Should freelance designers branch out or niche in?

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I am a huge advocate of finding your design niche (or even a super-niche) and sticking to it. For me, finding my niche has been the fastest way to grow my design business. But have you ever reached a point in your freelance design career where you find yourself asking the following question: “Should I branch out and do more?” Earlier in the year, when I asked what you’d like to read this year, April wrote the following: I’d love

Why designers shouldn’t think outside the box

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Have you ever had a client who gives you this challenge?: “Just think completely out of the box on this one.” You’ve probably just gone along with the idea assuming the client knows best (even thought I’ve told you they don’t) and the minute you sit down to “think outside the box,” your stumped. No great ideas. No good vibes. Why? Because what your client forgot to mention when he asked you to think outside the box was exactly which

Create something amazing

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Freelancing can be tough. It’s not always easy pleasing a client or working under a deadline. In fact, every once and a while it’s enough to make you want to stop creating…stop designing. The problem The problem is, designing has become a business for you. I mean, it’s a good problem to have because now you’re making money doing something you love. But some days the thing you love is also the thing you hate. And that’s ok. The solution

8 tips for freelancing from home without ignoring your kids

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Today is an unusual day for me. I’m working from home. As many of you know, I’m not a full-time always-work-from-home freelance designer. I have a full time job too. (Don’t hate me, remember?) But today, I’m working from home. All day. It’s bringing back some memories of when I first started freelancing and I spent the entire day working from home. And being home with my wonderful wife and adorable baby boy reminded me of a question posted as

How much should a freelance designer make?

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Since I’ve been answering a lot of reader questions lately, I’d like to turn the tables today and ask you a simple question: How much should a freelance designer make? I recently had a facebook fan ask me how much he should expect to make if he made the switch to freelance design. Of course, I told him it depended on a lot of things including: Country of residence Experience and expertise Business Goals Financial needs and more But then

How freelancers can compete with design marketplace sites

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The last few posts I’ve written here have all come from excellent reader suggestions on this post. Today’s is no different. Joe Malleck writes: One topic that I’m interested in is what a designer’s future role in the marketplace is. With the uprising of theme marketplaces and the awareness that you can essentially purchase design as a commodity, where do we as designers fit into this new landscape? How can we leverage our skills and insight to make fortunes, without

How to handle hard-to-reach design clients

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A few days ago, I published a post in response to one reader’s question about overcoming fear as a freelancer. The post was such a hit, I decided to tackle another question posed by a designer named Bree. Here’s the request: I would love to see some reviews or tips on how to handle clients who do not respond or provide feedback in a timely manner. Well, Bree, today you’re in luck because I’d like to share with you–and the

Freelancing Fear: What causes it and how to overcome it

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When I relaunched this brand new version of GDB earlier this year, I asked you to submit your ideas for posts you’d like to see over the next 12 months. (Haven’t had a chance to submit your request? Click here to view the original new-year-launch post.) One reader, Carla, posted this request:   Any suggestions about … being afraid? Any suggestions on how to overcome my apprehensive behavior (which is not normal, I am an outgoing, sociable person)?!I have business

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