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,

Why you need a freelance niche today! + how it will help you find more quality clients

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I know what a lot of you who haven’t yet found your niche or who are undecided if you even want a niche were thinking when I recently blogged about finding mine: “I’m not sure finding a niche is a good idea. Won’t that reduce my potential client pool even further?” I know, it sounds like an oxymoron, but narrowing your area of expertise can actually improve your design business and help you find more clients and more highqualityclients. How?

How to get the greatest freelance advice you’ve ever received: tips on learning from the best

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Pretend you’re Saul Bass. You’re one of the most famous designers and filmmakers in history when a young designer approaches you and says, “Mr. Bass, I’m a huge fan of your work and one day I hope to be just like you. Do you have any advice for me?” If you really were Saul Bass, perhaps you’d respond with your most memorable quote, “Symbolize and summarize,”  for this aspiring designer. But think about all the many years of study, the

How I found my freelance niche and tips to finding yours

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You’ve all heard the phrase, “if you try to be good at everything, you’ll be excellent at nothing.” But unless you’re one of the lucky ones, finding your niche can be really difficult. Don’t feel bad if you haven’t found yours yet…it took me over 10 years of designing until I found mine. Here at GDB we talk about how finding your niche (or superniche) can be really beneficial for your business. Whether it’s blogging or design work, you can

“We” vs “I” – the best pronoun for a freelance business

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If you’re like me, once you started using your official business name, “we” vs “I” became a big issue. Which sounds better? Am I misrepresenting myself if I use we? What will clients prefer? Think about who your target client is and who they are most likely to hire. What business traits do they expect their designers to have? When do they expect you to be available? How much are they willing to spend? How do they perceive you, and

Dealing with unprepared and unorganized design clients

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Recently I blogged about how to rock your first client meeting. In the comments, GDB reader Siedah asked this great question: “[Do] you have any suggestions for a designer dealing with an unprepared client? I tend to run into a lot of new and existing business owners who are not prepared.” You and me both, Siedah! Let me share with you 3 tips I use to get my clients on track. And if there’s anything I’ve left out, let me