How to stay motivated when solo business has got you in a rut

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Ever have one of those days (weeks?) where you just can’t seem to get yourself motivated? And I mean REALLY unmotivated, like nothing — not even dusting to avoid work — can tear you away from putting off life in general. Maybe it feels like there’s such a mountain of work ahead of you (house chores included!) that you don’t know where to start. Maybe your current projects aren’t terribly exciting. Maybe you’re feeling a bit burnt out. Or maybe

The two biggest differences between university and freelancing and how to succeed in the transition

wheeee!

Thank you for applying; we went with someone more experienced. I heard that plenty coming straight out of college, and I bet you have, too. With today’s job market, recent and upcoming college grads are increasingly looking toward freelancing to follow their design dreams. But surviving as a freelancer requires a different set of skills than getting that high mark in design class, and most students find that their education didn’t prep them for the freelancing world ahead. Luckily, here

Business tips from 4 creative pros who are crushing it

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As I mentioned before in this post, recently I interviewed 9 amazing veteran freelancers, each on a different challenging topic they have personal experience excelling in. From hiring employees to overcoming self-doubt, here are bits of the wonderful information four of them had to share (more coming soon): On finding your niche and marketing to it Veteran marketing and SEO specialist Becky Livingston (interview here), founder of Penheel Marketing, shares her story about identifying a need in the marketplace and using

4 Easy ways to free your mind and watch your productivity soar

Do you feel like you’re always working but not terribly productive? Have you ever felt like an unorganized baboon making up an excuse to reschedule yet another obligation that you accidentally double-booked? Does your brain feel cluttered? When you’re really trying to focus, does it spit out distractions like, “don’t forget to…” or “Yikes, it’s already Wednesday? <Insert mental freak out here>”? You’re not alone. I’ve been there. Self-shame descended upon me every time I rescheduled because inside I knew

What kind of contract should I use for small or ongoing projects?

ongoing client contracts

Have you ever struggled to write a contract for ongoing work? You’re not alone. One GDB reader commented: Love the article you posted today about freelance with a contract. I’m curious, I can’t seem to find much out there for inspiration on writing a contract for revolving work. For instance I’m working with an agency that’s giving me production design one-off’s and giving me an hourly rate. I feel like I need to provide them with a contract but I don’t

What I learned from interviewing 9 successful freelancers

interviewing freelancers

Think of someone you really admire as a freelancer. Have you ever wished you could just contact them out of the blue and ask permission to question them for 20 minutes on a specific topic they’re really knowledgeable in? Last month, that’s just what I did. I interviewed 9 successful freelancers on topics like: hiring employees overcoming self-doubt working with international clients finding your niche teaching design and much more (Stoked members can listen to them for free as they’re

5 Fast ways to boost credibility with clients (and get more business)

boost credibility

As freelancers, it’s easy for us to forget what it’s like to work with other people. After all, we did go solo, and often because we grew sick of being stuck in an office with a bunch of yahoos. Luckily for us, now we almost always get to choose the yahoos professionals we work with, whether other freelancers, clients, or agencies. Sure, we know we’re professionals, but since we don’t have to physically enter the professional realm on a day-to-day

4 Big freelancing mistakes I’ve made and what to learn from them

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Whether you’re a new freelancer, a freelancer-to-be, or a freelancer with a few (okay, a lot of) years under your belt, one of the most efficient ways to learn is from mistakes…preferably some someone else’s. But that’s not always easy to talk about. (How many peers do you feel comfortable asking about their biggest mistake(s)? Chances are, not very many, if at all.) So here’s a list of my biggest mistakes I wish I had learned from someone else (hopefully,