How I beat out a brick and mortar agency with a killer proposal

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Sounds kind of epic: a single freelancer working from home wins a client over a big agency working in a local brick and mortar location, just by providing a killer design proposal. Believe me – it’s possible, because I did it! There’s so much a client can benefit from working with a single freelancer over an agency, and you just have to know how to present yourself as the best option. You do that by offering more than just a

Tried to fire my client, it backfired, and somehow our business relationship improved!

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Yes, you’re reading that right. I tried to fire my client, and it backfired – so well, in fact, that our business relationship has improved! So what happened? Let me tell you… Deciding to fire my client Most of you are probably thinking I’m crazy. Turning away someone who wants to pay me for my skills – absurd (or is it?)! Truly, though, I had had enough. The project was WAY behind schedule, the client changed her mind on overall

My design client “hates” my first proof. Now what?

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True story: I was on the phone going over some proofs with a new client just last week and he starts the conversation by saying, “I hate it.” Those are pretty harsh words to swallow for any designer, especially coming from a client I don’t know very well. Part of me appreciated his honesty (so we could go about making something he does like), and part of me was, well, a little crushed…and scared I’d just lost a client. My

Can you pitch your design business (well) in 15 seconds?

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I’m a person you’ve never met. Maybe we just bumped into one another in line at the supermarket. Maybe we’re both regulars at the local coffee shop waiting for our morning latte. Maybe we’re riding the elevator together in a skyscraper downtown. For whatever reason, we introduce ourselves and shake hands. Now you’ve got about 15 seconds to tell me what you do before we part ways: Go. What did you tell me? Did you stumble over your words? Did

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

How to handle hard-to-reach design clients

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A few days ago, I published a post in response to one reader’s question about overcoming fear as a freelancer. The post was such a hit, I decided to tackle another question posed by a designer named Bree. Here’s the request: I would love to see some reviews or tips on how to handle clients who do not respond or provide feedback in a timely manner. Well, Bree, today you’re in luck because I’d like to share with you–and the

Are Your Communication Skills Scaring Away Your Design Clients?

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In this age of instant messaging and texting, usage of proper English (or whatever language you’re communicating in) has become a rarity. It’s not uncommon to receive a text from your spouse that might say “k gtg ill b l8 2nite” or send an email to your friends that ends with “Later yo!” However, if you rely on slang terms and a cryptic mishmash of letters and numbers in your professional communications, you might be scaring your clients away! Turning