What I learned from interviewing 9 successful freelancers

interviewing freelancers

Think of someone you really admire as a freelancer. Have you ever wished you could just contact them out of the blue and ask permission to question them for 20 minutes on a specific topic they’re really knowledgeable in? Last month, that’s just what I did. I interviewed 9 successful freelancers on topics like: hiring employees overcoming self-doubt working with international clients finding your niche teaching design and much more (Stoked members can listen to them for free as they’re

Why entrepreneurs should only plan ahead 90 days

Plan ahead 90 days

I get it. You’re an entrepreneur. So that means you have to have a one-year plan, a three-year plan, and a five-year plan–all with their own backup plans each. Right? I disagree. In fact, most of the successful independent entrepreneurs that I know personally do three things: They think big. They start small. They don’t go overboard with goals and plans. It can be easy while you’re thinking big to get caught up in making plans for the next decade.

Why most portfolio WordPress themes suck for really growing a freelance business

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I have to start this post off with a quick disclaimer. Aside from running a design agency, I also run a PSD to HTML & WordPress company. So naturally – themes might seem like my enemy, right? If someone buys a theme, they’re not designing a PSD for us to code. And if someone buys a theme – they’re not hiring us to design a website, either. It seems like the natural enemy of both of my businesses! Well… It

How spying on your competition leads to bigger and better freelance gigs

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Here’s a quiz question for you: How do you grow your business exponentially? Do you: (a) try figuring things out on your own as you go along and improve one step at a time, or (b) spy on people, stealing their processes and adapting them to your business? I guess you can figure out where I’m going with it. Of course, (b) is the right answer. *** This is part three of a three-part miniseries on how to get started

5 Fast ways to boost credibility with clients (and get more business)

boost credibility

As freelancers, it’s easy for us to forget what it’s like to work with other people. After all, we did go solo, and often because we grew sick of being stuck in an office with a bunch of yahoos. Luckily for us, now we almost always get to choose the yahoos professionals we work with, whether other freelancers, clients, or agencies. Sure, we know we’re professionals, but since we don’t have to physically enter the professional realm on a day-to-day

6 Things Successful Freelancers Do Every Friday

successful friday morning

Well, it’s Friday again. In some ways, you’re probably totally jazzed about it. A couple days off (hopefully) from the grind of client phone calls, bills, and the other details of running your business. (It’s a love-hate relationship. I get it.) But on the other hand, where did this whole week go!? Remember on Monday, when you were excited to get started because you had a really fun project ahead of you? Remember that cool marketing idea you had on

The Quick & Necessary Steps You Should Take if a Client Doesn’t Like Your Quoted Price

when client doesn't like price

It’s so nerve-wracking to hit “Send” on an email that contains a proposal. “Did I price too high? Too low? Did I leave anything out? They’re going to hate it, aren’t they? Crap, maybe I should’ve priced it lower. Ahhhh!” Even after 5 years of sending proposals, they still give me nerves. I get a knot in my stomach and it’s hard to think about much else until the client sends a reply. Fortunately, most proposals get accepted these days.

Why you should “think big” but “start small” on your business

think big start small

Without a shadow of a doubt, finding a consistent stream of new clients is the main challenge for most freelance designers, and actually most freelancers in general, for that matter. I guess you’d like to land a deal from Coca-Cola or Chrysler to redesign their whole online presence right during your first month on the job, wouldn’t you? That would be great indeed. But as you’d imagine, it’s not very possible. And that’s a good thing because you probably wouldn’t