How “business surfing” can make or break any entrepreneur!

business-surfing-entrepreneur

It starts out innocently enough. You sit down at your computer, check your email, check your social media outlets, comment on some LinkedIn discussions, explore some inspirational design sites, read an interesting post on increasing blog traffic, and geez… …is it already 11am? This, GDB readers, is what I’ve dubbed “business surfing.” It’s like personal internet surfing but with a business focus, so it’s easier to convince yourself you’re not wasting time. Why Business Surfing is Good Spending time throughout

You’re losing clients by committing this one critical web site mistake

Lately, I’ve been reviewing and critiquing a lot of design business and portfolio web sites (get yours critiqued here). There’s one critical mistake that A LOT of designers are making – and it’s losing them clients! It’s not a hard thing to fix, and it’s not even time consuming. It can be fixed within a few minutes–in fact, you should do it today! And if you do it, I guarantee you conversion rates on your design business web site will

A freelance designer’s target audience: how do you find it?

target-audience-graphic-design-blender

“Who’s your target audience?” Lately, I’ve been asking a lot of designers that question because I’ve been offering 5 business critiques per month lately and that means digging deep into how designers build and market their businesses. But I’m worried. Because the most common answer I get is something like: “Anyone who needs logo design, I guess.” And I have bad news for anyone who gives that sort of answer: You’re going about it all wrong! See, it’s your job as

How designers can charge more without having an awkward client conversation

raise-design-rates-graphic-design-blender

You all know April, right? If you don’t yet, I would recommend you read through some of her posts here at GDB. She’s quickly becoming a seriously great author on this blog. Not only does she write about some awesome stuff (as evidenced by the number of comments, tweets, and shares that her posts get), but she’s also a great business person. (At least I think so, after you read this post, let me know if you agree or if

Do freelancers really need accountants?

accountant designer graphic design blender

Tax season is upon us in the United States; and it’s never fun. (Hey GDB readers from around the world, help me out here: when is tax season – if any – in your country? Leave a comment!) But today, I wanted to answer a question I hear all the time from freelance designers: “Do I really need an accountant?” Can’t a competent freelance designer just do their own taxes? Today, I’d like to take a stab at answering that

Can you pitch your design business (well) in 15 seconds?

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I’m a person you’ve never met. Maybe we just bumped into one another in line at the supermarket. Maybe we’re both regulars at the local coffee shop waiting for our morning latte. Maybe we’re riding the elevator together in a skyscraper downtown. For whatever reason, we introduce ourselves and shake hands. Now you’ve got about 15 seconds to tell me what you do before we part ways: Go. What did you tell me? Did you stumble over your words? Did

Get your design business critiqued–actionable advice custom tailored to your business

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Today, I’m excited to announce that I have created a completely new opportunity here at GDB that will allow designers to get their business critiqued. If you’ve ever wanted to get more from your GDB experience; if you’ve ever felt like you could use some customized, detailed instructions on how to take your design business to the next level, you’re not the only one! In fact, I’ve had so many requests lately to personally and individually critique beginning design businesses,

How to be a top-notch salesman, grow your design business, and still be likeable

salesmanship-graphic-design-blender

If you are at all like me, you probably started in the design profession because you had a passion for art, design and technology. You enjoyed doing the work, being a problem solver and creating beautifully functional things. You probably liked helping people as well. You got great satisfaction from seeing clients pleased with what you’ve produced. But, you soon realized that there is more to being in the design business than what you thought. What I realized, rather quickly,