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

Don’t make these 7 mistakes when designing a blog for your client

designing a blog - common mistakes

Let’s talk about mistakes people make when designing a blog. Mistakes that can turn out to be quite destructive over time. The biggest challenge here is that the majority of these problems don’t ever surface most of the time. They just sit quietly in the background, killing your client’s site a tiny bit every day. The end result? The client can’t use the site up to its full potential as a marketing tool. This is never good. So, let’s get right into

An awesome referral-generating email template to send your clients…right now!

stencil

Asking for referrals can be pretty nerve-wracking. The good news: If you do it right, you only have to do it once (per client). That’s the biggest value this post has to offer you. It gives you a process that you can follow to get referrals…but it also gives your clients a process to follow to refer people to you in the future. I hate to use the word “training,” but essentially that’s what you’re doing: conditioning your clients to

What I do when a web design client doesn’t pay me

free-feeling

When it comes to getting paid, we run a pretty tight ship here at Web123, but it wasn’t always beer and skittles. A few years ago our Debtors used to always be sitting at $120,000+ outstanding. It felt like we were just being used as a bank by a lot of clients and it sucked. Some weeks we could barely pay wages having to beg on both knees for a temporary overdraft just to scrape by (on bloodied knees and

Struggling to find design clients? Here’s how I built my business from nothing

finding design clients

Let’s pretend the internet doesn’t exist. Given that you are reading this blog while online I appreciate such a concept may be pretty hard to get your head around but please, bear with me. Picture the scene. You’ve left your regular paid job. You know you can make a living as a freelance designer, if only you could find the right clients. You’ve set yourself up a new portfolio website. You’ve bought your own software. Your phone is on your