How to grow your freelance business without hiring more staff

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If you were around at the beginning of the year, you remember that in late 2011, GraphicDesignBlender.com was seriously hacked. The site was down for a few weeks and it was quite a challenge to recover fully. Once we finally got back on our feet, we upgraded the whole site and I kicked off the new year with a question: What do you want to read about in 2012? Well, tons of you answered and gave us some great material

Do freelancers really need accountants?

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Tax season is upon us in the United States; and it’s never fun. (Hey GDB readers from around the world, help me out here: when is tax season – if any – in your country? Leave a comment!) But today, I wanted to answer a question I hear all the time from freelance designers: “Do I really need an accountant?” Can’t a competent freelance designer just do their own taxes? Today, I’d like to take a stab at answering that

Untapped resource: attend trade exhibitions to find new design clients

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(A note from Preston:) A little while ago Laura, who wrote this post, approached me with this idea. I thought it was an incredible untapped resource. One I had never realized a designer could profit from. This seems like a great place to find design clients. After reading, let me know if you agree by leaving a comment. As a graphic designer, having a fantastic portfolio may be impressive but nothing will beat potential clients seeing your work in person.

Make this very important change to your design contract today!

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Often as freelancers (budding or otherwise), our goal is to get ‘out there.’ We want as many people as possible to view our LinkedIn portfolio, visit our blog, appreciate our Behance project, and contact us for work. We have no qualms about exposing our names and contact information, and we often forget that others have different privacy preferences. Really?! You mean there are people, or even entire companies, in this day and age who don’t want their information spread across

Why most businesses fail, and solid tips for design business success

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Most businesses fail not because their owners aren’t good at what they do. A design studio doesn’t generally fail because they create poor designs. A dentist doesn’t generally fail because he cannot fix your teeth. Most businesses fail because their owners don’t understand how to run a business. As a design entrepreneur, this is the single most important fact you need to understand. If you as a designer can learn how to run a business well, your business has a

The Designer's Guide to a Successful Business Website

Every web site has a purpose. And when designing web sites that are meant to generate business and income for a company, it’s especially important to do it well. Today’s post will teach you all about how to design a successful business web site. If you have more to add, I’d love to see your thoughts in the comments. Purpose Before you even create a website, you need to think of what your purpose is. You need to figure out

25 Nuggets of Entrepreneurial Wisdom for Designers

I know you’re busy working in and on your design business, so I don’t want to take too much of your time today, but I’d like to offer 25 solid pieces of entrepreneurial advice. I got these gems from a book I read not too long ago titled “The One Minute Entrepreneur“. It offers many more tips on becoming a successful entrepreneur, but I have chosen my 25 favorite pieces of advice to share with you today. Which one is

Is your design blog hurting your design business?

Whether you are part of a design firm or an independent freelance designer, chances are you blog about design. The design community is enormous and (dare I say) millions of designers share their thoughts online every week. But have you ever paused to consider whether your design blog is helping or hurting your design business? This article will focus on the pro’s and con’s of managing a design blog: ways it might help or hurt your design business. Ways a