7 Signs you’re approaching business burnout & how to save yourself before it’s too late

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signs your approaching business burnout

So the honeymoon phase is over with your design business huh? Me too. I’ve been running my own business for more than five years and a few months ago, this truth really began to hit me hard: A job where you work for yourself eventually becomes (gasp) a job. 1. You don’t feel creative anymore. One of the fastest ways to know you’re approaching business burnout is to take note of your creativity levels. Do you feel like you have

How to raise your rates without ticking off your clients

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euros-and-dollars

Raising rates can be done in two ways: Rip off the band-aid. Say, “To hell with it!” and raise them now, without warning (or with warning), and let the pieces fall where they may. 2) With the method outlined in this post (recommended if you like financial stability). But I’d like to dig a bit deeper in this article and go back to the “why” of changing prices, because it frames the whole thing differently depending on your answer. So,

Back to the cubicle?! 6 Reasons to work in-house (at least part-time)

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work in-house

A design manager recently told me that he has a hard time finding good freelancers who are willing to work in-house. This is at a very well-respected marketing communications firm in Portland, Maine – a town bursting with designers. Why is he having this problem? All jokes aside about freelance designers living in their pjs, it may be time for you to consider working in-house. Maybe you spent years in a corporate or agency setting with the goal of making

The real reason clients ask crazy, ridiculous things of you

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annoying clients

I’m going to share with you a list of ridiculous demands my company has been asked of by clients recently. I’m sure you’ll nod along. You might even get a laugh or two…or a few tears, if you’ve been pushed close enough to the brink. But afterward, you might swear me your mortal enemy. Confused? Just hang in there and make sure you read this post to the end. It’s important. Have you experienced clients… Emailing at 3am expecting immediate

Take great, professional photos with these smartphones, apps, and accessories

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smartphone

All creative freelancers constantly need new and engaging tools to enhance their trade. Thanks to the advent of the smartphone and social media, photography is the visual medium that generally benefits you the most. Virtually every type of creative can find photography useful in some capacity. Freelance and web developers might need headshots or landscape imagery while artists might need professional photos of their work. With so much competition, these fields require the best tools to get new clients and be

5 More ways to not get cheated by your design clients

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danger-sign

Here’s an idea: people – including clients – are generally not bad, bitter, or overall evil. It’s just the circumstance that sometimes result in us – the freelancers – getting screwed during the process. I really believe this is true, and that there’s just a small number of genuinely crappy people out there who go into a business project with pure intention of screwing the other party. And unfortunately, there’s hardly any protection from those people. I mean, if someone

5 Systems that will turn your freelance design business into a well-oiled machine

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Well-Oiled Machine

Running a freelance design business is one of the most fulfilling careers you can embark on. Think about it – you spend some time honing your design skills, and then use your skills to make an income, hopefully enough to support yourself full-time. And beyond doing work that you’re passionate about, you also have the luxury of working remotely from virtually anywhere in the world. Who wouldn’t love it right?! Mmm, I don’t mean to burst your bubble, but it

A “done-for-you” direct mail letter to get new, local clients!

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mailbox

I love direct mail. The fact that the world has gone digital just makes it even more relevant than ever. We’re so inundated with emails and Facebook and all the rest that holding a printed, crisp, personal letter has a new significance. It demands attention, shows care (after all, writing an email is so easy – but sending a letter actually takes some legwork), and is unique. I’ve used it to generate amazing returns for clients, and for our creative