7 Ways to save startup costs (that I wish I did 10 years ago!)

lower startup costs graphic design blender

So you want to start a business? Or perhaps you just did? Are you mad? Bonkers? Insane? Lost your marbles? Quick, you still have time! Get outta here!! Run for your life. Run for the hills. Go on, go! Get out while you can!! Run, Forrest, RUN!!! I mean really, are you sure you want this? It takes one tough cookie and some mighty 4” thick skin to fight the battles you’re about to fight just to survive each day?

4 Secrets to making your clients stick for years

freelance-design

It takes a lot of work to get clients. Once you get them though, you have to know how to keep them, or all that hard work is lost. This is what my own agency has done to keep clients for years. #1: Tell it to them straight. We tell clients “no” all the time. They ask for certain things or changes or strategies, and many times it’s not the best way to go. So we tell them that, and

5 Easy tech solutions to sell freelance services from your website

woman-on-phone

We’ve covered a lot of ground at GDB when it comes to working with clients, finding clients, pitching them on your services and then even delivering the results of your work to them effectively. But there’s one more scenario we need to focus on, and that is the moment when a potential client comes to your site looking around to find a way to get a hold of you. So how to convince them to reach out to you effectively? Or better yet,

How I created a simple pricing process that removed stress and boosted profits

pricing strategy

Pricing is super-hard. You’re thrilled that someone wants to hire you, and then you obsess over creating a proposal. And before you even get to the panicky part about what the client will think about the final numbers, you have to actually determine what final number feels right to you. For longer than I’d like to admit, I sort of just picked a number that sounded good to me without a ton of justification. Sure, I kind of did a

Kicking, Clawing, Screaming: Getting your first freelance clients

800px-Boxing_(USA_vs._CAN)_at_the_1995_Pan_American_Games

It was 9:00pm. I rushed down to the lake by the house, walked a bit up the trail that wraps around it, and waited. I paced. Bit my nails. Then, the phone call: “Hi, Dr. Pat, good to hear from you,” I said, and the conversation began. This call had to go perfectly. We needed this project. It would be one of our first “big” ones – $1200 to design and write a full-page newspaper advertorial. This was our chance

4 Simple ways to win clients – even if you’re new to the design game

fireworks

There’s a great line from Oscar-winning movie writer (including Moneyball and The West Wing) Aaron Sorkin’s 2012 commencement address at Syracuse. He said, Decisions are made by those who show up. I love the overly simplistic nature of this statement, and the fact that it’s so very true. We all know that the world is swarming with graphic designers (and would-be graphic designers). What is going to set you apart from them? Your willingness to show up. By that I mean

You’re an expert to someone

expert-to-someone

Last week, I had an opportunity to speak to a group of students at my Alma mater and I had a complete blast. My presentation was titled something like “Skipping 3-5 years: how starting a blog in college helped my skip entry level and land the job of my dreams.” I spent weeks researching, developing thoughts and theories, and really pouring over what I was going to tell these students. I showed up on the day of the presentation, gave 2/3

If you’re “stuck” in print, here’s the easiest way to start getting web design clients

stuck in print? Make switch to web design

I think it’s awesome how many designers are still print-only. I love paper and ink. The way it feels in your hands, the smell, the way it looks under different lights. Digital doesn’t come close to the sensory experience that print design delivers. At least not yet. But many print-only designers have written into GDB expressing a concern: their clients need websites, and they currently have to go elsewhere to have them made. They’re not sure how to start offering