THE MANUAL: THE CREATIVE PROCESS

THE MANUAL: THE CREATIVE PROCESS

OUR MOST ANTICIPATED NEW ARRIVAL IS HERE



Our much-loved yearly publication the Annual has morphed into a beautiful, interactive, hands-on tool designed to engage, hone your skills and empower you to give your business direction, strategy and focus.


Heidi and the entire team at The Life Style Edit have developed The Manual for anyone at the reins of a business. New or established, large or small, we want you to cover your walls with inspiration and a renewed energy for taking care of business. The best bit? We’ll hold your hand every step of the way.


The idea

“The idea of The Manual came from part of the process of how we work every day,” says Heidi. “Normally we produce an Annual which is an end-of-year print magazine and it has evolved every year. In 2019 we began work on it and decided it didn’t quite fit any more so I began to question its purpose. As a business owner myself, I’ve got to remain relevant to our clients and conscious of my own investment. The Annual in print, was not only costly to produce, we needed to weigh it up and measure the return on it? What were our readers getting out of it?”

“Print media is changing and we were aware of that so we wanted to come up with something more.” Heidi Albertiri, Founder TLSE

Wanting to offer more to our clients and readers – most of them business owners – we set about evolving The Annual into an interactive tool that could help business owners navigate running a business, avoiding the pitfalls we all experience along the way. “What we’ve found working with our clients is that they’re really good a what they do – they’re makers, they’re designers, or they have a product and are really good at all those types of creative things but it’s hard work and you have to cover off alot before you sell your first product,” says Heidi. “If you don’t get it right from the start, you end up wasting so much money – we see it all the time, every day.”


“If you can do it right from the beginning, eventually you build all the layers to create this beautiful business,” Heidi suggests. “That’s why we hold people’s hands and work through the process. The Manual is the starting point.”

“The Manual is a shortcut to getting it right, because we’ve already made the mistakes.” Heidi

“We wanted it to be super interactive and were inspired by different options that are out there,” says TLSE Head Designer Xanthe Bennett. “We thought of a cool, massive poster that could actually be quite tangible, able to be moved around, written and drawn on to bring the user into the process a bit more.”


Who is it for?

The Manual is for any sized business. From start-ups with big ideas but limited funding who aren’t quite ready to work with TLSE weekly or monthly, to people who are already in business but need a bit of a refresher or want to take things to the next level. “We knew that we were speaking to people who were visual, so the idea was for a poster that looks beautiful and can be put up in a work space - whether that’s at home or in a shared space or office,” says Heidi. “It touches on every part of how we work in our business at TLSE. The more people get involved and drawn into it, the better it’s going to work for them“.


The concepts and the structure outlined in The Manual are tried and tested by The Life Style Edit team. “This is a way that people can work with TLSE but get a little taster, get on track and start out the right way. Then once they hit a point where it’s not serving their purpose any more, they can go to our website for more.”


The creative process

Developing The Manual was an evolutionary process in itself for the TLSE team that led us to examine our own core business direction. “We started with some abstract visuals to draw people in and be a constant reminder of your business and what your plan is, your business strategy,” says Xanthe. “We did all types of testing and went through a stage where the design was quite modern - neon with handwriting scripts and scribbles all over it,” she shares.





It was important to practice what we preach however. “We’re also a client of our own, which means we go through the same processes, so we want to push the boundaries and create something new, but sometimes that doesn’t actually align with our brand values,” says Heidi. “I could see that Xanthe wasn’t flowing with it and we weren’t flowing with it and there was a block, so when that happened we just stopped, analysed where we were at, and got back on track and aligned with our values and purpose.”


The result

"At that stage we didn’t know what it was going to be. There was a lot of teamwork involved and Heidi has big ideas – in the end it was one big circle," says Xanthe. "We played around with how we wanted it to look, how it could be attractive to all sorts of people. So now it's a big poster!"


What's next?

After working with The Manual for some time and once off and running with practical tasks and actions for business it outlines, people can go a little deeper with more in-depth help from the TLSE team. “We’re in the process of structuring downloadable, easy-to-use tools for each section of business. These will cover social media, content planning and building moodboards, all tailored to your business needs,” says Heidi. “All you have to do is follow the steps until you find the gaps and then the downloadables take you to the next level.”

“For any business you’ve got to be hands on – it doesn’t matter how big or small you are.” Heidi

“When you’re running your own business you have to be across every single thing,” says Heidi. “You have to be a social media person, a marketing person, you have to know what good content looks like, have a brand strategy… all those things are what makes a business person these days and not everyone is educated in all those subjects. It’s overwhelming because you don’t always realise that when you start a business and it’s really important to start with a good foundation.”


But wait, there's more...

We're not kidding when we say Heidi has big ideas. The next level is that we’ll do workshops face-to-face with our team. "So you can be in front of the social media team, the design team, the strategy team, the styling team, the content team, and work The Manual face-to-face," says Heidi excitedly. "Once you do that, once you build your business, then you can engage TLSE to work on it for you – just hand it over to us!"


Explore more of The Manual and order your copy here.



WORDS | Diana Moore TLSE

IMAGES | TLSE

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