Author Archive: Laura Spencer
Laura Spencer is a freelance writer from North Central Texas with over 20 years of professional business writing experience. If you liked this post, then you may also enjoy Laura’s blog about her freelance writing experiences, WritingThoughts. Laura is also on Google+.
Is bigger always better?
When it comes to social networks, the newest players are smaller and more exclusive. Some are invitation only. Others are niched–available only to members of a specified group. Most of them are mobile-friendly. They may even leverage other social media platforms.
Today’s new social media sites may become the giants of tomorrow. Witness the rise of Pinterest. For that reason alone, it’s worth checking these new tools out. But I think that you’ll agree with me that your web design business will benefit right now from the use of some of these tools.
We freelancers sometimes get asked the oddest things. Some of the questions are odd, and some are awkward to answer. You have to wonder what people are thinking.
In fact, it seems like I get odd and awkward questions nearly every week. You probably do too.
In this post, I’ll share some of those awkward questions with you. At the end of the post, feel free to share the odd things you’ve been asked, along with your response.
Most freelance web designers dread the unhappy client. Yet, eventually most of us will have to face one. Maybe that’s why there are so many posts out there about bad clients.
After all of your hard work and attempts to meet your client’s demands, the last thing you want to hear is that the client isn’t happy with the fruit of your hard work. You may even fear that the client won’t pay you.
Is there anything you can do about an unhappy client?
Yes, as a matter of fact, there are some steps you should take when your client is unhappy. In this post, I share five steps that you can go through to find out whether you can “fix” your relationship with an unhappy client.
How do you feel about accounting? How much do you even know about what kind of accounting records you need to keep?
If you’re like most web designers, Bookkeeping isn’t your favorite part of freelancing. But keeping accurate records is an important part of running a business.
It’s so important, in fact, that keeping good accounting records sometimes means the difference between freelancing success and freelancing failure.
Taxes are another reason why you need to keep good accounting records. If your records are sloppy, tax time will be a nightmare. (And you could wind up owing a lot of money.)
In this post, I share basic tips that freelance web designers and other freelancers should know about accounting. I also list five accounting packages to help web designers organize their bookkeeping tasks.
(Note: This post should not be considered specific accounting advice. The post is based on common United States accounting practices. If you have a specific accounting question about your own freelancing business, be sure to contact an accounting professional.)
We freelancers are well aware that there are bad clients out there. There have been plenty of posts describing how to identify a bad web design client or a bad web design project. We’ve even mentioned bad projects on this blog in this post for new freelancers. There are also plenty of posts encouraging freelancers to say “no” to bad clients.
However, there aren’t too many posts that explain how to turn bad work offers down. And turning work down is harder than you might think (as any freelancer who has ever accepted a bad project will tell you).
For one thing, we’re not used to turning work down. Everything about our business is geared towards finding clients and bringing them on board. Also, if you are accustomed to working in a traditional corporate environment, you’re probably not used to having the freedom to say “no” to a client or a project.
In this post, I provide ten ready (and truthful) responses you can give when you’re asked to do a project that’s not right for you. (Because, after all, you don’t want to spend too much time on projects you aren’t going to work on.)
Are you independent? A self-starter? Do you love to be in complete control of your projects?
If you just read that and you thought “yes…yes…yes,” then you have a lot in common with many other freelance web designers.
We freelancers are known for our independent ways. We tend to be self-starters. And one of the big pulls for many of us is the chance to exercise more control over our work.
Do-it-yourself can be a good way to run a freelancing business…for a while. But eventually, there will come a time when you can’t handle everything you have to do. This post will help you deal with that time.
In this post, I’ll explain when you need to look into getting some help. I’ll also discuss the pros and cons of five alternatives to doing everything yourself.
As web designer, you already work hard. You may feel that you’re doing all that you can possibly do. And that’s perfectly all right.
But many freelancers are taking on side projects–sometimes for fun, and sometimes for money.
Besides the obvious opportunity to earn extra money, there are several reasons why you might want to start a side project:
- Gives you something other than your work to think about
- Helps you meet people with similar interests
- Keeps you busy during the slow periods
- Provides the opportunity to learn new things
In this post, we’ll describe thirteen side projects you might want consider starting. These are all projects you can work on at your own pace. Put as little or as much effort into them as you wish.
You may think that as a freelance web designer you don’t need to worry about public speaking. What you don’t know is that there are plenty of speaking opportunities for web designers. Here are just a few of them:
- Professional organizations
- Client presentations
With all of these opportunities, public speaking is great addition to your marketing arsenal. It’s also a good way to establish yourself as an expert in your field.
The fact is that giving a talk in public is good for business. Yet many web designers have no idea how to make a presentation.
In this post, I’ll take you through the public speaking process and give you tips to get you through each step–a total of 16 tips in all.
Do you have a dream of selling an app you designed? Maybe you want to publish a book about web design? Maybe you’d like to turn your freelancing design business into a full-fledged agency?
What’s the biggest obstacle to your taking the next big step towards your dreams?
Often the obstacle to following your career dreams is money. It can take money to really develop a good business idea and make it a reality. Sometimes it takes a lot of money.
Finding money for a startup or a new venture used to be hard. Either you had to convince a bank to loan you money, you had to find an investor, or you had to finance your idea yourself.
Fortunately, there’s another way to obtain funding for your dream.
While it’s still a lot of work, many entrepreneurs are making use of crowdfunding sites. Crowdfunding sites allow a large number of people to contribute small amounts towards a project.
In this post, I list sixteen crowdfunding sites for web designers and other freelancers with a dream.
You want good clients and not bad clients, but how can you tell the difference?
If you’ve been a freelance web designer for a while (and especially if you have a strong online presence), this has probably happened to you. Out of the blue, you get an email asking about your web design services from someone you have never heard of working for a company you have never heard of.
Yay! You might think it’s time for a celebration. But as an experienced freelancer, you know to be careful. You know that it’s important to evaluate prospective clients. You shouldn’t agree to work for every single prospect who contacts you.
First of all, you want to make sure that their inquiry is legitimate. And you should also consider whether they are the right client for you.
In this post, I’ll list five steps to help you evaluate a prospective client. At the end of the post, share your tips about how you evaluate clients.