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Creative Truth

Book Description

Creative Truth is your playbook for starting, building, and enjoying a profitable design business. Whether you’re a solo freelancer working from home or a small group of creative entrepreneurs ready to get to the next level, this is your roadmap to success. You’re the CEO, CFO, CTO, Secretary, Janitor, Office Manager, and everything in between. Finding a balance between running the business and doing great creative work is a constant struggle. From learning how to price your work and manage your time, to setting up your business and defining your market, Brad Weaver covers everything designers need to know to run a studio without losing heart.


• Real numbers, real tools, and best practices in a toolkit that you can start using immediately in your business.

• A companion website that offers up-to-date resources, articles, tools, and discussions, allowing readers to continue learning as they grow.

• Practical tips for getting clients, being more profitable, building your network, managing your operations, getting things done, hiring help, managing contractors, and finding joy along the way.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title
  3. Copyright
  4. Contents
  5. About the Author
  6. Why This Book, Why Now?
  7. Acknowledgments
  8. 1. Full Measures: The Creative Business Mindset
    1. Follow Your Passion, Fall Off a Cliff
    2. Business in The Front, Creative in The Back
    3. It’s No Longer a Hobby
  9. 2. Rookie of the Year: Pushing the Start Button
    1. You’ll Never Be Ready, But Do It Anyway
    2. How to Start
    3. When to Start
    4. Who You Need (Your Services Army)
    5. Where to Start (Finding a Home)
    6. The Truth About Starting
    7. What You Actually Need—The Minimal Starter List
  10. 3. The Hunt: Sales, Marketing, and Getting Client Work
    1. Getting Clients
    2. Two Sides of Marketing
    3. Building the Machine
    4. How to Sell Creative Services
    5. Your Online Presence
    6. The Geometry of Business: Targeted Vertical and Horizontal Marketing
    7. Quick Marketing Tips
  11. 4. Basic Rocket Science: Pricing Your Work
    1. Building a Pricing Strategy
    2. Finding Your Shop Rate and Knowing What You Need
    3. Raising Your Rates
    4. Pricing Model 1: Hourly Billing
    5. Pricing Model 2: Project-based and Flat-fee Pricing
    6. Pricing Model 3: Value-based Pricing
    7. Pricing Model 4: Retainer Pricing
    8. Pricing Model 5: Package Pricing
    9. Pricing Model 6: Performance-based Pricing
    10. Pricing Model 7: Equity Pricing
    11. Additional Pricing Factors
  12. 5. Home Economics: Getting Paid—Contracts, Operations, and Billing
    1. Proposals
    2. Contracts
    3. Working For Free
    4. Documents
    5. A Very Short List of Very Important Documents
    6. Getting Paid—Invoicing, Billing, and Collections
    7. Cash Flow
  13. 6. A Very Delicate Matter: Managing Client Expectations
    1. Setting Client Expectations
    2. Communications and Project Management
    3. Client Revisions and Scope Creep
    4. Copyright and Intellectual Property
    5. Long-term Client Relationships
    6. When Things Go South
  14. 7. Done is Better Than Perfect: Doing the Work
    1. Deadlines—Just Ship It
    2. Impostor Syndrome
    3. Procrastination
    4. Scheduling and Time Management
    5. Delegation
    6. Side Projects
  15. 8. The Art of Discourse: Community, Collaboration, and Showering Regularly
    1. Avoid Isolation
    2. Build Relationships
    3. Build an Audience
    4. Build Bridges
    5. Build Collaborations
  16. 9. No Time Like the Future: Growing Your Creative Business
    1. Freelancers vs. Employees
    2. Hiring Help
    3. Scaling
    4. Partnerships and Mergers
    5. Office Space
    6. Failure is An Option
  17. 10. Taking a Break from All Your Worries: This Creative Life
    1. Mind
    2. Body
    3. Stop Being Busy
    4. Burnout
    5. Embrace the Ups and Downs
    6. About That Courage
    7. Go and Grow
  18. Index