Freelancing is tough. Are you ready for it?

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One of the most important, overlooked aspects of owning your own design business is preparation for the inevitable rainy day. What would you do if something happened and you needed to take some time off? If you can’t pay your upcoming mortgage? If you realize you aren’t able to survive solely as a freelance designer? Today I’ve got three solid tips for ensuring you can survive those lean months, unplanned expenditures, or unexpected life events. Save. Save. Save. When business

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

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

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

Unburning Bridges

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It can be as simple as a harsh comment on a discussion board or a missed important deadline. Just like that, you’ve burnt a bridge. As GDB reader Fion mentions in a comment on this post, “…I regret to say that I have made some mistakes in my youth, and have burned some bridges. (Bad client relationship because of slow work pace, ‘bad attitude’…) Is there any way that bridges can be repaired? Should they be repaired? Or is it

Designing my own logo: the final design and tips for creating yours

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Welcome to the next phase of building my design business–Greer Genius: designing the logo (read here for the post about naming the business). Today I’m going to tell you all about my process in developing my logo in hopes that when it comes time for you to design (or redesign) yours, you have some solid tips to start from. (To see more pictures of my process, visit my portfolio.) Step #1: Be your own client What do you do when

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

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

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