Category: Freelancing

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Business / 2 Aug 2017

15 Must-Ask Questions When Taking on a Website Project

The beginning of any new website design project can be a little nerve-wracking. Trying to determine if your style will match the client’s demands is often a challenge.

Add on trying to decide what to charge, and taking on a new client can be a freelance web designer’s biggest nightmare. When you do it right, the relationship and the project can be rewarding, but a miscue can make your life pretty miserable for the duration of the project.

Doing your homework at the start can help. Do you know what questions to ask a client to get the best information you need for a project? Don’t worry if you said “no,” we’ve got a checklist here for you!

Business / 19 Jun 2017

7 Ways to Save Time as a Designer

“If only I had more time!” Do you hear yourself saying this about projects from time to time? (I know I’m guilty.) Time can be one of the biggest obstacles to getting more done as a freelance designer.

But you can find more time and get more done — and that’s good for your bottom line. We’re not going to bore you with theoretical advice. This is a set of practical tips and suggestions you can start thinking about right now!

Business / 22 May 2017

15 Skills Every Design Client Expects You to Have

While every design project is a little bit different, almost every client expects you to be a jack of all trades to some degree. Regardless of the project, designers are often expected to provide a complete solution for clients, even though most of us don’t have all the same skills.

In addition to design, clients may ask for expertise in marketing, code, or illustration. It can be a difficult balance at times. But knowing what clients might expect can help you have a plan for how to deal with specific requests, whether it is offering a referral to someone else or adding a new skill to your portfolio.

Most of these examples come from personal experience. And while I didn’t fulfill all the requested needs, seeing what a client expects from their perspective is an interesting exercise!

Business / 17 May 2017

How Many Design Options Should You Show a Client?

You’ve been working on a client project for a little while now. It could be a website design, brochure, or something else altogether — but you’ve spent some time on it. You like the concept. Is that all you need to go back to the client with? Or do you need to create a couple more options for the design review?

There’s a balance of creating enough for a client to choose from, and avoiding work that you know will certainly just get thrown aside. If you know the client well, chances are you can present just one design option. (Seriously!)

Business / 24 Apr 2017

Every Freelancer Screws Up; Make Sure to Recover Well

It’s going to happen. Every freelancer makes mistakes. Some of them are big and can impact client relationships, while others are more internal and affect your workflow and processes.

There’s one similarity though – how you recover from these mistakes will say more about your freelance career than making them. But how do you recover from the embarrassment of messing something up? Often it requires just a bit of humility.

Business / 8 Mar 2017

5 Tips for a Better Freelance Resume

When was the last time you updated your resume? This is one of those things that freelancers often forget to do when they aren’t seeking a full-time employer.

It’s a lot easier to keep up with your resume all the time rather than rush to update it when the need arises. It’s even becoming more common that clients will ask to see a resume before hiring a freelancer for work. Potential clients will probably check you out online, and your resume needs to be fresh on your website or LinkedIn profile.

Don’t put it off any longer. Try these five tips to freshen up your resume so you can get an updated version ready to go this week!

Business / 2 Jan 2017

6 Characteristics of Successful Freelancers: Do You Have Them?

So you want to be a freelancer. It’s no surprise that more and more people are making this career choice. The work from home, work for yourself option is appealing for many reasons. But not everyone is cut out for the job. Are you?

Most freelancers – regardless of industry – exhibit a few characteristics that help them create the right business culture for themselves, stay motivated and keep clients happy (and new working coming in). We’re going to look at these traits and how they can influence your decision to tackle a freelance career in a creative field.

Business / 26 Sep 2016

Project vs. Hourly Rates: What Should You Choose?

One of the things people always ask me when they realize I’m a freelancer is “how do you know what to charge?” Honestly, I don’t always have the right answer. As any seasoned freelancer knows, estimated rates can sometimes be a game of chance with some jobs bringing in handsome sums while others end up as a loss. (You hope it all evens out in the end.)

So how do you actually charge clients? How do you know what a job is worth so that you are priced competitively and adequately for the work? That’s where the discussion of hourly versus project rates comes in. Here’s a guide to help you make the choice that is best for your business.

Business / 5 Sep 2016

10 Skills Every Designer Needs on Their Resume

Even if you aren’t actively looking for a job, your resume is an important piece of your digital portfolio. From sites such as LinkedIn to personal portfolio pages such as Behance that showcase your work, glimpses into your design career are everywhere.

You want to control that message to ensure that you are putting the right vibe out there about who you are, the work you do and why (quite frankly) you are a rock star designer. And while a stellar portfolio is a great way to start that conversation, your resume is equally important. It should highlight some of the skills that aren’t as apparent from looking at a few marquee pieces.

(As a bonus the images in this post are of great designer resumes, and templates, from Behance. Make sure to click the links and visit the designer sites to learn more.)

Business / 16 Aug 2016

5 Tips for Better Freelance Negotiations

Every freelancer needs to master and practice the art of negotiation. From clients that want to haggle over process, to talking someone into a specific style of design or interface style for a project, working on your own involves constant negotiation.

Some of us are more adept at negotiating than others. But even if it is not a natural talent for you, there are some ways to beef up your skills so you feel more confident entering these discussions with clients.

Business / 1 Aug 2016

10 Tips for Those Days When You Don’t Feel Creative

Today’s story is personal. I woke up, got ready for work, sat down at my computer and then just couldn’t design everything. I mean nothing looked good. I was embarrassed to even call myself a designer.

The harder I tried, the less creative I felt. Was I a design failure? Was my career over? All these thoughts flooded my mind. And then… I just decided to do something else for a while. Some days, you aren’t going to feel creative. It’s going to happen. Here are a few ways to overcome that “designer’s block” and move on to other projects (and work) until you get your mind right.

Business / 11 Jul 2016

Do You Need a Price Sheet? (Pros and Cons)

One of the biggest questions for any design freelancer is “what should I charge?” The second question is “should I publish a price list for potential clients?”

The answer to the first question includes a lot of variables, and only you can determine what a fair market rate is for the quality and scope of work you do in the market where you do business. In terms of the second question, a price sheet can provide a starting point between freelancers and clients. Today, we’ll look at the pros and cons of publishing a price sheet so you can decide if that’s the right option for you!