Business tips from 4 creative pros who are crushing it

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As I mentioned before in this post, recently I interviewed 9 amazing veteran freelancers, each on a different challenging topic they have personal experience excelling in. From hiring employees to overcoming self-doubt, here are bits of the wonderful information four of them had to share (more coming soon): On finding your niche and marketing to it Veteran marketing and SEO specialist Becky Livingston (interview here), founder of Penheel Marketing, shares her story about identifying a need in the marketplace and using

How to get tons of new clients (without spending a dime) with the “human billboard” Method

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My brother is a fitness nut. He owns gyms, trains in gyms, and basically lives in them too. If you’ve seen “Pain & Gain” with Mark Wahlberg – he’s kind of like that (minus the psychopathic, hostage-taking shenanigans…). But he’s also a brilliant marketer. And a few years ago he created a system for filling personal training studios and boot camps with new clients that’s 100% free, and works like crazy. He called it the “Human Billboard” method. Why? Because

Hey entrepreneurs: you’re thinking too much

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Have you ever considered the fact that you might be thinking TOO much when it comes to building your business? You spend weeks and months (maybe even years) trying to figure out which email software to use, which color to make your call-to-action button, or whether to build your portfolio on WordPress or Squarespace. You fret over details like how much you should charge your first client, what your site’s color scheme should be, and what time of year you

4 Easy ways to free your mind and watch your productivity soar

Do you feel like you’re always working but not terribly productive? Have you ever felt like an unorganized baboon making up an excuse to reschedule yet another obligation that you accidentally double-booked? Does your brain feel cluttered? When you’re really trying to focus, does it spit out distractions like, “don’t forget to…” or “Yikes, it’s already Wednesday? <Insert mental freak out here>”? You’re not alone. I’ve been there. Self-shame descended upon me every time I rescheduled because inside I knew

What kind of contract should I use for small or ongoing projects?

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Have you ever struggled to write a contract for ongoing work? You’re not alone. One GDB reader commented: Love the article you posted today about freelance with a contract. I’m curious, I can’t seem to find much out there for inspiration on writing a contract for revolving work. For instance I’m working with an agency that’s giving me production design one-off’s and giving me an hourly rate. I feel like I need to provide them with a contract but I don’t

3 big finance myths successful creatives don’t fall for

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Back in school, I wasn’t big on maths. It wasn’t because I sucked at it or even because I didn’t enjoy it… it was because my maths teacher also happened to be my Truancy Officer and I ditched a lot of classes back then so naturally I used to avoid him like the bubonic plague! I was *almost* a high-school dropout because of all the classes I missed. I remember one day and called me into his office to show

2 huge mistakes most designers make that push clients away (and what to do instead)

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Recently, over at Reliable (our new PSD to HTML & WordPress company), we had an interesting situation… A “tough cookie” wrote in asking for a quote on his project.  But he didn’t hesitate to tell us that he was also looking to outsource overseas, and he was asking for proposals from 10 other companies, too. We were #11. Well, we just did our thing. First, we responded about 10 minutes after the email came in (we’re OCD with email like

If I were starting from scratch, this is how I’d grow my design business

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This is a really relevant topic for me. My creative agency just opened a new branch called Reliable: our PSD to HTML & WordPress company. So we had to start from scratch, hit the drawing board, and figure out how to grow. It’s a different market with different customers, needs, and problems than those of our agency. There’s no overlap. We created a different brand, website, etc. Clean slate, as they say. But the steps we’re taking are the SAME ones

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