How to build a stellar portfolio to land your very first freelance gig

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Deciding to jump into freelancing is an awesome, scary, exciting rush of emotions. Unless you have money set aside, you’re probably still working your “regular” job until things really take off, but you’re ready… …all except for one thing: you don’t have any clients. (So your portfolio’s probably a bit thin, too.) How do you present a professional portfolio with only personal and student work (and if you’re lucky, one or two pieces from your current job)? How do you

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

Terrified to hire your first employee? 5 comforting words of advice.

scared

I remember my first time. Nerves. Confusion. Sheer palm-sweaty, nerve-racking, eye-twitching terror. All these manic thoughts running through my head. Constantly. Non stop. Every time I awoke in the morning. Every night when my head collapsed into my pillow at night. Constantly wondering. No, constantly worrying! Am I ready? How do I know I’m ready? Where do I start? How do I do it? How much should I pay? What if they suck? How much time is it going to take

The one word that will offend any entrepreneur (and how to handle it)

offended

The other day I was at lunch with a friend of mine when he accidentally offended me as an entrepreneur. He didn’t mean to. Not in the slightest. And I’m not talking like a huge offense. No harm, no foul. But it got me thinking about this one word he used that could probably offend almost any entrepreneur. And people use it all the time when they talk about the projects we, as entrepreneurs, work so hard on. What’s that

What NOT to say when promoting your freelance business on social media

oops

Social Media is notorious for being a hotbed for overly honest confessions, offensive rants, and embarrassing photos you don’t want your employer seeing. To an extent, that’s expected for one’s personal page; it is yours to share what you want. However, when it comes to promoting a business, everything changes. Embarrassing photos become financially harmful, as do unpopular opinions or irrelevant speeches. Even the most innocuous sentiments can be hazardous, such as the case when LeBron James expressed frustration over

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

7 Signs you’re approaching business burnout & how to save yourself before it’s too late

signs your approaching business burnout

So the honeymoon phase is over with your design business huh? Me too. I’ve been running my own business for more than five years and a few months ago, this truth really began to hit me hard: A job where you work for yourself eventually becomes (gasp) a job. 1. You don’t feel creative anymore. One of the fastest ways to know you’re approaching business burnout is to take note of your creativity levels. Do you feel like you have