6 Non-traditional ways designers can find new clients & stand out

peacock

Your portfolio is online, you have a stack of business cards handy, you’re trying all of the traditional methods to find new clients, and yet…nobody’s knocking on your door. Now what? Client acquisition is one of those tasks you’ll need to deal with as long as you’re in the design business. To help out, here’s a list of some non-traditional methods you can use you find new clients and, in some cases, create additional revenue streams. Some are easy. Some

How I created a simple pricing process that removed stress and boosted profits

pricing strategy

Pricing is super-hard. You’re thrilled that someone wants to hire you, and then you obsess over creating a proposal. And before you even get to the panicky part about what the client will think about the final numbers, you have to actually determine what final number feels right to you. For longer than I’d like to admit, I sort of just picked a number that sounded good to me without a ton of justification. Sure, I kind of did a

How I built a freelance career while traveling the world

boots

For my entire life, I dreamed of travel. I dreamed of visiting far off lands, experiencing new cultures and doing something unconventional with my life. Yet I always thought that travel would come someday in the future, someday when I had become wealthy and could afford it. Today, I write this post from a small town outside of Barcelona, Spain. In about 12 hours, I hop a plane from Barcelona to Paris. France will be the 13th country that I

How to build a stellar portfolio to land your very first freelance gig

laptop

Deciding to jump into freelancing is an awesome, scary, exciting rush of emotions. Unless you have money set aside, you’re probably still working your “regular” job until things really take off, but you’re ready… …all except for one thing: you don’t have any clients. (So your portfolio’s probably a bit thin, too.) How do you present a professional portfolio with only personal and student work (and if you’re lucky, one or two pieces from your current job)? How do you

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