Why repeatedly bending over backwards for a client can actually hurt your relationship

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Do you have that one client (okay, maybe three?!) that’s habitually totally unorganized and needing something big last week? The one that asks for an entire PowerPoint presentation for tomorrow’s 8am meeting? (Just 20 slides, I swear! 85 slides later…) Or that calls on Friday at 4:30pm to request a “quick” icon set for Monday morning’s software upgrade? I’m talking about the client that always exhibits this behavior, not the client with one rare instance when they dropped the ball.

No one taking you seriously? Here’s how to position yourself as an expert for massive credibility and respect

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Back in the early days of our creative marketing business, Clients from Hell was a gift from the universe. It kept me sane, reading all of those stories from fellow comrades in arms. Now, however, I have a much different take on that site and others like it. What I once saw as a safe haven of a website where I could cope with the “realities” of our industry I now see as a place packed with professionals who just

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

Should freelancers work directly with clients or hire a middle man?

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Some may call it the lazy way to freelance, but I like to think of it as a way to focus your time on the projects instead of looking for them. First off – if you’re unfamiliar with what (or who) a middleman is; it’s a person who arranges and deals between the producer (freelancer) and consumer (the actual client). Think of your middleman client as an ultimate referral: they’re marketing your services for you, and if things go well,

How I beat out a brick and mortar agency with a killer proposal

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Sounds kind of epic: a single freelancer working from home wins a client over a big agency working in a local brick and mortar location, just by providing a killer design proposal. Believe me – it’s possible, because I did it! There’s so much a client can benefit from working with a single freelancer over an agency, and you just have to know how to present yourself as the best option. You do that by offering more than just a

Empower your design with mind maps

When starting a new design project, it is often difficult to decide where to start from. Ideas can flow from the brain like a waterfall and so it’s hard to remember them for later use. In my experience, I’ve found that the mind mapping of ideas is the best and most powerful way to get real benefits from those ideas. It’s also a life-saver for the early stages of the design process. What follows is a brief explanation on how

Do discounts devalue your design?

As I was reviewing a few articles here at GDB, I noticed that a trend among many readers that leave comments here at the blog is to give discounts to potential clients. In other words, when trying to rope in a first-time client, some designers prefer to give them a 10% off on your first order or something similar. Today I want to discuss the potential risks of offering design discounts and the effect that it might have on the

Where to hold client meetings when you design from home

Being a freelance designer is a blast! You get to spend time working on your business and working in your business. You get to be the designer, the customer service representative, the accountant, the creative director, and more. One of the most enjoyable parts of being a freelance designer is meeting with clients, establishing solid relationships with them, and getting to know them and their company. You meet with clients so you can better meet their needs, establish goals, or