My secret to making steady money as a freelance designer

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We share tips for making money as a freelancer here at GDB all the time. They include: upselling your design projects, generating passive income, specializing in a particular discipline or skill, and many many more. But there’s one key to making steady money as a freelance designer that I fear I haven’t been very clear about. It’s not that I’m trying to hide anything from you – I want you to be successful too! But it’s something that I have just

How to dominate any niche or industry

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Dominating niches is actually pretty simple. It takes some legwork, and it takes hard work to get it going, but overall it’s pretty simple. Now, when I say “dominating a niche,” I mean you become a “go to” guy or gal for a specific industry. In our creative marketing agency, we’re starting to do this for a specific niche of food packaging. In the past, we’ve done it for fitness and a couple of other industries too. In fact, to

5 More ways to not get cheated by your design clients

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Here’s an idea: people – including clients – are generally not bad, bitter, or overall evil. It’s just the circumstance that sometimes result in us – the freelancers – getting screwed during the process. I really believe this is true, and that there’s just a small number of genuinely crappy people out there who go into a business project with pure intention of screwing the other party. And unfortunately, there’s hardly any protection from those people. I mean, if someone

5 Systems that will turn your freelance design business into a well-oiled machine

Well-Oiled Machine

Running a freelance design business is one of the most fulfilling careers you can embark on. Think about it – you spend some time honing your design skills, and then use your skills to make an income, hopefully enough to support yourself full-time. And beyond doing work that you’re passionate about, you also have the luxury of working remotely from virtually anywhere in the world. Who wouldn’t love it right?! Mmm, I don’t mean to burst your bubble, but it

Why you should always have a contract – even for small jobs

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As creative freelancers and business owners, we all know written contracts are useful – no, necessary – when dealing with customers. After all, we’ve all been reading Graphic Design Blender, haven’t we? Whether it’s a $2,000 logo or a $20,000 web site, investing time and money on a service agreement is, as we’ve seen before, completely worthwhile. Why? It gives both parties an idea of how the relationship will be framed. It protects you in case the relationship breaks down.

Are client emails binding contracts?

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A couple weeks ago, Karol wrote a great post about not getting cheated by your design clients. In that post, we recommended (as we always do) that you have a signed contract with most of your clients. But in the comments on that post, we had a fascinating question posted by GDB reader Ranjit that said this: Would emails and all other correspondence between client and designer not act as some sort of contract? I found Ranjit’s question extremely important

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

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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

Do you get more freelance work as a jack of all trades?

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What’s better, being an expert at one thing or not too bad at a few things? By being a jack of all trades, would you get more work? Yes and no. Yes, because you’ll be more capable to take on projects you normally wouldn’t. And no, because if you focus your strengths and become an expert at it, you’ll get more quality leads. Either way, would you get more work? Probably not. At least not quality work. You might get