Terrified to hire your first employee? 5 comforting words of advice.

scared

I remember my first time. Nerves. Confusion. Sheer palm-sweaty, nerve-racking, eye-twitching terror. All these manic thoughts running through my head. Constantly. Non stop. Every time I awoke in the morning. Every night when my head collapsed into my pillow at night. Constantly wondering. No, constantly worrying! Am I ready? How do I know I’m ready? Where do I start? How do I do it? How much should I pay? What if they suck? How much time is it going to take

An awesome referral-generating email template to send your clients…right now!

stencil

Asking for referrals can be pretty nerve-wracking. The good news: If you do it right, you only have to do it once (per client). That’s the biggest value this post has to offer you. It gives you a process that you can follow to get referrals…but it also gives your clients a process to follow to refer people to you in the future. I hate to use the word “training,” but essentially that’s what you’re doing: conditioning your clients to

7 Signs you’re approaching business burnout & how to save yourself before it’s too late

signs your approaching business burnout

So the honeymoon phase is over with your design business huh? Me too. I’ve been running my own business for more than five years and a few months ago, this truth really began to hit me hard: A job where you work for yourself eventually becomes (gasp) a job. 1. You don’t feel creative anymore. One of the fastest ways to know you’re approaching business burnout is to take note of your creativity levels. Do you feel like you have

Struggling to find design clients? Here’s how I built my business from nothing

finding design clients

Let’s pretend the internet doesn’t exist. Given that you are reading this blog while online I appreciate such a concept may be pretty hard to get your head around but please, bear with me. Picture the scene. You’ve left your regular paid job. You know you can make a living as a freelance designer, if only you could find the right clients. You’ve set yourself up a new portfolio website. You’ve bought your own software. Your phone is on your

4 Big mistakes that make you look like a rookie entrepreneur

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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

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

Why ‘doing work that matters’ doesn’t mean you have to quit your job

work that matters

Half a decade ago, I (along with half the world, it feels like) got caught up in the lifestyle business craze when I read Tim Ferris’ The Four Hour Workweek for the first time. Since then I’ve read dozens and dozens of books on self-help, entrepreneurship, lifestyle design, and more. And there’s one phrase that has really made the rounds. One that has turned into a bit of a buzzword in books and on the internet. And I totally understand why:

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