Switch from work-mode to vacation-mode (and back) without stressing about your business!

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This post is brought to you by Printrunner, an online printing service that provides label printing. * * * Okay, it’s decided: you’re going on vacation. (Yay! I want a postcard.) As your departure date nears, follow these tips to minimize your stress level. Don’t forget my favorite vacation secret to success – give yourself a one-day buffer from the work world on either end of your vacation. T-Minus Two Weeks: Write an extra blog post and prepare and create

Think BIG

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Last Friday I was one of many speakers at a Communication Conference at my Alma Mater. Having graduated less than two years ago from the school, it was wonderful to go back and visit with faculty and students. In addition to being a presenter, I also had a chance to be an observer–a student again. And I learned some really cool things from some excellent people. There’s one lesson that I took away from the entire day of presentations as

The best blogging advice I ever received and how it transformed my blog

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How many of you blog? I know a lot of you do. And I know that blogging can be a huge part of building your design business too. Not too long ago, one of you asked me what the best piece of business advice I ever received was (see my answer here). And today, I’d like to share with you the best blogging advice I ever received and tell you the story of how it transformed this blog. Just over

When a new client calls you, don’t freak out. Do this:

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I have a love/hate relationship with my phone, especially when it comes to new clients. In fact, I used to be so bad that my boyfriend would listen to my end of the conversation so that he could give me a list of improvements to make once the call was over! Thankfully Sheila, a longtime GDB reader and fellow designer, let me know I’m not alone. Preston shared with me this note from her recently: “…with established clients or in

Yes, freelancers CAN go on vacation! Here’s how…

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Hi, GDB readers! I’m back from a fantastic two-week cruise from Miami through the Panama Canal to San Diego. (My deepest apologies for my belated responses to your wonderful comments.) So it IS possible, as a freelancer, to take a vacation. Sometimes the thought of escaping reality can be scary, though. It’s easy to get so caught up in worrying that you ruin your vacation or decide never to go in the first place! Answering these three questions will help

The best business advice I ever received and what I did about it

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Yesterday, I was trying to imagine what I should write about today on the blog and, after exploring a few ideas, I thought I would ask you what I should cover. A few great responses came in that I plan to blog about in the near future. Today, I’d like to respond to the great suggestion from Michael Pingree (who we’ve seen a lot of in the comments lately and he’s really contributed a great deal to the GDB community. Thanks Michael!).

Does anyone know your design business exists?

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“All the talent in the world will not help you if no one knows you have it…” What really makes a good designer? Ask anyone this question and you will receive numerous answers. Sure, there are many factors that make you a great designer, but one rule remains the same: People have to know you’re great in order for it to count! You have to get your name out there. You have to have a following of individuals who notice

How to quote a design project – and win the account

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Quoting a project isn’t easy – and quoting it well is even tougher. Part estimation, part research, and part historical evidence, a good design quote creates a fair proposal for both the designer and the client where each feels he will receive as much as he will give. (Cue butterflies, rainbows, and birds chirping.) Easier said than done. (Cue giant sledgehammer.) Regardless of how much you charge or whether you quote by the hour or by the project, today let’s