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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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Social Media is notorious for being a hotbed for overly honest confessions, offensive rants, and embarrassing photos you don’t want your employer seeing. To an extent, that’s expected for one’s personal page; it is yours to share what you want. […]

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When it comes to getting paid, we run a pretty tight ship here at Web123, but it wasn’t always beer and skittles. A few years ago our Debtors used to always be sitting at $120,000+ outstanding. It felt like we […]

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So the honeymoon phase is over with your design business huh? Me too. I’ve been running my own business for more than five years and a few months ago, this truth really began to hit me hard: A job where […]

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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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A design manager recently told me that he has a hard time finding good freelancers who are willing to work in-house. This is at a very well-respected marketing communications firm in Portland, Maine – a town bursting with designers. Why […]

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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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Whether you’re a rookie or a veteran, everybody wants to look like a polished pro. Most of us know the basics: always use a contract under promise and over deliver spend within your means never burn bridges But we’re all […]

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All creative freelancers constantly need new and engaging tools to enhance their trade. Thanks to the advent of the smartphone and social media, photography is the visual medium that generally benefits you the most. Virtually every type of creative can […]

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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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Half a decade ago, I (along with half the world, it feels like) got caught up in the lifestyle business craze when I read Tim Ferris’ The Four Hour Workweek for the first time. Since then I’ve read dozens and […]

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Running a freelance design business is one of the most fulfilling careers you can embark on. Think about it – you spend some time honing your design skills, and then use your skills to make an income, hopefully enough to […]

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How many times have you made this excuse? I would love to work on <insert side project>, but I just don’t have time. I used to say this too (more than I’d like to admit), but worse, I used to […]

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As creative freelancers and business owners, we all know written contracts are useful – no, necessary – when dealing with customers. After all, we’ve all been reading Graphic Design Blender, haven’t we? Whether it’s a $2,000 logo or a $20,000 […]

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In February 2014, I launched an all-new members-only section of Design Blender called Stoked. And last Thursday just under six months later, I basically put the whole project on pause. It wasn’t a flop. It wasn’t a failure. And I […]

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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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Let’s talk turkey for a few minutes. More particularly… cash flow. Icky, dirty, rotten, dreaded cash flow. How’s yours going? Are you making the BIG bucks? Stashing plenty of dosh away each month so you can retire young, travel the […]

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A couple weeks ago, Karol wrote a great post about not getting cheated by your design clients. In that post, we recommended (as we always do) that you have a signed contract with most of your clients. But in the […]

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Ever have one of those days (weeks?) where you just can’t seem to get yourself motivated? And I mean REALLY unmotivated, like nothing — not even dusting to avoid work — can tear you away from putting off life in […]

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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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Thank you for applying; we went with someone more experienced. I heard that plenty coming straight out of college, and I bet you have, too. With today’s job market, recent and upcoming college grads are increasingly looking toward freelancing to […]

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If you’ve ever looked into personal finance, you’ve probably heard some sort of advice that sounds something like this: “If you saved $4 every day instead of spending it on your morning coffee, you’d have nearly $1,500 plus interest in […]

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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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As I mentioned before in this post, recently I interviewed 9 amazing veteran freelancers, each on a different challenging topic they have personal experience excelling in. From hiring employees to overcoming self-doubt, here are bits of the wonderful information four […]

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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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Have you ever considered the fact that you might be thinking TOO much when it comes to building your business? You spend weeks and months (maybe even years) trying to figure out which email software to use, which color to […]

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Do you feel like you’re always working but not terribly productive? Have you ever felt like an unorganized baboon making up an excuse to reschedule yet another obligation that you accidentally double-booked? Does your brain feel cluttered? When you’re really […]

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Have you ever struggled to write a contract for ongoing work? You’re not alone. One Millo reader commented: Love the article you posted today about freelance with a contract. I’m curious, I can’t seem to find much out there for inspiration […]

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Back in school, I wasn’t big on maths. It wasn’t because I sucked at it or even because I didn’t enjoy it… it was because my maths teacher also happened to be my Truancy Officer and I ditched a lot […]

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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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Think of someone you really admire as a freelancer. Have you ever wished you could just contact them out of the blue and ask permission to question them for 20 minutes on a specific topic they’re really knowledgeable in? Last […]

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I get it. You’re an entrepreneur. So that means you have to have a one-year plan, a three-year plan, and a five-year plan–all with their own backup plans each. Right? I disagree. In fact, most of the successful independent entrepreneurs […]

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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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As freelancers, it’s easy for us to forget what it’s like to work with other people. After all, we did go solo, and often because we grew sick of being stuck in an office with a bunch of yahoos. Luckily […]

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Last time I checked, 74% of our new business came from word of mouth referrals. That’s just downright staggering isn’t it? Pretty much three quarters of our clients came from people jibbering on about how awesome we are (or something […]

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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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We all know by now that it’s important to have a contract, and to use it. Everybody should have one to make sure they don’t get taken advantage of. That doesn’t just apply to freelancers. Guess who else should, and […]

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If there’s one reason to start freelancing I hear more than anything, from college students to recent grads to design veterans ready to break out of their cubicle, it’s this: I’ll get to work on the projects I want to […]

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The idea of having a personal assistant has stuck with me ever since I first heard about it back around 2010. I mean, wouldn’t you love to have someone following you everywhere you go, with a calendar and pen in […]

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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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So you’re midway through a potential client consultation when your gut starts telling you this client isn’t for you. Maybe your personalities just aren’t clicking or maybe they sound like a bad design client. (Here’s a handy list of warning […]

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Do you ever sit back and wonder what you ultimately want from your design business? What does it look like 10 years from now? Staff, money, cars, house, turnover, clients, holidays, boats, helicopters, happiness and the list goes on. I’ve […]

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