Don’t ignore these warning signs of a bad design client

We have all heard horror stories about clients. Some take advantage of freelancers, some are unwilling to listen, and some are just outright disrespectful. No freelance designer should have to work with somebody like that. A bad client will only bring unnecessary stress and anxiety onto a freelance designer. However, it’s not hard to spot these bad clients. Look for these warning signs to figure out if your client is going to be troublesome. (And if you have some additional

How to keep your first design gig from spiraling out of control

So newbie, you just landed your first big design gig huh? What are you designing? A company web site? a fancy business card? maybe some print marketing material? Congratulations on landing your first gig! Now, the key is to keep everything under-control and manageable. Getting your first gig can be exciting, but there might also be a lot of things you never thought about. Here’s how to keep your first design gig from spiraling out of control: (PS. I’d love

How to ensure your design portfolio is attracting clients

When looking for work, the advantage we have as designers is the ability to actually show what kind of work we can do, rather than just trying to explain it on a resume. And just like presenting a resume, you want to make sure you put your best foot forward when it comes to showing your portfolio. I thought I’d pass along a few tips that have helped me in developing mine. Make a web portfolio A website that showcases

How long should a designer fight a client about a poor design decision?

If you’ve been designing for long, you’ve experienced a scenario like I am going through right now: You’ve met with your client, discussed the details of the project, signed a contract, and made some major progress on your project. Now, significantly through your process, your client hits you with a request that just makes your teeth hurt. It’s one of those requests that goes against everything you’ve ever learned about good design. Whether it’s auto-starting music on their web site,

Design vs. Goliath: How freelance designers can compete with large design firms

Hey freelance designers: just because you’re a one-person show doesn’t mean you don’t deserve to find high-caliber, high-paying clients. Ignore the myth that you can’t compete with what a large design firm has to offer. You have things they can’t offer. This post is all about leveraging your strengths in order to compete with large design firms. We’ll explore a few advantages you have as a freelancer today and I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section. Compete

The truth about what clients look for in a designer

Have you ever wondered what makes a client choose one designer over another? Well, wonder no more, my friends. Today, I’d like to tell you the truth about what clients look for in a designer. The myths First, it’s important we understand a few of the myths that designers have come to believe about being hired by a client. Myth 1: Clients only hire designers with years of experience A lot of designers (mostly really new designers) think they don’t

58 Topics to write about on your design blog

If you have a design blog, I can almost guarantee that at one point or another, you’ve hit a brick wall when it comes to content. After all, producing great content on a daily or weekly basis can be more difficult than it sounds. So today, I would like to offer a useful list of topics you can write about on your design blog. I’m sure I’ll leave some out, so add your suggestions in the comments. 58 topics to

Master your elevator pitch and win more design clients

A couple days ago, we discussed which job title you should put on your business card as a freelance designer. That got me thinking about how important it is to be able to explain your business to other people quickly and effectively. The most common technique of mastering how to talk about your business is called an elevator pitch. If you’re unfamiliar with the idea, here’s where it basically comes from: Imagine you were on vacation or downtown and you