Four reasons why every freelancer should work at least one “real 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

Understanding freelancing insurance + do you need it?

freelancing insurance graphic design blender

The Freelancer’s Union recently announced the ability for members to purchase liability insurance. But as freelance designers, do we really need it? Truthfully, when I read the “hey, we’re now offering liability insurance” email, I wondered what, exactly, that entails. According to their website, there are three main types NOTE: I am not a lawyer, nor am I offering professional or legal advice. The following are just my observations and conclusions as a fellow freelance designer. Please seek legal advice

A freelancer’s greatest attribute and how to leverage it

strength of freelancers

Recently Preston launched his debut Q&A video series where he talks about handling clients that treat us like employees. If you watched it, you know that Preston talks about what I believe is a freelancer designer’s greatest attribute. (And it’s not just designers…any freelancer/entrepreneur shares this very valuable asset.) Can you guess what I’m talking about? Our greatest attribute is… Flexibility. Flexibility, in one way or another, is the upper-hand we enjoy over almost every other type of business –

4 tips for finally getting paid + how to handle invoice disputes the right way

finally getting paid

“Well, maybe just one more day to see if they pay.” Have you ever said this to yourself? (I have.) One of the most troublesome parts of freelancing is invoicing and collecting payment. Nobody likes to be the bill collector, but sometimes it has to be done – and as freelancers, we get to wear that hat, too. If you’re anything like me, you know that anxious knot that forms in your stomach when you expect a battle over a

6 Time-saving tools and references every web designer should bookmark

time savers graphic design blender

Remember when you took tests in school and they required you to memorize everything? It was frustrating, wasn’t it? You knew that in the “real world,” you’d simply look up that formula you only needed to know once every 3 months or so. That’s why I’ve compiled a handy go-to set of web design tools and references – so I don’t have to remember every single obscure detail (or the awesome website that I found it on). Hopefully the list

Common website mistakes that are costing you clients

mistakes that cost you clients

I get asked to critique freelancers’ websites fairly often. In general, I find we freelancers tend to make the same basic yet egregious mistakes: We claim to be experts in creating a brand yet our own websites are generic web templates. We advise clients on color schemes and consistency but use 10 fonts and 8 colors ourselves. We constantly pare down clients’ copy but use long, difficult-to-read paragraphs of our own. Most of us could benefit from spending more time

css.php