The freelancer's plateau (and how to overcome it)

In the career of every freelance designer comes a plateau; a moment when you simply can’t make any more money because you don’t have any more time to give to your business. This has always been the inherent problem with freelance designing: no matter how hard you work, there are only 24 hours in a day. Once you max out your hours, you can’t make more money without raising your rates. If you haven’t hit this plateau yet, you will.

Charging for freelance design: by the hour or per project?

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Have you ever found yourself pulling your hair out over how much to charge for a design project? It can be very frustrating and usually ends up costing you more time (and thus money) than it should. There is some debate on the merits of having an hourly rate that you charge for everything, or setting prices for certain design services and sticking to those. There are definitely pros and cons to both methods, and it really ends up depending

How to keep your first design gig from spiraling out of control

So newbie, you just landed your first big design gig huh? What are you designing? A company web site? a fancy business card? maybe some print marketing material? Congratulations on landing your first gig! Now, the key is to keep everything under-control and manageable. Getting your first gig can be exciting, but there might also be a lot of things you never thought about. Here’s how to keep your first design gig from spiraling out of control: (PS. I’d love

Take your design career to the next level with a freelancing mentor

Have you been freelancing for a while now with less success than you had hoped for when you started out? Maybe you’re just getting started on the freelance scene and feel like a fish out of water. Whatever concerns you have  about freelancing, many of them can be resolved with a freelancing mentor. What is a freelancing mentor? The concept of finding a freelance mentor is not a new one. Plenty of freelancers do it. A freelancing mentor is simply

Finding a balance between pleasing clients and keeping your sanity

Have you ever gone nearly insane trying to please a client? I have. In fact, I have probably done it more than I would like to admit. After all, the clients pay the bills (hopefully) and if the clients not happy, you’re not happy. So how can you please your clients without going crazy? It’s all about balance. If you’d like to know how to balance your attempt to please clients and your attempt to keep your sanity, read on,

The best tools for tracking freelance design spending

In many peoples’ personal financial world, the method is spend and forget. When you’re running a business, however, it pays to spend and remember. Keeping track of your spending can help you spend wiser and even save money. Any money you spend on your business can be deducted at the end of the year on your taxes. Basically this subtracts the amount you spent on the business from your taxable income and lowers your taxes some. Believe me when I

10 tips for creating the ideal freelance design workspace

One of the main draws of the freelance lifestyle these days is the ability to work wherever and whenever you want. Setting up my freelance business has left me with these guidelines for the ideal workspace.

How long should a designer fight a client about a poor design decision?

If you’ve been designing for long, you’ve experienced a scenario like I am going through right now: You’ve met with your client, discussed the details of the project, signed a contract, and made some major progress on your project. Now, significantly through your process, your client hits you with a request that just makes your teeth hurt. It’s one of those requests that goes against everything you’ve ever learned about good design. Whether it’s auto-starting music on their web site,