Retainers seem super complicated if you’ve never done them before. I know I used to be afraid of them because they seem like these big, scary monsters you just don’t know how you’ll tame. Then you get one or two […]

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Sometimes, at Reliable PSD (our creative agency’s new design-to-code conversion company), we get clients who write us…errr…a lot…asking for status updates. Now, we are very clear about ETA, and had been communicating and updating them on ETA as we went. […]

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In the past year or so, I’ve been the “brains” behind around 6 product launches that grossed anywhere from $300k – $625k / year within a week of launching (so $25k – $52k in monthly revenue). These launches were totally […]

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I had a few sales calls lately, only I was the potential client. They were with very savvy marketers, too. Ones who really know their stuff, but I couldn’t believe the insanely simple, crucial mistake they were making in these calls. […]

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Following up is one of the least used and MOST powerful tools you have under your belt. I’m going to talk about why that is, how to do it, and share the $5 / month tool we use over at […]

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The KEYSTONE to winning over new clients is a great proposal. After all, it’s the final item you send them before they make their decision. A lot rests on it, so you have to do it right. Here’s the exact […]

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Whether you’re designing sites for yourself, hiring someone to do it for you, or somewhere in-between…here are 4 tips I’ve found that boost the results websites get by a LOT. Use them for your freelancing portfolio or for clients. (They’re […]

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When clients read the right words, they pick up the phone and call you. It’s that simple. Writing those “right” words for your your website, brochure, or anything else, is actually really simple too. The bad news: If you’re like […]

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I wrote a whole intro for this post, but then I scrapped it and decided to just get right into it :-). So! Here are 4 things we’ve recently upgraded with our creative agency’s web coding service, Reliable PSD, that gave us […]

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Last year my wife (slash business partner) and I spent 4 months traveling Europe and the west coast of the U.S. We also didn’t miss a day of work the entire time, and every venture we were involved in experienced […]

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These past couple weeks have been crazy. On one hand, things have been amazing. We’ve been traveling through Europe while working, and business has been growing like crazy at the same time. On the other hand, these past couple weeks […]

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I’ve tried for a while now to “crack” Facebook targeting for our agency, and for our agency’s new “design to code” branch, Reliable. But the click farms have always been a problem. In case you’re not up-to-speed on the “click […]

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When you’re ready to make a big purchase… let’s say a new computer… you probably go steps like these: First, you start getting tired of the old one. So you start browsing around some websites, seeing what your options are, […]

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There’s a common thread amongst all of the products and services I create or am a part of: they’re expensive. Not ridiculously expensive. But when you compare them to the other products and services out there, they’re either priced above-average […]

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Back in the day we had no budget for marketing. So my partner and I would hit up the local networking events every week. For the most part they were completely worthless, and soul-sucking. Everyone there was a shark and […]

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On a hunch yesterday I started Googling “[insert city here] freelance graphic designer.” I looked at New York, Seattle, San Fran, London, and more. I spread from there to agencies. I saw sites from well-established peeps to ones who, as […]

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There are established agencies in your town. They get business probably every day of the week. They earn hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars per year. And then there’s you. The lone freelancer. Maybe you’re just starting out. Maybe […]

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Testimonials are more important than just about anything else on your website. If you had a headline that said “We make awesome websites that help businesses grow” followed by 20 testimonials from businesses saying how awesome their new website is […]

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Walk into any business, and you can almost instantly spot the owner. It’s not always their clothes, either. Some dress with more authority, but that’s not always the case. Sometimes they’re the ones in the tie-dye and sandals. And age […]

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I have woken up in cold sweats, with the bed literally soaking beneath me. I’ve had nights where sleep just wouldn’t come at all – pushed away by gut-wrenching anxiety. I’ve been pre-occupied with worrisome thoughts that prevented me from […]

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It takes a lot of work to get clients. Once you get them though, you have to know how to keep them, or all that hard work is lost. This is what my own agency has done to keep clients […]

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It was 9:00pm. I rushed down to the lake by the house, walked a bit up the trail that wraps around it, and waited. I paced. Bit my nails. Then, the phone call: “Hi, Dr. Pat, good to hear from […]

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I think it’s awesome how many designers are still print-only. I love paper and ink. The way it feels in your hands, the smell, the way it looks under different lights. Digital doesn’t come close to the sensory experience that […]

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Asking for referrals can be pretty nerve-wracking. The good news: If you do it right, you only have to do it once (per client). That’s the biggest value this post has to offer you. It gives you a process that […]

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Raising rates can be done in two ways: Rip off the band-aid. Say, “To hell with it!” and raise them now, without warning (or with warning), and let the pieces fall where they may. 2) With the method outlined in […]

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I’m going to share with you a list of ridiculous demands my company has been asked of by clients recently. I’m sure you’ll nod along. You might even get a laugh or two…or a few tears, if you’ve been pushed […]

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Dominating niches is actually pretty simple. It takes some legwork, and it takes hard work to get it going, but overall it’s pretty simple. Now, when I say “dominating a niche,” I mean you become a “go to” guy or […]

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I love direct mail. The fact that the world has gone digital just makes it even more relevant than ever. We’re so inundated with emails and Facebook and all the rest that holding a printed, crisp, personal letter has a […]

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Back in the early days of our creative marketing business, Clients from Hell was a gift from the universe. It kept me sane, reading all of those stories from fellow comrades in arms. Now, however, I have a much different […]

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A few days ago, the phone rang at 10am. “Reliable! This is Lou,” my wife and business partner, Lou, said. (We run a design / marketing agency, but recently started Reliable: our new PSD to HTML & WordPress company). She […]

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Flash back to 2010, and I’m giving a workshop to a room full of entrepreneurs who want to learn copywriting. We were on the subject of headlines. I’d given them the basics, and now, to make sure they “got it”, […]

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My brother is a fitness nut. He owns gyms, trains in gyms, and basically lives in them too. If you’ve seen “Pain & Gain” with Mark Wahlberg – he’s kind of like that (minus the psychopathic, hostage-taking shenanigans…). But he’s […]

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Last year I attended a digital marketing conference in San Fran. I had three objectives: Learn cool stuff I could use for my own businesses and to help my clients. Pick up potential clients. Eat a lot of that famous […]

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Recently, over at Reliable (our new PSD to HTML & WordPress company), we had an interesting situation… A “tough cookie” wrote in asking for a quote on his project.  But he didn’t hesitate to tell us that he was also […]

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This is a really relevant topic for me. My creative agency just opened a new branch called Reliable: our PSD to HTML & WordPress company. So we had to start from scratch, hit the drawing board, and figure out how to […]

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I have to start this post off with a quick disclaimer. Aside from running a design agency, I also run a PSD to HTML & WordPress company. So naturally – themes might seem like my enemy, right? If someone buys […]

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It’s so nerve-wracking to hit “Send” on an email that contains a proposal. “Did I price too high? Too low? Did I leave anything out? They’re going to hate it, aren’t they? Crap, maybe I should’ve priced it lower. Ahhhh!” […]

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AdWords Express has been a super powerful tool we’ve used to get more new clients for our creative agency. It’s gotten to the point where we turn it on / off as needed. On = contact form submissions almost instantly […]

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One of the most powerful lessons I’ve ever learned came from my first mentor, my half-brother Steve. I called him complaining about some clients and the crazy revisions they wanted and he said… “You know, dude… When stuff like this […]

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In my last post I got into the basics of selling the heck out of your design services. That post left off with how to shift the conversation from email to phone. Why? Because on the phone, you’re going to […]

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I’m an artist first. I care about creating beautiful, functional things more than anything else. If I could just sit in a room all day and create and pay the bills – well, that’d be just fine with me. However, […]

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So you have a web site set up for your design business. It features your amazing portfolio, has a sleek, snazzy design to it, and a beautifully put-together contact form. The only problem is… the contact form rarely, if ever, […]

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