Your Guide

Portrait in green square

Patricia van den Akker

Patricia van den Akker is the Director of The Design Trust, and a creative business adviser, trainer & coach. She is known for asking thought-provoking questions, using creative exercises, connecting the dots and inspiring you to get into action to turn your ideas into reality. Are you ready? @TheDesignTrust

Questions? Comments? Email me!

About this course

To book your place for the 3 online workshops + 1 group website review + 6 weeks online accountability support for £149,- (incl. VAT) click the Register Now button here on the right.

EASY PAY PLAN: Pay in 3 monthly instalments of £50 each (incl. VAT) click here. Then click the Register Now button here on the right to pay and book.

To book the entire Sell More Online programme + private 1 hour web review for £239,- (incl. VAT) click here. Then click the Register Now button here on the right to pay and book. Note that there are only 10 web review/coaching sessions available.

PLEASE NOTE we will accept only 50 participants for this 6 weeks' course & accountability group so that we are able to provide personal feedback during the workshops and on our private online platform.  Book early to avoid disappointment. 

Are you looking to START SELLING ONLINE and launch your first website? Then this course is better suited to you.

Get ready. Get traffic. Get sales and orders. 3 practical online workshops + BONUS website review:

  • Get ready: Friday 30 April 10am – 1pm (UK time)
  • Get traffic: Friday 14 May 10am – 1pm (UK time) 
  • Get sales & orders: Friday 28 May 10am – 1pm (UK time)
  • BONUS Website reviews of selected participants: Friday 11 June 10am - 12noon (UK)

Do you want to get more online sales or orders from your own website or Etsy shop? Are you getting frustrated by the lack of visitors or sales? Want to promote and sell your gorgeous products, your craft workshops or get more commissions?  

Of course you do!

ESPECIALLY THIS YEAR online sales are super important for most small creative businesses. 

Why? Because your website will be the easiest, most flexible, most creative, reliable and safest place for your new and existing clients to buy and order from you!

But ... is your website ready? Is it looking as good as it can be? And ... are you ready and organised to take all these orders?

It’s tough out there right now but Spring/early Summer can be a great time to boost your online sales with some extra promotion just before the Summer holidays start. Or to get ready for Autumn and the busy Christmas season (sorry, I don’t feel like that either when it is so nice and warm outside!)

Are your online sales a bit slow? Do you know that you need to drive more traffic to your site before you can get any sales? But be honest .... are you regularly reaching out to those lovely dream clients who want to buy your beautiful products? Or are you a little reluctant to stay in touch, to reach out, and to promote yourself regularly and confidently?

But THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT YOU NEED TO DO ... to invite clients to your website with social media and email marketing, and then to turn those visitors and 'likes' into actual sales. ££$$$ But how can you get them to press that 'buy me' button?

Are you fed up with hearing crickets? Frustrated that you aren't getting more online sales?

You can't just sit back and hope that people will find your site ... you do need to get pro-active and drive traffic to your site, consistently and creatively! You'll need to WOW your visitors a bit more this year and stay in touch. 

No, I know, it's not that easy to make selling online work - especially if you have got loads of other jobs on!

Do you know what **really** works to get more online sales? Should you be spending more time on Instagram or FB ads? Or should you be focusing on your keywords and SEO (Search Engine Optimisation e.g how you get found on Google or Etsy)?

Stop wasting your time. 

Start focusing on doing the right things to get more online sales!

Join our Sell More Online Spring/Summer 2021 course & accountability group

This is a really practical online course to get more online sales that we have developed because so many of our creative clients were asking for it!

And … after our successes last year we run this as a 6-week accountability group too … to make sure that you don’t just sit back and listen to the training, but actually MAKE THE IMPROVEMENTS YOU NEED.

We know how hard it is to implement new learning (even if you are super motivated!) so we are looking for 50 creatives who are really serious about wanting to work on their online sales and marketing this Spring/Summer. 

After each online session you (yes YOU!) will decide and commit to doing 5 specific tasks related to that week’s topic to boost your online sales for your website or e-commerce site. You will share your 5 specific tasks with us on our private online training platform as soon as possible after the live workshops. We will ask further clarifying questions and give you feedback if needs be too.  

Throughout the 6 weeks (Fri 30 April - Fri 11 June) you can ask us any online selling, website and marketing questions on our private online platform, share your challenges ... and yes your results too! You will learn from and with each other and hold each other accountable. Therefore, we have limited the total number of participants to 50 creatives so that we can provide you with more personal online support and feedback too.

BE WARNED these sessions are super practical and aimed to get you to take ACTION! So don't expect to just relax and get told what to do. You will decide on the right activities and plan for YOU, your work, commissions and workshops and YOUR clients. We will give you some practical suggestions of what to work on, but it’s about you working on YOUR website. 

Be prepared to spend between 4 – 8 hours each week during this 6-week course on your website and driving traffic to make the most of this programme. Then you will get the results you are looking for!

This SELL MORE ONLINE course has 3 intensive online workshops for you + a BONUS session:

Online workshop 1 on Friday 30 April from 10am – 1pm (UK time) with Patricia van den Akker: Are you and your website ready for more online sales?

  • Create an online selling action plan: with your own goals and targets for your website and online sales. What are the numbers that you want to track?
  • What makes a good website?
  • How (online) selling works: the 4 stages of AIDA
  • Which creative products and services sell well online? And how will you make yours more sellable?
  • Why creating collections will help your online sales.
  • The importance of good categories to get found
  • Creating a stronger online brand: What do you want to be known for? How to stand out in a competitive market? How to attract your ideal clients and put the wrong ones off? Identify your own 5 brand values to start creating a more recognisable brand for your work. 
  • How to make your images do all the hard work to sell you and your work
  • "People only buy from people they know, like & trust" - How to build your profile, credibility and trust for your brand online?
  • How to get better organised and less stressed to deliver?
  • Accountability homework: What are your 5 specific jobs for this next fortnight? We will show you how to choose the right actions for your business, and how to make them specific, juicy and do-able.
  • Top tips to make time (regularly!) to work on your website and marketing, and what to focus on especially.

Online workshop 2 on Friday 14 May from 10am – 1pm (UK time) with Patricia van den Akker: The 4 key strategies to drive better and more traffic to your website:

1. Keywords and SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) 

  • How to identify good key words for your work and brand – with a checklist
  • How to get found on Google or Etsy.
  • How to write a good product page with keyword-rich title and description – with creative examples
  • The magic of great case studies - for your services, commissions and workshops 
  • Creative homework: Write a product page with key words or a case study/commissions or project page for your website

2. Email marketing: 

  • Why is email marketing so powerful to get online sales?
  • The big problems with email marketing
  • How to get more people to sign up for your database.
  • Top tips to get your emails opened, read and actioned
  • Creative homework: Identify 5 topics to write about in emails, blogs or social media

3. Social media:

  • Which social media tool is best for sales?
  • How to use social media to drive traffic to your website – with creative examples
  • Creative homework: Create a social media calendar for the next 1 – 3 months

4. Traditional marketing & alternatives

Accountability homework: What are your 5 specific jobs for this coming fortnight - to drive traffic to your website?

Online workshop 3 on Friday 28 May from 10am – 1pm (UK time) with Patricia van den Akker: How to turn interest into actual sales 

  • What is your main challenge: Getting website visitors or converting them into clients?
  • The 7 Fundamental online selling techniques in 2021:
    • ‘People only buy from people they know, like & trust’ (again, but in more depth now!)
    • AIDA: Attention, Interest, Desire & Action (again, but in more depth now!)
    • How can you become more memorable?
    • The 6 most effective marketing techniques … to get sales
    • From ‘maybe’ to ‘sold’ – Why buy NOW?
    • Top tips for virtual events and to present yourself more confidently in front of the camera. 
    • How to get more repeat business from existing clients
  • Accountability homework: What are your 5 specific jobs for this fortnight?

Online workshop 4 on Friday 11 June from 10am – 12noon (UK time) with Anne-Marie Shepherd: BONUS: group website reviews 

This final session of our 6-week course & accountability group is different. We give all the participants the opportunity to get their website (improvements) shared during this live group session. You can put your website forward to get expert advice from Anne-Marie (our Business Club and Social Media Manager) in a very friendly and supportive environment. Anne-Marie will select 5-6 websites that will be discussed during this live session. 

This is a great opportunity to get specific feedback, to learn from other creatives, and for extra accountability: to make improvements by the end of the course!

CAN'T MAKE THOSE DATES OR TIMES? No problem! Although we highly recommend that you try to join us live (especially as this is an accountability programme too!) we understand that you might not be able to make it due to other responsibilities or living in a different time zone! 

This is an online course, so all 4 sessions will be recorded and posted on our private online training platform. If you are able to watch the sessions over the weekend afterwards or close to it then you are very welcome to join. 

But note that this is more than just a course! You will get so much more out of it if you are able to post your own actions at the same as the other creatives in this group. The entire course will be available till the end of 2021 so you can go through it again later in the year if you would like to.  

PLUS you can upgrade and get a one hour private online coaching/advice session on selling online or to review your website in private with Anne-Marie Shepherd, The Design Trust Business Club Manager.  To upgrade and book this option for the course + an private website review (only 10 places available) click here.

SELL MORE ONLINE is for creatives who are serious about their business, and want to get into action to get more and better online sales

Even during the online workshop sessions, you will be DOING, so don't just expect to sit back and listen! You will identify the best key words for your creative products and write a product description that includes them; you will identify 5 specific ideas and headlines for upcoming blog posts or email newsletters; and you will create your own marketing and social media plan with specific topics and headlines.

During these 4 online workshops you will:

  • Create your OWN MINI ACTION PLAN to get more online sales during the course, with 5 specific actions per fortnight that will work for your creative business and clients. Share your plans for extra accountability with us on our private online platform, plus we will give you extra advice too.
  • Identify how to make your website better: from highlighting your bestsellers or creating better collections or categories, to improving your ‘about me’ page or your terms and conditions.
  • Identify your own list of key words to use to write better product titles and descriptions - one of the most effective activities to get more online sales!
  • Identify specific topics for your emails to send to your audience and clients
  • Create your own social media plan, so you'll know exactly what to do and write about, and are ready to promote yourself confidently and creatively!

BONUSES you get as part of this online workshop:

  • Practical checklist to write better product titles and descriptions
  • Social media calendar template with content ideas of what to write about



This 6-week Sell More Online course & accountability group is aimed at creative professionals who want to sell more online. You have been selling online for probably a year or more and you have already got a website, Etsy shop, Not On The High Street, but you want more sales, orders, bookings for your workshops or commissions from your site.

You are not entirely happy with your website. It's probably not really communicating what you are really about, or you know that you should improve your images and descriptions. Therefore you don't really drive traffic to your website regularly, or you don't really know what to improve or do to get more online sales! 

You are frustrated with the lack of online sales you get and you know that with a bit of extra work you can do so much better! You want to know what really works to get more online visitors and to get more sales.

You know that now more than ever a professional website is crucial for your creative business. With the cancellations of many live events and closure of most galleries selling online has become the most important option to get interest, commissions and sales.  

You want to take action and put in the extra work to make that happen. This is a very action-orientated programme with 3 practical workshops, a group web review and a 6-week accountability group. You need to be prepared to spend around 4 hours/week during the course (and possibly more beyond!) to really make the most of this programme.

You are busy already but want to make time for more online sales ... but you need a bit of  boost and some extra accountability to get you going! Your life and creative business is keeping you busy. You know that you need to make some consolidated time to learn, to focus and to plan for your website improvements

These online workshops are created especially for creative professionals who sell products such as crafts and handmade objects (jewellery, fashion accessories, glass), stationery (cards, note books), art and prints and other home and giftware. We will also talk about how to get more craft commissions, and sales for craft workshops. This course will also be relevant for people who sell the work of other creatives (e.g. event organisers, shops, galleries, popups, agents, curators etc) and even for businesses who make handmade beauty products or creative food products.

These workshops are NOT aimed at creatives who are very new and don't have a website yet. We run another online workshop for you called STARTING TO SELL ONLINE, and the next one will start on Tuesday 25 May 2021. For more details about this course for creatives who want to create and launch their first website click here - you can check out that course here. 

How does this online course & accountability group work?

The Design Trust is an online business school for designers, makers and other creative professionals. We are based in London and have been teaching professional development workshops for creatives since 2012, working with 1,000s of creative professionals from across the UK and abroad.

We use a software called Zoom for the live online workshops on Fridays 30 April, 14 and 28 May, and 11 June (from 10am – 1pm UK time).

You sign up for these sessions separately, and you will get a confirmation email with log in details. You log in from your own computer and can see Patricia's presentation and hear her speak. However, this is a very practical workshop so be prepared to focus during these sessions, take notes and decide what you will do.

BUT ... this course is much more than three online workshops! This is also an accountability group, and we expect that all participants will share after each live session 5 specific actions, and that they commit to doing them that following fortnight - to work on your own website and online sales.

Also you will have access to your private online hub till the end of 2021, where you will find all the info about your course, watch the video recordings of the workshops afterwards again if you like, download the workshop presentations, post your online selling questions, share your results and challenges, and network with other participants. The software for this private online training platform is called Ruzuku, and it’s really easy to use!

PLUS you can upgrade to get a private 1 hour website review or coaching/advice on your online sales from Anne-Marie Shepherd, The Design Trust’s Business Club & Social Media Manager.

This is an online course, which means that you can join us from anywhere in the UK and overseas.

We highly recommend that you join us for the live workshops, as this is also an accountability group to get you into action. If you are unable to join us live then try to watch the workshops as closely as possible to the date to keep on track too. You will have access to our online training platform with the recordings and presentations till the end of 2021.

To make the most of this course you need to put the time and effort in! We recommend that you spend 4 x 3hours on the 4 online workshops (the web review session is 2 hours), about 30-60min on creating your action plan after each of the live workshop, and around 4hours/week for the 6 weeks working on your website and marketing.

Want feedback on your website or get personalised advice about your website or online sales marketing?

If you sign up for this online Sell More Online then you can upgrade to get a one-hour private website review and or coaching/advice session via Zoom with Anne-Marie Shepherd to get feedback on your website (she will spend some time reviewing your site before your session too), and will give you tips on what to work on, and additional personalised suggestions to drive traffic to your site too.

You can book this private online website review session in May - July 2021. PLEASE NOTE there are only 10 spaces available for coaching and reviews. You can only book a website review session as part of this course as we do not provide individual coaching or review sessions. You can book your course + private website review session here. Once the course has started we will provide you with details on how to book a specific date and time slot.

Who delivers this online selling course?

Patricia van den Akker is the Director of The Design Trust. She has been a creative business adviser, trainer and coach for creative businesses for more than 20 years and has worked with 1,000s of creative businesses at any stage of their career.

In March 2018 she was voted the Number One Business Adviser in Design & Branding by Enterprise Nation. In July 2019 she was voted the Number One Business Adviser in the UK for Sales by Enterprise Nation! 

Patricia regularly talks and teaches about creative business development at art colleges and studios around the UK, including the Royal College of Art, University of the Arts London, Central St Martins, Cockpit Arts, Yorkshire Art Space, Nottingham Arts Exchange, Space London and many more. She has self-published a diary planner for creatives and the Dream Plan Do planners for three years, generating £14K in one day on Kickstarter. She wrote The Design Doctor business column for Crafts Magazine for 5 years. 

This SELL MORE ONLINE course is based on my own experience of launching and growing 4 websites as a creative & social entrepreneur in the last 10 years. My first websites only reached a handful of people (including my mum and probably a cat) each day ... the current The Design Trust website gets over 50,000 visitors each month! We also have got close to 90,000 social media followers, more than 14,000 email subscribers and our revenue is over £100K. 

So yes, this course is based on our own experience of creating and managing successful website businesses, but also from learning from 100's of clients over the years. We know what works. We know what mistakes creatives make, so that you don't have to make them yourself. 

And before you ask .... we do that with a very small budget and with just myself and Anne-Marie (and we do a lot of other things too like delivering workshops!)

Patricia is known for her very practical, inspiring, thought-provoking and action-orientated style of teaching and working with creatives. She has got a very strong creative and ‘can-do’ approach to growing a business, and wants to help other creatives to create businesses that they are proud of.

Presenting yourself professionally and confidently online is crucial if you want to create a sustainable business. Especially now during and after the Pandemic. We want to give you not just the knowledge on how to get more online sales, but also the inspiration and creativity to be more unique and professional online, and the confidence and consistence to keep on track.  


Anne-Marie Shepherd will be delivering the final website review session, and she will pop in to our online hub to answer your marketing questions and provide additional feedback and advice there. She will also do the individual website reviews or private coaching sessions for creatives who have upgraded.

Anne-Marie has worked in the arts industry for over 16 years and understands how important it is for creative businesses to get themselves in front of the right audience – whether that be via editorial, emails, print, online or social media. Anne-Marie was the Marketing Manager of Made London and Made Brighton, a well-known art and craft events organisation for 12 years, and has experience and knowledge of what it takes to produce and market successful arts selling events. 

She works part-time at The Design Trust, as the Business Club & Social Media Manager and works closely with Patricia on marketing, blog and resource creation. Anne-Marie also works as a freelance PR and marketing consultant for other arts organisations. 

How much is this Sell More Online programme?

This 6 weeks' online course exists out of 4 live workshops on Fridays 30 April, 14 and 28 May, and 11 June from 10am - 1pm (UK time).

In addition you get will get:

+ this is an accountability group too! We ask all 50 participants to share 5 specific activities after the live sessions that they will work on that fortnight. You will decide what to work on and we will give you feedback if necessary. You can ask any questions, share your challenges and results too (!) to keep you on track in boosting your online sales.

+ access to our private online training platform and access to the 4 audio-visual recordings and workshop presentations, full of strategic and practical advice to improve your website, drive more traffic and get more online sales (till end of 2020)

+ ask questions, share your challenges and results too in our online private platform till end of 2020 or during the live sessions and network with other creative participants who are also working on their marketing this Summer

The 4 online workshops + 6 weeks' accountability group + access till the end of 2021 costs £ 149,- (incl. VAT). Click the ‘register’ button at the top of this page to pay and join the online platform immediately. Note that we have only got 50 places available in total to give you more individual time and feedback during the online sessions as well as on the online platform.

EASY PAY PLAN: You can pay in 3 monthly instalments of £50 instead. You will be charged today and then on the same date in the next 2 consecutive months. To sign up for this payment plan click here. Then go to the top of the page and click the 'register' button there.  

The 4 online workshops + accountability group + access till the end of 2020 + 1 hour private website review/online selling advice with Anne-Marie Shepherd costs £ 239 (incl. VAT). Click here, and then go to the ‘register’ button at the top of that page to pay, and join the online platform immediately. Note that there are only 10 places available. 


What if I can't make it on these days or times?

As this is an accountability group too we highly recommend that you try to join the live sessions, or at least try to watch the recordings over the weekend to keep on track. 

This is an online course and it will be recorded, so if you are unable to make it then that’s not a problem. And you have access to this course till the end of 2021, so you can do this course again in the future.

What equipment do I need?

You will need access to a computer (ideally PC or Mac, laptop) with reliable broadband to access the live webinars. You can join with a tablet or your phone too, although older models might have an issue to communicate during the session with text boxes. You do not need a headset or microphone.

Times are hard ... any discounts?

We know that times are hard for many creatives. However, this is a very good price for the content ideas and boost in confidence that you will get. In comparison to our competitors this is very affordable. And remember that you can pay in 3 monthly instalments if you prefer.

Also note that if you use this course properly and invest the required time and energy into your website and driving traffic then you could quickly see some financial results. See this course as a great investment in yourself. Not just for now, but for the longer term future too!

Our Business Club members get this course and the coaching with 20% discount. As our Business Club Membership is only £25/month you basically can get this course for even less + get immediate access to over 100+ online workshops, masterclasses, expert interviews and more. To join our Business Club click here, and then you can get the info about how to access this course in the intro pages of the Business Club.

What if I want to join this course with more creatives?

Purchasing a ticket will allow you only personal access. None of this course should be shared with others who haven't paid or to teach others in any form. Like you we are a small creative business and this course is our copyright that we have developed over 20 years. I know that you wouldn't like it either if others would steal your copyright and share illegally.

If you would like us to teach a group of creatives or within an organisational context the content of this course or you would like to join as part of a group then get in touch with you on as we can offer you a bulk discount.

I only want to do one of the sessions, not all four.

These 4 sessions are really integrated and build on top of each other. So, although you might have already got your website in perfect condition and only need the second session to learn about driving more traffic, we have created this as a package to really give you the most chance to increase your online sales and orders.

How will the private web review and coaching work?

If you are interested in getting your website reviewed privately or to get additional advice on selling online or driving traffic, then you can upgrade here to get a private 1 hour web review session with Anne-Marie Shepherd, The Design Trust Business Club & Social Media Manager.Go to the top of that page and click 'Register Now'.

We have only got 10 slots available, so book early to avoid disappointment! After the workshop we will get in touch with you with various dates and times throughout May - July.

In advance of this online meeting (we use Zoom) we will ask you various questions about your current website and your challenges, so that we know more about you and your business. Anne-Marie will review your website prior to your session too, and she will share her advice with you during your 1-hour online session with some practical tips on what's working and what you can improve exactly. You will also be able to ask additional questions about your website and discuss in more detail too.

We use a software called Zoom so you will be able to see Anne-Marie and she can share and show your website too to give specific tips. Once a session is booked in the diary it's not possible to change the date or time, unless there is an emergency.

What if I am very new? Or if I don’t have a website yet?

This course is created specifically for professional creatives who have already got a website, but need to make changes to it or drive more traffic to their site.

THIS COURSE IS NOT SUITABLE IF YOU DO NOT HAVE A WEBSITE YET. We recommend that you check out our online course Starting To Sell Online here, which will run on Tuesdays 25 May, 8, 15 and 22 June, and 6 July.  

What if I am not a creative business?

The Design Trust is an online business school for creatives, especially designers and makers - that's what we specialise in!

We work especially with creative product-based businesses, crafts people, designer makers, stationery & print, giftware and homewares, illustrators, photographers, visual artists and the like. We also regularly get event organisers, curators, shops & galleries. We have also worked with creative food and some creative health businesses and some fashion businesses.

But this online selling course is very much aimed at that kind of businesses and if your business isn't creative in that sense then I would not recommend it for you as we do give creative examples of how to sell online, driving traffic, marketing etc. If you have got any questions then do get in touch with us on

What if I am not based in the UK?

We love welcoming creative professionals from across the world! The Design Trust very regularly works with creatives from USA & Canada, across Europe and all the way to Australia, Japan, India and New Zealand.

This programme is accessible to you as it is online. However the time of the live sessions might not work for you (10am - 1pm UK), depending on where you live, but remember that these sessions are recorded and you can ask questions on our private online platform after the sessions.

If English is not your first language then don't worry. Patricia is Dutch. English is her second language, so we will use easier to understand language. During the workshop you won't be speaking but you will be able to write your answers to questions that only Patricia will see. And she is very sympathetic to any grammatical errors (especially from British people!)

What's the refund policy?

We will give you a full no-squible refund up till 24 hours before the live event. Once the workshop has started we are unable to provide you with a discount. The workshop will be recorded, so if you are unable to join us live you will still be able to access the workshop.

Got any more questions?

Then drop us an email at We are happy to help you.