Ten things I’ve learned (so far) about starting a freelance design business

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Over the past few months I’ve been working on getting starting a freelance design business. It’s definitely been a learning experience (in a good way, mostly), and I thought I’d share some tips that I’ve come across. Determining Business Structure There are many structures, but the most common for freelances are Sole Proprietor and LLC. I had a hard time deciding between the two. A Sole Proprietorship is an unincorporated business that you own by yourself. Basically you’re personally responsible

Gain clients and avoid stress with a solid design brief

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Every designer wants more clients. More clients usually equates to more income, so it is important to do your best and secure a project from each prospect who engages in your services. Yet securing these projects, and turning prospects into clients, should not depend on just a verbal agreement of terms. No matter your skill level or years in business, a designer or web developer should not enter into a project with a client without a contract. Equally important, however,

Win $579 worth of web goodies from MOJO Themes and GDB

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It’s not very often that GDB runs any sort of giveaway or product promotion. But for Cyber Monday and the holiday season, we wanted to take a minute to offer something really special to all our readers. Today, we’re giving away $579 worth of web goodies from MOJO Themes, a premium web theme and template marketplace. I have personally taken the time to assure that this bundle of web templates and other goodies is high-quality and worth your time. MOJO

Knock their socks off: having the perfect first meeting with a potential design client

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You go to a networking meeting, or the grocery store, or someone’s birthday party… Somehow you get talking about what you do and before you know it there’s a spark and they become a potential client. You exchange business cards and schedule a time to meet – perhaps in your office, or a lovely, quaint coffee shop down the street – and both of you are ecstatic that you’ve met each other, and excited to get started. This article will

Empower your design with mind maps

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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

Designers, stop and think about why you're blogging

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I make an effort to frequently visit the web sites, portfolios, or blogs of people who take time to leave comments here at GDB, follow me on twitter, or ‘like’ GDB on our facebook page. Needless to say, I spend quite a bit of time looking through content that other designers produce. And there has been a common concern that I have experienced nearly every time I visit a designer’s company or personal blog: They don’t seem to think about

Ten Frequent Questions Clients Ask Web Designers (And how to answer them)

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In recognition of being in business for 10 years, I thought I’d share ten questions that I get asked most often as a professional website developer. Some of them I’m sure other like-minded professionals have also had to answer. These are in no particular order, but I hope they help: 1. How much will my website cost? Yes, this one is a no-brainer and you’d think there was something seriously wrong if a potential client didn’t ask you this. Often,

10 Tips to Make Your Design Files Print-Ready

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All print designers are familiar with deadlines and the havoc they can often wreak on your life! It is incredibly frustrating to spend hours and hours designing your work in Photoshop, only to send it to the printers and get back something far from what you had envisioned. These last-minute problems do more than increase your stress levels and blood pressure, they’re actually hugely damaging to your productivity. Especially if you’re a self-employed freelancer, you know that can spell very