Should you charge your client for your learning time?

Man Working on Laptop

Have you ever had a client ask you to do something outside of your realm of expertise? Maybe they want some extensive customization to their WordPress theme. Or a fillable PDF form that calculates based on user input. Or some major Photoshopping on a particular image. Whatever it is, you know you’re going to have to improve your skill set to complete the project. And that’s going to take more than just an extra hour of time. But you’re feeling

How to thank your best clients this year (without going broke)

reward your best clients

Can you believe it’s already December? If you’re like me, you’re scrambling to put together something for your best clients in time for the holidays. But what to do? And how can you afford it – December generally being a slower month for designers* (and generally more expensive in our personal lives)? You’re in luck…I’ve done the research for you. (If only all research included scouring Pinterest!) Here are a number of fun, crafty, tasty, and most importantly inexpensive holiday

How to give constructive criticism without being a jerk

critique without being a jerk graphic design blender

Have you ever been asked to critique a fellow designer’s project that needs more than a little bit of work? You don’t want to come off as snooty or rude and you certainly don’t want to hurt their feelings, but you do need to make it clear that there are several improvements that could be made. And while your mind automatically wants to mess around with it on your own, it’s not your project, so what you’re really looking to

How to quote a project you’ve never tried before

quoting a project you've never done

Deciding to tackle a project you’ve never done before takes guts. It’s exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time. Can you do it? Is this going to be a total disaster? Are you going to absolutely rock it? Once you make up your mind to go for it, you’ve got an even bigger challenge: how to quote a project you’ve never done before? Not only do you need to determine pricing, you also must guesstimate a time frame. The criteria

The unexpected ways a resume brings freelancers more business

resume-for-freelancers

Let’s face it – most freelancers neglect their resumes, if they even have a resume at all. After all, you’re running a business with a great website, portfolio, and dribbble account. Isn’t a resume simply unnecessary? Maybe. But if you answer yes to any of these questions, having an updated resume might benefit your bottom line. Would you like to freelance for a design agency? Working as a freelancer for a design agency can be the best of both worlds:

How to handle a tough client you just can’t afford to ditch right now

dealing-with-tough-clients

Here at GDB we talk all the time about how to go from good to better. Better clients. Better income. Better communication. Better business. But what about just getting to good? Not all of us are in the position right now to be selective (and yes, sometimes even veterans find themselves in a slump). So when you’re in a spot where you have to handle a tough client, here are some tips for making the best of a bad situation.

The golden networking tip most freelancers overlook

The-golden-networking-tip-most-freelancers-overlook

When we as freelance designers think about networking, we generally think about meeting potential clients. However, today we’re going to talk about networking with people who might not be a client (hey, you never know) but can be absolutely essential in improving the quality of your work and increasing your success. And by networking, I don’t mean joining AIGA for the membership card. I mean REALLY networking – feeling comfortable contacting them out of the blue. I’m talking about your

4 Reasons why every freelancer should work at least one “desk job”

Image: Woman in cubicle

When I left college, I had no idea how printing presses worked. I didn’t understand why people judged me for how I looked and not what I knew. I knew no one in the design industry except the on-campus staff and students I worked with, and I sure as heck didn’t want one of those crappy, entry-level, junior designer jobs. And then I got my first real design job at a vitamin manufacturing company…as explained by my supervisor, more of