6 painful lessons I learned as a rookie web designer

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painful mistakes as web designer graphic design blender

It was 2007 and business was booming. I was getting 2-3 requests for web development work a day and could barely keep up. To cope with the growth, I brought my brother and a friend into the business with me. Neither had much experience, but I figured I could train them quickly. Then, I met the client. I’ll call him Bob. He was a nice guy and it looked like it would be a great project. He was designing his

How I took my design hobby to the next level and created a business

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Last year I knew I wanted to take freelancing as a career more seriously. Not for just work on the side or for extra cash, but to actually call myself a freelance graphic designer and make a living off it. I knew I had to think big. Make a real business out of what I wanted to do: design! So here’s how I took design from a hobby to a full-time profession: Established a new (consistent) look I use “look”

36 Easy-to-use time-tracking tools for freelancers

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Time management can be one of the toughest aspects of freelancing. After all, when you’re doing what you love, time can fly and before you know it, you’re over hours. Your client’s budget doesn’t merit all the time you got lost in, so you can’t invoice them which means you’re losing money. Today, we’ve collected a list of 36 time-tracking tools you can use to keep track of your projects, time constraints and billable hours. These tools will help you

How to grow your freelance business without hiring more staff

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If you were around at the beginning of the year, you remember that in late 2011, GraphicDesignBlender.com was seriously hacked. The site was down for a few weeks and it was quite a challenge to recover fully. Once we finally got back on our feet, we upgraded the whole site and I kicked off the new year with a question: What do you want to read about in 2012? Well, tons of you answered and gave us some great material

50 of the best design business posts you may have missed at GraphicDesignBlender.com

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Best business blog posts graphic design blender

A note from Preston: GDB is more than 3 years old this year and in 2012, we’ve had a great first half of the year! Why so great? Because so many of you have joined us! My analytics show that more than 150,000 of you have visited the site for the first time in 2012. So I asked  April to compile a list of what she thought were the most helpful blog posts on this entire site. She rounded up 50

Don’t create another job for yourself: Freelancing means freedom!

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There’s a reason I love freelancing and entrepreneurship. It’s not the money (although that’s nice). It’s not the fame. (Wait, who is this guy?) It not that I am my own boss. (Sometimes that’s more work than you’d think.) It’s the freedom. Months when I want to make more money, I can work harder and spend more time on my businesses. But months when I want to spend more time with my wife and 2-year-old son, I can do that

What’s the magic number of design proofs your clients get?

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How many of your clients absolutely must make a change, no matter how minor (or just to decide that they like yours better) on EVERY project? Most of them, right? Mine too. Give ‘Em What They Want… People, including your clients, like having options. They like making decisions, giving input, and feeling like they’ve contributed to a project. So present multiple proofs and reap these benefits: Take the project in several directions simultaneously Get past the obvious (and often mediocre)

Think BIG

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Think Big Graphic Design Blender

Last Friday I was one of many speakers at a Communication Conference at my Alma Mater. Having graduated less than two years ago from the school, it was wonderful to go back and visit with faculty and students. In addition to being a presenter, I also had a chance to be an observer–a student again. And I learned some really cool things from some excellent people. There’s one lesson that I took away from the entire day of presentations as