Freelance preparedness: how to keep a business alive when times get hard

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Remember Preston’s recent post about not creating another job for yourself as a freelancer? How one of the great perks about freelancing is freedom, and how the world will not explode if you take a week off? Recently I wrote about how to make taking vacation a stress-free transition, but what about those unexpected emergencies? You know, family emergencies, prolonged sickness, personal issues, extreme weather, or even a time where you’re physically unable to work. It’s these types of situations

Why I never explain my designs before revealing them to my client

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In 2009, I wrote a post titled “7 tips on presenting logos to a client” and more than three years later I got this tweet from @thomshouse: I was curious of the order in which you present a logo… Do you lead with the logo, then discuss the “why”… Or discuss first, building up to the reveal? Today, I want to share my answer with all of you and then I want to hear what you have to say (leave

Tried to fire my client, it backfired, and somehow our business relationship improved!

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Yes, you’re reading that right. I tried to fire my client, and it backfired – so well, in fact, that our business relationship has improved! So what happened? Let me tell you… Deciding to fire my client Most of you are probably thinking I’m crazy. Turning away someone who wants to pay me for my skills – absurd (or is it?)! Truly, though, I had had enough. The project was WAY behind schedule, the client changed her mind on overall

How to receive payments: 10 tools for freelancers

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Working as a freelancer undoubtedly has wonderful perks and advantages – like being able to take on a job in the convenience of your own home and having more free time for yourself. However, there’s always the worry of not receiving payment, particularly when working with clients who are thousands of miles away. Also see: “What should you get paid on your first design project?“ In case you’re wondering about the best ways freelancers can receive funds, here’s a roundup

How I took my design hobby to the next level and created a business

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Last year I knew I wanted to take freelancing as a career more seriously. Not for just work on the side or for extra cash, but to actually call myself a freelance graphic designer and make a living off it. I knew I had to think big. Make a real business out of what I wanted to do: design! So here’s how I took design from a hobby to a full-time profession: Established a new (consistent) look I use “look”

How to grow your freelance business without hiring more staff

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If you were around at the beginning of the year, you remember that in late 2011, GraphicDesignBlender.com was seriously hacked. The site was down for a few weeks and it was quite a challenge to recover fully. Once we finally got back on our feet, we upgraded the whole site and I kicked off the new year with a question: What do you want to read about in 2012? Well, tons of you answered and gave us some great material

What should you get paid on your first freelance project?

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So you’re ready to freelance huh? You’ve got your web site up. You’ve got some school projects in your portfolio. You’re ready to start calling clients and pitching your services. So what’s stopping you? If you’re like a lot of designers I talk to regularly, you don’t know how much to charge for your first freelance project. The most common deterrant Believe it or not, I think this is one of the most common reasons freelance designers don’t take the

How to stick to your business goals when the going gets tough

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Did you read my earlier post about how I set my first 10 design business goals? It’s been less than a year since I first wrote them, and already I have reached some of them (and set new ones)! (PS: Preston also posted a video blog about the importance of setting annual goals.) Okay, okay, so you know you should have business goals, and hopefully you developed some great ones, but now months have passed… are you sticking to them?