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

How I got tons of new design clients with this small freebie

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A couple years ago, I was stuck – big time. Maybe you’re familiar with it. You’ve been designing for a while, finding clients, fulfilling their needs, rinse and repeat. But my client pool was starting to grow thin (PS – “3 Simple Tips to Keep Your Client Pool Full“) and I was getting worried. No clients = no cash It’s obvious. Without any clients, it’s hard to make money as a designer (unless you work hard at passive income). So

Is it okay to use templates and themes as a freelance designer?

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Have you ever used a theme or a template on one of your freelance web design projects? I have. And I’m (in my humble opinion) a good designer and coder. I’ve built tons of web sites both for myself and for my clients–and I built them from scratch.Designed; Coded; Tested; the works. I know HTML, CSS, Javascript and Jquery, PHP, and a little bit of other languages. But… But recently, GDB got a huge makeover. We were hacked pretty hard

Stop posting lame client testimonials

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You’ve just finished a project with your client. They love the work you’ve done for them. The design is perfect. The price is right. And the moment couldn’t be more perfect. So you pop the question: “Can I get a testimonial from you?” When they say “yes,” you get all excited and can’t wait to post a new positive testimonial on your web site or portfolio. But a few weeks later when your client gets around to sending a testimonial

Why designers are terrible at communicating with clients (and how to fix it)

Viewing in an email or RSS? Watch the video here. Just admit it, there’s been one time or another that you’ve been terrible at communicating with your design clients. I know there have been times when communication between us is outrageously horrific. An ephiphany But recently, I realized what the big problem is. The insight came while reading a book titled Made to Stick (which recently made my top-six business books you should read in 2012 list). The problem? Something