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

My 9-Step Guide To Attracting “A”-level freelance clients

attracting better clients

Remember that time you created the most amazing logo concepts for that client? You smashed it out of the park. Completely nailed the brief. So excited by your own ability you couldn’t wipe the smirk off your face as you saved the PDF. You. Were. Chuffed. You fire off an email and patiently wait. You know there’s a winner amongst the concepts you’d created and you can’t wait to get a reply… showering you with praise… telling their friends  you’re

5 Contract terms that will keep you safe as a freelancer

safe contracts

Contracts are one of the most talked about and most written about topics on freelance and design sites. It’s no secret that we should all have them and use them. They protect us and they protect our clients and keep everybody happy. When I started freelancing it didn’t take long for me to be convinced that I needed a contract. I felt like it was being beaten into my head from every other designer I talked to: “Use a contract!”

How to Get More New Clients ASAP With Google Adwords Express

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AdWords Express has been a super powerful tool we’ve used to get more new clients for our creative agency. It’s gotten to the point where we turn it on / off as needed. On = contact form submissions almost instantly start rolling in. Off = schedule is full and we’re saturated with work. If you’ve never heard of it, it’s Google’s “smart”, automatic version of AdWords that’s for people like me who hate keyword research and would rather bang my

Why you should design your next website in one weekend

weekend project

Just about anything worthwhile can be created in one weekend. That was basically the message I got from a recent Fizzle interview with Gumroad founder, Sahil Lavingia. Sahil used to work as a designer at Pinterest and left that gig to start his own venture: Gumroad. Coined as the “PayPal killer,” Gumroad combines extremely simple product sales interface with amazing (and simple) design. So it’s fair to say Sahil knows something about design and business. Gumroad has already been incredibly successful. And

Rocking your first year as a freelance designer (Months 1 & 2)

first-year-of-freelance-design

Honest thought: I love fresh pieces of online advice just as much as the next guy. Especially if they’re about business. Especially if they’re actionable. There’s no rose without a thorn, though, and much of the stuff you can find out there is aimed at folks that already have their systems set in place. For instance, if I have a good working machine for getting freelance design leads then any tip on how to make it more efficient is gold to me! But

Get more clients through social with this small but vital change

social media to find clients

Almost every business out there uses social media. But there’s no doubt some people use it better than others. You’ve probably seen a company with a wildly successful social media post or hundreds and thousands of followers and wondered: “What are they doing that I’m not?” Unlike most traditional forms of media and advertising, which are a one way broadcasts from company to consumer, social media, at its most effective, is a two way conversion. Social media’s true potential is

4 Big freelancing mistakes I’ve made and what to learn from them

stressed-out

Whether you’re a new freelancer, a freelancer-to-be, or a freelancer with a few (okay, a lot of) years under your belt, one of the most efficient ways to learn is from mistakes…preferably some someone else’s. But that’s not always easy to talk about. (How many peers do you feel comfortable asking about their biggest mistake(s)? Chances are, not very many, if at all.) So here’s a list of my biggest mistakes I wish I had learned from someone else (hopefully,