Ellen Eastwood

Helping freelance consultants run sustainable practices

Ellen, a successful freelance research marketer, created a series of affordable video courses to answer the most common questions that struggling freelancer (or wanna-be freelancers) have about creating sustainable and flourishing practices.

Ellen Eastwood: preview of the visual designs

The challenge

TOP’s biggest concern was how to make learning natural and comfortable. The primary goal was to create an online education experience that helped their students learn effectively. We wanted to make sure that the students retained the knowledge and were able to learn it in a practical, not theoretical, way.

Services provided

  • Discovery and strategy
  • Branding
  • Visual identity and design
  • User experience design
  • Development

“Paula is a great collaborator who can take direction but also knows when to take the lead. She’s not afraid to give you tough love when needed. She’ll make your website better.”

Ellen Eastwood, Founder of Elleneastwood.com

The approach

Although Ellen was already targeting a specific niche – service-based solopreneurs – she planned to launch three different courses that spoke to three subcategories within the niche: people unsure if freelancing was right for them, entrepreneurs struggling to find clients, and entrepreneurs struggling to manage their clients and workloads well.

We had to find a narrative that would speak to all three in the general pages – such as her homepage or about page – and a narrative for each individual course too. Ellen had an exceptional understanding of her target audience, which made the storytelling much easier for us. The bigger challenge was getting the small details right to make her message the most effective, convincing, and resonating.

Ellen Eastwood: the responsive designs for the thank you page
Ellen Eastwood: a mix of mobile and desktop design sections
Ellen Eastwood: select mobile design sections

As you can imagine, for each course page we made sure to really dig deep into the specific value propositions as to who this course is for, why one should sign up for it, and what one will get out of it.

Once we figure out the various specifications, it was time to frame them from the audience’s point of view. We put the audience as the hero of the story and transition Ellen was selling and highlight Ellen’s courses as the supporting role to the real, everyday struggles and problems they are facing. All the content and copy had to be customer-focused, no two ways about it.

The target audience

The pages’ flows were arranged to give more detailed information, the more you explored her offers. Again, we made sure to keep the content and copy customer-focused at all times. Putting her ideal clients as the heroes of the stories ensured we made the most effective and resonating narratives.

Since people don’t buy products but better versions of themselves, this frame of mind was used to present Ellen and her courses on the website. The website painted a picture of the transition a client would make from the now to the after, which focused on a better, happier life due to a healthier freelance practice.

The branding

To speak clearly to Ellen’s target audience, getting the tone and voice, and the look and feel right was essential. It was exciting to work with Ellen on her branding because she had a clear vision as to what she did and didn’t want while being flexible to feedback and suggestions to improve on the said vision.

It was only natural that Ellen’s brand ended up having an informal yet knowledgeable, approachable, friendly, compassionate, and motivating essence. Everything a good mentor is.

Ellen Eastwood: the final web styleguide
Ellen Eastwood: the final branding styleguide
Ellen Eastwood: screenshots of various designs for inspiration
Ellen Eastwood: homepage design
Ellen Eastwood: Paula working on Ellen's designs

The photography

Achieving the personable essence required heavy incorporation of human elements. From the written perspective, the copy places the target audience as the hero. From the visual perspective, the website needed to feature a smiling, friendly face. This naturally lead us to a wonderful photoshoot for Ellen that allowed us to add the personable, human element to the brand and website through stunning photography.

Ellen Eastwood: a professional photo of Ellen 1 out of 4
Ellen Eastwood: a professional photo of Ellen 2 out of 4
Ellen Eastwood: a professional photo of Ellen 3 out of 4
Ellen Eastwood: a professional photo of Ellen 4 out of 4

“I was looking for someone who could marry good design with a great strategy for the website flow and getting it on people’s radars. Paula has the right combination of being able to design and also to lead the strategic thinking too”

Ellen Eastwood, Founder of Elleneastwood.com

The visual design

Ellen preferred websites were visually unique and creative but weren’t overwhelmingly busy or distracting either. We settled on a lighter look – in terms of both colors and whitespace – so it would be easy on the eyes, easy to scan and with a natural visual guiding flow. Then, I added a creative use of gird layout, photography, large and contrasting typography, and subtle colour variations to give it visual interest. These small details created the perfect creative design Ellen liked without losing focus on the courses she was selling.

Naturally, the visual design had to follow the requirements we set out within Ellen’s branding. I made sure to provide her with a visual design of her website that came off as friendly, personable, approachable, and knowledgeable. And one that was fully responsive.

Ellen Eastwood: screenshot of wireframes
Ellen Eastwood: screenshots of desktop designs
Ellen Eastwood: screenshots of mobile designs
Ellen Eastwood: various desktop page designs

“I wanted a compelling website that would communicate my offer and enable me to connect with my target audience. I know nothing about how to put together a website – content-wise or technically. It’s hard to trust someone you don’t know with something so important, but I knew I couldn’t do this myself. I’m delighted with the website, and it’s getting great reviews. Thanks for everything!”

Ellen Eastwood, Founder of Elleneastwood.com

Full scope of the project

Project strategy

Branding strategy

Experience strategy


Branding strategy

Visual identity and assets

Lead magnet designs

Brand guidelines

Website design

Information architecture

User joruney mapping


Visual and UI design

Pattern libraries

Responsive design

Project management

Timeline and deadline planning

Task management

Asset and deliverable tracking

Photoshoot, content and copy coordination

Milestone setting and management