What to do if a client threatens you with a “bad review”

Stay calm and sound like the pro you are

A few days ago, the phone rang at 10am. “Reliable! This is Lou,” my wife and business partner, Lou, said. (We run a design / marketing agency, but recently started Reliable: our new PSD to HTML & WordPress company). She took the call per usual. The guy had a lot of questions, and she had answers. But then, the call took a “weird” twist… The guy had some pretty wacky demands. He basically wanted us to ditch the process we

The two biggest differences between university and freelancing and how to succeed in the transition

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Thank you for applying; we went with someone more experienced. I heard that plenty coming straight out of college, and I bet you have, too. With today’s job market, recent and upcoming college grads are increasingly looking toward freelancing to follow their design dreams. But surviving as a freelancer requires a different set of skills than getting that high mark in design class, and most students find that their education didn’t prep them for the freelancing world ahead. Luckily, here

4 Big freelancing mistakes I’ve made and what to learn from them

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Whether you’re a new freelancer, a freelancer-to-be, or a freelancer with a few (okay, a lot of) years under your belt, one of the most efficient ways to learn is from mistakes…preferably some someone else’s. But that’s not always easy to talk about. (How many peers do you feel comfortable asking about their biggest mistake(s)? Chances are, not very many, if at all.) So here’s a list of my biggest mistakes I wish I had learned from someone else (hopefully,

Understanding freelancing insurance + do you need it?

freelancing insurance graphic design blender

The Freelancer’s Union recently announced the ability for members to purchase liability insurance. But as freelance designers, do we really need it? Truthfully, when I read the “hey, we’re now offering liability insurance” email, I wondered what, exactly, that entails. According to their website, there are three main types NOTE: I am not a lawyer, nor am I offering professional or legal advice. The following are just my observations and conclusions as a fellow freelance designer. Please seek legal advice

Do you get more freelance work as a jack of all trades?

freelancing jack of all trades

What’s better, being an expert at one thing or not too bad at a few things? By being a jack of all trades, would you get more work? Yes and no. Yes, because you’ll be more capable to take on projects you normally wouldn’t. And no, because if you focus your strengths and become an expert at it, you’ll get more quality leads. Either way, would you get more work? Probably not. At least not quality work. You might get

How to promote a freelance design business: 4 strategies for beginners

promoting your freelance design business graphic design blender

I think most freelancers could agree that finding work is one of the hardest struggles we face – and if you’re just starting out you might not be familiar with how to get your name out there. For you beginners: this is post for you! And for those that have been at it for some time, this is a great reminder for what you could / should be doing to help promote yourself. (In fact, please add to this list

Don’t make these five big mistakes that turn freelancers into failures

freelance-failure-mistakes-graphic-design-blender

I recently read this comment from a pessimist in the freelance community: “Freelancing is a joke! There is no money in web design unless you are employed full-time by a company making a salary. Nobody pays real money anymore. They just go to any of the big template shops and pay $60 for a design, or hire some college kid for 100 bucks to build a site.” (If you disagree with this stance, please spread the word on this post

4 things all freelancers should be doing online

IMAGE: What freelancers should be doing online

Whether you’re a freelance graphic designer, web developer, writer, photographer, or any other type of business – an online presence is a vital part and can make or break your success. The important question is: are you building an effective online presence? From a client’s perspective, they’re looking to work with someone who is loyal, honest, and can get the job done. But, it doesn’t hurt to feel like they know who they’re working with, even if you’ve never met