How to make your home office a sanctuary (and never rent office space again!)

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When you’re stuck in a cubicle, all you can dream about is the freedom of working from home. Your own office, your own tools, your own decor…oh, it’s simply glorious! Then real life smacks you in the face: you’re distracted by a steady stream of interruptions, your backside hurts from sitting on your hard kitchen chair all day, and someone moved those notes that you absolutely must have for your client meeting. But before you justify the financial burden of

How to make sure you have clients (and income) all year round

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Whether it’s from clients or from fellow designers, I hear this a lot: “Business was going great. I had a lot of customers and was really busy, but now I’m not because <insert reason here>. So I need to figure out how to market myself to get more customers.” Do you recognize the big problem with this statement? If you don’t, that’s okay, because I’m about to share why you should never catch yourself saying this ever again. The BIG

How to squash the dreaded ‘forever project’ and finally get paid!

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You know the “forever” projects I’m talking about – those that are three months behind schedule yet your client wants to see “just one more” color scheme or isn’t sure about the copy. When once you were thrilled about landing a great project, now you’re just hoping they’ll make up their minds and put money in your pocket. If you’re stuck in this nasty situation, follow these steps to find that light at the end of the tunnel (and then

8 Vital financial terms all freelance designers should know

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If you graduated from art school, a trade school, or even with a liberal arts degree, you know that they don’t teach you how to go into business for yourself. Suddenly, besides designing and dealing with clients, we’re thrust into this world of accounting, bookkeeping, and finances. After all, a business that doesn’t make money is just a hobby, and it doesn’t put food on the table. Unless you can afford an accountant, you learn about the financial side of

How to deal with high-maintenance clients (and not ruin the relationship!)

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Have you ever had one of those clingy clients that calls daily? Twice daily? Sunday afternoon? Do you save their number in your phone just so you can press “ignore” when you see them calling (for the third time in two days)? If you haven’t, you’re lucky! (If you have, leave a comment on this post telling us about your clingy client experience!) Clingy clients, as I call them, are a huge distraction. Not only are you taken away from

Two critical legal concepts all freelancers have to know to be safe

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Life would be so much easier if all we had to focus on was dropping creative awesomeness on the world, wouldn’t it? Alas, such is the life of a freelance designer…the wearer of many hats. Today’s hat is boring. You’re going to want to gloss over it, skim it briefly and hope the next GDB post is more entertaining. But you really, REALLY, shouldn’t, because today’s post could save you a huge headache. I’m talking brain-splitting migraine – failing to

9 business terms all freelance designers must know to succeed

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Taking the plunge into freelancing is scary – we all know that. One of the reasons we’re so afraid is that we’re great designers but often know little about running a business (and that’s why many businesses fail). So to help you take your very first steps toward business prowess, I’ve compiled a list of business terms all freelance designers should know. After reading the list, leave a comment on this post and let me know which business terms I

Pricing strategy from the pros: 3 entrepreneurs share their pricing method

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I’m sure you know the marketing gimmick by now: the reason most retail stores price items at $99.99 instead of $100 is that it tricks the average consumer’s mind into believing an item is cheaper than it is. But does this pricing method work for freelancing as well? Does charging $249 – or $249.99 – instead of $250 bring in more clients? I contacted three highly-respected, veteran designers to get their input. Here’s what each one has to say (PS,

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