Enter here.)
- Leave a comment on this post telling us why you should be the winner and what you hope to get out of Stoked. What excites you most about Stoked? How would you use it to grow your design business? Yes, I will read every single comment and take it into consideration when picking a winner.
I’ll send the winner an email at the end of the week and you’re in!
How (else) to be notified when Stoked is ready
We’ll be starting Stoked next month on February 3, 2014. And if you want to be the first to hear about it (and maybe even enjoy first-to-show-up discount…hint, hint), you can do it in 3 different ways:
1. Use the form above and check the “Notify me” box. (Reading in email? Here’s the form.)
2. Sign up for the Design Blender newsletter by clicking here. (Email users, click here.)
3. Join the GDB Insiders Group on facebook.
One last question
As we ramp up to launch date for Stoked, I’m dying to know what you’d like to see from a service and community like this. If there are obvious features you can think of already that I’ve left out of the descriptions above, please let me know by leaving a comment on this post or emailing me at preston at graphic design blender dot com.
Best of Luck in all!