How I went from losing my job to being a profitable freelancer in 18 months

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If you would’ve told me when I got laid off I’d have a profitable freelance design business a mere 18 months later, I’d have laughed at your absurdity. Heck, I may have even snorted. Losing my job = best thing ever? Looking back, getting laid off was the best thing that could have happened to me. It forced me to take action. I couldn’t just put in my 8 hours anymore; I had to decide where I wanted my career

50 of the best design business posts you may have missed at GraphicDesignBlender.com

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A note from Preston: GDB is more than 3 years old this year and in 2012, we’ve had a great first half of the year! Why so great? Because so many of you have joined us! My analytics show that more than 150,000 of you have visited the site for the first time in 2012. So I asked  April to compile a list of what she thought were the most helpful blog posts on this entire site. She rounded up 50

What’s the magic number of design proofs your clients get?

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How many of your clients absolutely must make a change, no matter how minor (or just to decide that they like yours better) on EVERY project? Most of them, right? Mine too. Give ‘Em What They Want… People, including your clients, like having options. They like making decisions, giving input, and feeling like they’ve contributed to a project. So present multiple proofs and reap these benefits: Take the project in several directions simultaneously Get past the obvious (and often mediocre)

Switch from work-mode to vacation-mode (and back) without stressing about your business!

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This post is brought to you by Printrunner, an online printing service that provides label printing. * * * Okay, it’s decided: you’re going on vacation. (Yay! I want a postcard.) As your departure date nears, follow these tips to minimize your stress level. Don’t forget my favorite vacation secret to success – give yourself a one-day buffer from the work world on either end of your vacation. T-Minus Two Weeks: Write an extra blog post and prepare and create

When a new client calls you, don’t freak out. Do this:

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I have a love/hate relationship with my phone, especially when it comes to new clients. In fact, I used to be so bad that my boyfriend would listen to my end of the conversation so that he could give me a list of improvements to make once the call was over! Thankfully Sheila, a longtime GDB reader and fellow designer, let me know I’m not alone. Preston shared with me this note from her recently: “…with established clients or in

Yes, freelancers CAN go on vacation! Here’s how…

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Hi, GDB readers! I’m back from a fantastic two-week cruise from Miami through the Panama Canal to San Diego. (My deepest apologies for my belated responses to your wonderful comments.) So it IS possible, as a freelancer, to take a vacation. Sometimes the thought of escaping reality can be scary, though. It’s easy to get so caught up in worrying that you ruin your vacation or decide never to go in the first place! Answering these three questions will help

How to quote a design project – and win the account

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Quoting a project isn’t easy – and knowing how to quote a design project well is even tougher. Part estimation, part research, and part historical evidence, a good design quote creates a fair proposal for both the designer and the client where each feels he will receive as much as he will give. (Cue butterflies, rainbows, and birds chirping.) Easier said than done. (Cue giant sledgehammer.) Regardless of how much you charge or whether you quote a design project by the

Entrepreneurs: follow this one simple principle to avoid wasting your hard-earned profit

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For those of you who, like me, used to work for someone else, you know what it’s like to beg for updated software, hardware, printer ink, and design-specific supplies. At the thought of turning freelance, my heart went pitter-patter at the thought of finally having the tools and resources I wanted. So when I finally had enough money to make one of those coveted purchases, my heart seized when this thought crossed my mind – “Is it worth it?” When