When I started freelancing ten years ago:
1. I assumed that my creativity alone would be enough to stand on.
2. I thought that my great ideas and follow-through would be enough to earn a full-time living.
3. I assumed that by saying nothing, my clients would automatically know how to treat me.
Andâ€¦.then I learned the hard way that none of the above were true.
Does earning a living as a freelance designer feel like an uphill battle but youâ€™re not sure how to transform your career into something more lucrative? I feel you â€” because I spent years in the same boat, trying to figure out what I was doing wrong.
The Process Problem
From the beginning of my career, I had a strong sense of style but no matter how creative my ideas were, at times I struggled to get work approved and even worse, to charge what it was worth.
Designers can be a sensitive bunch and when things didn’t go my way, I often took the rejection personally.
My issues had nothing to do with creativity or talent and everything to do with teaching my clients what to expect. My creative work wasnâ€™t falling flatâ€¦.but my processes were.
As you navigate the tricky world of running a freelance business, one thing becomes very clear: producing creative work is only half of the equation. The other half is less obvious but itâ€™s just as important.
Processes are everything. Without them, youâ€™re missing the opportunity to increase your output, get treated fairly and earn what you deserve.
Having a process wasnâ€™t always clear to me and for good reason: nobody likes to openly discuss their internal processes.
And, can you blame them?
Itâ€™s their so-called â€œsecret sauceâ€ and if they give it away, theyâ€™ve essentially handed over what makes them unique. While design style is important, how you present it and convey your value to clients is what makes you a living.
What finally changed for me?
I worked at a lot of studios, attended plenty of workshops and retreats, asked a ton of questions and swapped ideas with fellow freelancers. I kept digging until Iâ€™d cobbled together a process. Then, I launched Branch and tested it out a few dozen times, making tweaks along the way.
Once I was happy with my process, I started thinking: if I struggled for so long with this, there has to be others who feel the same way.
And, letâ€™s be honest here: processes can take a lot of time to develop. When you have projects to get done, the last thing you want to do is dump a bunch of time into something youâ€™re not sure will even work.
The Simple Solution
I had an idea to share ready-made process documents but knew it could be better so I reached out to Paul Jarvis. Heâ€™s worked with the likes of Marie Forleo, Danielle LaPorte and dozens of others over the last 17 years and, as you can guess, his process is SOLID.
With our partnership, Project Prescription was born: a set of 15 fully customizable documents so you can quickly add your branding, colors and fonts to a pre-set formula and get back what you love â€” the creative side of things.
Sign up for our mailing list for an exclusive download of two free documents plus a specially priced offer when Project Prescription launches.
Developing a process for your creative business doesnâ€™t have to be intimidating and full of unknowns. Project Prescription launches February 7th and I genuinely hope it helps you level the playing field and grow your business.
Thanks for reading and Iâ€™ll be back next week with more specifics about the documents and how to put them to work for your creative business! -Shauna
Fine print: To customize Project Prescription documents, a basic knowledge of InDesign is recommended. Documents are built on the Adobe CC Suite. A trial version of InDesign can be downloaded here.
Questions? Email us at email@example.com.