How we solved almost EVERY problem a freelancer can face

solve every problem a freelance can face

One of the most powerful lessons I’ve ever learned came from my first mentor, my half-brother Steve. I called him complaining about some clients and the crazy revisions they wanted and he said… “You know, dude… When stuff like this happens, there’s really no one to blame. It just means you’re missing a system to deal with it.” And he was right. We’d never outlined any sort of revision process with our clients at that point in time. We never

Why I never design the home page first (and which page I design before anything else)

why i never design the home page first

I’m in the middle of a huge redesign for a web site that gets hundreds of thousands (and sometimes millions) of monthly visits. It’s a big deal. And it’s pretty stressful. But if you’ve ever done any sort of redesign (maybe you’ve redesigned your online portfolio?), you know that it’s also exhilarating. And the best projects seem to be just that: exhilarating, yet exhausting. That’s how I know I’m doing work that matters and work that I love. As I

4 Red flags to watch out for in client contracts

red flags in contracts

We all know by now that it’s important to have a contract, and to use it. Everybody should have one to make sure they don’t get taken advantage of. That doesn’t just apply to freelancers. Guess who else should, and often does use contracts? Clients! That’s right. Some clients, especially bigger ones, may have terms they want added to your contract as a freelancer. They may even have a contract of their very own that they want you to sign.

The truth about what to expect as a new freelance designer

Young Woman with Newspaper Using Laptop

If there’s one reason to start freelancing I hear more than anything, from college students to recent grads to design veterans ready to break out of their cubicle, it’s this: I’ll get to work on the projects I want to work on and I won’t have a boss telling me what to do. And I wish I could tell them how wonderful and true this perception is. Because while freelancing is one of the most rewarding, amazing jobs I can

Should you hire a virtual assistant? A freelancer’s cheat sheet

hiring a virtual assistant

The idea of having a personal assistant has stuck with me ever since I first heard about it back around 2010. I mean, wouldn’t you love to have someone following you everywhere you go, with a calendar and pen in hand and handling all your “things” – so you wouldn’t have to worry about meetings, appointments, emails, any of that! Just so you could become the movie cliché CEO -type of person. Yeah, I wanted that, but at the same

The fail-safe, sleaze-free guide to selling freelance gigs over the phone

clients on the phone

In my last post I got into the basics of selling the heck out of your design services. That post left off with how to shift the conversation from email to phone. Why? Because on the phone, you’re going to sell more high-ticket items with much greater ease. And low-ticket items are a piece of cake. (All that and more is explained in the last post, here.) Today, I’m going to talk about how to handle your phone calls with

Is it fair to charge your bigger clients more?

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There is a lot to know when it comes to pricing. There are whole books dedicated to the science of properly pricing design work. There is a lot of really good information out there about pricing, and when I was starting out I read a lot of it. You can find almost everything you would want to know online. I quickly settled on a combined system of flat rate and hourly that works very well for me. I was all

The right way to turn down new freelance clients

saying no to clients graphic design blender

So you’re midway through a potential client consultation when your gut starts telling you this client isn’t for you. Maybe your personalities just aren’t clicking or maybe they sound like a bad design client. (Here’s a handy list of warning signs.) But, like any smart freelancer, you know unburning bridges is really tough, so you’re feeling stuck. As GDB reader Samantha puts it, If you do meet up with a client that you know you don’t want to work with,

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