The Calculated Creative

Creative Work Is Built On Trust

The 3 step process to building relationships and landing more work

Creative work is built on trust.

But it doesn’t come from a contract and a handshake.

You build it slowly from the ground up.

And in doing so work to create:
- Safety
- Processes
- Communication

Here’s 3 steps I use to build relationships and land more work:

1. Crawl

Keep it simple.

Spend more time communicating about how to work through difficulties in the working relationship.

And bite off small projects to test those assumptions.

Do a few of these to get a feel for what difficulties show up consistently.

2. Walk

Now that you have an understanding of where things tend to get hard…


You have processes in place to know how to work through them…

You can start to pick up a little speed.

Take on projects that are a little more involved from a time and energy perspective.

Or even ones that come with a little more risk and stress.

3. Run

You only kick into this gear when you have everything else dialed.

You know where most roadblocks occur.

You know how to work through them.

Timelines are set.

Deliverables are agreed on.

Everybody knows their role and understands exactly what to do it s**t hits the fan.

This is a well oiled machine.

How this is relevant for a:

Freelancer — You’re trying to land more work but you don’t have enough systems in place to stop things from falling through the cracks. Nailing the crawl and walk steps will ensure that you can ramp without mis-steps over time.

Full-timer — With team members and departments constantly in flux it can feel like you’re always reinventing the wheel on how to take projects to completion. Start small and build the relationship over time. Let seasoned vets help to establish agreed upon guidelines.

Dabbler — It can be tempting to go straight for the shiniest object in front of you. But until you have the necessary experience to bite off more than you can chew (and actually chew it) it’s best to focus on becoming a pro at the basics.

In todays fast paced landscape clients and managers will want to skip these first two steps.

And go straight to running.

But until you’re clear on how your working relationship functions…

Running will only drive you straight into a brick wall.

Make Your Work
Suck Less

Pulling back the curtain on the creative process to help make your work a little less terrible. A 3-minute read delivered each week on Monday morning.

The Calculated Creative

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