Think of the last unfinished project you decided to throw into the back burner. Chances are that you gave up working on it because it cost you two very crucial things: Time and money.
Freelancers, especially those of us just starting out, often live in constant fear that starvation is just around the corner, and that every client is going to be our last. This makes us prone to accepting any new client and project that come our way, even if they are not right for our business.
You probably know already that it can be hard to get things done and still have a balanced life when you’re a freelance designer. On one hand, if you work too little, you won’t be able to make ends meet. On the other hand, you’re also worried that if you work too much, you’ll miss out on your life.
I used to have a profile on Match.com. I met a lot of nice people though online dating. But ultimately, it never work out for me. I found that online dating was a limiting and awkward way to start a relationship. Requests for proposals (RFPs) are just as bad.
It seems that too often great designers get lost in the mix simply because they don’t take the time to market themselves well. I mean let’s face it, most designers — especially those of us working independently/freelance — find ourselves continually juggling the roles of accountant, salesperson, and marketer, and rarely do we find the energy or resources to really develop big marketing strategies after all of our other tasks are done. And, while many do just fine with personal web portfolios, growing competition is making getting noticed harder and harder.
Without an accurate, clear and concise design brief, you might as well be designing in the dark. Without good direction, you’ll find it almost impossible to create designs that are on brand, on budget, and tailored to your client’s target market. In this article, I’d like to suggest and discuss 10 questions to ask your clients that will help you produce good design briefs.
You are already immersed in your industry’s magazines. You’ve been reading the top blogs on design for years. You’ve had multiple mentors tell you when you’re dead on and when you’re way off. And now you’ve been called up to the big leagues: You’re now a creative director — one of the highest positions you can attain in a career in the Design industry.
Creativity is a rare beast. It’s a blessing if you’re born with it, a feat of accomplishment if you can learn it, and an act of kindness if you teach it. Right now, the pool of great designers is stocked with those just getting started in their careers and those who are looking to move on to more interesting opportunities. No matter what your reason is for seeking a creative career, or how great your work is, I’d like to share some tips and tricks that can help you ace your job interviews.
Feedback is a crucial part of the process for designers – it’s how you get better and how you can better meet your clients’ needs. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the toughest parts of the job! How do you handle feedback that you disagree with? How do you tactfully criticize a clients’ idea to help them get a better end product? Unlike tweaking a graphic or enhancing a photo, you’re dealing with people, and that means being conscientious with your thoughts, ego, and emotions.
Going from a mid-sized company using SLDC, RAD, and the hybrid of other software development methodologies to a one-man shop was extremely difficult, to say the least. One would think that having the flexibility and autonomy of being an entrepreneur would prove otherwise. These advantages, ironically, were the root of my problems in getting my design projects done on time; I lacked the skills to manage my own projects by having too many options.
Those of you working in various creative fields would probably agree that client relationships are sometimes just as important as the work you’re able to produce. For freelancers and studio runners, you could even say that client relations become a job unto itself and for good reason: Clients are important.
The task of getting organized can sometimes be a very daunting prospect to those who don’t think of themselves as organizers. Some people love to have a place for everything, arranged in 90o angles, sorted by color, size, theme and cross-referenced.
Some people don’t.