4 Glaring signs you need to take the freelance leap

Grab your parachute!

I don’t think I chose the freelance life, I think the freelance life chose me. While other kids were playing little league, I was trying to build a two story colonial house for my teddy bears out of logs, complete with shutters. That never really panned out so well (lack of nails maybe?!), but it taught me that I am most at home in the wild, without the road map laid out for me. If something failed, I tried again.

How to stay motivated when solo business has got you in a rut

writing-with-laptop

Ever have one of those days (weeks?) where you just can’t seem to get yourself motivated? And I mean REALLY unmotivated, like nothing — not even dusting to avoid work — can tear you away from putting off life in general. Maybe it feels like there’s such a mountain of work ahead of you (house chores included!) that you don’t know where to start. Maybe your current projects aren’t terribly exciting. Maybe you’re feeling a bit burnt out. Or maybe

What to do if a client threatens you with a “bad review”

Stay calm and sound like the pro you are

A few days ago, the phone rang at 10am. “Reliable! This is Lou,” my wife and business partner, Lou, said. (We run a design / marketing agency, but recently started Reliable: our new PSD to HTML & WordPress company). She took the call per usual. The guy had a lot of questions, and she had answers. But then, the call took a “weird” twist… The guy had some pretty wacky demands. He basically wanted us to ditch the process we

The two biggest differences between university and freelancing and how to succeed in the transition

wheeee!

Thank you for applying; we went with someone more experienced. I heard that plenty coming straight out of college, and I bet you have, too. With today’s job market, recent and upcoming college grads are increasingly looking toward freelancing to follow their design dreams. But surviving as a freelancer requires a different set of skills than getting that high mark in design class, and most students find that their education didn’t prep them for the freelancing world ahead. Luckily, here

8 Ways to build your business fast with $4 per day (the cost of a daily coffee)

coffee cup

If you’ve ever looked into personal finance, you’ve probably heard some sort of advice that sounds something like this: “If you saved $4 every day instead of spending it on your morning coffee, you’d have nearly $1,500 plus interest in your pocket at the end of the year.” But giving up your morning coffee (or afternoon pastry, or lunch at your favorite café, or whatever) seems like a big sacrifice to only wind up with $1,500 extra dollars in your

This painful, terrible, amazing exercise forced me to become a better designer

exercise

Flash back to 2010, and I’m giving a workshop to a room full of entrepreneurs who want to learn copywriting. We were on the subject of headlines. I’d given them the basics, and now, to make sure they “got it”, I had them each write a headline of their own. The room was silent except for the tapping and scribbling of pens. Then, some pens hit the table, and I looked around to see smiling faces. These people were proud

Business tips from 4 creative pros who are crushing it

tipsfromtop

As I mentioned before in this post, recently I interviewed 9 amazing veteran freelancers, each on a different challenging topic they have personal experience excelling in. From hiring employees to overcoming self-doubt, here are bits of the wonderful information four of them had to share (more coming soon): On finding your niche and marketing to it Veteran marketing and SEO specialist Becky Livingston (interview here), founder of Penheel Marketing, shares her story about identifying a need in the marketplace and using

5 Pro tips for working with clients who know NOTHING about websites

know nothing about web sites

Every once in a while, we all come across a client who knows nothing about websites and has never even owned one. And although this introduces some unique challenges, we still want to help, right? However, if we decide to take on such a project, it will force us to put in some extra effort. Well, at least if we want to make it successful on both ends (ours and the client’s). So here’s a possible strategy on how to