Should you charge your client for your learning time?

Man Working on Laptop

Have you ever had a client ask you to do something outside of your realm of expertise? Maybe they want some extensive customization to their WordPress theme. Or a fillable PDF form that calculates based on user input. Or some major Photoshopping on a particular image. Whatever it is, you know you’re going to have to improve your skill set to complete the project. And that’s going to take more than just an extra hour of time. But you’re feeling

The ultimate guide to escaping the “hours for dollars” trap

The ultimate guide to escaping the “hours for dollars” trap

My first business was in manufacturing. I was 10. I used to make all sorts of dazzling arts and crafts and sell them at the local Sunday markets. I remember the table being so huge I could barely see over top of it to talk to my customers; then again, everything seems huge when you’re 3 feet tall. By the end of each market day, I’d pack up what was left, assess the best sellers, count my earnings and go

How I built a successful freelance business from literally nothing

how i built a successful design business from literally nothing graphic design blender

With the new year approaching this is the perfect time to start something new. Something about a fresh start really motivates us to dig into the work we’ve been putting off and take on some new challenges. What better time could there be to start your freelance business? But if you are starting from absolute scratch there is a lot to do. Building a successful graphic design business is a lot of work and just the thought of it can

How to thank your best clients this year (without going broke)

reward your best clients

Can you believe it’s already December? If you’re like me, you’re scrambling to put together something for your best clients in time for the holidays. But what to do? And how can you afford it – December generally being a slower month for designers* (and generally more expensive in our personal lives)? You’re in luck…I’ve done the research for you. (If only all research included scouring Pinterest!) Here are a number of fun, crafty, tasty, and most importantly inexpensive holiday

How to start a successful business when you’re not an expert at anything

dont need to be an expert to start a business graphic design blender

It’s a common voice all entrepreneurs hear inside their heads: “Will anyone actually pay me real money for this?” “Why would anyone pay me when there are so many other experts out there?” “Who am I to build a business around what I love to do?” If you’ve ever given in to these kinds of thoughts, you’re fooling yourself. You’re tricking yourself into believing you can’t do it. You’re lying to yourself when you say you aren’t enough of an expert to build

13 Signs You’re a Design Slacker (And How to Step Up Your Game)

signs you're a design slacker graphic design blender

Admit it. There have been nights you’ve gone to bed without brushing your teeth. Some days you skip washing your hair. (I’ve just discovered dry shampoo and I’m embarrassed to say I use it, but hey, this mini-mohawk is temperamental so desperate measures are required when I’m in a hurry). Other times, you ventured out wearing the same underwear cos you’ve fallen behind with the laundry. Eww, I know, but whatareya gonna do? Go commando? Come on admit it, we’ve

100 Creative holiday gifts for freelancers

holiday gifts for freelancers graphic design blender

As freelancers we are busy, picky, and at times eccentric. What a nightmare to buy for! So, if you’re shopping for fellow freelancers, a designer friend or co-worker, or just looking to treat yourself for the holidays, you’re in luck! Today, we’ve got you covered with a list of 100 Creative holiday gifts for freelancers. Take a look and then add your must-have holiday gift by leaving a comment. We’ve broken them down into 5 main categories (click link to jump): On

How to give constructive criticism without being a jerk

critique without being a jerk graphic design blender

Have you ever been asked to critique a fellow designer’s project that needs more than a little bit of work? You don’t want to come off as snooty or rude and you certainly don’t want to hurt their feelings, but you do need to make it clear that there are several improvements that could be made. And while your mind automatically wants to mess around with it on your own, it’s not your project, so what you’re really looking to