GDB Mail Bag: Registering a business, Design contracts, and Copyright

The GDB Mail Bag is a new feature I’m adding to the site here at GraphicDesignBlender.com. Each week I seem to get more and more emails from readers with questions about their design business. I love interacting with others and helping them succeed as designers! I’ve learned that if one person has a question about something, it’s likely other people do as well, so I’m featuring a few of the best questions here at the GDB Mail Bag. Also, take

How to spot bad design clients & when to ditch them

Opportunities quickly become nightmares when a freelance worker takes on a bad client. Whether you work as a designer, developer, writer, or other professional, the joys of freelancing can turn to angst when a client becomes bent on paying you less than you’re worth or making you do more work without additional pay. A bad client threatens your reputation, gets on your nerves, costs money, and wastes your time, so you should learn how to spot bad clients & when

Client famine: how designers can keep food on the table year-round

The design industry is an interesting thing: sometimes you have more work than you can stand, and other times you are scraping by, hoping that you’ll find your next batch of clients soon. While some designers or design firms are really good at keeping a steady pool of clients, many of us are hit with times of client famine where, regardless of the work you put into your business, people just aren’t hiring you. It’s been my experience, for example,

Where to hold client meetings when you design from home

Being a freelance designer is a blast! You get to spend time working on your business and working in your business. You get to be the designer, the customer service representative, the accountant, the creative director, and more. One of the most enjoyable parts of being a freelance designer is meeting with clients, establishing solid relationships with them, and getting to know them and their company. You meet with clients so you can better meet their needs, establish goals, or

Keeping clients motivated throughout the design process

Meeting with a client for the first time is invigorating. Both you and they are excited about moving forward with a new project that will help reach business goals. You set milestones together and work toward accomplishing the goals you have set, but sometimes clients tend to burn-out at some stage throughout the process. They go from wanting the “best work” to “whatever works within the time frame” or even adopt the attitude of “we can’t afford to do it

Seeking out new design clients vs. Waiting for them to come to you

“All of my design clients were not cold-call clients. They weren’t a result of any serious marketing or advertising campaign. They came to me.” The last week or so, we have been discussing the importance of having a stunning portfolio to attract more clients. We also discussed the art of writing an effective project proposal in order to win over your next potential client. But, the question still arises, “Should I actively seek out new clients, or wait for them

Design and code an elegant social media menu for your portfolio site

Lately, here at GDB, we have been learning a lot about one-page portfolios. We started off this miniseries with a great list of essential elements of a successful one-page portfolio, then we explored 8 excellent jQuery tutorials to help you build a nice portfolio page. Today, I would like to offer a tutorial on building an elegant jQuery social media menu for your portfolio site. Why a social media menu tutorial? WHY A TUTORIAL? Before getting started with the tutorial,

Write amazing design project proposals and get more clients

Drafting up a design project proposal can be extremely scary. For freelance designers, every time you submit a proposal, it’s like applying for a job. Proposals determine whether clients choose to hire you, and clients are the life-blood of your design business. In essence, your entire success or failure as a designer depends on how well you can sell yourself or your services. This article will teach you ins and outs of a successful design project proposal, and how to

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