Take great, professional photos with these smartphones, apps, and accessories

smartphone

All creative freelancers constantly need new and engaging tools to enhance their trade. Thanks to the advent of the smartphone and social media, photography is the visual medium that generally benefits you the most. Virtually every type of creative can find photography useful in some capacity. Freelance and web developers might need headshots or landscape imagery while artists might need professional photos of their work. With so much competition, these fields require the best tools to get new clients and be

How to dominate any niche or industry

success sign

Dominating niches is actually pretty simple. It takes some legwork, and it takes hard work to get it going, but overall it’s pretty simple. Now, when I say “dominating a niche,” I mean you become a “go to” guy or gal for a specific industry. In our creative marketing agency, we’re starting to do this for a specific niche of food packaging. In the past, we’ve done it for fitness and a couple of other industries too. In fact, to

Why ‘doing work that matters’ doesn’t mean you have to quit your job

work that matters

Half a decade ago, I (along with half the world, it feels like) got caught up in the lifestyle business craze when I read Tim Ferris’ The Four Hour Workweek for the first time. Since then I’ve read dozens and dozens of books on self-help, entrepreneurship, lifestyle design, and more. And there’s one phrase that has really made the rounds. One that has turned into a bit of a buzzword in books and on the internet. And I totally understand why:

5 More ways to not get cheated by your design clients

danger-sign

Here’s an idea: people – including clients – are generally not bad, bitter, or overall evil. It’s just the circumstance that sometimes result in us – the freelancers – getting screwed during the process. I really believe this is true, and that there’s just a small number of genuinely crappy people out there who go into a business project with pure intention of screwing the other party. And unfortunately, there’s hardly any protection from those people. I mean, if someone

5 Systems that will turn your freelance design business into a well-oiled machine

Well-Oiled Machine

Being a freelance designer is one of the most fulfilling careers you can embark on. Think about it – you spend some time honing your design skills, and then use your skills to make an income, hopefully enough to support yourself full-time. And beyond doing work that you’re passionate about, you also have the luxury of working remotely from virtually anywhere in the world. Who wouldn’t love it right?! Mmm, I don’t mean to burst your bubble, but it doesn’t

Find time in your busy schedule with this ONE mental shift

No time

How many times have you made this excuse? I would love to work on <insert side project>, but I just don’t have time. I used to say this too (more than I’d like to admit), but worse, I used to believe it. “But April,” you’re thinking, “it really is true!” I know. It’s easy to fall into the trap of believing that you’re out of control of all the varied obligations placed upon you in both your personal and professional

Why you should always have a contract – even for small jobs

Handshake

As creative freelancers and business owners, we all know written contracts are useful – no, necessary – when dealing with customers. After all, we’ve all been reading Graphic Design Blender, haven’t we? Whether it’s a $2,000 logo or a $20,000 web site, investing time and money on a service agreement is, as we’ve seen before, completely worthwhile. Why? It gives both parties an idea of how the relationship will be framed. It protects you in case the relationship breaks down.

Why I paused my revenue-positive membership site (and 3 business lessons you can learn from it)

pause

In February 2014, I launched an all-new members-only section of Design Blender called Stoked. And last Thursday just under six months later, I basically put the whole project on pause. It wasn’t a flop. It wasn’t a failure. And I didn’t lose money on the project. In fact, it brought in quite a bit of extra revenue which allowed me to grow Design Blender in new and exciting ways. So today, I’d like to explain why in the world I

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