A freelance designer’s target audience: how do you find it?

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“Who’s your target audience?” Lately, I’ve been asking a lot of designers that question because I’ve been offering 5 business critiques per month lately and that means digging deep into how designers build and market their businesses. But I’m worried. Because the most common answer I get is something like: “Anyone who needs logo design, I guess.” And I have bad news for anyone who gives that sort of answer: You’re going about it all wrong! See, it’s your job as

Freelancing is tough. Are you ready for it?

preparing-for-future-graphic-design-blender

One of the most important, overlooked aspects of owning your own design business is preparation for the inevitable rainy day. What would you do if something happened and you needed to take some time off? If you can’t pay your upcoming mortgage? If you realize you aren’t able to survive solely as a freelance designer? Today I’ve got three solid tips for ensuring you can survive those lean months, unplanned expenditures, or unexpected life events. Save. Save. Save. When business

How designers can charge more without having an awkward client conversation

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You all know April, right? If you don’t yet, I would recommend you read through some of her posts here at GDB. She’s quickly becoming a seriously great author on this blog. Not only does she write about some awesome stuff (as evidenced by the number of comments, tweets, and shares that her posts get), but she’s also a great business person. (At least I think so, after you read this post, let me know if you agree or if

My design client “hates” my first proof. Now what?

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True story: I was on the phone going over some proofs with a new client just last week and he starts the conversation by saying, “I hate it.” Those are pretty harsh words to swallow for any designer, especially coming from a client I don’t know very well. Part of me appreciated his honesty (so we could go about making something he does like), and part of me was, well, a little crushed…and scared I’d just lost a client. My

Do freelancers really need accountants?

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Tax season is upon us in the United States; and it’s never fun. (Hey GDB readers from around the world, help me out here: when is tax season – if any – in your country? Leave a comment!) But today, I wanted to answer a question I hear all the time from freelance designers: “Do I really need an accountant?” Can’t a competent freelance designer just do their own taxes? Today, I’d like to take a stab at answering that

Can you pitch your design business (well) in 15 seconds?

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I’m a person you’ve never met. Maybe we just bumped into one another in line at the supermarket. Maybe we’re both regulars at the local coffee shop waiting for our morning latte. Maybe we’re riding the elevator together in a skyscraper downtown. For whatever reason, we introduce ourselves and shake hands. Now you’ve got about 15 seconds to tell me what you do before we part ways: Go. What did you tell me? Did you stumble over your words? Did

Untapped resource: attend trade exhibitions to find new design clients

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(A note from Preston:) A little while ago Laura, who wrote this post, approached me with this idea. I thought it was an incredible untapped resource. One I had never realized a designer could profit from. This seems like a great place to find design clients. After reading, let me know if you agree by leaving a comment. As a graphic designer, having a fantastic portfolio may be impressive but nothing will beat potential clients seeing your work in person.

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