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

How to completely rock your first client meeting

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Best news ever! A potential client has scheduled an in-person meeting with you to discuss their needs and how you might be able to help them. (Got a phone conversation? Learn how to overcome fear and win the account.) Eeeeek! That means you actually have to go and talk face to face with them. What will you say? How will you convey how perfect you are for the job? Don’t let your phobias kill your chances before you get there.

Freelance preparedness: how to keep a business alive when times get hard

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Remember Preston’s recent post about not creating another job for yourself as a freelancer? How one of the great perks about freelancing is freedom, and how the world will not explode if you take a week off? Recently I wrote about how to make taking vacation a stress-free transition, but what about those unexpected emergencies? You know, family emergencies, prolonged sickness, personal issues, extreme weather, or even a time where you’re physically unable to work. It’s these types of situations

Tried to fire my client, it backfired, and somehow our business relationship improved!

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Yes, you’re reading that right. I tried to fire my client, and it backfired – so well, in fact, that our business relationship has improved! So what happened? Let me tell you… Deciding to fire my client Most of you are probably thinking I’m crazy. Turning away someone who wants to pay me for my skills – absurd (or is it?)! Truly, though, I had had enough. The project was WAY behind schedule, the client changed her mind on overall

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