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Before we go any further, let’s be clear: no matter how good you, your product, or your services are, sooner or later one of your clients is going to be unhappy with you. It’s better if we just accept that now. […]

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Have you ever watched the television show Shark Tank? If you haven’t, here’s the gist: the Shark Tank is a place where hopeful entrepreneurs pitch their business to highly successful millionaire and billionaire entrepreneurs (like Mark Cuban and Daymond John) in an […]

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Y’know that guy – one of your peers who always seems to get the very best clients? He who: Never has a problem with late payments. Doesn’t have to haggle pricing on rush projects. Makes handling a client misunderstanding sound […]

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So you want to start a business? Or perhaps you just did? Are you mad? Bonkers? Insane? Lost your marbles? Quick, you still have time! Get outta here!! Run for your life. Run for the hills. Go on, go! Get […]

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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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Your portfolio is online, you have a stack of business cards handy, you’re trying all of the traditional methods to find new clients, and yet…nobody’s knocking on your door. Now what? Client acquisition is one of those tasks you’ll need […]

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Pricing is super-hard. You’re thrilled that someone wants to hire you, and then you obsess over creating a proposal. And before you even get to the panicky part about what the client will think about the final numbers, you have […]

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For my entire life, I dreamed of travel. I dreamed of visiting far off lands, experiencing new cultures and doing something unconventional with my life. Yet I always thought that travel would come someday in the future, someday when I […]

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There’s a great line from Oscar-winning movie writer (including Moneyball and The West Wing) Aaron Sorkin’s 2012 commencement address at Syracuse. He said, Decisions are made by those who show up. I love the overly simplistic nature of this statement, and […]

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Deciding to jump into freelancing is an awesome, scary, exciting rush of emotions. Unless you have money set aside, you’re probably still working your “regular” job until things really take off, but you’re ready… …all except for one thing: you […]

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Last week, I had an opportunity to speak to a group of students at my Alma mater and I had a complete blast. My presentation was titled something like “Skipping 3-5 years: how starting a blog in college helped my skip […]

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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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I remember my first time. Nerves. Confusion. Sheer palm-sweaty, nerve-racking, eye-twitching terror. All these manic thoughts running through my head. Constantly. Non stop. Every time I awoke in the morning. Every night when my head collapsed into my pillow at night. […]

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The other day I was at lunch with a friend of mine when he accidentally offended me as an entrepreneur. He didn’t mean to. Not in the slightest. And I’m not talking like a huge offense. No harm, no foul. […]

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Fellow WordPress designers and developers: Doesn’t it just make your day (week) when you find the handiest new plugin?* Something vetted by someone who has used it before. Something that wraps up a handful of hacked-together plugins into one sweet […]

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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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