If I were starting from scratch, this is how I’d grow my design business

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This is a really relevant topic for me. My creative agency just opened a new branch called Reliable: our PSD to HTML & WordPress company. So we had to start from scratch, hit the drawing board, and figure out how to grow. It’s a different market with different customers, needs, and problems than those of our agency. There’s no overlap. We created a different brand, website, etc. Clean slate, as they say. But the steps we’re taking are the SAME ones

Why most portfolio WordPress themes suck for really growing a freelance business

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I have to start this post off with a quick disclaimer. Aside from running a design agency, I also run a PSD to HTML & WordPress company. So naturally – themes might seem like my enemy, right? If someone buys a theme, they’re not designing a PSD for us to code. And if someone buys a theme – they’re not hiring us to design a website, either. It seems like the natural enemy of both of my businesses! Well… It

The Quick & Necessary Steps You Should Take if a Client Doesn’t Like Your Quoted Price

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It’s so nerve-wracking to hit “Send” on an email that contains a proposal. “Did I price too high? Too low? Did I leave anything out? They’re going to hate it, aren’t they? Crap, maybe I should’ve priced it lower. Ahhhh!” Even after 5 years of sending proposals, they still give me nerves. I get a knot in my stomach and it’s hard to think about much else until the client sends a reply. Fortunately, most proposals get accepted these days.

How to Get More New Clients ASAP With Google Adwords Express

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AdWords Express has been a super powerful tool we’ve used to get new clients for our creative agency. It’s gotten to the point where we turn it on / off as needed. On = contact form submissions almost instantly start rolling in. Off = schedule is full and we’re saturated with work. If you’ve never heard of it, it’s Google’s “smart”, automatic version of AdWords that’s for people like me who hate keyword research and would rather bang my head

How we solved almost EVERY problem a freelancer can face

solve every problem a freelance can face

One of the most powerful lessons I’ve ever learned came from my first mentor, my half-brother Steve. I called him complaining about some clients and the crazy revisions they wanted and he said… “You know, dude… When stuff like this happens, there’s really no one to blame. It just means you’re missing a system to deal with it.” And he was right. We’d never outlined any sort of revision process with our clients at that point in time. We never

The fail-safe, sleaze-free guide to selling freelance gigs over the phone

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In my last post I got into the basics of selling the heck out of your design services. That post left off with how to shift the conversation from email to phone. Why? Because on the phone, you’re going to sell more high-ticket items with much greater ease. And low-ticket items are a piece of cake. (All that and more is explained in the last post, here.) Today, I’m going to talk about how to handle your phone calls with

How to Sell the Heck Out of Your Design Services… In the Coolest, Non-Sleaziest Way

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I’m an artist first. I care about creating beautiful, functional things more than anything else. If I could just sit in a room all day and create and pay the bills – well, that’d be just fine with me. However, running a creative agency requires additional skill sets. It requires learning about everything that goes AROUND your art to turn it into a successful business. “Selling” is probably the hardest thing for us artists to grasp. However, after running an

3 Essential Elements of a Client-Grabbing Design Website

So you have a web site set up for your design business. It features your amazing portfolio, has a sleek, snazzy design to it, and a beautifully put-together contact form. The only problem is… the contact form rarely, if ever, gets used. Your bounce rate is higher than a super-inflated basketball. And it’s just not doing the one thing it needs to: Bringing you more business. This article will help get you on track to having a web site that

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