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

Get paid faster: the best options for getting paid as a freelancer (with fewer fees)

get-paid-as-a-freelancer

Recently we received the following question about accepting payments from a GDB reader planning his freelancing debut: Would you recommend I set up a credit card service to receive payments through my future website or is this unnecessary? Is check still the best way to go? These days there are lots of ways to accept payment and the services that make it simple all want a portion of your profits. But all that paperwork nonsense is nonexistent. So here’s a

How to miraculously build a profitable relationship when your client’s budget is low

[IMG] profitable relationship with low-budget client

So you’ve got this potential lead. You meet with them, go over their needs and wants, and you’re all pretty excited about getting started. And then they review your design quote. “Oh. We were thinking more in the <subtract 50%> range.” (Have you heard something like this before?) If you’re anything like me, that’s a BIG difference in cost. Then the anxiety sets in and you start second-guessing yourself…did you quote too high? Are you worth that amount? Is this