My design client “hates” my first proof. Now what?

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True story: I was on the phone going over some proofs with a new client just last week and he starts the conversation by saying, “I hate it.” Those are pretty harsh words to swallow for any designer, especially coming from a client I don’t know very well. Part of me appreciated his honesty (so we could go about making something he does like), and part of me was, well, a little crushed…and scared I’d just lost a client. My

Do freelancers really need accountants?

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Tax season is upon us in the United States; and it’s never fun. (Hey GDB readers from around the world, help me out here: when is tax season – if any – in your country? Leave a comment!) But today, I wanted to answer a question I hear all the time from freelance designers: “Do I really need an accountant?” Can’t a competent freelance designer just do their own taxes? Today, I’d like to take a stab at answering that

Can you pitch your design business (well) in 15 seconds?

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I’m a person you’ve never met. Maybe we just bumped into one another in line at the supermarket. Maybe we’re both regulars at the local coffee shop waiting for our morning latte. Maybe we’re riding the elevator together in a skyscraper downtown. For whatever reason, we introduce ourselves and shake hands. Now you’ve got about 15 seconds to tell me what you do before we part ways: Go. What did you tell me? Did you stumble over your words? Did

Untapped resource: attend trade exhibitions to find new design clients

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(A note from Preston:) A little while ago Laura, who wrote this post, approached me with this idea. I thought it was an incredible untapped resource. One I had never realized a designer could profit from. This seems like a great place to find design clients. After reading, let me know if you agree by leaving a comment. As a graphic designer, having a fantastic portfolio may be impressive but nothing will beat potential clients seeing your work in person.

Life-saving customer service tips for freelance designers

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Even with the best of intentions, good customer service can slip down the freelancer’s priority list. Time is often the culprit and when combined with a little procrastination and a healthy measure of freelancing fear, we can soon land with a full inbox. Some of the most important lessons I’ve learned about running my web development business successfully have come from my own experiences as a customer. I recently moved house and I wanted to get my new place professionally

Make this very important change to your design contract today!

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Often as freelancers (budding or otherwise), our goal is to get ‘out there.’ We want as many people as possible to view our LinkedIn portfolio, visit our blog, appreciate our Behance project, and contact us for work. We have no qualms about exposing our names and contact information, and we often forget that others have different privacy preferences. Really?! You mean there are people, or even entire companies, in this day and age who don’t want their information spread across

Get your design business critiqued–actionable advice custom tailored to your business

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Today, I’m excited to announce that I have created a completely new opportunity here at GDB that will allow designers to get their business critiqued. If you’ve ever wanted to get more from your GDB experience; if you’ve ever felt like you could use some customized, detailed instructions on how to take your design business to the next level, you’re not the only one! In fact, I’ve had so many requests lately to personally and individually critique beginning design businesses,

How to be a top-notch salesman, grow your design business, and still be likeable

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If you are at all like me, you probably started in the design profession because you had a passion for art, design and technology. You enjoyed doing the work, being a problem solver and creating beautifully functional things. You probably liked helping people as well. You got great satisfaction from seeing clients pleased with what you’ve produced. But, you soon realized that there is more to being in the design business than what you thought. What I realized, rather quickly,