How to handle tough client conversations and save the relationship

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Being a solopreneur is a lot of fun. You almost always get to make your own schedule, wear whatever you want, reject projects that aren’t a good fit, not drive during rush hour…it’s an all-around pretty amazing job. Except when it’s not, like when you have to have a tough conversation with a client because: What they want to do is going to cost them more money They’re unhappy with the bill They don’t like your proofs You’re not going

4 Major mistakes you should never make when designing a website

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We all make mistakes; it’s learning and improving upon those mistakes that make us better, both as professionals and as human beings. But with any heavily technology-reliant career, our mistakes can cost us a lot of business. In a time where most organizations are almost subservient to technology, mistakes can cripple – if not completely destroy – a business. One seemingly small website design oversight or mistake can bring a website crumbling to its knees, cutting a client off from their current

How to compete with big agencies as a freelancer

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There are established agencies in your town. They get business probably every day of the week. They earn hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars per year. And then there’s you. The lone freelancer. Maybe you’re just starting out. Maybe you’re just getting your bearings. Or maybe you’re well-established, but you’re still in these other agencies’ shadow (possibly without even realizing it). What do you do? You start following these 3 tips as fast as you possibly can… #1: Let NOTHING (n-o-t-h-i-n-g)

How to boost your clients’ revenue (and your own) with landing pages

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Landing pages are a relatively new type of a page in the web design landscape, that’s for sure. And in general, if you happen to be working with a client who’s just starting their online adventure, chances are they simply don’t know how crucial a landing page can be in defining their success online. Is it your place to educate them on the value of landing pages? Should you sell them on a couple of templates (or finished landing pages) as

How to create a killer branding questionnaire

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Walking with your eyes closed is pretty tough, right? Designing without adequate information is fraught with danger, too, and this is why every designer should develop a branding questionnaire. So to help you create one that’s sure to improve your productivity and cut down on time wasted veering to a new course halfway through the design process, I’m sharing my branding questionnaire below. Feel free to incorporate the best elements into yours. Is a questionnaire really that important? When a prospective client first

Your testimonials are a hidden goldmine if you use them like this.

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Testimonials are more important than just about anything else on your website. If you had a headline that said “We make awesome websites that help businesses grow” followed by 20 testimonials from businesses saying how awesome their new website is and how much they’ve grown… …and you followed that up with a few samples and a contact form… you’d be rocking and rolling without a single word more of copy (and that’s coming from a copywriter). You really don’t need much

How to negotiate with clients (or anyone) like a pro this year

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Negotiations always give me the jitters. Am I proposing a fair deal? Am I about to get swindled? Should I look elsewhere? Am I going to lose this project? Is this client going to be more stress than they’re worth? Etc. etc. I think partly that’s because I’ve never been good at reading people; maybe I’m too honest, naive, or just plain oblivious. But I also believe it’s because the art of negotiation is rarely taught in school (no matter

Why repeatedly bending over backwards for a client can actually hurt your relationship

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Do you have that one client (okay, maybe three?!) that’s habitually totally unorganized and needing something big last week? The one that asks for an entire PowerPoint presentation for tomorrow’s 8am meeting? (Just 20 slides, I swear! 85 slides later…) Or that calls on Friday at 4:30pm to request a “quick” icon set for Monday morning’s software upgrade? I’m talking about the client that always exhibits this behavior, not the client with one rare instance when they dropped the ball.