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Connection Kits is a service of Hornsby Creative Group, LLC and we're the lead organizers of Freelance Business Week WNC. So you might hear from us on any of these things along with other happenings our friends are up to.

    EDUCATION, SPEAKING & TRAINING

    John has helped facilitate multiple events with AIGA Asheville, is part of the organizing team for CreativeMornings Asheville, and has been invited to speak and run workshops at Universities and conferences such as ECU School of Art & Design and Wordcamp. He has also helped co-host and help with tech at virtual and hybrid events for Craft Your Commerce. Interested in having John give a talk at your next conference, facilitate with your internal team, run a workshop, or do some other cool shit? 

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    A black and white photo of John pointing to a speaker series poster with his name on it.

    John has helped facilitate multiple events with AIGA Asheville, is part of the event team for CreativeMornings Asheville, and has been invited to speak and run workshops at Universities and conferences such as ECU School of Art & Design and Wordcamp. He has also helped co-host and help with tech at virtual and hybrid events for Craft Your Commerce. John was also the lead organizer for Freelance Business Week AVL, the region’s first conference for freelancers and freelancers.

    Interested in having John give a talk at your next conference, facilitate with your internal team, run a workshop, or do some really bad dance moves? 

    Story, Process & Philosophy

    John site in front of a purple wall looks right at a beverage can flying toward him that has the Hornsby creative logo on it.

    In this honest and amusing talk, I rattle on about my weird origin story. We ponder what the hell did I do and what the heck was I thinking? How did I end up here despite the obstacles, inadequacies, and unconventional career path choices? Tips and suggestions for new or seasoned creatives about what’s important to hold onto in your creative practice, when the world will attempt to pull you apart or put you in a box. Why it’s never too late to change the road you’re on. And why I advocate being a polymath and playful exploration over niching down, despite everyone telling you otherwise.

    John gave this talk at ECU as part of a weekend residency which included a workshop on combining illustration and wayfinding.

    A black and white photo of John pointing to a speaker series poster with his name on it.

    Top 10 DIY Design Mistakes
    & How to Avoid Them

    A pencil with directional signs on it. One points left with a hand drawn arrow. The other points right with a scribbly line on it.

    Sometimes you don’t have the budget to hire a professional designer for every project. But you can invest in learning to up your own DIY design skills. A strategy first approach to well executed design principles is proven to drive more engagement and conversions. In this workshop John will share the top DIY design mistakes he’s seen over the past 25 years in experience design and how to avoid them. We’ll touch on some of the free and low cost DIY design solutions out there and more importantly how best to use them to get results. We’ll explore real world examples of the best and the worst destination and experience designs. Be prepared to walk away empowered to better position your destination with effective design.

    John gave this talk at the 2021 DIY Tourism & Marketing Workshop as part of a two-day hybrid conference that took place at the Crown Plaza hotel in Asheville and on Zoom.

    And another version was delivered as part of Freelance Business Week AVL 2022.

    John Hornsby holds up his speaker tag for the DIY tourism & marketing workshop

    Re-Imagine Business as Usual

    We Re-Imagined Business as Usual.

    Back in June, during that brief window before Delta was all rage, John worked with AIGA AVL to moderate a hybrid event at The Foundry Hotel and also as a FREE live webinar on Zoom.

    One year ago we had sat down with a group of marketing professionals and business owners to grapple with the challenges brought on by the pandemic, global shutdown, and the socio-political upheaval that ensued. Clearly, it was time for Business as Un-usual.

    The shift to social distancing, remote working, and self-isolation of COVID-19 challenged business owners to creatively and empathetically adapt their marketing. Over the course of the past year, many businesses redefined themselves. Some have thrived and others have barely survived or shuttered their doors. Businesses and audiences are made of people whose lives have been changed by the loss, grief, and opportunity the last year has given us.

    During this hybrid panel discussion, we brought back the same group that we talked with one year ago when we were three months into Covid. We addressed marketing tactics that worked and hard lessons learned over the past year, pandemic pivots, and we looked forward to tactics businesses can use as we emerge. Now that we can see the light at the end of the tunnel, let’s Re-imagine what Business as Usual means now.

    If you are curious how other professionals are Marketing Beyond COVID, and you missed it, here is the recording.

    Marketing During COVID 19 and Beyond

    AIGA Asheville hosted this event. Moderated by John Hornsby and featuring panelists Aisha Adams of Aisha Adams Media, Nicole Hairfield of Moonlight Makers, Nathan Jordan of Market Connections, and Catherine Campbell of Bright Planning and Asheville Strong.

    Sales & Customer Service for the Introverted Designer 1.0 Talk Synopsis:

    John holds a Word Camp speaker pass under his nose.

    Sales are all about relationships and managing expectations. We are all in sales, where we realize or not, like it or not. I’ll share some personal stories about my start as an introverted artist and designer who was socially awkward. I discuss how I overcame that to become a top-producing salesperson. How not being a salesperson can be your strongest asset in actually making sales. The key is to find your authentic voice, know your craft and get interested in the art and science of creative communication and psychology.

    Though I have a framework for this including practical scenarios, it will be somewhat interactive and focus driven by the preferences of those in attendance. We’ll be looking at the why behind methods from which you can build on. The first step is getting comfortable with being uncomfortable. We’ll do some of that, but I promise not to make it too scary.

    This is not a talk about funnels, prospects, conversions, and the like though that all is super important and we’ll touch on it. This is focused on communication tools and self-work to overcome your internal roadblocks.

    Takeaways:

    • You’ll get a copy of the slide deck to include a list of common sales and communications “challenges” and how to deal with them.
    • A process map of the anatomy stages of a sales cycle, (what to communicate when, how and why) specifically tailored to creative work.

    I gave the 1.0 talk at Word Camp Asheville 2018 which is took place at AB Tech the weekend of August 17th-19th. Many of the sessions were heavily focused on Word Press website development, then there were a few outliers like me, presenting on other supporting topics. 

    Sales & Customer Service for the Introverted Designer 2.0 Talk Synopsis:

    John speaking at a podium in a ballroom.

    Building on the content of the 1.0 talk, this can be a second talk on day 2 of a conference. Again, I’ll share some personal stories about my start as an introverted artist and designer who was socially awkward and how I overcame that to become a top-producing salesperson. How not being a salesperson can be your strongest asset in actually making sales, if you find your authentic voice, know your craft and get interested in the art and science of creative communication and psychology.

    Though I have a framework for this including practical scenarios, it will be somewhat interactive and focus driven by the preferences of those in attendance.

    There’s a little overlap with the first talk but then we move on to understanding different personal styles and how best to adapt your own authentic style to interact with them. Though framed as a talk about sales and customer service, this information is extremely relevant to building and maintaining healthy teams and relationships.

    Takeaways:

    • You’ll get a copy of the slide deck to include a list of common sales and communications “challenges” and how to deal with them.
    • A process map of the anatomy stages of a sales cycle, (what to communicate when, how, and why) specifically tailored to creative work.
      • Some basic personality assessment tools to clarify your personality and communication style, how to identify your clients, and then how to adapt accordingly.