Monthly Archives: February 2016

Streamline Design Processes With Project Prescription + A Special Discount!

Nubby Twiglet | Streamline Processes With Project Prescription

The word “process” is so unsexy. But oh, is it necessary when you’re trying to make a living as a creative.

I learned the value of having a process the hard way because it wasn’t something we dug into at school or at most of my corporate jobs.

So, when I went out on my own, there was a lot of learning to do. As these things usually go, in the beginning, it was difficult, painful and resulted in unhappy clients. I always knew it wasn’t the work I was producing but how I presented and delivered it.

Clients first take notice of your work but your process is what keeps them coming back for more. On nearly every call I’ve had since starting Branch, I explain our in-depth process and it almost always seals the deal. Your goal as a designer is not just producing awesome work but also making your clients feel comfortable and at ease. The more at home you make them feel, they more likely they are to stick with you.

What Is Project Prescription?

I’ve joined forces with fellow freelancer Paul Jarvis to produce a set of digital documents that enable you to bypass the trial and error of developing a process of working with clients.

As we explain, “This isn’t theory about what might work, it’s hard data from the trenches on what does work. And now we’re sharing exactly what you need to do the same in gorgeous documents, checklists and processes.”

Nubby Twiglet | Streamline Processes With Project Prescription

What Documents Are Included?

Part 1: Exposure

Use these documents to bring in a steady flow of interested clients.

1. Media kit: Showcase your brand, skills, clients and success stories. This is the first time I’ve ever offered a pre-designed media kit template and trust me, the price is worth just this alone!

2. Getting Started Guide: Automate how you take clients from interested to hired with project links, testimonials and an outline of how you can work together.

3. Potential/Signed Leads: A simple spreadsheet to help you keep track of project bids you’ve created and won so you know where you stand.

4. Bookkeeping: Track money coming in and going out so you know where your budget is going.


Part 2: Onboarding

Take your clients from interested to signed off on.

5. Questionnaire: This is formatted with questions to ask your client about their project so you’re well informed.

6. Estimate: A list of deliverables, pricing and timing of a potential project for approval.

7. Onboarding steps/process: This simple chart helps you educate and design the experience of working with you from start to finish.

8. Project Checklist: Keep track of what’s needed to start each project so there’s no last minute scrambling.

9. Project Proposal: A standard terms and conditions document to make sure you’re on the same page with your client before the work starts.


Part 3: Project

Once you’re hired, it’s important to make sure the project stays on track and runs smoothly.

10. Invoice: We’ve included the information you need to get paid quickly and easily.

11. Client Evaluation: Use this internal document to figure out if a client is a good fit.

12. Feedback Guide: I wish I had this when I was starting out! This sheet teaches clients how to give you the feedback you want and need.

13. Presentation: This has a bunch of pre-formatted page templates to help you present work that gets signed off on quickly.

14. Post Launch Questionnaire: Learn what went right (and didn’t) and mine for testimonials.

15. Follow Up: This document outlines a schedule for staying in touch.

There you go! There’s a lot of documents in this pack (and by no means do you need to use every single one of them) but we want you to be prepared as your business grows.

As I mentioned last week, having a solid process was the key difference between just getting by as a freelancer and growing my studio into a six-figure business. My goal with these documents is to take the guess-work out of designing a process that works.

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Special Offer

We’re running an introductory offer of $69.00 for Project Prescription, no promo codes necessary. Just click through and buy! In less than a week, the price will return to $89.00.

Once again, thanks for your support during this launch and I hope these documents help you grow your business. If you have any questions about Project Prescription, let me know in the comments! -Shauna

The Week + Links: 2.5.16

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links

THE WEEK

How was your week?

I’m sitting in my office wearing my beloved green faux fur coat with a fresh bouquet of bright orange tulips I picked up at Trader Joe’s this morning on the desk, wrapping up issue 7 of Rock n Roll Bride Magazine and listening to my “Discover Weekly” playlist on Spotify. If you’re new to Spotify, they curate a brand new mix for you every week based on what you’re starring. It’s pretty spot-on and I’m obsessed. Just click on the Browse option and then Discover and you’re in!

Joey has been in LA over the last week for meetings for his new art show so I’ve been home squirrel-sitting. When Chubs was a baby, he was the most hyperactive creature ever and we deemed it as a case of the “terrible twos.” Over the summer, his personality shifted and he completely mellowed out. Chubs now the sweetest, calmest little guy and is perfectly content to let me hold him for 15 minutes straight, petting him and scratching his belly. Awww.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links

Work-wise, I’ve been moving between more projects than ever and have a massive backlog to share with you. So many new things! I’m going to start digging into the recent archives next week.

Anyway, I hope you have a fun weekend ahead. I’m looking forward to heading to the nursery to finally track down a meyer lemon tree and also fitting in some family time. I’ll see you back here on Monday where I’ll share more about the Project Prescription launch. I’ve never been so excited about a launch in my life because this is exactly what I wish had existed when I launched my business. And really, you should only release products that light you up.

Chubs and I are sending lots of love your way — have a good one!

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links

THE LINKS

• Instead of ripping apart someone’s logo redesign that you didn’t have the brief on, do these 7 things instead. For reals.

• 23 (slightly) moving portraits of the most famous folks in Hollywood.

• I love this article about making time to read more books. Reading 100 per year isn’t as hard as you think!

• 200 designers share their Fall 2016 inspirations.

• Behold the very last audio cassette tape factory.

• What’s holding you back from getting paid to do what you love?

• 100 small but easy ways to make 2016 the best year yet.

• Photoshop can be even more powerful (and fun!) with these 47 plugins.

• 100 jokes that shaped modern comedy.

• The ancient Greeks were obviously way ahead of their time and this statue proves it! Haha.

• Need some inspiration for the 404 error page on your website? Check out these 30 brilliantly designed ones!

• Do you have irrational fears?

My New York City Cheat Sheet: 20 Things To Do In The City That Never Sleeps

Nubby Twiglet | My New York Cheat Sheet: 20 Things To Do In The City That Never Sleeps

Every time I visit New York, I’m discovering new places. I’ve had a love affair with the city for the past 15 years and whenever I’m in town, my friends introduce me to their latest haunts. I know what it’s like to travel to a new city, feel the overwhelm set in and go, “What is there to do?” so here’s a cheat sheet of 20 places I think you’ll love just as much as I do. I’ve done my best to keep it eclectic since the mix of high and low is what makes exploring a city so interesting and fun.

Nubby Twiglet | My New York Cheat Sheet: 20 Things To Do In The City That Never Sleep

Before we get started, you may be wondering how such a random mix of places came to be. Well, when I got into town to visit Gala 2 weeks ago, she pulled out a bright pink pen and paper and we conjured up all the places we’d been wanting to check out. Virgos are obsessed with lists and it felt so good checking places off, one by one.

Nubby Twiglet | My New York Cheat Sheet: 20 Things To Do In The City That Never Sleep

1. The Smith East Village Photo Booth

Most people visit The Smith for their tasty food but the best kept secret is in the basement. Walk through the restaurant and head down the staircase where you’ll find the best black and white photo booth in town. I’ve used it dozens of times and the contrast is always perfect. The strips never come out dark and streaky and they’re only $3.00. Get that debit card ready!

2. Cafe Mogador

Part of charm of the East Village are quaint little cafes that are great meeting spots for friends. Cafe Mogador has been at the edge of St. Mark’s Place for a few decades now and is a total crowd pleaser, whether you’re ordering their trademark Moroccan and Mediterranean cuisine or are just in need of a great basic breakfast of french toast and scrambled eggs.

3. Barnyard

Sometimes, you just want a really good sandwich. Barnyard has a variety, from meat to veggie options and if you don’t like one of the toppings, it’s cool since they make everything fresh to order. If you want a salad or specialty cheese to go with your sandwich, they have tons of options. Total comfort food.

4. Three Of Cups

Okay, so this bar is at the opposite end of the spectrum. It’s in a basement, dimly lit and metal is the go-to music selection. I’ve been visiting this place with friends since 2002 and it hasn’t changed a bit and to me, that’s part of its charm. Gotta love a good local bar with absolutely no pretension.

Nubby Twiglet | My New York Cheat Sheet: 20 Things To Do In The City That Never Sleep

5. Caravan Of Dreams

When you’re in need of a sweet treat but trying to watch your diet, this East Village mainstay since 1991 has you covered. The menu is organic and raw vegan so you can dine without the guilt. I’m obsessed with the cashew milk chai lattes and carrot cake while Gala is a huge fan of the brownies and hot chocolate.

6. ABC Carpet and Home

If housewares and interiors are your thing, this place is a total mecca. With six floors brimming with perfectly curated collections of everything from rugs to dishes to couches to bedding, you can get lost for hours. What stands out most is the lack of sameness at ABC — the selection doesn’t feel like another whitewashed Pinterest-inspired room. You’ll discover tons of exclusive items you’ve never seen before, even if you spend hours a day online.

7. Buffalo Exchange

New York is full of fashionable folks and when they need to unload last season’s cast-offs, many end up at Buffalo Exchange. I’ve been shopping at these stores since I was a teenager and just spent an hour at the East Village location with Gala, selling three suitcases worth of treasures. I love Buffalo Exchange because the items are always in like-new condition and prices are super reasonable, even for designer goods.

8.Dean & Deluca

A foodie’s dream, Dean & Deluca has been a staple of New York life since the 1970s because it’s packed with hard to find gourmet items. Searching out a rare chocolate bar, a special brand of sea salt or fancy tea? They probably have it. David Bowie used to shop here once a week and it’s no wonder why — their selection is always interesting and intriguing.

Nubby Twiglet | My New York Cheat Sheet: 20 Things To Do In The City That Never Sleep

9. Laduree

Ever since Laduree opened in Soho a few years back, I’ve been meeting friends and clients in their beautiful backyard garden area. I love the colorful macarons, massive statues and mix of fabrics and textures draped throughout the rooms. It’s a very luxurious, French-inspired experience that will transport you away from the busyness of Soho for a bit.

10. David Barton Gym

If I’m going to work out, I want my gym to feel like a nightclub. David Barton is the most eccentric gym I’ve ever seen, with dramatic lighting, dance music and plenty of gear to whip you into shape. If you wear all black and feel out of place in mainstream gyms, this is definitely your place.

11. Indochine

This is hands down, my favorite dinner spot in town. Since its doors opened in 1984, Indochine has fed everyone from Warhol to Madonna to Keith Haring to Duran Duran. Every art and music star of the 80s and 90s made their way here for its exotic French-Vietnamese menu. The most amazing part is that the interior is completely unchanged. You feel like you’re entering 1984 with massive murals of palm leaves on beige walls, while being surrounded by tables of people in suits and beautiful dresses. I’m obsessed with the people watching here. It’s fun to guess what everyone does — are they gallery owners, managers of modeling agencies or foreign bankers? Probably a little of each.

Nubby Twiglet | My New York Cheat Sheet: 20 Things To Do In The City That Never Sleep

12. Joe & The Juice

I originally discovered this chain in London a few years back and was smitten with their bright coffee cups in baby pink and lemon yellow. They now have a Soho location with their signature selection of coffee and juices, plus fantastic sandwiches. The dramatic pendant lights and book-patterned wallpaper are the perfect backdrop for your next selfie.

13. By Chloe

If healthy and stylish are two buzzwords you live by, this restaurant is for you. It’s super chic and full of plant-based vegan options including burgers and salads. Beyond that, I’m obsessed with their awesome Instagram packed with some of the best food styling around.

14. Barcelona Bar

When you walk in, this teeny tiny bar seems very nondescript…until you see the menu. Specializing in shots, Barcelona Bar will keep you entertained for hours. Why? Because the shots have themes. My hands-down favorite is the Harry Potter. When you order, the bartender puts on a striped scarf, hands you a wand, lights your drink on fire and mumbles an over-the-top spell before blowing your drink out. Poof! Hows’s that for entertainment?!

15. Aura Photos

If you’re in town and looking for a unique keepsake, getting an aura photo taken at Magic Jewelry is really fun. For $20.00, they’ll sit you against a black backdrop, place your fingers on sensors and two minutes later, your portrait is waiting. An employee then shows you a chart so you have a better understanding of what the colors represent.

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16. Gothic Renaissance

Whether you’re in need of a black rabbit mask, a fresh pair of fishnets or a Lip Service PVC skirt, this is your place. It’s a goth wonderland that you wish had existed in your small town back when you were 15.

17. The Apartment

Admittedly, I didn’t make it here due to the epic blizzard but based on the website alone, I’m obsessed. The Apartment is a tightly curated experience inside of a shop designed to look exactly like an apartment interior. The best part is that all the objects and decor are shoppable!

Nubby Twiglet | My New York Cheat Sheet: 20 Things To Do In The City That Never Sleep

18. The Butcher’s Daughter

A healthy, fruit and veggie-focused cafe with some of the cutest decor around, this place doesn’t disappoint. I was so smitten that I just shared a full post about it.

19. Insomnia Cookies

Who knew that such a place existed?! The premise is simple — your sweet tooth kicks in late at night, nothing is open and you just really, really want a cookie. Insomnia Cookies delivers warm, fresh-baked cookies throughout the city until 3 am. We had ours delivered to a bar we were at for the ultimate indulgence.

20. The Standard East Village

This location has a hidden gem — a backyard garden area complete with brightly colored tables and chairs. Incredibly private, this spot is the perfect place to sit down for a drink after a long day and catch up with a friend. It feels a little bit like a modern take on Alice In Wonderland and that should be enough to convince you to visit.


I hope this list has given you some new ideas of things to try in New York. Have fun!

Creative Chronicles: Streamline Processes, Teach Clients How To Treat You and Charge More with Project Prescription

Nubby Twiglet | Creative Chronicles: Streamlining Processes and Teaching Clients How To Treat You with The Project Prescription

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.

And….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 you’re not sure how to transform your career into something more lucrative? I feel you — because I spent years in the same boat, trying to figure out what I was doing wrong.

Nubby Twiglet | Creative Chronicles: Streamlining Processes and Teaching Clients How To Treat You with The Project Prescription

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 wasn’t falling flat….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 it’s just as important.

Processes are everything. Without them, you’re missing the opportunity to increase your output, get treated fairly and earn what you deserve.

Having a process wasn’t always clear to me and for good reason: nobody likes to openly discuss their internal processes.

And, can you blame them?

It’s their so-called “secret sauce” and if they give it away, they’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.

Nubby Twiglet | Creative Chronicles: Streamlining Processes and Teaching Clients How To Treat You with The Project Prescription

The Shift

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 I’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, let’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 you’re not sure will even work.

Nubby Twiglet | Creative Chronicles: Streamlining Processes and Teaching Clients How To Treat You with The Project Prescription

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. He’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 — the creative side of things.

Nubby Twiglet | Creative Chronicles: Streamlining Processes and Teaching Clients How To Treat You with The Project Prescription

Interested?

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 doesn’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 I’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 us@theprojectprescription.com.