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

Can networking with your competition really grow your design business?

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You know as a designer you’ve got to market yourself in order to find new business. But if you’re only selling your services using “marketing” techniques, you’re missing a vital piece of the puzzle: networking. Get Connected. You may think your client pool exists outside of the design realm, but as Preston points out in this post, your best clients might also be your competition! That’s right, design agencies, in-house marketing/graphics departments, fellow freelancers, and production houses all can make

Why most businesses fail, and solid tips for design business success

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Most businesses fail not because their owners aren’t good at what they do. A design studio doesn’t generally fail because they create poor designs. A dentist doesn’t generally fail because he cannot fix your teeth. Most businesses fail because their owners don’t understand how to run a business. As a design entrepreneur, this is the single most important fact you need to understand. If you as a designer can learn how to run a business well, your business has a

My 10 Freelance Design Business Goals + Tips for Setting Yours

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Your design business will DIE without solid goals. April’s new post today is a must-read for any designer who hopes to get anywhere in business. After April shared such a great personal experience about naming her design business (read here), I asked her to write more great content with personal stories and experience. If you enjoy posts like this one, be sure to tweet, like, +1 and comment to show April your support. Enjoy! -Preston I hope you’re not tired

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