What to do if a client threatens you with a “bad review”

Stay calm and sound like the pro you are

A few days ago, the phone rang at 10am. “Reliable! This is Lou,” my wife and business partner, Lou, said. (We run a design / marketing agency, but recently started Reliable: our new PSD to HTML & WordPress company). She took the call per usual. The guy had a lot of questions, and she had answers. But then, the call took a “weird” twist… The guy had some pretty wacky demands. He basically wanted us to ditch the process we

The two biggest differences between university and freelancing and how to succeed in the transition

wheeee!

Thank you for applying; we went with someone more experienced. I heard that plenty coming straight out of college, and I bet you have, too. With today’s job market, recent and upcoming college grads are increasingly looking toward freelancing to follow their design dreams. But surviving as a freelancer requires a different set of skills than getting that high mark in design class, and most students find that their education didn’t prep them for the freelancing world ahead. Luckily, here

8 Ways to build your business fast with $4 per day (the cost of a daily coffee)

coffee cup

If you’ve ever looked into personal finance, you’ve probably heard some sort of advice that sounds something like this: “If you saved $4 every day instead of spending it on your morning coffee, you’d have nearly $1,500 plus interest in your pocket at the end of the year.” But giving up your morning coffee (or afternoon pastry, or lunch at your favorite café, or whatever) seems like a big sacrifice to only wind up with $1,500 extra dollars in your

This painful, terrible, amazing exercise forced me to become a better designer

exercise

Flash back to 2010, and I’m giving a workshop to a room full of entrepreneurs who want to learn copywriting. We were on the subject of headlines. I’d given them the basics, and now, to make sure they “got it”, I had them each write a headline of their own. The room was silent except for the tapping and scribbling of pens. Then, some pens hit the table, and I looked around to see smiling faces. These people were proud

Business tips from 4 creative pros who are crushing it

tipsfromtop

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

Screen shot 2014-07-29 at 8.48.26 PM

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

Man Thinking

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