Ben Burns – Practical Project Management
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Learn how to make more money by running jobs more efficiently.
What if you could have a happy client at the end of every project?
What if you could feel confident when someone asks about your process?
What if you could actually figure out how to delegate & spend time doing what you love?
Hi! My name is Ben Burns.
I’m the co-author of Practical Project Management, author of The Complete Case Study and The Perfect Proposal, I am the Digital Director of Blind, and I’m the guy who went from selling logos from $50 to $30,000 (we sell logos for a lot more now, btw).
This is how I learned project management
How does project management help?
When I first started out, I was a freelance designer working out of my garage. A one-man-band doing everything myself. If I’m being honest, I was figuring it out as I was going along. For those of you who know my story, you know that they were tough times.
See, back then, I was making $3 per hour.
While I wasn’t really confident enough to ask for more, there was one other reason why I wound up making so little:
I had no process.
I like to say that I learn by getting punched in the face. Few hits on the jaw and lesson learned. And since those days, I’ve picked up a few tricks. My entire mission in life is to help you learn without lumps. I’ve written two products to date: The Perfect Proposal and The Complete Case Study. Both have been used by thousands of other creative entrepreneurs to really step up their game. You’ve probably seen these before:
Now I can not WAIT to share what I’ve learned about managing projects..
See, I used to onboard a client to do a $50 logo, and it would be a completely new venture. I reinvented the wheel with every project. I just kinda went with the flow. This wound up flowing me right into no money. And with goals of starting a family, this started to stress me out in a major way.
I don’t think I’m alone here. I struggled with things like:
- Clients asking for more and more revisions
- Not getting paid on time, or ever
- Unhappy clients at the end of the project
- Not knowing when or how to hire people or delegate work
I can’t tell you how much referral work I probably missed out on because I didn’t hone and standardize my approach. This is a sure sign of unhappy clients. You know how it goes:
- Clients disappear after the project ends
- You never get to see the finished piece in the real world
- That last payment takes a while to come in
I knew I needed to improve things, but I had no idea where to start. I looked up project management online… what a Google search, right?! There are so many different methodologies out there, so many different tools, and so many different opinions about how projects should be run, it was confusing to say the least.
I tried learning things like Agile/Scrum, Waterfall, Lean, and used pretty much every tool under the sun… but everything I tried seemed like overkill. Most of that stuff just added more work to my plate instead of actually helping me get things done.
If you’re like me, you need a practical project management framework that actually saves time.
You’re in the right place. What I’ve learned over time is that we need to manage our projects in a way that:
- sets client expectations from the beginning of the project
- aligns the internal team with a concrete but flexible process
- submits work in a way that actually gets approval
- manages feedback in a positive and nuturing way
- delivers the work beautifully when it’s done
Eventually, working with clients became a well-oiled machine. I was able to give them transparency and access while still maintaining control over the relationship.
But then everything changed.
I started working at Blind and met Matthew Encina. Watching Matthew lead an internal team is like watching a an experienced conductor guide a well-rehearsed orchestra. Seriously: he’s Maestro status.
The more we collaborated on projects, the more I noticed our approaches overlap and eventually, we were left with a framework that wins: every. single. time. Our combined approach is really where the magic happens. And we’ve outlined it here:
Welcome to Practical Project Management.
This is the project management approach that we’ve used to manage million-dollar projects for clients like XBOX, AARP, Hudson Pacific Properties and more.
When you’re finished with Practical Project Management, you won’t just have a philosophy to think about. You’ll have actionable, tactical steps that are industry proven. Tactics and fundamentals that work regardless of what project management software you choose to use. We’ve finally opened the curtains and will teach you how to:
- have ultimate transparency with your clients
- maintain control in the relationship
- get work approved faster
- manage both freelance and internal teams
- deliver work in delightful way
If you’re ready to make the most of every project, have time to do the work you really want to do, and start to scale your business by delegating, Practical Project Management will be great for you.
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