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

burning-bridges-graphic-design-blender

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?

branching-out as a freelance designer graphic design blender

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

Designing my own logo: the final design and tips for creating yours

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Welcome to the next phase of building my design business–Greer Genius: designing the logo (read here for the post about naming the business). Today I’m going to tell you all about my process in developing my logo in hopes that when it comes time for you to design (or redesign) yours, you have some solid tips to start from. (To see more pictures of my process, visit my portfolio.) Step #1: Be your own client What do you do when

Why designers shouldn’t think outside the box

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Have you ever had a client who gives you this challenge?: “Just think completely out of the box on this one.” You’ve probably just gone along with the idea assuming the client knows best (even thought I’ve told you they don’t) and the minute you sit down to “think outside the box,” your stumped. No great ideas. No good vibes. Why? Because what your client forgot to mention when he asked you to think outside the box was exactly which

Can networking with your competition really grow your design business?

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You know as a designer you’ve got to market yourself in order to find new business. But if you’re only selling your services using “marketing” techniques, you’re missing a vital piece of the puzzle: networking. Get Connected. You may think your client pool exists outside of the design realm, but as Preston points out in this post, your best clients might also be your competition! That’s right, design agencies, in-house marketing/graphics departments, fellow freelancers, and production houses all can make

Create something amazing

create something amazing graphic design blender

Freelancing can be tough. It’s not always easy pleasing a client or working under a deadline. In fact, every once and a while it’s enough to make you want to stop creating…stop designing. The problem The problem is, designing has become a business for you. I mean, it’s a good problem to have because now you’re making money doing something you love. But some days the thing you love is also the thing you hate. And that’s ok. The solution

Why most businesses fail, and solid tips for design business success

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Most businesses fail not because their owners aren’t good at what they do. A design studio doesn’t generally fail because they create poor designs. A dentist doesn’t generally fail because he cannot fix your teeth. Most businesses fail because their owners don’t understand how to run a business. As a design entrepreneur, this is the single most important fact you need to understand. If you as a designer can learn how to run a business well, your business has a

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