How do I get creative feedback from peers if I work alone?

Working by itself has its advantages. But teamwork is something that suffers.

Any design is usually improved by input from multiple different perspectives, which can be hard to find when you work for yourself, by yourself.

Peer feedback is really important because it’s hard to see the trees when you’re thick in the forest.

You start second-guessing your own design choices, or worse,

become blind to your own mistakes and become stagnant.

Embrace Constructive Criticism

No-one is perfect.

You’ll make mistakes.

You’ll miss things, and even the best output is still based just on your own perception of reality.

Designers will start with the exact same brief, and come up with a completley different design.

Criticism is the way we get better.

So first, ditch the defensiveness and embrace feedback and criticism.

You don’t need to action every bit of feedback you receive, it’s your design, and you have a thought process that (hopefully) makes sense.

But every piece of feedback has the potential to either improve the design,

or pen new avenues of thought.

How to get peer feedback when you work alone

Here’s a few techniques I use to combat this as a solopreneur.

“The Pause”

If you’ve hit a wall, leave it, sleep on it.

Your brain will continue to work on things at rest,

You’ll come back to it with fresh eyes and all sorts of new ideas.

“The Time Machine”

After I finish a project, I always go backwards.

I reread the brief to make sure I’m on point.

It’s easy to wander throughout the creative process until your way off brief.

“The Doppleganger”

I self-critique my own work from a super critical point of view.

Do a bit of roleplaying, I put myself in different shoes…

  • The client
  • A designer
  • The audience.

I like to put myself into a specific frame of mind, and approach the design in a few different roles.

Ask myself some hard questions as…

  • “what is the first thing the client is going to say”
  • “what would Jane say about this?”
  • “what would they change?”
  • “What are they going to  criticize?”
  • “What’s missing?”
  • “How will they use this?”

Usually, this brings my work up a notch, preaddresses issues and skips a few rounds of revisions or bouncebacks.

Partner up

Find someone else in your niche, and swap about, ask and offer feedback when needed.

You will people in the same situation and stage as you on social media or other community groups.

I guarantee they’ll have the same problem and would welcome the chance to trade ideas and inspiration.

This a big solopreneur move which will help you stop seeing your peers as competitors, and start seeing them as partners or colleagues.

It doesn’t just stop at design.

I have a selection of peers I like to trade ideas with once a month.

It takes 5 minutes per person

I like to find…

  • someone at the same level doing the same thing
  • someone ahead doing what I want to be doing
  • someone whos playing a different game.

Having an echo chamber like this leads to so many breakthroughs, and is beneficial for all parties.

Here’s some questions you can ask:

Monthly Review Questions

  • What was your goal last month?
  • What are your biggest wins? 
  • What have you failed to take action on?
  • Biggest “Aha” moment? 
  • What are you struggling with the most? 
  • What have you improved the most? 
  • What’s your focus for next month? 


Just because you’re a solopreneur, it doesn’t mean you have to work alone.

You can have partners without having business partners.

You have access to an  unlimited number of designers at your fingertips on social media, and in online communities.

Constructive criticism is something to embrace, not fear.

Picture of Nicholas Robb

Nicholas Robb

Founder, Design Hero
Author of Life by Design

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