How to handle tough client conversations and save the relationship

chess

Being a solopreneur is a lot of fun. You almost always get to make your own schedule, wear whatever you want, reject projects that aren’t a good fit, not drive during rush hour…it’s an all-around pretty amazing job. Except when it’s not, like when you have to have a tough conversation with a client because: What they want to do is going to cost them more money They’re unhappy with the bill They don’t like your proofs You’re not going

How to compete with big agencies as a freelancer

compete with big agencies

There are established agencies in your town. They get business probably every day of the week. They earn hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars per year. And then there’s you. The lone freelancer. Maybe you’re just starting out. Maybe you’re just getting your bearings. Or maybe you’re well-established, but you’re still in these other agencies’ shadow (possibly without even realizing it). What do you do? You start following these 3 tips as fast as you possibly can… #1: Let NOTHING (n-o-t-h-i-n-g)

How to negotiate with clients (or anyone) like a pro this year

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Negotiations always give me the jitters. Am I proposing a fair deal? Am I about to get swindled? Should I look elsewhere? Am I going to lose this project? Is this client going to be more stress than they’re worth? Etc. etc. I think partly that’s because I’ve never been good at reading people; maybe I’m too honest, naive, or just plain oblivious. But I also believe it’s because the art of negotiation is rarely taught in school (no matter

Why repeatedly bending over backwards for a client can actually hurt your relationship

bend-over-backwards

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

glasses

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

Find time in your busy schedule with this ONE mental shift

No time

How many times have you made this excuse? I would love to work on <insert side project>, but I just don’t have time. I used to say this too (more than I’d like to admit), but worse, I used to believe it. “But April,” you’re thinking, “it really is true!” I know. It’s easy to fall into the trap of believing that you’re out of control of all the varied obligations placed upon you in both your personal and professional

No one taking you seriously? Here’s how to position yourself as an expert for massive credibility and respect

plant

Back in the early days of our creative marketing business, Clients from Hell was a gift from the universe. It kept me sane, reading all of those stories from fellow comrades in arms. Now, however, I have a much different take on that site and others like it. What I once saw as a safe haven of a website where I could cope with the “realities” of our industry I now see as a place packed with professionals who just

The two biggest differences between university and freelancing and how to succeed in the transition

wheeee!

Thank you for applying; we went with someone more experienced. I heard that plenty coming straight out of college, and I bet you have, too. With today’s job market, recent and upcoming college grads are increasingly looking toward freelancing to follow their design dreams. But surviving as a freelancer requires a different set of skills than getting that high mark in design class, and most students find that their education didn’t prep them for the freelancing world ahead. Luckily, here