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12 Red Flags For Spotting Bad Design Clients - RD133

12 Red Flags For Spotting Bad Design Clients Bad Design Clients can ruin a business and destroy your love of design. Luckily there are certain Red Flags to help you spot bad clients before things go too far. In past episodes of the Resourceful Designer podcast, I talked about reasons for passing on design projects from both existing clients as well as from new clients. This time I focus on the clients themselves, specifically bad clients you want to avoid. Maybe you’re just starting out,...


Design Is An Investment, Not An Expense - RD132

When clients view design as an investment, you win. Whether or not a potential client decides to work with you relies heavily on your pitch to them. If they like the presentation but view the cost of hiring you as an expense, they may choose to look for more affordable options. However, if they consider the cost of hiring you as an investment, there's a good chance they'll decide to work with you. Not promoting the investment opportunity is a critical factor that holds so many designers...


Features vs Benefits: Marketing Your Design Business - RD131

Do you focus on the Features or the Benefits of working with you? I love visiting graphic and web designers' websites. I love looking at their portfolio of projects to see the work they produce. But even more than looking at portfolios, I love studying how these designers promote themselves to potential clients. One of the things I’ve noticed while visiting these sites is the different focuses presented to visitors. Some focus heavily on the features and services they offer to clients,...


Downselling To Win Design Clients - RD130

Have you tried downselling to win over design clients? Building client relationships is one of, if not the most important thing you can do as a designer. One of the best ways to build relationships is by downselling to your design clients. In a previous episode of the Resourceful Designer podcast, I talked about Upselling to increase your design revenue. In it, I mentioned how upselling is an excellent way of delivering more value to your clients which in turn will make them think higher...


Nine Situations When You Should Say No To Your Clients - RD129

Nine Situations when you should say No to your clients. How does that old joke go? “Business would be so much easier if I didn’t have to deal with clients.” It’s funny but unrealistic. Without clients, you wouldn’t have a business. So thank you to all the design clients out there that keep designers like you and me in business. Yes, clients are great. However, some of them can be difficult to work with at times, and others, let’s say they can be a real pain in the ASSumption that we’ll...


You Can't Rationalize Value - RD128

You can't grow your design business if you rationalize the value of what you do. Most designers don’t get paid what they’re worth. The reason they don’t is that they rationalize the value of the service they provide. What I mean by this is they try to justify why they are charging the price they do for their designs by itemizing what’s involved in their creation process. A logo will cost this amount of dollars because it will take me X hours of research, and another Y hours of development...


10 Things To Avoid While Running Your Freelance Design Business - RD127

Avoid these 10 things to grow your design business. To run a home-based freelance design business you need to know what to do for it to succeed. You also need to know what to avoid doing so as not to fail. You’ve done it. You’re running your own design business. It’s a fantastic feeling, isn't it? The freedom and the power it brings you. The counterweight is the responsibility and pressures you face because everything is now on your shoulders. When done right, running your own business can...


When Life Interferes With Your Design Business - RD126

When Life Interferes With Your Design Business Running a home-based design business is the best thing any designer could do. At least that’s my opinion, but I could be biased since I’ve been doing it for over 13 years now and I love what I do. But running a home-based design business does have its drawbacks. Such as when life interferes with your plans. Running a home-based design business is great. You can set your hours and work as much or as little as you want. You decide how much you...


Freelancer or Design Studio: Defining Your Design Businesses - RD125

Freelancer or Design Studio, which is best for your home-based business? I talk a lot on the Resourceful Designer podcast about running a home-based design business. In fact, it’s why I started the podcast in the first place. Like my catchphrase says, I’m doing this to help designers like you streamline your business so you can get back to what you do best, designing. I’ve covered many topics in the previous 124 episodes over the past few years. Things like pricing strategies, attracting...


Referral Partners 10 People to get Design Referrals From - RD124

Referral Partners 10 People to get Design Referrals From It's confusing for wannabe entrepreneurs to start a business. Their confusion creates an excellent opportunity for you, as a designer to team up with referral partners and not only help these entrepreneurs get started, but it also helps grow your and your referral partners' businesses. Starting a business is a daunting task. You don't just get out of bed one morning and think to yourself “What should I do today? I know, I’ll start a...


Using Google AdWords to Attract Design Clients - RD123

Using Google AdWords to Attract Design Clients Any time designers get together in person or online on platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn or Reddit, you’re sure to hear someone ask how to attract more clients. It’s one of, if not the most significant problem faced by designers. Without clients, your business fails. It doesn’t matter how good a designer you are if you don’t have people paying for your services your business will not survive. There are many ways you can attract new clients....


12 Inexpensive (or free) Ways to Promote your Design Business - RD122

You need to promote your design business if you want it to grow. Just like any other endeavour, if you don't promote your design business you are drastically impeeding its chance to grow. It's called brand recognition, which you being a designer should know. The idea is that when someone is in need of a service, you offer, there's a good chance they will choose to work with someone they know, or at least someone they've heard of. It's up to you to get your name out there so that the...


Most Design Clients Are Ignorant - RD121

Most Design Clients Are Ignorant When I say that most design clients are ignorant I'm not trying to be mean or derogatory. I'm simply stating a fact. The definition of "Ignorant" is someone who is lacking in knowledge or information as to a particular subject. That description is a perfect fit for design clients who often don't understand what it is you do, or how you do it. Design clients don't understand how the creative process works. They don’t know how much effort goes into even the...


Discovery Process - Doing It Right - RD120

How in depth is your Discovery Process? The Discovery Process is kind of like dating, or at least what I can remember from my dating days. It’s done at a point in your client relationship when you want to get to know them better. What are their goals, what makes them feel good, what frustrates them, what do they like, dislike? Why do they want to work with you? This conversation reveals the thoughts and feelings your client has towards their business, product or service. Larger agencies...


Being Effective vs Being Productive - RD119

How effective are you when you work? I don’t know if it’s because it’s springtime or if there’s some national or international initiative going on, but a lot of podcasts and blogs have been talking about productivity lately. Covering things such as ways to get things done more proficiently. Ways to make your job easier. Ways to not only do more but do more in less time. These articles and podcasts also talk about the wide variety of apps, journals and other tools to help increase your...


Minimising Back and Neck Pain From Long Days Designing - RD118

Do you suffer from back or neck pain? The other day at dinner during some idle chit-chat with my wife she mentioned a presentation she attended about ergonomics and how to minimise back and neck pain from sitting at a computer all day. The following morning at breakfast I found presentation handouts she had left on our kitchen table, and I started skimming over them. Before I knew it, I had read them all. They were so informative that after breakfast I came into my office and made some...


Calling Myself A Design Consultant Grew My Business - RD117

What's in a title? Since the inception of the design industry we designers have struggled with what title to give ourselves. I started my career calling myself a Graphic Artist. Later I changed to Graphic Designer and stuck with it until just recently when I took on the title of Design Consultant. Even though the bulk of my work these days is web design I’ve never called myself a Web Designer unless I paired it with Graphic Designer. As in, I'm a Graphic/Web Designer. In my experience, the...


Crafting Your Elevator Pitch - RD116

Do you have an elevator pitch? Imagine running into an old high school classmate at the airport. Someone you haven’t talked to in years. After exchanging some pleasantries, you realise they would be a perfect design client for you. They ask you what you do for a living, and as you start thinking of the best way to pitch your services to them, their flight is called, and you’ve lost your chance. That’s where having an elevator pitch could have helped you. What is an elevator pitch? An...


Stop Treating Design As A Commodity - RD115

Design should not be a commodity. I recently saw a conversation in a Facebook group discussing price lists on design websites. The consensus was that including fixed or package prices on your site diminishes the value of your services as a designer. This got me thinking. Are designers who include price lists positioning themselves as a commodity? What is a commodity? Let me share three definitions of a commodity that I found online. Do any of those pertain to design? Are the designs you...


Observations From New Entrepreneurs - RD114

What I learned by talking to new entrepreneurs I had the honour of presenting a "Branding Your Business" seminar to a group of new entrepreneurs this week. It was one of six in a recurring seminar series put on by my municipality's Business Enterprise Centre. They decided this time around that adding a "graphics" related seminar would be valuable to new business owners and they asked if I would be interested in presenting. The seminar I presented was advertised with the title “Graphic...