How to turn your day-to-day struggle into a creative business you love

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If you’re anything like I was just a few years ago, you’re probably working your tush off, spinning your wheels like a hamster on steroids and feeling like it’s just not paying off. Like your bank balance doesn’t match all the sacrifices you’ve had to make, right? You increase your rates, sack some clients, get some momentum for a while… …but it just never feels like you’ve made it.  Every day still feels like a struggle. It feels like you’ve

10 Vital questions to ask yourself when naming your solo business

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Creating your business name is easily one of the most difficult parts of starting (or rebranding) your business. Nothing inspires more self-doubt and creativity blocks than trying to name your own business. Should you name your business after yourself, or invent a brand name? And if you’re already running your business under your own name, should you change? Answer these questions to find out. 1) Do you like your given name? It may seem an obvious place to start, but

How to handle tough client conversations and save the relationship

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Being a solopreneur is a lot of fun. You almost always get to make your own schedule, wear whatever you want, reject projects that aren’t a good fit, not drive during rush hour…it’s an all-around pretty amazing job. Except when it’s not, like when you have to have a tough conversation with a client because: What they want to do is going to cost them more money They’re unhappy with the bill They don’t like your proofs You’re not going

Does your portfolio website have a case of the “no one ever calls me”?

readytowork

On a hunch yesterday I started Googling “[insert city here] freelance graphic designer.” I looked at New York, Seattle, San Fran, London, and more. I spread from there to agencies. I saw sites from well-established peeps to ones who, as Kevin O’Leary from “Shark Tank” would lovingly say, were “cockroaches no one’s ever heard of.” (His words, not mine!) Those websites were sick, and needed a dose of GDB advice stat. So I made a list. A list of the

10 Essential dos and don’ts of branding your solo business

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As a creative entrepreneur, sometimes it feels like you’re supposed to be automatically awesome at creating a stellar brand for your solo business. The truth is, perfecting your own brand is the hardest job – with the toughest client – you’ll ever face. So while you may feel like the only designer, illustrator, or artisan out there who’s struggling when it comes to branding your solo business: you’re not alone. All of us have spent long nights brainstorming the perfect brand, and all of

Introducing our new side-project, ‘The Freelance Report’

the freelance report

Today, I’m excited to announce a brand-new addition to the GDB family: The Freelance Report (thefreelancereport.com). Why am I excited? Because until now, our small team has been limited in our ability to fill your life (in a good way) with daily freelancing and entrepreneurship content. Our goal is to be one of the top contributors to your success as a creative entrepreneur. And yes, April does an amazing job to make sure we deliver top-notch stuff every Monday, Wednesday and

4+ Pricing tips that will fast-track your profits and success

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Why did we all become designers? It’s because we love wonderful things like typography, color, imagery, well-organized information, and the almighty grid. None of us are designers because we love to think about pricing. And yet, we must. Pricing is one of those pesky business details that gets between us and the fun parts of design. The thought of it can make us cringe, hesitate and behave in strange, awkward ways. Worst of all, it can make us second guess

4 Major mistakes you should never make when designing a website

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We all make mistakes; it’s learning and improving upon those mistakes that make us better, both as professionals and as human beings. But with any heavily technology-reliant career, our mistakes can cost us a lot of business. In a time where most organizations are almost subservient to technology, mistakes can cripple – if not completely destroy – a business. One seemingly small website design oversight or mistake can bring a website crumbling to its knees, cutting a client off from their current