speaking & podcasts
“Justine combines first-hand industry knowledge with a coaching skill set to deliver practical and transformative advice—empowering creative professionals to navigate real-world industry challenges.”
—Emily McGuire, producer at Mastered
big ideas, actionable steps
As a speaker, writer, and business coach, I help creative freelancers and businesses cultivate the mindset, confidence, and skills they need to build a fulfilling and profitable creative business. Whether I’m delivering a keynote talk, leading a breakout for a creative conference, giving a webinar to hundreds of creative professionals, or appearing as a guest on industry podcasts – talking business with growth-minded entrepreneurs and freelancers is my sweet spot.
My engaging, fun, and entertaining talks are designed with one outcome in mind – to provide clarity around the common business challenges creative entrepreneurs and freelancers face and share clear, actionable steps they can take to build a profitable creative business.
Topics include goal setting, positioning, storytelling, marketing, money, and pricing strategies.
Appearances include The School of Visual Arts, Brooklyn Public Library, Future of Home Conference, NYNOW, International Culinary Center, Mastered, Freelancers Union, Pratt, The Graphic Artists Guild, and Creative Mornings Field Trips.
popular talks & topics
Money + Business
- 3 Steps to Build a Profitable Creative Business
- Boundaries: setting them, holding them, loving them!
- Navigating your creative business through uncharted territory
Positioning + Marketing
- How to find your ideal clients and keep them coming back
- Using the power of storytelling to build your brand
- Marketing for creatives who hate marketing
- Goal setting for creative business growth
"I really resonated with your approach to quarterly goal setting. As a solopreneur with recently diagnosed ADHD, your method of planning really sunk in, and then laying out my goals [visually] allowed my subconscious to think and hone action steps while I was formatting and designing. This plan may still be pushing what's realistic, but it's much more achievable than all my master plans of the past. Small steps, small wins!”
Justine gave the closing keynote for the first annual Start Your Own Design Business Conference presented by the Graphic Artists Guild. Her energy and presence inspired the audience to declare their actionable goals before even leaving the session. She showed the audience where to focus their attention and how to implement the topics learned during the conference. Justine’s keynote presentation was the perfect transition from gathering knowledge to building a successful design business to forming a plan of action.
"We’ve had Justine as a guest speaker at multiple events, including a workshop specifically for creatives with ADHD. Justine brings so much energy and enthusiasm to each event and it radiates to our community. She knows how to interact with her audience to get conversations going and get the crowd involved on a very relatable level. The information she provides in the areas of business development and marketing is always informative, easily digestible, and applicable for creatives in various industries and of various neurotypes. I’ve had several of our members reach out to me personally, commenting on how much they loved Justine’s events and how seen they felt by her. Justine goes the extra distance to provide a workbook for members with various prompts and affirmations to help them implement the work. We cannot recommend Justine more!"
"Justine is such an asset to our curriculum of designer education. Her workshops are incredibly popular, due in large part to the infectious energy and positive attitude she brings to each course. Justine's coaching style helps inspire creative professionals of all types to reflect on their business practices and implement changes that lead to growth and joy—but she breaks it all down into manageable, actionable nuggets that are not overwhelming, but actually do-able (and fun!). Attendees always leave feeling inspired and energized—a testament to the kind-hearted, helpful spirit of Justine herself!"
"Justine is a thoughtful and insightful speaker who walks her talk. I relish the way she brings both authority and openness to what she shares. One of the things that have always stood out to me about Justine is just how much care she puts into the work she does and the way she shows up in the world."
"Thank you so much for the inspiring and info-packed talk you gave at Spark Brooklyn last night. I left feeling empowered to identify my specialties and clients and grow my business.
As you know, one of the biggest challenges of the freelance life is identifying what opportunities are "worth" your time. If every freelance meetup offered the chance to hear a speaker as dynamic and generous (with her time and wisdom) as you, I'd go to one every night of the week!"
"Justine's experience coaching creative entrepreneurs and freelancers made her an ideal keynote speaker for Brooklyn Public Library’s 2019 ‘Celebrate Small Business’ conference. Justine’s talk, which focused on creating purposeful, profitable businesses, inspired our audience, and her personal story helped to uplift and motivate a group of creative entrepreneurs navigating what can be a challenging road to success."
"I wanted to reach out and let you know how much I enjoyed your Crafting Your Brand Story workshop during the Culinary Entrepreneurship course. I feel like I learned more in those 2-hours than I did during my 4-years in college. You were engaging, inspiring, and so much fun to listen to!”
"It was such a pleasure taking your workshop at the Mastered Live event. I found it very empowering and also motivating and am eternally grateful. Thank you so much for your time."
“We brought Justine in to work with the students in our Culinary Entrepreneurship program—to help them develop and refine the stories behind their business vision. Justine’s concept of brand-building through well crafted and compelling story telling resonated immediately with our students and the clarity and structure that she brought to her session allowed the students to improve their concept definitions considerably. They loved the session and we plan to have Justine participate in all future programs.”
“I've been working with Justine to develop bespoke content that helps creative professionals realize their potential in the fashion industry. Her ability to combine first-hand industry knowledge with a coach mentality allows her to deliver practical and transformative advice that helps people navigate real-world industry challenges. Oh, and she's a breeze to work with! Justine is patient, adaptable and generous with her insight, and her passion for helping others do their best work comes across in everything she does. I'm looking forward to working with her in the near future!”
“Thank you for an amazing presentation. The students were engaged by your materials, inspired by your presentation, and gained both the motivation and practical next steps to move their freelance careers forward.”
“We have had Justine Clay as a guest speaker at Spark Design Professionals twice now. As a non-profit organization that helps design business owners learn how to successfully operate and grow their business, it is important for us to have the best business coaches and gurus speak to our members and guests. Justine’s expertise and advice on how to better network in order to grow your business is invaluable. Justine’s methods work and I have had attendees of our events be so grateful that they were able to attend and see Justine speak. Her presentations are engaging, fun and entertaining—which translates to learning and retaining what she shares and leveraging it all to be more successful.”
“Freelancers Union gives independent workers a powerful voice through political action, research, and thought leadership, both our own, and that of our savviest members. Justine is one of our go-to coaches in the community, someone we trust to lead a workshop of 50 or a webinar of 5000k. Her advice to new and established entrepreneurs is always strikingly clear and optimistic, ensuring participants walk away with a tangible plan for next-steps to expand their network, engage with new clients, or hone in one what makes them unique.”
“ByHand Consulting creates the educational program for Artisan Resource at NY NOW to offer design, marketing and promotion solutions to the artisan and handmade market. We asked Justine to speak at our Artisan and Handmade seminar series to address handmade messaging'Communicating Your Brand Story With Clarity'. Justine has an enthusiastic style and truly engages her audience with her humor and experience working with creative businesses. We enjoy working with Justine and look forward to inviting her to speak at NY NOW again.”