Articles by ‘Laura Spencer’

Web Design Challenges: Hitting the Panic Button too Soon

Over the years, I’ve seen freelancers who I never thought would make it, succeed. I’ve watched other freelancers, who seemed extremely gifted to me, fail.

What was the difference? Why did some freelancers succeed while other, more talented freelancers failed?

Was my judgment of talent that bad? I don’t think so.

I’m convinced the real reason that some freelancers succeed while others fail is because many failed freelancers panic and give up on their freelancing business too soon. In other words, they panic…

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4 Tips to Keep In Person Meetings from Sucking Away Your Precious Time

Do you network with local businesses face-to-face?

Good for you. Building a strong foundation of local businesses who use your freelance web design services can only help you grow. Even getting together for a simple cup of coffee can be a good way to grow your business.

But did you know that there’s a wrong way and a right way to go about scheduling meetings?

The wrong way will take tons of time and yield practically no paying clients. The right way will help you promote your design services for a steady flow of new clients. Do you know the difference?

In this post, I’ll explain why bad networking practices can hurt your freelance business. I’ll also give you four tips to help you keep in person meetings from draining your pocketbook and sucking away your time…

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How to Stop Putting Off That Rate Increase and Double Your Income


You know that popular story? The one about the brilliant creative genius who lives in a run-down one room apartment because he or she can’t afford anything more. That artist is starving, but never fear, the story always has a happy ending right? Once the artist dies, their work will be appreciated and they will become a household name and live forever in the art history books!

But wait a minute. There’s something very wrong with this scenario.

First of all, it’s not a happy ending if the artist has to die to succeed. Secondly, I don’t want to live like that. Do you? The story makes a good plot for a novel or a movie, but it’s not something any of us want to live. And we shouldn’t have to. Don’t live this stereotype!

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What Freelancers Absolutely Must Know about the Hot New Trends, Coworking & Hives

Does your freelancing web design future include other freelancers?

Many freelancers think dealing with coworkers became a thing of the past once they left traditional employment. But a new breed of freelancer is choosing to work closely with others, often in an office environment. And they’re thriving.

I’m talking about the new trends towards coworking and freelancing hives. As freelancers, it’s important to take note of new trends. It’s especially important when such trends seem to be working.

This article from Karsten Strauss on Forbes, Why Coworking Spaces Are Here To Stay, examines the popularity of coworking.

Image Source: Steelcase by Cole Camplese CC by 2.0

In this post, we’ll take an even closer look at coworking and the latest freelancing trend, hives. We’ll examine some of the benefits (and drawbacks) of each.

If you liked this post, you may also like How to Transition from a Freelance Web Designer to a Lucrative Consulting Business.

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Is Your Freelance Web Design Business a Hot Mess? Five Questionable Business Practices to Avoid

You know you’re good at web design, but your freelance business just barely gets by. What could be wrong?

It could be that your freelance business is a hot mess, and you don’t even realize it.

In slang terms, a hot mess is an attractive person whose appearance is messy despite their underlying good looks. The term is often used to refer to stars and other celebrities who are spotted wearing ill-fitting clothes or who make questionable hair, makeup, and fashion choices.

Your freelancing business a hot mess if you are so disorganized that your business is failing despite your underlying design talent.

The thing about a hot mess is that they usually can’t see it in themselves. It takes someone else to point out their questionable choices and bad habits.

Likewise, if your freelance web design business is a hot mess, you probably don’t even realize what’s wrong.

In this post, I’ll point out five questionable “hot mess” business practices that are keeping your design business from succeeding. These bad practices represent some of the worst business choices a freelancer can make. I’ll also explain how to stop being such a hot mess and get your web design business back on track.

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Be Unforgettable. Build Your Web Design Online Presence Even When You’re Busy

How do you get more clients? Build a strong online presence, of course.

If clients and prospects see you online, they are more likely to contact you about web design projects. An easy and cost-effective way to build a strong online presence is through social media.

The only problem with building an online presence through social media is that most freelancers tend to slack off when they are busy. It’s easy to participate in social media activities when your schedule is slow. It’s not so easy to participate when you are rushing to meet deadlines.

Unfortunately, when it comes to your online presence the old saying “out of sight, out of mind” often holds true. If your potential clients don’t see your name mentioned for a while, they are likely to forget about you and hire someone else.

You need a plan.

In this post, I share an easy plan for maintaining your social media presence when you are busy. Best of all, it only takes 40 minutes a day.

Image Source: Remember me this way by basibanget CC by 2.0

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4 Ways to Wow Your Clients And Make Them Addicted To Your Services

Getting a return client can seem somewhat like finding the Fountain of Youth for most freelancers. Every freelancer wants to have them, but most freelancers have trouble getting them.

Freelance web design clients are particularly fickle. Once you’ve finished your web design work, many clients see no further need for your services. If you don’t do anything about it, they promptly forget you. When it comes time to hire a web designer again, they’ll probably use someone else.

Fortunately, It doesn’t have to be this way. You can take some steps to improve your chances of getting repeat business.


In this post, I’ll share four steps that will keep your name in front of your clients and help them to remember you for their next web design project.

If you liked this post, you may also like 6 Very Effective Principles to Improve Your Customer Service & Make Your Clients Happy.

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44 Point Checklist to Use Before Quitting Your Day Job to Become a Freelance Web Designer

Are you thinking about quitting your job to become a freelance web designer?

Freelancers are in the news a lot lately. It’s tempting to think that freelancing is an easy way to make money. However, that’s not always the case.

Some people are just not ready to become freelancers. They may not have the right skills. They may be at a stage in their life where they would be better off doing something else. Or, they might not have the determination to succeed at freelancing.

It’s important to do some serious self-examination and soul-searching before you make the move to freelance web design. In this post I share a checklist of 44 questions to ask yourself before you decide to quit your day job.

Image Source: quit your job by leasean CC by 2.0

If you liked this post, you may also like 10 Signs That You Are Ready for Full-Time Freelancing.

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Too Much, Too Fast. What To Do About Information Overload

Do you feel like you are drowning in a sea of information?

Blog posts, articles, ebooks, videos, podcasts, images, and more.

Like most web designers and other freelancers, you’re probably flooded with information. You probably receive newsletters and blog posts in your email inbox every single day. You also check several important industry blogs and news sites daily. In addition, you have to keep up with what’s going on with your clients and in your personal sphere. Whew!

Don’t feel bad if you’re overwhelmed. That’s a natural response to information overload.

If you tried to absorb everything that was thrown at you, you probably wouldn’t be able to do it. Even if you spent the entire day reading and listening to podcasts.
In this post, I share a brief overview on information overload. I also share four tactics for overcoming it.

If you liked this post, you may also like 45 Design Blogs on Facebook.

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Web Designers, Are You Missing Out on Crucial Face-to-Face Networking?

When was the last time you met in person with a client or prospect? That long, huh?

Like many freelancers, web designers understand the importance of networking. And in this digital age, most of us tend to do our networking online. It’s faster. It’s easier. But it’s not always the best choice.

The Internet is filled with advice on how to network online. There’s a good reason for that. There are at least half a dozen excellent social media tools available that can help you with networking. Each social site has its own set of rules and standards, so there’s room for plenty of articles offering advice.

In the rush to join the social networking crowd, many of us have neglected an old school networking technique that still works–face-to-face networking. If you rely only on virtual networking, you may be missing out on some great opportunities.


This post is for those freelance web designers who want more from networking. I’ll discuss the importance of face-to-face networking. I’ll even provide a few tips on how (and where) to get started with face-to-face networking.

If you liked this post, you may also like Are You Overlooking These 5 Proven Methods for Networking Online?.

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