Untapped resource: attend trade exhibitions to find new design clients

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(A note from Preston:) A little while ago Laura, who wrote this post, approached me with this idea. I thought it was an incredible untapped resource. One I had never realized a designer could profit from. This seems like a great place to find design clients. After reading, let me know if you agree by leaving a comment. As a graphic designer, having a fantastic portfolio may be impressive but nothing will beat potential clients seeing your work in person.

Life-saving customer service tips for freelance designers

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Even with the best of intentions, good customer service can slip down the freelancer’s priority list. Time is often the culprit and when combined with a little procrastination and a healthy measure of freelancing fear, we can soon land with a full inbox. Some of the most important lessons I’ve learned about running my web development business successfully have come from my own experiences as a customer. I recently moved house and I wanted to get my new place professionally

Make this very important change to your design contract today!

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Often as freelancers (budding or otherwise), our goal is to get ‘out there.’ We want as many people as possible to view our LinkedIn portfolio, visit our blog, appreciate our Behance project, and contact us for work. We have no qualms about exposing our names and contact information, and we often forget that others have different privacy preferences. Really?! You mean there are people, or even entire companies, in this day and age who don’t want their information spread across

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

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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