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As creatives, we’re often chomping at the bit to learn from other successful creatives: How do they boost conversions? What are their trade secrets for making more sales? Where are all the best clients hiding, and how come everyone else […]

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So often in business (and in life), it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it. Subtle changes in how you present yourself and your business – whether on your website, at a networking event, or while meeting with […]

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My husband Eddie and I started our design agency back in 2006. For the first several years, we priced our projects hourly. We estimated the number of hours based on past performance and only charged clients for how much time […]

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Chances are if you’re reading this, you’re tired of pitching your services to crickets. You feel like you’re constantly being solicited by the clients you don’t want, and can’t even get those you do want to give you the time […]

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I know the scenario well: You get a call from a potential client and set up a meeting. You spend at least 2 hours prepping, traveling, and actually meeting. Then you spend more time carefully preparing the proposal. Then you wait. […]

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Reader Matthew asks: Between the designer and the client, who pays for what and when? Great question, Matthew! It’s one that many of us stress over, especially because it often feels like a trade-off between simplicity, good customer service, and […]

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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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Knowing which questions to ask when designing a logo can be difficult. You don’t want to look stupid by asking the wrong kinds of questions. You don’t want to overwhelm your client by asking too many questions. But if you […]

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Let’s start with the obvious: not all of your clients are candidates for long-term relationships. Okay, so you’ve been hired to do a project for a client. Pretty straightforward, right? Well, I’m here to challenge you to venture beyond the immediate project […]

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Being a solopreneur is a lot of fun. You almost always get to make your own schedule, wear whatever you want, reject projects that aren’t a good fit, not drive during rush hour…it’s an all-around pretty amazing job. Except when […]

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We all make mistakes; it’s learning and improving upon those mistakes that make us better, both as professionals and as human beings. But with any heavily technology-reliant career, our mistakes can cost us a lot of business. In a time where […]

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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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Landing pages are a relatively new type of a page in the web design landscape, that’s for sure. And in general, if you happen to be working with a client who’s just starting their online adventure, chances are they simply don’t […]

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Walking with your eyes closed is pretty tough, right? Designing without adequate information is fraught with danger, too, and this is why every designer should develop a branding questionnaire. So to help you create one that’s sure to improve your productivity and cut […]

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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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Negotiations always give me the jitters. Am I proposing a fair deal? Am I about to get swindled? Should I look elsewhere? Am I going to lose this project? Is this client going to be more stress than they’re worth? […]

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Do you have that one client (okay, maybe three?!) that’s habitually totally unorganized and needing something big last week? The one that asks for an entire PowerPoint presentation for tomorrow’s 8am meeting? (Just 20 slides, I swear! 85 slides later…) […]

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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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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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We’ve covered a lot of ground at Millo when it comes to working with clients, finding clients, pitching them on your services and then even delivering the results of your work to them effectively. But there’s one more scenario we 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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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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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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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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Let’s talk about mistakes people make when designing a blog. Mistakes that can turn out to be quite destructive over time. The biggest challenge here is that the majority of these problems don’t ever surface most of the time. They just […]

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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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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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Let’s pretend the internet doesn’t exist. Given that you are reading this blog while online I appreciate such a concept may be pretty hard to get your head around but please, bear with me. Picture the scene. You’ve left your […]

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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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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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Okay, the headline does look a little BuzzFeed-ish, I give you that, so let’s just get the record straight before we get going. This post won’t be about things like: “You need to build a Twitter following or your business will fail!” […]

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Here’s an idea: people – including clients – are generally not bad, bitter, or overall evil. It’s just the circumstance that sometimes result in us – the freelancers – getting screwed during the process. I really believe this is true, […]

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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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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 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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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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Every once in a while, we all come across a client who knows nothing about websites and has never even owned one. And although this introduces some unique challenges, we still want to help, right? However, if we decide to […]

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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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