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20: Turning Creative Talent Into Real Money With Illustrator Yoel Judowitz

Yoel Judowitz relates how he has managed to scale a really individual and unique creative energy to a fully functional company, adding 5 figures of revenue monthly just from LinkedIn postings. He also shares with us the relateable struggle of finding balance as your company grows, which led to our discussion on the little recognized topic of work/work balance and the elephant in the room of small business success.

My Guest: Yoel Judowitz

Yoel Judowitz has been illustrating,  writing, and cooking up creative mischief for as long as he can remember. Nine years ago he opened YJ Studios, an illustration and content-creation studio. Today, he leads a team of artists and writers producing amazing work for many delighted clients including: Target and Bed, Bath & Beyond as well as prominent nonprofits like and Chai Lifeline, and numerous other small businesses. Recently, he has directed his creative superpowers to mastering LinkedIn marketing. After seeing tremendous results, he has opened a coaching service helping clients develop a highly-effective, story-based approach to social media branding.

Pivotal Moments

  • Starting in elementary school, Yoel was singled out, praised and rewarded for his creative talent, winning contests as early as 5th grade and having his grandmother (a graduate of Rhode Island School of Design) frame his ill-designed portrait as a teenager.
  • In high school Yoel fell into illustrating and realized that the details in illustration are his speciality.
  • Worked for a design agency and left after only 3 weeks after realizing that this work was totally not for him.
  • Taught art classes to a super niche market: Jewish ultra-orthodox hassidic kids in yiddish.
  • Expanded his skill set by learning online children’s illustration,  books, magazines, editorials and product packaging.
  • Turned illustration into an assembly line by working on the idea and creative pieces, then hiring individuals to work on each element for the illustration – such as one person on line work and another on color.
  • Instead of competing with other freelancers as the online marketplace grew, Yoel hired his competitors to join his team.
  • Did a lot of commenting on NY Times articles and noticed that comments were getting great feedback. Yoel realized he had a talent for writing then transferred that to LinkedIn.
  • Mastered social media marketing on LinkedIn through storytelling.

The Advice

Use every part of your business journey as leverage for your next step. Business grows step by step as long as you look at everything you’re doing as something you can step up on.

Do what you have to until you can do what you want to. (Estie’s advice)

The method to madness on LinkedIn:

Level 1:

  1. Establish authority: talk about what you’re good at
  2. Become familiar: post and comment so people start to recognize you
  3. Develop trust: reach out though direct messages and phone

Level 2:

  1. Tell your story: let your brand become your story until you become like a novelty show. Make yourself vulnerable – and be prepared for lots of trial and error!

Social media marketing takes 6-9 months to gain real traction. If you are in the right place and you let it build up enough steam, you’ll get back what you put in. The magic takes time to brew 🙂

The Struggle

Yoel’s business has grown tremendously in the last 6 months. His plan is to keep juggling all the balls, let them fall when things get busy then scramble to pick them up when there is an emergency. Like so many of us, Yoel is juggling his spiritual life, his personal life, his ever-growing business life and his health – and within each of those are a whole bunch of little details.

The Breakthrough

Estie recommends finding a work/work balance. There are 3 components to work on:

  1. Delegation & Systems – so that your processes are more streamlined with the work you’re already doing and you can increase your capacity. This includes hiring and delegating more efficiently to your staff as well as a systematic approach to your processes including both tech and non-tech changes.
  2. Strategic Marketing Plan – once you have the capacity, you need to attract a steady flow of clients to fill that capacity. Each business owner has pre-set amount of time, energy and budget to generate stable client flow that you set up the capacity to accommodate so that you can bring more customers in.
  3. Focus – stop being all over the place and do the things you’re most effective in. Leave everything else out.


“Find your story, learn how to tell it, make a boatload of money.”

Resources and Links

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About the author, Estie Rand

I love turning ideas into money, and helping others do the same. I help small business owners with everything from marketing to fiscal management, business plans to staffing, database architecture to work/life balance coaching and I love it all! What do you need help with today?

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