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 quoting it 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 by the hour or by the project, today let’s

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

50 Stunning graphic design portfolios you MUST see before (re)designing yours

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50 graphic design portfolios

Feeling like your graphic design portfolio needs a face lift but in need of some inspiration? I’ve compiled a list of 50 awesome graphic design portfolio examples and a short blurb on why I’ve chosen them, categorized alphabetically by awesome design element, to spark creativity for designing or redesigning yours. Take a look and let me know which ones are your favorite by leaving a comment on this post! Great Use of Color Authentic Style :: The brown and orange

How “business surfing” can make or break any entrepreneur!

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It starts out innocently enough. You sit down at your computer, check your email, check your social media outlets, comment on some LinkedIn discussions, explore some inspirational design sites, read an interesting post on increasing blog traffic, and geez… …is it already 11am? This, GDB readers, is what I’ve dubbed “business surfing.” It’s like personal internet surfing but with a business focus, so it’s easier to convince yourself you’re not wasting time. Why Business Surfing is Good Spending time throughout

The next step in building my design business: what makes a great portfolio site?

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Designers often work so diligently for clients, we often forget to work for ourselves. Our own logos, collateral such as business cards and websites, and marketing campaigns suffer a bit of (okay, a fair amount of) neglect as we delegate all of our creative energies to our clients’ projects. What finally got me off my duff and devoting serious time and effort to my portfolio website was finishing the design of my business card. I’ve been asked for business cards