Can networking with your competition really grow your design business?

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You know as a designer you’ve got to market yourself in order to find new business. But if you’re only selling your services using “marketing” techniques, you’re missing a vital piece of the puzzle: networking. Get Connected. You may think your client pool exists outside of the design realm, but as Preston points out in this post, your best clients might also be your competition! That’s right, design agencies, in-house marketing/graphics departments, fellow freelancers, and production houses all can make

Why most businesses fail, and solid tips for design business success

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Most businesses fail not because their owners aren’t good at what they do. A design studio doesn’t generally fail because they create poor designs. A dentist doesn’t generally fail because he cannot fix your teeth. Most businesses fail because their owners don’t understand how to run a business. As a design entrepreneur, this is the single most important fact you need to understand. If you as a designer can learn how to run a business well, your business has a

8 tips for freelancing from home without ignoring your kids

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Today is an unusual day for me. I’m working from home. As many of you know, I’m not a full-time always-work-from-home freelance designer. I have a full time job too. (Don’t hate me, remember?) But today, I’m working from home. All day. It’s bringing back some memories of when I first started freelancing and I spent the entire day working from home. And being home with my wonderful wife and adorable baby boy reminded me of a question posted as

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

Freelancing Fear: What causes it and how to overcome it

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freelancing fear

When I relaunched this brand new version of GDB earlier this year, I asked you to submit your ideas for posts you’d like to see over the next 12 months. (Haven’t had a chance to submit your request? Click here to view the original new-year-launch post.) One reader, Carla, posted this request:   Any suggestions about … being afraid? Any suggestions on how to overcome my apprehensive behavior (which is not normal, I am an outgoing, sociable person)?!I have business

Help me name my design business! + tips on naming yours

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help me name my design business

GDB readers, it’s time to name my design business, and I really need your help. But first, a little back story: When I got laid off last February after 5 years with the company, I was devastated. I loved my core coworkers. I needed the paycheck. I hated that I had been chosen as the weakest link (which probably isn’t true – I also received the biggest paycheck). I cried. And then… literally the next day I started looking for

Top web design takeaways of 2011…and what they mean for us in 2012

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WebTakeaways2011

2011 was a defining year for technology. Smartphones went mostly mainstream, social media helped spark political revolutions, and Silicon Valley lost its default despot. Web designers have had, as a result, a series of interesting insights into the future of their profession. Before we get too settled into a new year, let’s pore over the biggest design takeaways of 2011 (and be sure to add yours to the list): Mobile Flash Finally Flops As predicted by the late Steve Jobs,

Don’t hate freelancers with full-time jobs

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JOB

If you’ve followed the blog for very long, you know that I used to exclusively work as a freelance designer until about a year ago when I got a full-time job working in marketing. Since that time, I’ve had a lot of people who have wondered what advice I can offer since I’m not a “real freelancer.” Today, I advocate an anti-hate campaign for all you freelancers out there who also have full-time jobs. Guess what: I love my full-time