What to do if you’re always “busy” but never “productive” as a freelancer

busy not productive

Let me bring you up to speed on something. You won’t enjoy it, but here it goes anyway: People close to you literally hate it when you say, “I can’t. I’m too busy.” That’s a fact. And don’t get me wrong, they may say that they understand, that they know what your work is about.  But deep down inside they’re thinking, “Damn it, I have a job too, yet somehow I can spare those couple of hours in the evening

What I learned from interviewing 9 successful freelancers

interviewing freelancers

Think of someone you really admire as a freelancer. Have you ever wished you could just contact them out of the blue and ask permission to question them for 20 minutes on a specific topic they’re really knowledgeable in? Last month, that’s just what I did. I interviewed 9 successful freelancers on topics like: hiring employees overcoming self-doubt working with international clients finding your niche teaching design and much more (Stoked members can listen to them for free as they’re

How spying on your competition leads to bigger and better freelance gigs

tumblr_ms9n0ted0Z1st5lhmo1_1280

Here’s a quiz question for you: How do you grow your business exponentially? Do you: (a) try figuring things out on your own as you go along and improve one step at a time, or (b) spy on people, stealing their processes and adapting them to your business? I guess you can figure out where I’m going with it. Of course, (b) is the right answer. *** This is part three of a three-part miniseries on how to get started

6 Things Successful Freelancers Do Every Friday

successful friday morning

Well, it’s Friday again. In some ways, you’re probably totally jazzed about it. A couple days off (hopefully) from the grind of client phone calls, bills, and the other details of running your business. (It’s a love-hate relationship. I get it.) But on the other hand, where did this whole week go!? Remember on Monday, when you were excited to get started because you had a really fun project ahead of you? Remember that cool marketing idea you had on

Why you should “think big” but “start small” on your business

think big start small

Without a shadow of a doubt, finding a consistent stream of new clients is the main challenge for most freelance designers, and actually most freelancers in general, for that matter. I guess you’d like to land a deal from Coca-Cola or Chrysler to redesign their whole online presence right during your first month on the job, wouldn’t you? That would be great indeed. But as you’d imagine, it’s not very possible. And that’s a good thing because you probably wouldn’t

How to Get More New Clients ASAP With Google Adwords Express

Screen Shot 2014-05-23 at 10.31.15 AM

AdWords Express has been a super powerful tool we’ve used to get more new clients for our creative agency. It’s gotten to the point where we turn it on / off as needed. On = contact form submissions almost instantly start rolling in. Off = schedule is full and we’re saturated with work. If you’ve never heard of it, it’s Google’s “smart”, automatic version of AdWords that’s for people like me who hate keyword research and would rather bang my

Rocking your first year as a freelance designer (Months 1 & 2)

first-year-of-freelance-design

Honest thought: I love fresh pieces of online advice just as much as the next guy. Especially if they’re about business. Especially if they’re actionable. There’s no rose without a thorn, though, and much of the stuff you can find out there is aimed at folks that already have their systems set in place. For instance, if I have a good working machine for getting freelance design leads then any tip on how to make it more efficient is gold to me! But

4 Big freelancing mistakes I’ve made and what to learn from them

stressed-out

Whether you’re a new freelancer, a freelancer-to-be, or a freelancer with a few (okay, a lot of) years under your belt, one of the most efficient ways to learn is from mistakes…preferably some someone else’s. But that’s not always easy to talk about. (How many peers do you feel comfortable asking about their biggest mistake(s)? Chances are, not very many, if at all.) So here’s a list of my biggest mistakes I wish I had learned from someone else (hopefully,