Why designers shouldn’t think outside the box

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Have you ever had a client who gives you this challenge?: “Just think completely out of the box on this one.” You’ve probably just gone along with the idea assuming the client knows best (even thought I’ve told you they don’t) and the minute you sit down to “think outside the box,” your stumped. No great ideas. No good vibes. Why? Because what your client forgot to mention when he asked you to think outside the box was exactly which

Can networking with your competition really grow your design business?

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You know as a designer you’ve got to market yourself in order to find new business. But if you’re only selling your services using “marketing” techniques, you’re missing a vital piece of the puzzle: networking. Get Connected. You may think your client pool exists outside of the design realm, but as Preston points out in this post, your best clients might also be your competition! That’s right, design agencies, in-house marketing/graphics departments, fellow freelancers, and production houses all can make

Create something amazing

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Freelancing can be tough. It’s not always easy pleasing a client or working under a deadline. In fact, every once and a while it’s enough to make you want to stop creating…stop designing. The problem The problem is, designing has become a business for you. I mean, it’s a good problem to have because now you’re making money doing something you love. But some days the thing you love is also the thing you hate. And that’s ok. The solution

Why most businesses fail, and solid tips for design business success

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Most businesses fail not because their owners aren’t good at what they do. A design studio doesn’t generally fail because they create poor designs. A dentist doesn’t generally fail because he cannot fix your teeth. Most businesses fail because their owners don’t understand how to run a business. As a design entrepreneur, this is the single most important fact you need to understand. If you as a designer can learn how to run a business well, your business has a

8 tips for freelancing from home without ignoring your kids

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Today is an unusual day for me. I’m working from home. As many of you know, I’m not a full-time always-work-from-home freelance designer. I have a full time job too. (Don’t hate me, remember?) But today, I’m working from home. All day. It’s bringing back some memories of when I first started freelancing and I spent the entire day working from home. And being home with my wonderful wife and adorable baby boy reminded me of a question posted as

How much should a freelance designer make?

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Since I’ve been answering a lot of reader questions lately, I’d like to turn the tables today and ask you a simple question: How much should a freelance designer make? I recently had a facebook fan ask me how much he should expect to make if he made the switch to freelance design. Of course, I told him it depended on a lot of things including: Country of residence Experience and expertise Business Goals Financial needs and more But then

My 10 Freelance Design Business Goals + Tips for Setting Yours

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Your design business will DIE without solid goals. April’s new post today is a must-read for any designer who hopes to get anywhere in business. After April shared such a great personal experience about naming her design business (read here), I asked her to write more great content with personal stories and experience. If you enjoy posts like this one, be sure to tweet, like, +1 and comment to show April your support. Enjoy! -Preston I hope you’re not tired

How freelancers can compete with design marketplace sites

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The last few posts I’ve written here have all come from excellent reader suggestions on this post. Today’s is no different. Joe Malleck writes: One topic that I’m interested in is what a designer’s future role in the marketplace is. With the uprising of theme marketplaces and the awareness that you can essentially purchase design as a commodity, where do we as designers fit into this new landscape? How can we leverage our skills and insight to make fortunes, without

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