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

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“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

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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?

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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

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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,

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