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

An awesome referral-generating email template to send your clients…right now!

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Asking for referrals can be pretty nerve-wracking. The good news: If you do it right, you only have to do it once (per client). That’s the biggest value this post has to offer you. It gives you a process that you can follow to get referrals…but it also gives your clients a process to follow to refer people to you in the future. I hate to use the word “training,” but essentially that’s what you’re doing: conditioning your clients to

How to raise your rates without ticking off your clients

euros-and-dollars

Raising rates can be done in two ways: Rip off the band-aid. Say, “To hell with it!” and raise them now, without warning (or with warning), and let the pieces fall where they may. 2) With the method outlined in this post (recommended if you like financial stability). But I’d like to dig a bit deeper in this article and go back to the “why” of changing prices, because it frames the whole thing differently depending on your answer. So,

The real reason clients ask crazy, ridiculous things of you

annoying clients

I’m going to share with you a list of ridiculous demands my company has been asked of by clients recently. I’m sure you’ll nod along. You might even get a laugh or two…or a few tears, if you’ve been pushed close enough to the brink. But afterward, you might swear me your mortal enemy. Confused? Just hang in there and make sure you read this post to the end. It’s important. Have you experienced clients… Emailing at 3am expecting immediate

How to dominate any niche or industry

success sign

Dominating niches is actually pretty simple. It takes some legwork, and it takes hard work to get it going, but overall it’s pretty simple. Now, when I say “dominating a niche,” I mean you become a “go to” guy or gal for a specific industry. In our creative marketing agency, we’re starting to do this for a specific niche of food packaging. In the past, we’ve done it for fitness and a couple of other industries too. In fact, to