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.

Life-saving customer service tips for freelance designers

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Even with the best of intentions, good customer service can slip down the freelancer’s priority list. Time is often the culprit and when combined with a little procrastination and a healthy measure of freelancing fear, we can soon land with a full inbox. Some of the most important lessons I’ve learned about running my web development business successfully have come from my own experiences as a customer. I recently moved house and I wanted to get my new place professionally

Make this very important change to your design contract today!

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Often as freelancers (budding or otherwise), our goal is to get ‘out there.’ We want as many people as possible to view our LinkedIn portfolio, visit our blog, appreciate our Behance project, and contact us for work. We have no qualms about exposing our names and contact information, and we often forget that others have different privacy preferences. Really?! You mean there are people, or even entire companies, in this day and age who don’t want their information spread across

Get your design business critiqued–actionable advice custom tailored to your business

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Today, I’m excited to announce that I have created a completely new opportunity here at GDB that will allow designers to get their business critiqued. If you’ve ever wanted to get more from your GDB experience; if you’ve ever felt like you could use some customized, detailed instructions on how to take your design business to the next level, you’re not the only one! In fact, I’ve had so many requests lately to personally and individually critique beginning design businesses,

How to be a top-notch salesman, grow your design business, and still be likeable

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If you are at all like me, you probably started in the design profession because you had a passion for art, design and technology. You enjoyed doing the work, being a problem solver and creating beautifully functional things. You probably liked helping people as well. You got great satisfaction from seeing clients pleased with what you’ve produced. But, you soon realized that there is more to being in the design business than what you thought. What I realized, rather quickly,

Should repeat design clients have to sign a contract?

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For today’s post I have a very intriguing question and, frankly, I’m not sure I know the best answer. In a freelancing forum recently, I came across someone with this question: “Do you use a contract for every job, even if it’s a repeat client?” The question really got me thinking about the best way to approach this sort of situation and I wanted to pass the question on to you to get you thinking too and also to hear

Unburning Bridges

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It can be as simple as a harsh comment on a discussion board or a missed important deadline. Just like that, you’ve burnt a bridge. As GDB reader Fion mentions in a comment on this post, “…I regret to say that I have made some mistakes in my youth, and have burned some bridges. (Bad client relationship because of slow work pace, ‘bad attitude’…) Is there any way that bridges can be repaired? Should they be repaired? Or is it

Should freelance designers branch out or niche in?

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I am a huge advocate of finding your design niche (or even a super-niche) and sticking to it. For me, finding my niche has been the fastest way to grow my design business. But have you ever reached a point in your freelance design career where you find yourself asking the following question: “Should I branch out and do more?” Earlier in the year, when I asked what you’d like to read this year, April wrote the following: I’d love

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