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Resourceful Designer - Resources to help streamline your graphic design and web design business.

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Are Updates Leaving You Behind? - RD182

When was the last time you updated a piece of software? Think about the last time you updated a piece of software. Whether it was an app on your phone, a website plugin or theme or an application on your computer. When you updated it, did you look at why it was being updated by reading the release or change notes? There are three main reasons why a piece of software requires an update. Do you know which of these reasons each update you perform is for, and why it was released? We've been...


Moving The Needle For Your Design Business - RD181

Are you moving the needle and growing your design business? Let me ask you a question. What have you done today, this week, this month that will help propel your design business? How are you moving the needle towards future growth and sustainability? Isn't that a funny saying; "Moving the needle"? It means making a significant difference, having a measurable statistic that will change as a result of an action. So let me ask you again, how are you moving the needle for your graphic or web...


Embracing A YES Attitude - RD180

Do you have a YES attitude when it comes to accepting design projects? If you want to grow as a designer, you need to embrace a YES attitude when it comes to dealing with prospective design projects. I’m hearing more and more designers, both graphic and web, who turn down projects because the job doesn’t fit their skill set. It frustrates me when I hear this. It frustrates me because I’ve been there and I’ve done that. When my design business was still relatively new, I turned down...


Niching: Stalking Your Client Herd - RD179

Finding clients at niche conferences I had planned a different topic for this week, but after attending Podcast Movement last week, I want to share my experiences hoping they can help with your design business. Here’s a little background. I’ve attended five out of the six years Podcast Movement has been around. The first year I couldn't attend, but I did purchase a virtual ticket so technically I've been part of all of them. The first one I went to was in Fort Worth, Texas, in 2015. That...


Using Social Media To Promote Your Design Business - RD178

Are you promoting your design business through social media? [sc name="pod_ad"]Many designers don't know how to use social media to attract design clients. They post their work hoping to attract business, but all they get is a following of fellow designers. Does this sound familiar? I'm by no means an expert on social media. That's why I invited Andéa Jones of OnlineDrea to join me and help clear the confusion of attracting clients via social media. Andréa is a social media strategist who...


Convincing Clients Why You're Better Than Discount Designers - RD177

Are you competing with discount designers? Let me start by saying that I've never lost a client to discount designers. I've had clients question my higher prices, but in the end, they ended up hiring me. I know that many designers have difficulty justifying their costs to their clients so I thought I would share what I do when a client asks "Why should I hire you when I can get that designed cheaper elsewhere?" This is a follow up to last week's episode - Stop Competing On Prices. In it, I...


Stop Competing On Prices - RD176

Lowering your prices can hurt your design business. I was talking to a fellow designer recently who is concerned about competing on prices. He asked me what I do if a client says they can pay less for a logo at Fiverr, Upwork, 99 Designs, or any other discount design platforms. This isn't the first time I've heard this concern from a designer. You may have experienced this exact thing with your clients questioning your prices compared to discount design sources. The fact of the matter is,...


3 Criteria To Accept or Decline Design Work - RD175

Turning down design work. The idea may seem foreign to you. Especially if you’re relatively new to running your design business. If you’re at a stage in your freelance career where you’re trying to establish yourself, you’re trying to get your name out there; you’re trying to make ends meat and pay your bills, then you might not be ready for this concept. Turning down design work may not be in your best interest right now. However, if you plan on growing your design business to be more...


Targeting a Niche: School Branding with Craig Burton - RD174

Have you ever considered designing in a particular niche? Have you heard the term "The Riches Are In The Niches"? It shouldn't come as a surprise that the more focused you are on a particular sector, the more familiar with it you become. And the more familiar with it you become, the more you are perceived as the expert in that particular sector. Graphic and web design is no different. Designers who focus on a particular sector become knows as experts and command more respect and earn more...


Creating A Contingency Plan For Your Design Business - RD173

Have you thought of your contingency plans? [sc name="smartpress" ]So you're running a graphic design business. You're plugging away day after day, week after week, engaging with clients and designing amazing things for them. Life is great, and you’re living the dream. But what if the unexpected happened? Are you prepared? What would you do in the event of a national disaster that destroys your home? What would you do if all of a sudden, without any warning, you lose all your office...


Dealing With Impostor Syndrome - RD172

Do you ever feel like a fraud? In a previous episode of the Resourceful Designer podcast, I talked about Superhero Syndrome. It's when someone takes on more responsibilities than they need or should take on. Sometimes doing things they are not qualified to do instead of doing the logical thing and finding someone qualified for the task. Today I’m talking about the opposite of Superhero Syndrome. And that’s Impostor Syndrome. What is Impostor Syndrome? Impostor Syndrome is a collection of...


What's Holding You Back From Starting A Graphic Design Business? - RD171

What's holding you back? [sc name="pod_ad"]September 30 will mark four years that I've been releasing episodes of the Resourceful Designer podcast. During the time I’ve received hundreds of emails from people thanking me for what I do. They tell me how much I’ve helped them, inspired them and motivated them. There's no way for me to express how this makes me feel, knowing that me, a designer, working out of my home office in small-town Ontario, Canada is having such an impact on designers...


Ten Productive Things To Do When You're Not Busy - RD170

Don't waste time when you're not busy. Wouldn’t it be nice to have so much design work that you don’t have time during your work day for anything else? Come to think of it; I don’t know if I’d like that. I enjoy a bit of downtime now and then, and I’m sure you do too. Downtime, when your brain isn’t working at one hundred per cent concentrating on some important task or churning away pumping out those creative juices. You need time to give your brain a rest. It’s that old proverb “all...


Why Fixed Prices Are Better Than Hourly Billing - RD169

How do you charge for design work? [sc name="pod_ad"]Do you offer fixed prices to your clients or is hourly billing your pricing strategy of choice? I'm not interested in how you come up with your rate or your price. What I’m asking is, do you or don't you know how much a design job will cost before beginning the project? Today I want to share my opinion on why you should stop billing by the hour and start offering fixed prices instead. Changing my pricing strategy. When I started my...


Cold Emails: 10 Tips To Help Them Convert - RD168

Do you use Cold Emails to attract clients? Equivalent to Cold Calling, Cold Emailing is when you send unsolicited email to someone without prior contact. A Cold email is a very effective way to reach out to potential new clients. So effective in fact that it’s been in use since the first businesses were around. OK, maybe not cold emailing, but cold calling has been. Even before phones were invented business people would knock on strangers doors trying to sell their wares. It was their...


Is Being A Designer Affecting Your Eyesight? - RD167

Do you worry about your eyesight? Do you worry about your eyesight? As a designer, there’s pretty much no escaping being in front of a screen. If you’re like me, between the computer, phone and TV, you probably spend more time each day with your eyes staring at a screen than you do sleeping. Face it, we’re slaves to our tech displays. Did you know that this constant exposure to one screen after another throughout the day can cause strain, and even damage to your eyes? The issue is...


Client Onboarding Part 7 - The Goodbye Packet - RD166

The Goodbye Packet Last week I told you about Client Offboarding, the process of finalising a design project and preparing a client for working together again in the future. Offboarding is a way of informing a client that you’ve completed the work they’ve paid you for, and any additional work from this point forward will be considered a new project, incurring further fees. In this last part of the Client Onboarding series, I’m talking about the Goodbye Packet, a way to collect and package...


Client Onboarding Part 6 - Client Offboarding - RD165

Client Offboarding [sc name="pod_ad"]Client Offboarding is the final step in building that oh so meaningful client relationship that will keep them coming back to you time and again with more design projects. For the past few episodes, I’ve walked you through the various steps of Client Onboarding — everything you need to do to turn a potential client into a paying client. But once the client is onboard and you have their project, is that the end? Of course not. The whole purpose of Client...


Client Onboarding Part 5 - The Design Contract - RD164

The Design Contract The Design Contract is the final part of the Client Onboarding Process. This vital part confirms that a potential client is now a paying client. In this series, I talked about the Client Onboarding Process as a whole before breaking it down into the individual components, the Intro Packet, the Client Meeting and the Design Proposal. Each of these different elements helps win over potential clients encouraging them to hire you, which brings you to this next step, the...


Client Onboarding: Part 4 – The Design Proposal – RD163

Continuing the client onboarding process with the design proposal. Part 4 of the Client Onboarding Process is the Design Proposal. A tool you use to convince clients that you are the designer for their project. Last week I told you all about the Client Meeting. The part in the process where you learn about the client and about the project they are presenting to you. After a successful client meeting, you should know whether or not you want to take them on as a client and tackle their...