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

17 Tips for Effective Freelance Business Planning

Freelancing can be a tough business, regardless of in which field you are attempting to freelance. Like a regular business, there are a few dos and don’ts to keep in mind; some of these tips can make your business venture a smoother transition, and some will just make your life easier in the long run. The following list are seventeen things to avoid doing prior to starting freelancing, which will make for a much more effective business endeavor. 1. Do

OPEN DISCUSSION: Long-term vs. Short-term Design Clients

Every once and a while here at GDB, we like to turn the editorial tables and let you share your ideas with us. After all, we know that some of the brightest designers/entrepreneurs take advice from us on a weekly basis, so we’re asking you to share your thoughts this time around.We did this a couple times before concerning How to find freelance design clients and Unpaid design internships and it has always been a real success. Check out the