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

How to stick to your business goals when the going gets tough

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Did you read my earlier post about how I set my first 10 design business goals? It’s been less than a year since I first wrote them, and already I have reached some of them (and set new ones)! (PS: Preston also posted a video blog about the importance of setting annual goals.) Okay, okay, so you know you should have business goals, and hopefully you developed some great ones, but now months have passed… are you sticking to them?

Is your location killing your freelance business?

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One of the beautiful things about being a freelance designer is the freedom to live where you want, be it within walking distance of the ocean, near family, or three floors above the most awesome coffee shop downtown. But does location matter? Are freelancers elsewhere enjoying more business success due to their location? Would your business benefit from moving? Whether you’re enjoying a steady stream of work or hoping for that next client, answer the questions below to determine whether