4 Big mistakes that make you look like a rookie entrepreneur

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unhappy

Whether you’re a rookie or a veteran, everybody wants to look like a polished pro. Most of us know the basics: always use a contract under promise and over deliver spend within your means never burn bridges But we’re all human, too, and sometimes we make mistakes no matter how hard we work to avoid them. Sometimes we don’t even realize we’ve made a mistake until we’re up the creek without a paddle. I’m here today to toss you a

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

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

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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!

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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

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

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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?

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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