Are you ready to stop wasting hours (OK, days) writing creative proposals that go nowhere?

It’s time you started landing more of the inspiring, well-paying creative projects you deserve!


Tell me if this sounds like you…

  • You’re a seasoned creative professional, worth your weight in gold. Yet you spend WAY too much time writing proposals, only to have the prospect reel from sticker shock, or worse, not respond at all
  • You re-invent the wheel every time you create a proposal, taking precious time an energy from the creative work you love (and are actually good at!)
  • You lack confidence when it comes to negotiating and closing the sale
  • You don’t know how to follow up without feeling like a pest

If you’ve ever looked at the superstars in your industry (the ones who get all the great projects, speak at conferences, and are on all the great panels) and wondered what gene they have that you don’t.

I’m here to tell you there’s no difference between you and them.

Here’s what successful creatives know that you don’t (yet)…

  • Who their ideal clients are, what keeps them up and night, and what they need right now
  • How they are uniquely equipped to solve their ideal client’s problems
  • How to create a message, services and content that resonates with their ideal clients’ objectives
  • How to turn a qualified prospect into an ideal client

Learning how to build a roster of high-quality clients isn’t rocket science (thank goodness!), but it is a process you need to understand, and take action on if you’re to get the results you want.

If you’re tired of trying to figure it out yourself (really, who has the time?) and are ready to learn the exact steps to qualifying high-quality clients and closing more sales, I have the perfect solution for you!


Proposal-Writing Workshop for Creatives

A blueprint for writing winning proposals, negotiating your rate, and closing sales with confidence and ease

I’m Justine Clay I’m and here to share what successful creative business owners and freelancers know, and do differently.

How do I know this?

When I moved from London to New York in 1996, with little more than a psychology degree and English accent, I would never have believed I would make a living writing and negotiating multi-six figure proposals on a weekly basis. After a stint waitressing (what kind of a New York story would it be without that?), I landed my first job answering the phone in a design agency. I’m pretty sure the only reason I was hired was my English accent, but I didn’t care, it was my ticket to somewhere. A year later, 
I was hired by an up-and-coming creative representation agency, where I learned every aspect of managing independent creative professionals. From spotting great creative talent, putting together a portfolio, making new business calls and writing and negotiating a proposal, I learned that every element was crucial to building a successful creative career.

In 2005, I branched out and opened my own creative services agency, Plum Creative, where I built a reputation within the advertising and design industry for helping retail and lifestyle brands find the perfect talent for their projects and managing the project from beginning to end.  With one of my top earners billing $2,000 a day (every day) were working on great projects and making good money.

And then the recession of 2008 happened.

Almost overnight, the work dried up. I was paying myself out of my savings and the pressure of not knowing how long I’d be able to hang on had my stomach in knots.

As the freelance work situation worsened, more and more creatives were turning up on my doorstep looking for work. I’d spend an hour or two helping them identify their unique talent, define their ideal client profile, re-work their portfolio, and sharing the names of a few people to call. They walked out of my office transformed; lighter, clearer and armed with a plan.

I had an epiphany:  I had a gift that I could share with the creative community on a much larger scale. I could teach them to become their OWN agent.

I’ve spent 6 years developing workshops and courses that will teach any creative professional how to attract high-quality clients, land larger projects, and get paid what they’re worth.

Imagine discovering you have WAY more business smarts than you thought, and deciding who to work with, when, and for how much.

Can you feel the relief of finally busting through the limiting beliefs that, as a creative, you’re just not cut out for the business and sales aspect of business? Imagine knowing how to convert high-quality prospects into well-paying clients.

If you’re tired of wasting time on proposals that go nowhere and are ready to learn how to write winning proposals that communicate the value you offer and why your prospects need to work with you now, here is your next step.

Join the

Proposal-Writing Workshop for Creatives

A blueprint for writing winning proposals, negotiating your rate, and closing sales with confidence and ease

Join me, and a handful of your industry peers at a NYC location where you will learn the exact steps to writing proposals that win the project.

And because I’m all about taking action, you’ll have the option to bring a proposal you have in the works (or one you’d like to resurrect) and apply the content directly to your own business.

“Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs.”

– Henry Ford

You will receive:

  • A proposal and term sheet template
  • A blueprint to workbook your way through the content
  • Checklists, scripts, best practices

Here’s how it breaks down:

You will receive:

1) A checklist of information you need to succeed

Preparation is everything! In this section, you will learn how to ask the right questions, get the information you need to write a winning proposal and gain an advantage over your competitors

2) The essential elements of a winning proposal

In this section, you will learn the fundamentals of an engaging proposal that educates, inspires confidence and leads to a “yes!”

3) How to adapt a proposal without re-inventing the wheel

You will learn how to create a proposal template you can easily adapt to reflect each client’s unique needs, without starting from scratch.

4) How to set your project up for success

You will learn how to create proposals that set the tone, establish boundaries, and deal with potential problems before the project even starts.

5) How to negotiate and get paid your rate

A well-crafted proposal and on-boarding process allows you to communicate your value in direct, and indirect ways. In this section, you will learn how to confidently negotiate your rate, handle objections, or get a client back from sticker shock.

6) How to follow up

I can count the number of times I sent a proposal and got an immediate “Yes!” on one hand (or maybe one finger!). You’re going to have to follow up, so in this section you will learn how to do it with grace and ease.

You also get this bonus!

30-minute one-on-one follow up Skype call with me ($100 value)

To ensure you feel supported throughout the process, you can re-connect with me one-one-one for a 30 minute Skype call where you can ask questions, share challenges, or ask for feedback.

What other brilliant creatives are saying:

"Before joining the Creative Business Accelerator coaching program, I was in a constant state of uncertainty. I knew what I wanted to achieve in an abstract way, but didn’t have guidance, support, or tools to put those feelings into action. I knew I needed support and Justine’s group became my community. Her program helped me entirely restructure my business, increase my rates, find my people, and connect with prospects who respect the value of my work. For the first time, every part of my business is aligned.

Without Justine’s help I’m not confident there would have even been a business, and definitely not one that is helping me achieve my goals. Making the decision to invest in yourself is nerve-wracking and I cannot thank Justine enough for her knowledge, time, and patience as she guided me through it all!"

—Sisi Recht, brand designer & illustrator

"⁠I started seriously looking for a coach about a year and a half ago, knowing I needed help with my business. I found Justine through google and knew immediately she was someone I wanted to work with….but I didn’t reach out to her until 6 months later.⁠ ⁠

On our intro call she had to help her young son with something, and apologized saying she’s never had to call someone back before. I fully related to that moment and knew she understood how hard it is to balance being a mom and a solo entrepreneur, and I told her regardless of what her next group program looked like, I wanted to be a part of it.⁠ ⁠⁠

Well, I've been working with Justine for 6 months already!⁠ One of the biggest appeals of group coaching was being in community with like-minded people. We’ve become great friends - we cry together, laugh together, learn together - the support is amazing.⁠ ⁠

The things I’ve learned so far are helping me solidify my position as a coach and how to best serve my ideal clients. My confidence has grown, too. I know I couldn’t have made it this far on my own and am so grateful to be in such wonderful company with this group! Community is everything."

—Ashley Johnson, Founder of AEJ Create

"As a multi-faceted creative entrepreneur – with deep expertise as a business and art consultant and instructor, social justice activist, and founder of Honey Art Studios and Beauty Behind Bars, my mind is constantly shifting and planning new projects. A lack of ideas and passion are not my problem!

My first meeting with Justine was extremely enlightening. Before working with her, I struggled to express and connect the dots between the various roles that I play. Justine creatively and professionally helped me see the connections and helped me to craft a mission statement that resonated with me and felt cohesive - building communities, connection, and better futures through creativity, economic growth and art.

As my mind inevitably jumps to new ideas and projects, Justine knows just what questions to ask to help me come back to my original mission and, more importantly, stay focused on the structure and viability of my business.

I met Justine by accident, but I don't believe in coincidences. She was intentionally placed in my life and I am forever grateful for that!"

—Ericka Scott, Founder of Honey Art Studios and Beauty Behind Bars

"Justine’s Creative Business Accelerator group coaching program was an amazing investment not just in my business, but in myself. She provided a framework and support to develop a business based on my values and life goals - and all within a support group of friends! I highly recommend this course to any creative entrepreneur!”

—Tracy Lam, Visual Designer

“Having Justine on my team as a business coach has had great influence on my approach to client relations. Her guidance during contract renegotiations was crucial in me doubling my retainer fee with my most important client. She was flexible within her own framework and accessible, helping me shift my mindset from agency creative to nascent agency founder. I highly recommend her.”

—Gabriel Rios, founder of Collectivo Camerada

“The Creative Business Accelerator helped me formulate a game plan to re-position and move my business forward. I had been thorough other books and programs, all of which had something to offer, but I found offered simplistic solutions to complex problems. What I got from The Creative Business Accelerator was a way to formulate that game plan and the understand how this is an ongoing process. I always knew that there was a LOT of work to do, but now know WHAT work to do. Before there was no clear picture of how to get to where I wanted. Now there is a compass, a direction and a methodology. Thank you!”

—Rob Winter, founder of Winter Interactive

“Justine has helped me to shift how I position myself professionally.  I no longer focus on what I’ve done—which is not a particularly effective calling card—but what exactly I can do for my clients. Most importantly, she’s helped me to understand that defining who my ideal clients are and speaking to them directly, intentionally and in a way that corresponds with their sense of themselves works.  She brings warmth, understanding and absolute clarity to her workshops, and the results have been amazing. I landed a job in my field—even though I wasn’t looking for one—have become much more vocal and confident in my consulting work and have revamped my website, which has meant a significant uptick in traffic. Thank you, Justine!”

—Carol Goodstein, communications expert and founder of

“Working with Justine was like coming back online. What had been a rewarding career had recently turned into professional atrophy — and lingering there was not an option. I needed help to gain clarity and to reposition myself for the years to come. Through Justine’s program I regained perspective, made way for dormant ideas to come alive through research and planning, and changed my trajectory by retooling my whole approach.

Justine is a sharp thought partner who brings a wealth of practical processes and knowledge to the table in order to break new ground. I have her to thank for founding a podcast and a publication.”

—Ioana Friedman, Digital Design Lead + Founder at The Daring

“I wish I had found Justine’s group program when I first started my business a few years ago. The bi-monthly Zoom meetings with the whole group were incredibly helpful for hearing other creatives’ perspectives. I had great accountability partners to talk to as well, that I’m still in touch with today. The course modules are well paced so I could continue to manage my clients and day to day projects. I even changed the name of my LLC to something more relevant and reworked my entire website thanks to inspiration from the modules. As a result of the hours invested in this program, I now have the clients I want to be working with and more free time to travel. Thank you so much, Justine!”

—Jessica Sweeney, Founder of Rise Apparel Development

“Participating in Justine's group program has given me clarity and a sense of direction with the addition of practical tips which I can always fall back on whenever I need to refine my direction again or when taking next steps in my business. Before this program, I felt frustrated about not being able to find a clear direction and was stuck in the process of taking my business to the next level. This program has helped me narrow down my special gift, who my ideal client is and the confidence in marketing this.  I’ve come away from this course with an ability to communicate clearer and plan my next steps in order to build the business and life I aspire to. I know I will go back to Justine in the future for extra coaching to help me with future challenges.”

—Katrien Riks, Art Direction and Branding Specialist, Amsterdam

“What a huge relief to connect so many dots and get a firm grip on my own value and strategy! It’s hard to admit this, but before I met Justine I was… lost. I beat myself up for lack of focus. But now I can more confidently answer “What do you do?” without stress or ending the conversation. The clarity I’ve achieved priceless, as is Justine’s program’s structure for my further betterment. I’m refreshed and motivated to think like a creative solopreneur about my business and my marketing.”

—Bruce Colthart, Owner, Designer, Brander, Bruce Colthart Creative LLC

"Joining Justine's group program was an invaluable experience! Her insights and suggestions were always very inspiring on our group calls. All of the worksheets she crafted were incredibly succinct and results driven. Justine goes beyond typical brand positioning advice. She encourages a beneath the surface approach that simplifies and helps align your spirit and passion with your brand and work. Justine helped me get very clear on who my dream client is and how to most authentically and effectively market myself to them. I have redesigned my website and am incredibly excited about putting myself and my brand out into the world! Thank you Justine!"

—Margaret Gallagher, Creative Director + Designer, Studio Gately

“Justine’s group program was exactly what I was looking for. I am in the process of re-vamping my business and was feeling stuck with everything I had to do and consider. I had come to the realization that sitting back and waiting for clients to just roll in is NOT a business plan, duh.

As a result of working with Justine, I’m much clearer about the kind of clients I want to work with, am more confident in what my unique strengths are, and feel clearer about how to market myself (even as an introvert!).

The program was a great and affordable introduction to working with a coach, and Justine is very personable, organized, and has her *stuff* together. She’s generous with her time, very responsive, and honest about where you’re doing well and where you could put some more thought.  I’m so happy I decided to sign up. Thank you Justine!”

—Sarah Johnson, founder of Unstuck Creative

Proposal-Writing Workshop for Creatives

A blueprint for writing winning proposals, negotiating your rate, and closing sales with confidence and ease

Friday, March 3rd • 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
A NYC location, TBD

Space is limited to only SIX participants, so grab your spot today!

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10-Day Money Back Guarantee

If you change your mind before February 24th, just send us an email and we’ll refund your money. No hard feelings or questions asked!

I am committed to helping purpose driven, motivated and resilient creative professionals fulfill their vision and mission in life, and want you to know that you’re right for this program.

This course is right for you if:

  • You have the talent and are willing to do the work, but you don’t know the exact steps necessary to land the clients you want
  • You’re tired of hustling and are looking to be more strategic about how you attract and engage with prospects
  • You know you’re not charging enough, but don’t know how to negotiate the rate you want
  • You know you need to be proactive and persistent, but worry you’ll appear pushy or salesy
  • You recognize you need to invest in yourself and your business and are ready to do the work

The course is not for you if:

  • You’re looking for someone to fix your business for you
  • You know you have resistance around certain issues, but are not willing to go outside your comfort zone to make the necessary changes
  • You say you want change, but you’re not willing to invest your time, energy and resources to make it happen

Got questions?

Here are some answers to questions I hear most often :

I specialize in working with creative entrepreneurs and freelancers. With a deep background in branding, design, and advertising, I do particularly well with creatives of the communications and problem-solving variety including: art directors, creative directors, design directors, graphic designers, website designers, branding and design agencies, copywriters, content creators, writers, video producers and directors.

While I specialize in working with creative professionals, my system works for any professional whose mission is to share their unique talent with people who have a genuine need for it. My ‘non-creative’ clients, who include IT professionals and a Systems Architect, are just as successful as the traditionally creative ones. It’s really a question of if the program and process resonate.

This program has been created specifically for engaged creative business owners and freelancers who are willing to put aside any pre-conceived ideas and fears and do the work. This program won’t work for skeptics, complainers or people who make excuses not to take action. I’m invested in the success of each and every person who works with me, so it’s important that we’re aligned on our vision and what it will take.

Yes! And to ensure each person gets feedback on their proposal, the workshop is limited to only SIX participants.

Yes! My top tips are:

  • Bring a proposal with you so you can translate and implement the information into something tangible
  • Buddy up with someone in the group and hold each other accountable
  • Take me up on my offer of a 30-minute follow up Skype session and take advantage of having two brains working on your business

If you do the work, you can expect to:

  • Gain a clarity and confidence around what a client needs to see, hear and experience in order to say “yes” to your proposal
  • Become more intentional and strategic about what clients you want to attract
  • Gain a crystal-clear understanding of your ideal clients’ needs and how you are uniquely positioned to help them
  • Attract better quality, higher paying clients, while the less-than-ideal clients effortlessly drift away.
  • Create a pitch that naturally and clearly communicates what you do to potential clients and referral partners.
  • Understand which marketing tools are right for you and create a marketing plan that doesn’t feel like ‘selling’ or ‘work’.
  • Create content that engages and draws your ideal clients to you.
  • Work on more creatively fulfilling projects.

I understand, but let me re-frame that thought for you.  If you don’t invest in yourself, who will?  And when (not if) you win that project, your investment will more than pay for itself.

Yes, you can either pay in full, or take advantage of a 2-installment payment plan.

If you can’t make the workshop this time around, I’ll be sure to offer it again very soon. Email me at and let me know that you’re interested in a future workshop.

Yes, I am offering every participant a 30-minute, one-on-one follow up session where you can ask questions, share challenges and we’ll brainstorm solutions.

Sign up now for The Proposal-Writing Workshop for Creatives and start building a thriving creative business.

Join me! I’m excited to help you build the creative business you dream of!

Ready to join the

Proposal-Writing Workshop for Creatives

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