Does your portfolio website have a case of the “no one ever calls me”?

readytowork

On a hunch yesterday I started Googling “[insert city here] freelance graphic designer.” I looked at New York, Seattle, San Fran, London, and more. I spread from there to agencies. I saw sites from well-established peeps to ones who, as Kevin O’Leary from “Shark Tank” would lovingly say, were “cockroaches no one’s ever heard of.” (His words, not mine!) Those websites were sick, and needed a dose of GDB advice stat. So I made a list. A list of the

How to compete with big agencies as a freelancer

compete with big agencies

There are established agencies in your town. They get business probably every day of the week. They earn hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars per year. And then there’s you. The lone freelancer. Maybe you’re just starting out. Maybe you’re just getting your bearings. Or maybe you’re well-established, but you’re still in these other agencies’ shadow (possibly without even realizing it). What do you do? You start following these 3 tips as fast as you possibly can… #1: Let NOTHING (n-o-t-h-i-n-g)

Your testimonials are a hidden goldmine if you use them like this.

freelancer-testimonials

Testimonials are more important than just about anything else on your website. If you had a headline that said “We make awesome websites that help businesses grow” followed by 20 testimonials from businesses saying how awesome their new website is and how much they’ve grown… …and you followed that up with a few samples and a contact form… you’d be rocking and rolling without a single word more of copy (and that’s coming from a copywriter). You really don’t need much

This is what it means to be a freelancer (that no one else will ever understand)

rocket

Walk into any business, and you can almost instantly spot the owner. It’s not always their clothes, either. Some dress with more authority, but that’s not always the case. Sometimes they’re the ones in the tie-dye and sandals. And age doesn’t give it away either, as they’re usually not the oldest in the room. How can you almost always instantly spot the owner? What is it? Because if it’s not the clothes or the age, it has to be something else.

The 7 ways I handle fear, doubt, and the crazy inner-turmoil we entrepreneurs face

freelancer-fear

I have woken up in cold sweats, with the bed literally soaking beneath me. I’ve had nights where sleep just wouldn’t come at all – pushed away by gut-wrenching anxiety. I’ve been pre-occupied with worrisome thoughts that prevented me from getting any simple joys from the nice surprises of life. These things have plagued me when I was just starting out and completely broke, and even now that I’ve obtained some real success. And I’m not alone. If you’ve ever

4 Secrets to making your clients stick for years

freelance-design

It takes a lot of work to get clients. Once you get them though, you have to know how to keep them, or all that hard work is lost. This is what my own agency has done to keep clients for years. #1: Tell it to them straight. We tell clients “no” all the time. They ask for certain things or changes or strategies, and many times it’s not the best way to go. So we tell them that, and

Kicking, Clawing, Screaming: Getting your first freelance clients

800px-Boxing_(USA_vs._CAN)_at_the_1995_Pan_American_Games

It was 9:00pm. I rushed down to the lake by the house, walked a bit up the trail that wraps around it, and waited. I paced. Bit my nails. Then, the phone call: “Hi, Dr. Pat, good to hear from you,” I said, and the conversation began. This call had to go perfectly. We needed this project. It would be one of our first “big” ones – $1200 to design and write a full-page newspaper advertorial. This was our chance

If you’re “stuck” in print, here’s the easiest way to start getting web design clients

stuck in print? Make switch to web design

I think it’s awesome how many designers are still print-only. I love paper and ink. The way it feels in your hands, the smell, the way it looks under different lights. Digital doesn’t come close to the sensory experience that print design delivers. At least not yet. But many print-only designers have written into GDB expressing a concern: their clients need websites, and they currently have to go elsewhere to have them made. They’re not sure how to start offering