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.

The no-tears formula for dealing with an unhappy client

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Before we go any further, let’s be clear: no matter how good you, your product, or your services are, sooner or later one of your clients is going to be unhappy with you. It’s better if we just accept that now. Though unhappy clients are inevitable, it’s never fun or easy to deal with an unhappy client. You may want to curl up in a corner and cry or get a nervous tick at the sound of every phone ring, but your

8 Quick tips to improve client relationships overnight

happy clients

Y’know that guy – one of your peers who always seems to get the very best clients? He who: Never has a problem with late payments. Doesn’t have to haggle pricing on rush projects. Makes handling a client misunderstanding sound like a stroll in the park. That guy may very well have good luck in finding clients, but chances are he’s great at forming relationships with them, too. He knows how to become more than just a Photoshop guru or

How to skip entry-level and find your dream job right out of college

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If you are like I was as a University Junior or Senior, you’re chomping at the bit to get out of school. It’s all you can do to keep completing your assignments (especially the ones that feel like busy work). You’re ready to get out there and show the world what you’re made of. You’re ready to get your first “real” job. I’ve been there. (PS: Here at GDB we believe every freelancer should put in a little time at a

4 Simple ways to win clients – even if you’re new to the design game

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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

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

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

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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

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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