Freelancing

Advice and tips on how to run your freelance business, work with clients, and grow your business.

Business / 12 Feb 2018

20 DIY Projects to Improve Your Freelance Office

A creative workspace is good for your creativity. That’s why companies such as Apple and Google have open and innovative workspaces. While you probably don’t have that kind of budget, there are some great DIY projects you can take on to improve your freelance or home office!

So grab your hammer, paint and creative thinking to make your workspace somewhere you’ll want to spend most of the day. Some of these projects take a few minutes, some a few hours, or some a few weeks or months. But it’s a great starting point for some creative thinking!

Business / 5 Feb 2018

5 Ways to Network as a Remote Freelancer

One of the toughest areas of working as a freelancer is that there’s a sense of professional loneliness. Most of your work days are spent alone in a home office. While local networking opportunities exist, they may not be geared toward the creative industry. You need to get out!

You need to meet more creative workers. You need to develop a method to network as a remote freelancer, to create relationships that will help you grow in your career—and keep from feeling like you work on an island!

Business / 29 Jan 2018

30 Tips to Be More Productive in 30 Days

Whether you work alone or as part of a large team, everyone is looking for ways to increase productivity. You’ll feel less stressed and get more done each day. Let’s see just how much you can change in 30 days—you’ll be amazed.

So how do you do it? First, changing any habit takes practice. Doing something one time doesn’t make it part of a new routine. You have to do it repeatedly; make it part of who you are. Here, we’ve got 30 tips to help you be more productive 30 days from now.

You aren’t going to do all of these things at once. Start with one or two, once they are part of your embedded routine, add another change and slowly build until you are feeling like your most productive self. Good luck!

Business / 6 Dec 2017

Are You a Good Designer or a Great Designer? Here Are the 10 Signs

Some people are better suited for certain jobs than others. Skills and personality traits combine to make you good—or great—at your job. When it comes to design, do you know where you fall? Are you a good designer? Or a great one?

The answer might be both. Between good days and bad, and projects that rock and ones that leave you ragged, one of the things that will help you be a better designer all the time is awareness of characteristics that great designers have in common.

Business / 30 Nov 2017

Challenges Every Freelance Designer Will Face in 2018

A new year is looming ahead, which comes with new challenges, even for the seasoned freelance designer. As you look back and celebrate the wins of 2017 – as you deservedly should – it’s time to think ahead to what’s in store for the new year as well!

There seems to be a shift again in trends and technology that could present challenges (and opportunities!) for designers in 2018. Here’s a look at some of the curveballs that might come your way. And how to be ready for them when they do.

Business / 13 Sep 2017

How to Start Small & Scale Up a Design Project

Sometimes the hardest part of starting a new design project is… getting started! The best way to tackle a new project is to start small and scale the project up as you go.

Think about it in a series of small steps that build into a final product. This concept can make projects easier to manage and help you build a more predictable timeline as well.

The ability to scale is important because a lot of projects aren’t do-it-and-forget-it; websites, in particular, evolve and change over time. Not sure where to start? Here are some practical tips for graphic and website design project management so you can scale as you go.

Business / 28 Aug 2017

How Much Should You Charge for Design Services?

It might be one of the most asked questions among freelance designers: what do you charge clients?

There can be so many variables in setting rates that you can stick to, and you have to make a choice between hourly and fixed options. Either way, a good pricing strategy can help you get the clients you want and earn a solid income from freelance work.

After you figure out pricing. Which is a challenge for almost anyone!

Business / 23 Aug 2017

How to Upsell Freelance Design Services

Every freelance designer wants to hang on to their best clients, and maintain a meaningful business relationship. Working with the same team for a long period of time has some direct benefits — particularly that you and the client know each other and have a good feel for how the partnership will work.

But how do you keep those clients? After the initial website is built or the logo is completed, what comes next? The answer is simple – an upsell. You want to provide additional value for clients so that they continue to work with you after the initial project. Here’s how you do it.

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!)