Where all the great design clients are hiding (Shh, don't tell anyone)

Have you ever beat your head against a wall after getting off the phone with one of those clients who just really gets on your nerves? You know the kind of client I’m talking about. And we’ve all had them before. In fact, if you’ve ever (like me) found yourself thinking “Where are all the great design clients?” then don’t worry, you’re not alone. Finding clients is tough… But finding great clients is even harder. It’s much easier to settle

Common mistakes designers make with clients – Part 6: Not asking for referrals

This post is part 5 of a series. Read the rest of the series here: Common mistakes designers make with clients – Part 1: Not signing a contract Common mistakes designers make with clients – Part 2: Allowing a discount Common mistakes designers make with clients – Part 3: Burning bridges Common mistakes designers make with clients – Part 4: Working for family Common mistakes designers make with clients – Part 5: Missing deadlines Happy Monday! Today, we continue our

Common mistakes designers make with clients – Part 5: Missing deadlines

This post is part 5 of a series. Read the rest of the series here: Common mistakes designers make with clients – Part 1: Not signing a contract Common mistakes designers make with clients – Part 2: Allowing a discount Common mistakes designers make with clients – Part 3: Burning bridges Common mistakes designers make with clients – Part 4: Working for family There are a small number of things you can do that will completely ruin your relationship with

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

11 personalities traits of a good freelance mentor

On Monday, we discussed the importance of finding a freelance mentor; someone who can help you and guide you as you build your design business. But how do you find a good mentor? Sure, there are plenty of people out there who are willing to help you for a fee. Their intentions are probably mostly good. But how do you know if you’re getting a great mentor at a good price instead of just a money-hungry businessman? Here are 8

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

5 Ways to Keep Your Design Business Running During Burnout

Outsource Work Burnout is a designer’s worst nightmare. It will leave you feeling unmotivated and uncreative. In this mindset, you should consider outsourcing your client work. Taking on client work during burnout is generally a bad idea as you will not be able to provide your clients with the best solutions. If you outsource to designers you trust, you can still run your business and make money from it without your burnout interfering. If you don’t know where to find

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,