September 2009

Resolving client conflict.

If you work on enough design projects for enough clients, you will eventually run into a conflict. You, as the designer, have a vested interest in creating a piece of art. You put your heart and soul into an eye-catching design, and you know what works artistically. Your client, on the other hand, has a vested interest in the piece as a promotional tool. He has an idea of what he thinks he wants, and when his ideas and yours do not overlap, conflict arises. The key to working through this conflict is clear, constant communication and the ability to compromise. Read all about it at DesignDrops.

August 2009

The design pricing formula.

Pricing is a task a lot of designers struggle with. DavidAirey receives questions on a weekly basis to prove it. As much as he wants to, he can’t tell you what you should be charging. The design pricing formula explains why.

How freelancers can use Active Listening to improve business.

Imagine we’re having a conversation, and I’m telling you about where I live. I might describe how Eagleby is located between Brisbane and the Gold Coast, and mention the names of important roads. I might explain that Eagleby is situated between twin rivers, and the bird life in our wetlands—including eagles—attracts bird watchers from around the world. I might also mention that the reputation of some parts of Eagleby is summed up by the name given it by the locals: “Illegalby”.

While I was talking, most likely you were only half-listening. Perhaps you were also thinking about lunch, organizing three things you need to get done this afternoon, daydreaming about how cool you think eagles are, evaluating some ideas for a new website, and wishing I would change the subject.

Now imagine that the context of the conversation was that you were about to drive to Eagleby to meet with me about an important job. You would have listened in an entirely different way. And that’s the difference between passive and active listening. In this article by freelanceswitch, we’ll look at why active listening is an essential skill for freelancers.

Kill fees and six other clauses to consider for your contract.

Alyssa at Sitepoint is not an attorney, but she has read through more than her share of agreements, both for her own business and on behalf of clients. There are some clauses that are vital, especially when you are providing contracted services. Here is a breakdown of some of the big ones and why you may want to consider working them into your agreement.

Five habits to help you complete your project in record time.

Everybody wants to be more productive. Productivity translates to success, whether you’re a freelancer or an employee. Webitect suggests five powerful ways to make sure you’re getting the most out of your time. Even if increased productivity didn’t bring extra income, people would still want to be productive because there’s just a confidence-building, make-you-feel-great kind of charm about knowing you can work fast, be efficient and get the job done without rushing.

Five important questions to ask before taking on rush projects.

Understandably, all clients think their projects are urgent. It’s the nature of business and society today – we want it done now and we want it done well. But before you commit to pulling an all-nighter to meet an unrealistic deadline, here are five questions to ask that will help you make sure you have a clear idea about what you’re getting into. Just check out this post from Sitepoint. Excellent!

101 helpful tips and tricks for freelancers.

As a freelancer, you are in total control of what you do with your time, who you work for, how you work, and when you work. You control all aspects of marketing, and servicing your clients. That is why it is the ultimate goal of a freelancer to reach a state where their work flow is perfect, and they have set mechanisms and processes they use when conducting any task in order to do it as efficiently and effectively as possible. To help you along the way, and help you develop your own work flow more, FreelanceApple decided to create the ‘101 Helpful Tips and Tricks for Freelancers’. Enjoy.

Ten tips for becoming a freelancing powerhouse.

When it comes to freelancing, most people assume it’s all fun and games. The thing that many forget to realize is that when you are setting your own hours and being your own boss, responsibilities double. Working from home is great, and setting your own hours couldn’t be better. FreelanceFolder has been working from home for a couple years and he really enjoys being there for his family when they need him. In this post he’s listed a few tips that will help you conquer the pitfalls of freelancing and turn you into a freelancing powerhouse.

Logo trademarking tips: A legal perspective.

Steve Baird has passionately represented clients in trademark and related intellectual property matters for more than 18 years, with clients spanning virtually every industry. Having focused on trademarks and the legal implications of branding and design for nearly two decades, Steve is a frequent speaker and author on trademarks, brand management, and related intellectual property subjects. DavidAirey presents Steve’s  views on logo trademarking tips, with a slant to a legal perspective.

Marketing rules and principles for freelancers.

In theory, the idea of working for yourself, of being able to choose who you work with and what you work on, sounds like the perfect job. In practice though, it’s a lot more than just working on amazing projects for amazing clients from the comfort of your own home. There is a tremendous amount of competition out there, and a lot of it is willing to play dirty, cut-throat and underhanded to beat you to the clients. How are you supposed to get ahead of those guys? Is it even possible to earn an honest buck? Thankfully, it is possible and can be a lot easier than you think. Read marketing rules and principles for freelancers at SmashingMagazine.