In our economy there are a lot of designers and developers looking for work, whether it is full-time employment, contract work, or freelance opportunities. Fortunately, there are a number of great places to find these types of positions. In this post we’ll look at several sites that include specialized job boards that include web/graphic design and web development opportunities…
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Being a freelancer is hard work. Not only do you have to keep up with work projects but you also have to keep track of invoicing, communicating with clients, marketing yourself, and even making sure you have enough work for upcoming months to keep bills paid. This can make freelancing quite time consuming and exhausting. Thankfully, there are solutions to keep clients flowing in without taking away from the actual money-making tasks.
Bringing in new clients can be less of a pain and time suck with the right methods, and seasoned freelancers are just the ones to ask. The following 11 freelancer designers are experts in the field and have a lot of experience in client acquisition. So, we asked these experts the same question:
What advice can you give on finding new clients and/or making yourself visible enough that your work queue remains full?
While their answers vary slightly, most of them show that gaining new clients can become almost automated, if you put in the right leg work in the beginning. As you read through the advice below, you may want to think about which fits you the best. Every freelancer varies in their gifts and skills, so pick the method that will be easiest for you to keep up with until the time comes to let your efforts bring the clients to you…
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…
“How is that even possible?!” – asks you.
What I mean here is quite straightforward. Reading every web design article, gallery, tutorial, blog post, and etc. can be very enticing, but does it really make you better at your craft?
And this is not necessarily about the quality of that content, but more about your ability to take action on it.
In other words, the problem of wasting time when reading about web design is the problem of information overload, and it has a weird tendency to strike you whenever you’re trying to get some actual design work done…
I run a company called Envato. There are two hundred and fifty people who work here, and every month our sites notch up thirty five million visits. It’s a pretty successful business and one I’m very proud of. When we started, I never dreamed we’d get to this level.
In fact, I used to imagine that successful companies were started by people in suits. People who reviewed spreadsheets of business opportunities, had been trained in what to do, and then, perhaps while smoking a cigar, selected one to dominate. But that’s not how we looked when we started Envato at all, and fortunately we didn’t let that stop us from giving it a go…
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…
Back in 2008 I was a freelance web designer just starting out, exploring WordPress for the first time and all the wonders of web development. It seemed – at the time – like there was just so much to learn. Far too much for any one person to be able to master. Now I look back on those as “the good old days” – when I could open my RSS reader and go through just about every great web design blog out there, including Vandelay Design.
Today, I run one of the web’s newest and most shiny publishing platforms, called Ghost. We launched 2 years ago and currently turn over $411,000 in annual revenue (you can watch this live on our public revenue dashboard and have just under 300,000 users. It’s been quite the roller-coaster ride! But I’m getting ahead of myself: Let me tell you how this whole thing got started…
The age-old battle between designers and their clients rages on. Your client expects a certain type of design from you. They give you examples of what they want. Then they share their goal for this design, and your heart sinks. You know that they need something entirely different than what they expect to accomplish this goal.
Steve Jobs said something very wise about designing a product for a customer: “It’s really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.” And the same is true of design clients.
Now, of course, some clients are the perfect client. They tell you their needs, their goals, and may even give you a couple of examples, but they leave the whole of the project up to you. When you present your design, they are in love and can’t wait to hire you for their next project.
But many times, designers have to be prepared to either sell their soul (i.e. creative pride) to get paid or be prepared to walk away from a project into which they have already put too much time. Any time you cross a client, you will probably need to be prepared for one of these worst possible outcomes. Remember the saying, “Prepare for the worst and hope for the best”?
Very often, you may only have to compromise a little on your design pride to get to the invoicing part of the job. But disagreeing with a client’s opinion is no light matter, which is why you need to know exactly why you should not always design to client expectations…
So you have been shortlisted for that project that you are desperate to win. All that stands between you and your dream project is a presentation followed by a question and answer time. How do you ensure you give the best pitch of your life?
There is no single approach to giving a successful pitch. It depends on the client, the project and your own personality. But there are some things you can bear in mind. These presentation tips are about more than what goes on your slides and how to make them look pretty.
When a client asks you to attend a pitch they want to know two things: can they work with you and can you deliver. This means any pitch is about making a connection and instilling confidence…
After the holidays and welcoming the New Year we feel elated and inspired to start the year off right. Soon, after a few days or weeks, we get caught up in the routine again and lose focus on all the opportunities and positive changes we had envisioned. In this post, I’ll discuss some of the biggest internet trends to embrace in 2015…
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