Articles tagged as ‘Business’

The Secret to Telling a Memorable Story With Your Brand

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Good stories leave a lasting impression. Even if the audience can’t remember exact details, years down the road, they will still remember if it was “awesome,” “horrible,” “sad,” “funny,” and even to what degree of emotion the story evoked. Brands who have a strong story provide the same long term results as a movie or story. And just as with a poor or boring story that is easily forgotten, a brand without a stand out story is quickly forgotten and replaced.

Graphic designers, web designers, web developers, illustrators, design agencies, and others in the graphic design field have to stand out from the competition. If you have a unique skill set, then you probably won’t have trouble finding work or clients. But web designers and graphic designers seem to be found in abundance these days, so creating a brand that prospects and clients remember long after an encounter with you is vital.

Turning your graphic design brand into a memorable story is one powerful way to stand out from the online sea of designers. With a strong story, you make yourself more personal and, therefore, easy to approach. You make yourself real, and clients want to connect with real people, not a company. A story told well also evokes strong emotions, which last longer than a plot line, making it that much more likely that customers will remember you years down the road…

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How to Stop Putting Off That Rate Increase and Double Your Income

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You know that popular story? The one about the brilliant creative genius who lives in a run-down one room apartment because he or she can’t afford anything more. That artist is starving, but never fear, the story always has a happy ending right? Once the artist dies, their work will be appreciated and they will become a household name and live forever in the art history books!

But wait a minute. There’s something very wrong with this scenario.

First of all, it’s not a happy ending if the artist has to die to succeed. Secondly, I don’t want to live like that. Do you? The story makes a good plot for a novel or a movie, but it’s not something any of us want to live. And we shouldn’t have to. Don’t live this stereotype!

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12 Ways to Make Money in the Design Industry, Aside from Client Work

When it comes to working as a designer or developer the options that come to mind are typically 1) work as an employee for a design studio or agency, 2) work as employee as an in-house designer or developer, or 3) work as freelancer.

While all of those are perfectly legitimate options, there are thousands of designers and developers who are earning a living in the industry with less traditional approaches. In this article we’ll look at some of the ways that you can use design and coding skills, aside from the 3 approaches mentioned above.

Working as a freelancer is something that many designers aspire to do. In reality, most freelancers struggle to find enough client work to make the income that they need. A growing number of designers and developers are taking alternative approaches as a result. One of the great benefits is that many of these things can be done part-time or full-time, which also means that you can combine one or more of these approaches with client work.

So let’s take a look at some of the options for designers and developers. We’ll also see some examples of people who taking these alternative approaches, and you’ll find links to some excellent learning and training resources that can help you in your own pursuit.

1. Designing and Selling Stock Graphics

A common approach to making money as a designer is to sell stock graphics (PSD files, logo templates, Photoshop brushes, vectors, icons, etc). Marketplaces like GraphicRiver, Creative Market, and major stock photo sites like iStock allow designers to sell their own creations to a large existing audience. The down side of selling at these types of marketplace sites is that you will need to share the revenue with the marketplace, and in many cases you’ll also face restrictions related to pricing, the types of products you can sell, and exclusivity.

Of the major marketplaces, Creative Market provides the most flexibility and fewest restrictions for designers. They don’t require exclusivity (you can sell your products at your own site or at other sites), you can set your own prices, and they offer 70% of each sale to the designer.

GraphicRiver

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What Freelancers Absolutely Must Know about the Hot New Trends, Coworking & Hives

Does your freelancing web design future include other freelancers?

Many freelancers think dealing with coworkers became a thing of the past once they left traditional employment. But a new breed of freelancer is choosing to work closely with others, often in an office environment. And they’re thriving.

I’m talking about the new trends towards coworking and freelancing hives. As freelancers, it’s important to take note of new trends. It’s especially important when such trends seem to be working.

This article from Karsten Strauss on Forbes, Why Coworking Spaces Are Here To Stay, examines the popularity of coworking.

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Image Source: Steelcase by Cole Camplese CC by 2.0

In this post, we’ll take an even closer look at coworking and the latest freelancing trend, hives. We’ll examine some of the benefits (and drawbacks) of each.

If you liked this post, you may also like How to Transition from a Freelance Web Designer to a Lucrative Consulting Business.

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Is Your Freelance Web Design Business a Hot Mess? Five Questionable Business Practices to Avoid

You know you’re good at web design, but your freelance business just barely gets by. What could be wrong?

It could be that your freelance business is a hot mess, and you don’t even realize it.

In slang terms, a hot mess is an attractive person whose appearance is messy despite their underlying good looks. The term is often used to refer to stars and other celebrities who are spotted wearing ill-fitting clothes or who make questionable hair, makeup, and fashion choices.

Your freelancing business a hot mess if you are so disorganized that your business is failing despite your underlying design talent.

The thing about a hot mess is that they usually can’t see it in themselves. It takes someone else to point out their questionable choices and bad habits.
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Likewise, if your freelance web design business is a hot mess, you probably don’t even realize what’s wrong.

In this post, I’ll point out five questionable “hot mess” business practices that are keeping your design business from succeeding. These bad practices represent some of the worst business choices a freelancer can make. I’ll also explain how to stop being such a hot mess and get your web design business back on track.

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How to Help Your Client Decide if a Native App is Necessary

More and more people across the world are using their mobile devices to access digital content. According to eMarketer, mobile phone use will grow from 61.1% to 69.4% worldwide. The same article also claims that nearly one-fourth of the global population use a smartphone monthly, but by 2017, this number will increase to 50%.

American cell phone use has already surpassed the global numbers. The Pew Internet Research discovered that as of 2014, 90% of American adults own a cell phone, and 58% of those cell phone owners have a smartphone. Interestly enough, though, America only ranked number 13 in the 2013 list of countries with highest smartphone penetration. The top 5 in the list were United Arab Emirates, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, and Norway, respectively:

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Best Twitter Practices for Improving Visibility

One of the best ways for freelance graphic designers and web developers to gain exposure online is with social media. Twitter is an especially successful avenue simply because it is such a common platform. Freelancers, big and small businesses, non-profit organizations, retailers, individuals – Twitter is full of world-wide activity, across every industry.

Photo Credit: mkhmarketing via Compfight cc

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4 Ways to Wow Your Clients And Make Them Addicted To Your Services

Getting a return client can seem somewhat like finding the Fountain of Youth for most freelancers. Every freelancer wants to have them, but most freelancers have trouble getting them.

Freelance web design clients are particularly fickle. Once you’ve finished your web design work, many clients see no further need for your services. If you don’t do anything about it, they promptly forget you. When it comes time to hire a web designer again, they’ll probably use someone else.

Fortunately, It doesn’t have to be this way. You can take some steps to improve your chances of getting repeat business.

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In this post, I’ll share four steps that will keep your name in front of your clients and help them to remember you for their next web design project.

If you liked this post, you may also like 6 Very Effective Principles to Improve Your Customer Service & Make Your Clients Happy.

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44 Point Checklist to Use Before Quitting Your Day Job to Become a Freelance Web Designer

Are you thinking about quitting your job to become a freelance web designer?

Freelancers are in the news a lot lately. It’s tempting to think that freelancing is an easy way to make money. However, that’s not always the case.

Some people are just not ready to become freelancers. They may not have the right skills. They may be at a stage in their life where they would be better off doing something else. Or, they might not have the determination to succeed at freelancing.

It’s important to do some serious self-examination and soul-searching before you make the move to freelance web design. In this post I share a checklist of 44 questions to ask yourself before you decide to quit your day job.

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Image Source: quit your job by leasean CC by 2.0

If you liked this post, you may also like 10 Signs That You Are Ready for Full-Time Freelancing.

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Programming Skills Most Desired by Employers in 2014

It’s no myth that programmers are a highly sought after group in companies all over the globe. In her Forbes article on the Top Jobs for 2014, Jacquelin Smith analyzes an EMSI job study, which found that software developer (applications and systems software) is "the higher-paying occupation that has produced the most jobs post-recession". She also points out that the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 30% increase in software developers between 2010 and 2020.

Joseph Mapua also points out in his article in SkilledUp that, according to the BLS, businesses are looking to hire IT and computer workers due to the high demand for implementing new technologies. Developing software, enhancing security, upgrading outdated systems are all areas for which organizations have a need for computer professionals.

US News Today came out with their list of top 100 jobs of 2014 recently as well. Software developer and computer systems analyst were the top two in the entire list! Within the list of tech jobs, the top 5 careers include these two plus web developer, information security analyst, and database administrator.

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