Should repeat design clients have to sign a contract?

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For today’s post I have a very intriguing question and, frankly, I’m not sure I know the best answer. In a freelancing forum recently, I came across someone with this question: “Do you use a contract for every job, even if it’s a repeat client?” The question really got me thinking about the best way to approach this sort of situation and I wanted to pass the question on to you to get you thinking too and also to hear

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

Create something amazing

create something amazing graphic design blender

Freelancing can be tough. It’s not always easy pleasing a client or working under a deadline. In fact, every once and a while it’s enough to make you want to stop creating…stop designing. The problem The problem is, designing has become a business for you. I mean, it’s a good problem to have because now you’re making money doing something you love. But some days the thing you love is also the thing you hate. And that’s ok. The solution

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 freelancers can compete with design marketplace sites

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The last few posts I’ve written here have all come from excellent reader suggestions on this post. Today’s is no different. Joe Malleck writes: One topic that I’m interested in is what a designer’s future role in the marketplace is. With the uprising of theme marketplaces and the awareness that you can essentially purchase design as a commodity, where do we as designers fit into this new landscape? How can we leverage our skills and insight to make fortunes, without

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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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