5 More ways to not get cheated by your design clients

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

Well-Oiled Machine

Being a freelance designer 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 doesn’t

Why you should always have a contract – even for small jobs

Handshake

As creative freelancers and business owners, we all know written contracts are useful – no, necessary – when dealing with customers. After all, we’ve all been reading Graphic Design Blender, haven’t we? Whether it’s a $2,000 logo or a $20,000 web site, investing time and money on a service agreement is, as we’ve seen before, completely worthwhile. Why? It gives both parties an idea of how the relationship will be framed. It protects you in case the relationship breaks down.

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

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

No one taking you seriously? Here’s how to position yourself as an expert for massive credibility and respect

plant

Back in the early days of our creative marketing business, Clients from Hell was a gift from the universe. It kept me sane, reading all of those stories from fellow comrades in arms. Now, however, I have a much different take on that site and others like it. What I once saw as a safe haven of a website where I could cope with the “realities” of our industry I now see as a place packed with professionals who just

Are client emails binding contracts?

Email Clients

A couple weeks ago, Karol wrote a great post about not getting cheated by your design clients. In that post, we recommended (as we always do) that you have a signed contract with most of your clients. But in the comments on that post, we had a fascinating question posted by GDB reader Ranjit that said this: Would emails and all other correspondence between client and designer not act as some sort of contract? I found Ranjit’s question extremely important

4 Glaring signs you need to take the freelance leap

Grab your parachute!

I don’t think I chose the freelance life, I think the freelance life chose me. While other kids were playing little league, I was trying to build a two story colonial house for my teddy bears out of logs, complete with shutters. That never really panned out so well (lack of nails maybe?!), but it taught me that I am most at home in the wild, without the road map laid out for me. If something failed, I tried again.

How to stay motivated when solo business has got you in a rut

writing-with-laptop

Ever have one of those days (weeks?) where you just can’t seem to get yourself motivated? And I mean REALLY unmotivated, like nothing — not even dusting to avoid work — can tear you away from putting off life in general. Maybe it feels like there’s such a mountain of work ahead of you (house chores included!) that you don’t know where to start. Maybe your current projects aren’t terribly exciting. Maybe you’re feeling a bit burnt out. Or maybe

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