Does anyone know your design business exists?

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“All the talent in the world will not help you if no one knows you have it…” What really makes a good designer? Ask anyone this question and you will receive numerous answers. Sure, there are many factors that make you a great designer, but one rule remains the same: People have to know you’re great in order for it to count! You have to get your name out there. You have to have a following of individuals who notice

How to quote a design project – and win the account

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Quoting a project isn’t easy – and quoting it well is even tougher. Part estimation, part research, and part historical evidence, a good design quote creates a fair proposal for both the designer and the client where each feels he will receive as much as he will give. (Cue butterflies, rainbows, and birds chirping.) Easier said than done. (Cue giant sledgehammer.) Regardless of how much you charge or whether you quote by the hour or by the project, today let’s

An $11,000+ boost with small “tweaks” to your design business

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I never do this, but a few weeks ago, I pre-ordered a new book from Ghris Guillebeau titled The $100 Startup*. Since the day the book showed up in my mailbox, I haven’t been able to put it down and, when I’m through, I’ll offer a complete book review here at the blog, but I wanted to share with you a really simple principle Chris teaches that can help you take your design business to the next level. It’s the

Build a gigantic client base from scratch

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I was recently in a lunch meeting with an entrepreneur who lives near me. We had become acquainted through some random business opportunity and, both being, internet marketers, we started to hit it off immediately. He launched his own business around 2 years ago and has been quite successful. One accomplishment I couldn’t help but noting is that he works with some of the biggest brands our community has to offer. Brands that, if you’re from the U.S., you’ll recognize

Entrepreneurs: follow this one simple principle to avoid wasting your hard-earned profit

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For those of you who, like me, used to work for someone else, you know what it’s like to beg for updated software, hardware, printer ink, and design-specific supplies. At the thought of turning freelance, my heart went pitter-patter at the thought of finally having the tools and resources I wanted. So when I finally had enough money to make one of those coveted purchases, my heart seized when this thought crossed my mind – “Is it worth it?” When

8 tips for making the most of working from home

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Working from home sounds like a dream come true but unless you take the time to organize things properly, the whole experience can turn into a nightmare. Here are eight things you will need to pay attention to if you choose to work from home. Home Office One of the first priorities will be to either develop a specific area of your home as a workspace, or convert a spare, unused room into an office. Along with actually providing you

What should you get paid on your first freelance project?

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So you’re ready to freelance huh? You’ve got your web site up. You’ve got some school projects in your portfolio. You’re ready to start calling clients and pitching your services. So what’s stopping you? If you’re like a lot of designers I talk to regularly, you don’t know how much to charge for your first freelance project. The most common deterrant Believe it or not, I think this is one of the most common reasons freelance designers don’t take the

How to stick to your business goals when the going gets tough

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Did you read my earlier post about how I set my first 10 design business goals? It’s been less than a year since I first wrote them, and already I have reached some of them (and set new ones)! (PS: Preston also posted a video blog about the importance of setting annual goals.) Okay, okay, so you know you should have business goals, and hopefully you developed some great ones, but now months have passed… are you sticking to them?