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Unleash Your Freelance Superpowers: Revolutionize Your Creative Business with the TOTS Playbook Method

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Are you ready to make your freelance life more efficient, enjoyable, and, let's face it, less chaotic? Our latest podcast episode is the perfect companion for your creative journey!
Discover the secrets to organizing your freelance business for more consistency and room to grow. Say goodbye to flying by the seat of your pants and welcome the magic of creating your very own “recipes” using the TOTS Playbook Method.
In this episode, we explore:
  • Starting small: Pinpoint the tasks that zap your energy and learn to map out your client journey from start to finish.
  • Crafting your recipe: Master the TOTS Playbook Method (Training Video, Outline, Timing, and Specifics) and capture your creative process with our favorite tools.
  • Fine-tuning your masterpiece: Gather feedback, make tweaks, and keep polishing your process for outstanding results.
  • Growing your creative world: Embrace the benefits of systems and processes to take on more projects without losing your sanity.
Don't miss this opportunity to level up your freelance adventure and tap into your full creative potential. Experience the difference that a little organization can make for your creative work and well-being.
🎧 Are you ready to unleash your creative superpowers? Click here to listen now!
In this episode you’ll discover:
  • Why creatives are prone to inconsistent results
  • Creating playbooks to give your clients great final products every time
  • What's top of mind for you to outsource?
  • Breaking down TOTS
  • The creative mindset vs the entrepreneurial mindset
  • Creating replicable results for your clients

Get the TOTS playbook now!


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[00:00:00] Brian: Hello and welcome to the six Figure Creative Podcast. I'm your host, Brian Hood. If this is your first time listening to the show, first of all, I just wanna welcome you.

[00:00:06] Brian: Thank you for even giving the show a chance. You are in the right place right now. If you are a creative freelancer, you are trying to make more money with your creative skills. You wanna do it without selling your soul. This episode specifically will be great for those of you who are probably on the upper end of your limits as far as how much work you can actually complete.

[00:00:22] Brian: You are at your wits end with a lot of stuff that you are working on in your business that you don't wanna do, or that's taking away from your creativity and you are ready for a change that will potentially revolutionize your business unlock your creativity. And what is the title of this episode?

[00:00:35] Brian: Your Freelance Superpowers? Something like that. We'll see what I end up picking for this episode. If that sounds interesting to. This episode is going to be awesome for my returning listeners. Great to have you back. I love having you here. I just got back from my four year anniversary trip with my wife.

[00:00:48] Brian: We went to the Smokey Mountains which is Gatlinburg, Tennessee, which is like the Kitchit town on Earth if you've ever been there. if somebody came from another planet and. Gatlinburg Tennessee or Pigeon Forge more specifically, [00:01:00] they would have a lot of questions about humanity, honestly, even if you're not from.

[00:01:04] Brian: This area maybe from the northeast or from the west coast, or those of you who are from overseas in another country. If you came to Pigeon Fords, Tennessee, you would really wonder what the hell's going over here in America. There are giant buildings for theaters that are like the kits, dinner theaters on earth. There are, wild, multi-level go-kart tracks that just like spiral up into the air. many golf courses everywhere. It. like the Vegas of the south, without casinos, it's more about just like kitche tourist trap destinations.

[00:01:32] Brian: We went there for two specific things. One was to just relax, sit in the hot tub, enjoy this wonderful mountain view that we had. The other thing was to go visit Dollywood. For those of you who are Dolly Parton fans, there's a theme park that is called Dollywood. It is for the country singer.

[00:01:46] Brian: Dolly Parton is her park, and it is magnificent. there's like a bunch of roller coasters. a legitimate. Steam locomotive engine, like from the 18 hundreds that they just ride around the park that you can get on with like coal powered engine. they're like actually shoveling coal and just [00:02:00] like spitting, cold dust in the air

[00:02:02] Brian: so we just had a really good weekend. Enjoyed ourselves. We did a uh, shadow and bone watch party where we kind of went through season two there. But that's my update since the last time I did a podcast episode. It's kind of been a, pretty big break here since I did the last set of interviews and now , I'm , back on the treadmill of week to week episodes again, which, has some fun parts and it has some stressful parts as well.

[00:02:18] Brian: So let's dive into the episode today cuz I've got something, that I think a lot of freelancers need to hear right now. I'm speaking to my Enneagram fours, if you know who you are right now, you make the mistake of thinking that your, creative process is so special that there is no possible way that you could bottle it up and share it with the.

[00:02:33] Brian: And I wanna equate this to something that was on my mind. I heard this on a podcast I was listening to of a baker who creates the perfect cake. the perfect cake, capital letters trade market.

[00:02:42] Brian: they create the perfect cake, right?

[00:02:43] Brian: And she makes it for a client and that client is so happy. It's amazing. Birthday cake. They tell all of their friends like, Hey, this is the perfect cake trademark and you should get this from this baker. And then the friends go and get this from the baker. And it's just not the same. It's not as good.

[00:02:57] Brian: It's too much sugar or too much flour, or [00:03:00] too dry or too stodgy, whatever. And it's not replicatable because the baker wasn't following a recipe. She was using her gut, her intuition, she was using, the different things that she just felt like at the time was based on emotion and gut feel. And I think a lot of us work this way when we're doing our creative tasks in our business.

[00:03:17] Brian: and this leads to some different issues. One is inconsistent results literally, this is for any creative field and sometimes not even creative field. This is just sometimes we're doing something and it's just inconsistent every single time because we're just following gut.

[00:03:29] Brian: We're following memory, following intuition,

[00:03:31] Brian: and it's just like the baker with no recipe. how are you going to replicate the perfect cake trademark why do I have a trademark on that in my head? I don't know. But she can't replicate the perfect cake cuz she has no recipe that she's following. She can't share that with friends.

[00:03:43] Brian: she just can't capture this perfect thing that she created this one time because there was no recipe. It was all gut feel. The second problem that comes from not following a recipe is inconsistent client results. Think about it. A lot of us, when clients hire us, Preferably, you're offering a transformational service.

[00:03:59] Brian: You've heard me talk about this on the [00:04:00] podcast before. We don't just do button seat jobs at six Figure Creative. We talk about doing transformational freelance services that have a great outcome attached to it. if you're truly offering transformational freelance services with a big outcome attached to it, how can you possibly get the same outcome for all your clients?

[00:04:17] Brian: When you're not following any sort of recipe, And when you have inconsistent client outcomes, that means you're gonna have inconsistent client opinions, meaning some clients are happy, some clients are really mad. Think about the baker with the perfect cake When the client sells the perfect cake to somebody and it's different from one person to another, it's no longer perfect.

[00:04:32] Brian: One cake was perfect. One cake was Two sugary. One cake was, a sludgy mess. The clients that thought they were getting the perfect cake are really unhappy. There's inconsistent results, meaning inconsistent opinions, which means your, clients vary from ecstatic to really pissed off because there's no recipe followed.

[00:04:49] Brian: The third issue is wasted time because you're trying to essentially bottle lightning every single time you do some sort of task or some sort of project that one magical thing that only you can.

[00:04:58] Brian: You're essentially starting from ground [00:05:00] zero every time because you have no replicatable process.

[00:05:03] Brian: And then the last issue that comes from not having a recipe is pretty obvious. You can't have anyone else ever replicate the success. So when that Baker wants to. Increase her operations because all her people are coming to her. Maybe she can replicate that perfect cake every single time. Now she's the one doing all the baking.

[00:05:18] Brian: That also means she has to do all the sales. That means she has to do all of the invoicing. She has to do all of the bills, all of the taxes. just like us freelancer. She's having to do all the things, which means she is now the sole person involved in everything in the operation. She can never get anyone to make a cake ever because she has no recipe for the perfect.

[00:05:36] Brian: Now, there is no such thing as a perfect cake. Just like freelancers. There's no such thing as a perfect outcome that we provide. But the recipe that we have for our services is the thing that we can follow as a starting point for every single project. So we know at a baseline, at a minimum. We know where the project is going to be at a minimum level, and from there, we can use our creativity in our fill to take this recipe and elevate it every single.

[00:05:58] Brian: for this episode, I just [00:06:00] wanna spend time talking through how to create recipes for your business. Some people call them playbooks like I do. Some people call them sop, standard operating procedures, which is really nerdy and like soul sucking. I don't use that term, but this is what real businesses do They have playbooks that they follow, or recipes that they follow. They get specific outcomes. They get specific results. Consistent results, which means happier clients. Faster projects and for us creatives, a lot of this comes down to getting the annoying stuff off of our plate so we can actually focus on our zone of genius.

[00:06:28] Brian: So whether or not you ever have aspirations to scale out a team and build an agency or

[00:06:32] Brian: hire anyone to help, at the end of the day, this tell helps you in a ton of different. So if you're ready to create playbooks, you're ready to create recipes to capture that perfect cake in your business. Whatever the perfect cake represents to you. Let's dive into this. I've got four steps we're gonna walk through, and then I've got a free resource I'm gonna give you to help you implement what I call the Tots method for building out playbooks, the Tots Playbook method.

[00:06:52] Brian: this is not like Scott's Tots. Have you ever seen in the office Scott's Tots is like the cringing AST episode of all Time for the Office. It's nothing to do with that kind of tots, it's just an acronym. It's [00:07:00] easy for me to remember when I'm thinking through this stuff.

[00:07:01] Brian: It's easy for you to remember. And then I have a template that you can actually follow for when you're trying to create a Tots playbook of your own. So I'll give you a link to that at the end of the episode and we'll talk through what all this means. so the first step is to just start small. As much as I would love for you to just actually try to capture your perfect essence in a recipe, that's probably not the place you wanna start here. We wanna start small. So the thing I actually like to walk people through when I'm talking through this sort of process is one of the things we need to get off of your plate, because when it comes to transforming your business and unlocking your creativity, the best way to start is getting all the non-creative, all the bs, soul sucking tasks off of your plate. I have a series of questions I'm gonna ask you here, and I want you to think through this.

[00:07:39] Brian: Just what is top of mind as I'm talking through these sorts of questions. whatever's top of mind is probably the place to start something. Something manageable, something bite size. As you think through how this is gonna look in your business, Don't start with the biggest, most complex thing in your business. Trust me, this is going to be so much more difficult if you try to start at the top. Let's start the bottom with something simple. So the first thing is, what are the things that drain you when you show up to [00:08:00] your office probably home office for a lot of you or your studio, or.

[00:08:04] Brian: Cool working space or wherever you work out of, what is the stuff that drains you, the stuff you dread doing can be taxes, could be accounting, bookkeeping, could be some sort of menial task that you don't want to do because it's just, oh, it's drains me every time. What is, that task? What is that thing?

[00:08:19] Brian: What's top of mind for you right now? Write it down. Think about it. if you're driving it right now just bookmark it in your head. The second thing is, There are certain things in your business that maybe they're high value, maybe you even like doing them, but you're just not very good at it, at least not yet.

[00:08:31] Brian: Maybe that's a place to start as well. what is coming to to mind for you right now when it comes to things that you're bad at? Next is what are low value tasks that you find yourself doing? You might even enjoy these, but what are low value, low dollar per hour tasks that you could get off your plate first and foremost, It is money that you can spend to buy back your time to spend on higher value tasks. That's one of the easiest ways to uplevel your income as a freelancer, and we start with these low value tasks to get off our plate. So is anything coming to mind there? Next question is just things that eat up your time.

[00:08:58] Brian: Sometimes as [00:09:00] creatives, there's these things in our business that, again, we might enjoy 'em. They might be high value, they may be tasks that are fulfilling, but they just eat up so much of your time that you cannot justify doing. If anything comes to mind there, maybe write it down or just, bookmark that in your brain.

[00:09:13] Brian: And the final thing to really think through here is what are the parts of your business that feel really messy? maybe your inbox, your c r m, maybe it's your project management software. Maybe it's your lack of project management software. Who knows what part of your business just feels really messy right now.

[00:09:26] Brian: Feels really. Unhinged. Anytime you're in something, doing something, anytime you're sending something to a client, what just, feels really?

[00:09:32] Brian: If none of these questions really brought forth anything in your mind that is a place you wanna start, then I recommend creating kind of a step-by-step outline. Don't get too crazy detailed, granular with this, but just like a step-by-step outline, the big picture process of what every single client goes through from when they first learn about you, or first contact you all the way to the final deliverable of what you provide them.

[00:09:51] Brian: What are all the steps along the. I can promise you when you do that entire process, it's probably way more complicated, way more steps than you ever thought, cuz you've never actually listed [00:10:00] them out. But when you do that, you could probably highlight a few things in there that is a good starting place that are small enough, but meaningful enough for you to start when it comes to creating a recipe with the intent, probably in this case of getting it off of your.

[00:10:13] Brian: So that's the first step. Start small. The second step in this is create your recipe. This is where the Tots playbook method comes into play,

[00:10:21] Brian: and the goal is essentially just to create a recipe that someone else could follow, even if you never intend somebody to actually follow this, Even if this is something that feels automatic, it feels intuitive, it feels like die, know how to do this, try to think through this from the perspective of someone else has to do this. Because, like I said, even if this is like a core thing that you need to do in your business, like this is the, secret sauce of your business as a creative, you still need to document it as if someone else is going to do it.

[00:10:43] Brian: Because again, what happens when you need to come back to this and do it? What happens, we need to capture that lightning in a bottle again to get that perfect sound, that perfect look, that perfect feel for your client. This is part of documenting these sorts of things out, is creating this in a way that someone else could follow this.

[00:10:58] Brian: Cuz if someone else can follow it, you can [00:11:00] absolutely follow it yourself in the future. even if no one else is ever gonna do this, you still document this stuff out, like someone else is gonna follow it. So this is where the Tots Playbook method comes into play. It's an acronym and it stands for four different things.

[00:11:10] Brian: I'm gonna talk through them and I'll give you like details for every single one. The first thing is, a training video. That's the T, it's an outline. That's just the big picture. The timing involved. When do you do it? How often do you do it, whatever. And then the specifics of every single step. So let's talk through each of these.

[00:11:24] Brian: first is a training video. When someone opens this document, again, I have a template for this, you can go to six figure creative.com/tots. That's T OTs, and there will be a page, you can sign up and I'll email you a Google Doc template that you can go through. And it's literally, this playbook is the playbook for creating playbook.

[00:11:39] Brian: So it's really meta. You can see through like how it looks. There's a video on. Showing you how to do it for every single one of these steps. It's in that guide if you want it. But the first thing is a training video. And the training video is you either training yourself or training someone else. Just speak to like someone else, like you're training someone else, even if you're training yourself here, talking through your process out loud, from top to bottom of every single thing that you do, [00:12:00] and you're talking through things as if you were telling someone else how you accomplished.

[00:12:03] Brian: because if you can't explain it, there's no way someone else could ever learn it. So you have to be able to articulate this. Now, if you struggle with articulating how do I think about these things? How do I do these things? We don't have to actually start here. This is gonna be something we do later on because some processes make more sense to just shoot a video and then outline and create all the other elements and some processes make more sense to actually, outline them first and then do these other steps, and then use the video as one of the last steps in the process.

[00:12:28] Brian: But in the Tots playbook, Acronym T is first for training video, and that's the first thing in the document. The next thing is, oh, so outline. essentially. Think of it as a checklist for all the major steps that are gonna be done in this. And this is really useful whenever you know the process backwards and forwards, just to make sure you don't forget any major piece here.

[00:12:46] Brian: I can look at the outline and I know what to do as I'm going through it. I don't have to have all the specifics. I don't need any screenshots or any sort of like, long paragraphs of explanations. I just need the big picture so I can make sure I'm doing all this stuff. Next is timing.

[00:12:58] Brian: That's the T and this [00:13:00] is just, when do I do this process? When do I actually use this recipe? Is it a trigger-based event? Like anytime I get a new client, I follow this process, it's my onboarding playbook. Or it could be every week I do this. Maybe it's I go through all my bank state. Or I categorize all my bookkeeping expenses in zero or QuickBooks.

[00:13:18] Brian: that's the timing portion of this is how often do I do it, or what is the triggering event, that causes me to actually utilize this playbook. and then the final thing is specifics. That's the final S and Tots This is where we take the. From the second part, and we put every single detail and instruction as if somebody has never gone through this before and they've never even watched the video. They're just reading the instructions. And if they followed every single step in these specifics for every major outline point, by the end of reading all that, they're gonna have every single element done.

[00:13:48] Brian: This is crucial because yes, the video's great, but the written. Is better for some types of learners. So, I'm coming from the perspective of I'm gonna create this, and then my team is gonna do stuff from now on. if you [00:14:00] know you're not a, reader, you're a visual learner, then you could probably skip this step if you wanted to, and just have the video.

[00:14:05] Brian: But I really like going through this process because sometimes the video doesn't make sense. Maybe you haven't really thought through your process, maybe you've never really sat down and thought through, how do I make these decisions Hey, B or C if C then what? This is where it's really good to think through from top to bottom if someone was going through this for the first time, how they actually do this So that's the tots method. It's pretty simple that, like I said, there's a whole Google Doc template that is the playbook for making playbooks , and you can get that by going to six figure creative.com/t OTs to. Maybe I should have made that Scott stop. That'd been funnier. But I'm gonna give you some tools here.

[00:14:36] Brian: Let's talk about some tools that help this process. for documents, like where do you keep all of these individual playbooks? I use Evernote. I love Evernote. The search, the functionality, the speed. I can have multiple, like pages up. It has a desktop app. I don't have to use the web browser. That's my choice.

[00:14:50] Brian: And my favorite thing, Google Docs is kind of like the standard. Many people use Google Docs for all of their playbooks. It is a search company, Google is. So if you title your playbooks well, it's [00:15:00] easy to find them whenever you need to find them from Google Drive. But there's a lot of drawbacks from that and I'm not gonna really talk about that here.

[00:15:05] Brian: And then the third storage option for this is a app called Notion. I love notion. I don't love it as much as Evernote, but it is way prettier than Evernote. So if you're like a visual person, you need things to look neat and nice, then I recommend using Notion or looking at Notion and trying it out and seeing if that's right for you.

[00:15:20] Brian: For training videos, using Loom is what I would recommend, or o b s. Loom is more of like if you are the type of person, you just wanna do it really quick, You don't need like edits or anything. Luma's wonder. and then o b s is more for those of you who either, want a free tool, which I'm using o b s right now for this podcast as a backup.

[00:15:38] Brian: I actually don't use it for my, main files, but I use it as a backup for this. I use it for any YouTube videos I create. I use it for the playbooks I create for my coaching clients, , so I use O B S as well. Because that's, better for if you have to edit files or if you just need higher quality files or whatever.

[00:15:51] Brian: But those are two video things. And then for system freaks, like people who are just like, either you're an agency owner or you or somebody who's like, I'm gonna scale to the moon. I'm gonna have [00:16:00] an Empire check out Process Street. Process Street is what I use for my business and for this podcast.

[00:16:04] Brian: And for a lot of our big, big meaty playbooks and SOPs, whatever you wanna call these, this is. A really big builder where you can like create checklists, you can assign tasks to people and they have to go through the process top to bottom. It's extreme and I would say that almost no one listening to this podcast needs it.

[00:16:21] Brian: But if you are making over six figures, if you are trying to scale up a team, if you want a dedicated place for your SOPs or your playbooks or your recipes to live, this is your recipe book. In other words, process Street is something I highly recommend. I'm not an affiliate. I should be, I don't have any financial incentive for it.

[00:16:35] Brian: This is just literally what I use and what I recommend for people to check. But here's my final recommendation for this step, step two, which is creating the recipe. K i s s. Keep it simple, stupid or keep it stupid simple. That's probably the nicer way of saying it, but like just keep it simple for the first draft.

[00:16:48] Brian: You don't have to create like this master document. The whole point of this is to create something that someone else can go through. And then we move to step three, which is refining and optimizing your process. So you've got [00:17:00] this recipe built. How do we know if it's successful? How do we know if it's good?

[00:17:03] Brian: We give it to someone else and see if they can bake the perfect cake or not. If they can't bake the perfect cake, if it comes back and there's too much sugar, we need to go back to our recipe and adjust the sugar content. If they come back and burnt or something, then we need to go back and adjust the cook time on our recipe.

[00:17:15] Brian: It's the same exact thing for whatever you're creating here, we need to. optimize it and refine it so you can go through it yourself. If this is a process that you are going to follow, go from top to bottom, like somebody who's never done this before, and see if you get the same result that you, did whenever you were going through in your head.

[00:17:28] Brian: Or even better, send it to someone else and let them go through the process and see what the outcome is.

[00:17:33] Brian: so whenever you're getting feedback, listen to what they say. Like, ah, I was confused here, or, ah, I didn't know what to do here. What questions did they ask? In other words.

[00:17:39] Brian: And then the other thing is, what did they do? Because if you look at the result and see that the result doesn't really match up with what it should be, what went. Because if something didn't turn out the way you're supposed to turn out, then it's a bad recipe. it's not the bad person usually, unless you hired wrong or you got the wrong type of person doing the role.

[00:17:55] Brian: if that's not the case, then it's a bad recipe and the recipe or the process, or the playbook, or the [00:18:00] s o p, whatever you wanna call it, needs to be fixed. Now there's one like final tip I have on the optimization process here because sometimes we don't have time to update. Sometimes we just want to gather information for a big update later on in the playbook, I actually have on the bottom of my playbooks, I recommend having a checklist of revisions to make.

[00:18:16] Brian: This is on any document. Honestly, I do this on so many different things. I have a revision section. Anytime I come across something that's just not clear or could be improved or could be better or needs to be fixed or changed or added or taken out, I just add it to the revisions list on the playbook at the bottom of the document and that way I can always come back to it later and fix that big thing.

[00:18:32] Brian: Cuz sometimes you find that like, I've gotta redo the video, or I've gotta redo all the steps, or I've gotta rearrange the way the steps in orders are done and it's kind of heavy. It's like a lot. In those cases, if you're brain dead, at the end of the day, you don't have time to do this, you can add the revision and the notes for how to fix this, keep it in the bottom of the document and then come back to it later.

[00:18:49] Brian: But once you have this proof of concept, you've got this one task. You've created a recipe. It's replicatable. You've created the perfect cake. In this instance, There's no such thing as perfection and creativity. But you've, [00:19:00] captured lightning.

[00:19:00] Brian: You've bottled lightning. Now what do we do?

[00:19:02] Brian: We get to step four, and this is where we start scaling up your business with systems and processes. Ooh. That sounds awful. as a creative, like most people cringe at that sort of phrasing or terminology, and try to stay away from that as much as I can, although like I'm an entrepreneur first and I'm a creative second.

[00:19:18] Brian: Many people are creatives first and entrepreneur second. So I'm talking to you. If you are a creative first, entrepreneur second, then hearing this sort of talk is soul sucking. I know. Hear me out. Promise this is worth it. If you look. the process from start to finish of all the tasks you do with a client, from the very first contact to the final file delivery, all the stuff you have to do to manage your business from bookkeeping, to accounting, to, c r management, to whatever.

[00:19:41] Brian: If you look at all those sorts of things, there are a laundry list of tasks and things and processes that you need to get off of your plate so that you can just be the best creative and not waste your time and mental bandwidth and creativity on just shit that doesn't. Now that if you're creative first entrepreneur a second, that should resonate with you, [00:20:00] and that is what I mean by scaling up your business.

[00:20:02] Brian: Anytime we take away these low value tasks or the things that annoy us, or the things that are painful, or things that are messy, or things that are unorganized, or things that we just hate to do or are bad at, or low value, whatever, anytime we take those things away, that is a good thing.

[00:20:14] Brian: And that means that we now have more creativity, more time, more mental bandwidth to focus back on our businesses. And when we have more time, that means a number of things happen that allow us to scale our income, increase our.

[00:20:26] Brian: The first is now we can finish projects more quickly because we're more efficient. Means less hours invested into the project. If you're charging per hour or per day or something like that, which I usually recommend against this gets a little more complex. There are ways to scale with that being more efficient because you can take on help to, double the amount of clients you take on. Like essentially like you're an agency at this point, which not everyone wants to do.

[00:20:48] Brian: But if you're doing flat rate pricing or package pricing, which is what I recommend, then becoming more efficient means you get to reap the rewards of being more efficient, which is a great.

[00:20:56] Brian: If you do wanna have an agency model, meaning you have people fulfilling the [00:21:00] work and you are the c e O, the business owner, the entrepreneur, this is my people that are entrepreneurs first and then creative second. You can still do quality control and everything. You can still be the client relations management person where you're talking to all the clients and keeping them happy.

[00:21:12] Brian: You're still the face of the brand. You're still the person probably doing sales calls if you enjoy those. But you have people taking care of the fulfillment of the actual creative tasks. The only way to get to that point is to have recipes for every single thing in your business. It also helps if you're a productized service, which I'm not gonna get into for this episode.

[00:21:28] Brian: If you want more on that, then just, email me or let me know. But that is what I mean by scaling. It is scaling a team out so you can take on more projects because they're doing the fulfillment and you're doing the, business development, or you can scale how much your time is worth because you're charging a flat rate.

[00:21:43] Brian: And your time is now more valuable because you're becoming more efficient. That's how in my old studio, my recording studio, I was mixing heavy metal bands earning $350 or more per hour. Because I had done this exact process, I had turned all of my non-creative tasks into a playbook. I had given that playbook [00:22:00] to an assistant that I paid 30 bucks an hour.

[00:22:01] Brian: And that reduced the amount of hours per song for mixing work for me down to like a 10th of what it was before I did. Because I was only doing the creative tasks that only I could do, the things that were really hard to capture in a playbook, the things that were just subjective, creative decisions that weren't black or white.

[00:22:19] Brian: That was how I was able to scale my income in a relatively small niche where like my clients were working at Taco Bell and I was bringing in over six figures a year, earning over $350 an hour because I used playbooks to scale that business. Not from a team perspective, but from a time perspective.

[00:22:34] Brian: even if you never want an agency, even if you never wanna grow a team, playbooks are the key to getting you out of the, gross, icky, mucky junk of the reality of being a full-time freelancer out of a lot of that stuff, into just doing the stuff that you're amazing at as a creative.

[00:22:50] Brian: And if you do wanna be an agency owner, I pray that, you already know that playbooks are the key to, growth in this. Cause you cannot scale an agency without playbooks for your team to follow. So let's go back and talk through what we talked [00:23:00] about in this episode today. Summarize some of this stuff. The first thing is start small. If you wanna make playbooks for your business or recipes. In other words, if you wanna make a recipe, just start small.

[00:23:07] Brian: You don't have to make a massive, multi-layered wedding cake right straight off the bat. Just come up with an easy to follow recipe. The most simple thing. What do you need to get off your plate right now? What is the stuff that's eating your soul right now? That's the best place to start next is creating playbooks using what I call the tots playbook method.

[00:23:22] Brian: This is the recipe for creating recipes, , t is training video O is outline the steps. T is the timing involved for this process, and then the specifics, that's the S t o t S and then once you have the recipe, you need to refine it and get it to where it actually is replicatable so that someone else can do it.

[00:23:40] Brian: Even if you don't have plans for someone else to do it, someone else could do it if they follow the steps involved, because that is you capturing the perfect cake so that other people. Or you can replicate it again in the future so that you have more consistent results so that your clients are happy and that you don't have hit or miss projects.

[00:23:55] Brian: I cannot tell you how many, people, especially in my background and heavy metal mixing, that these [00:24:00] engineers are hit and miss because they had no process followed. They were starting from scratch, every single project, and that led to inconsistencies and that was why they were a hit or miss mixing engineer almost every single one of my projects, I'm not tuning my horn, almost every single one of my projects was a.

[00:24:14] Brian: As far as the sound that I created, because I followed playbooks, I followed processes, I had templates I used, I had a starting point, and then I used that starting point as the basis for how I'm going to grow and evolve and change my sound over time as a mixing engineer. Whatever you do as a creative, there is some element of repeatability that you can take as a starting point and then evolve from there instead of starting from scratch every single project.

[00:24:38] Brian: refinement process should take you from the starting point so that you can just focus on being a creative and it's a wonderful thing. And the final step is scaling your business. So if you're an entrepreneur first and a creative second like me, this should be a no-brainer.

[00:24:50] Brian: You take these playbook, You pass 'em off to other people and let them do all of the BS you don't wanna do so that you can just focus on the stuff that you want to do. And if you have the agency mindset, you can start hiring a team and scaling out an agency [00:25:00] under you. If you are a creative first in an entrepreneur second, which is completely fine, you still scale by eliminating the time you spent on the icky gross tasks and just spending more time doing the stuff that you are good at and that you.

[00:25:14] Brian: whatever your path is, whatever type of freelancer you are, I just encourage you to take this, template I gave you, which you can get this whole Tots playbook method template by going to six figure creative.com/t OTs and start building out playbooks. I'd love to see what it is that you are actually building out, and if you're watching it on YouTube, please just leave a comment.

[00:25:32] Brian: Let me know. What are you gonna actually fill out a process for? We're getting more and more YouTube viewers, which I love. and I'd love to see more comments from you people.

[00:25:38] Brian: So that's all I have for this episode today. Remember, it takes more than passion to become a six figure creative. I'm pointing at my sign behind me. That's my constant reminder that it takes more than passion.

[00:25:47] Brian: It also takes recipes, playbooks in this case, and a lot of other stuff, which we cover in other episodes. So thanks for listening to this episode. See you next week.

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