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

Offering resources to help streamline your home based graphic design and web design business so you can get back to what you do best… Designing!
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Now displaying: 2015
Dec 24, 2015
20 Questions Your Design Clients Should Be Asking You - RD016

20 Questions Your Design Clients Should Be Asking You

Choosing a graphic designer can seem like a scary task for some design clients. Some are approaching you with a clear vision of what they want, hoping you can deliver on their vision. While others are contacting you because they don't have any idea of what they want. Regardless of why they're reaching out to you, the graphic designer, they need to make sure that you're not only someone with design skills, but someone they can trust with the reputation of their company.

They only way they can gain that trust is by getting to know you. And to do that, they ask questions. And if you're not prepared for those questions it can mean the difference between getting the job or getting a "don't call us, we'll call you" answer at the end of your conversation.

Here are some questions you can expect.

1. Will you tell me a bit about yourself?

This is probably the first question they will ask. Be precise and short in your answer. Sell yourself without bragging. If you've done any work for big name companies or people now's a good time to mention them. If at any time the client looks lost, wrap up your answer. You don't want to scare them away.

2. How long have you been in business?

Easy answer, mention how long you've been a graphic designer.

3. Do you have an office or are you home based?

I get asked this one a lot because of my mailbox at the UPS Store. Be honest, Mention that working at home let's you keep your costs down and pass that on to your clients. Offer to go meet them at their location if you can.

4. How many people work with you?

Best answer is that you have a number of people you can call upon for various tasks involving a design project but you don't have any employees, another way you keep the cost down.

5. What is your specialty?

If you have one mention it. Hint, if you do websites, mention that you're a graphic designer not a computer coder. Your job is to make the site look good not the code. This has helped me land many website jobs over the years.

6. Have you worked on this kind of design project before?

Again, be honest. If you haven't but have done something similar mention it. If not, tell them that you've always wanted to and you would love the opportunity.

7. How much do you charge?

If you work by the hour feel free to tell them your rate. If you work by the project you can tell them you'll work out a price after discussing the job with them.

8. Can you give me a ball park figure.

If you do, be broad and make sure you tell them that you can be more precise once you know the scope of the work.

9. How long will the job take.

In my experience, estimate longer and see what they say. If you can get it done sooner it will make you look good. If it takes longer than you thought they won't know.

10. What do you need from me?

This is where you ask for things like their files, Pantone colours, previously used photos. As well as their commitment to following your schedule for proof returns etc.

11. Who will work on my project?

Assure your design clients that you will work on their project but you may need to use the help of other, more experienced people for the parts you don't excel at. Such as copywriting, photography, illustration etc.

12. What is included in my completed project?

This is where you negotiate with your design client about rights to use your final design, layered PS files, etc.

13. What if I'm not happy with the design.

This is a tough one. Sometimes a client just can't be pleased. Make sure you have something in your contract stating the terms should one party of the other walk away.

14. What services do you offer after the project is done?

Here you discuss website maintenance, SEO services etc. for websites, and other design related projects for print designs and logos you create

15. Do you have any references?

You should have a list of previous design clients you've already asked permission of, should your new design client ask for references.

16. What happens if you go out of business?

It's a scary thought to design clients. Assure them that should something happen to you, all files, images, etc. pertaining to their design project will be turned over to them. Give them piece of mind.

17. Can you send me samples?

Send them previous samples that you don't already have displayed on your website. Curate them to match the kind of design project you are bidding on.

18. Can I see a sample of your idea for my job before I sign the contract?

NO! They can decide by viewing your portfolio and samples if you are right for their job. Don't do any work for free.

19. Why should I hire you?

This one is up to you. I wish I could give you the perfect answer to tell your design client, but at this point they've probably already decided if they're going to hire you or not. Use this question to put a bow and make yourself irresistible to them.

As you can see I only have 19 questions. I made a mistake when numbering and somehow skipped the number 13. This is what happens when you don't have your work proofread carefully.

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Design Resource

This week's resources are whatthefont.com (part of myfonts.com)& Identifont.com. I use both these resources any time I need to figure out what a particular font is. Whatthefont.com allows you to upload and image of the font in question and uses it to guess what font it is. Identifont.com lets you Search by name, similarity, picture or designer/publisher or my favourite, by appearance where it asks you a bunch of questions about the font to narrow down the possibilities. Check them out.

I want to help you.

Running a graphic design or web design business all by yourself isn't easy. If there are any struggles you face running your design business please reach out to me. I'll do my best to help you by addressing your issues in a future blog post or podcast episode here at Resourceful Designer. You can reach me at feedback@resourcefuldesigner.com

 

Dec 17, 2015

50 Questions To Ask Before Every New Design Project

What makes you stand out as a graphic designer amongst the many "contest" sites that are springing up, is your ability to converse in detail and ask questions of your clients before every new design project. By asking questions you not only show that you are a professional, you also inspire confidence in your client. Questions put them at ease and let them know that you are viewing their design project seriously. By putting your clients at ease and bestowing the confidence in them that they've chosen the right person for the job, you also show them that you are worth every cent you are charging them.

In this week's Resourceful Designer I'm covering 50 questions you can ask whenever you're faced with a new design project.

I don't expect you to ask all of these questions. But pick and choose the ones right for your design project, and in the process come up with questions of your own.

Remember, no design project ever failed because the designer knew too much about the company that's hiring them.

I've decided the questions into five sections.

  1. Questions about the company hiring you for a design project
  2. Questions about the company's target audience
  3. Questions about the company's brand
  4. Questions about the company's design preferences
  5. Questions about the design project's scale, timeframe and budget

To facilitate the conversation I'm using "company" as a global replacement for the client. The same questions can be asked of individuals, service clubs, organizations, charities, events, etc.

Questions about the company hiring you for a design project.

  1. What is the name of your company?
  2. Can you describe what your company does?
  3. What services or products do your company produce?
  4. How long have you been in business?
  5. Why was this company started?
  6. How big is the company?
  7. Are you a local, national or international company?
  8. Who is your competition?
  9. How are you different from your competition?
  10. How are your competitors marketing themselves?
  11. What are the long term goals of your company?
  12. Can you describe your company's strengths?
  13. Can you describe your company's weaknesses?

Questions about the company's target audience

  1. Can you identify and describe your target audience? (Age, gender, social class, location)
  2. Are you focusing just on this market or are you trying to hit other markets as well?
  3. How do you think your target audience describes your company?
  4. How does your target audience currently discover your company?
  5. How do you connect with your target audience?

Questions about the company's brand

  1. Does your company use a specific colour palette?
  2. Are there any design elements associated with your company? (fonts, icons, images, etc.)
  3. Does your company have a mission statement?
  4. What current and pass marketing material have you used?
  5. What did you like or dislike about your past marketing material?
  6. Why are you looking for something new?
  7. Do you have a company slogan?
  8. What feedback have you received on your past marketing material?
  9. Do you consider your brand material to be more traditional or modern?
  10. Is your brand associated with high end or cost-effective products and services?
  11. What would you like your target audience to think of when they see your marketing material?

Questions about the company's design preferences

  1. What colour palettes do you prefer?
  2. Will this project be used in print, on the web, etc.
  3. Is there anything from your past marketing material that you want incorporated into the new project?
  4. Are there any restrictions or limitations to consider when designing this project?
  5. Are there any new design elements you would like to try in this project?
  6. Are there any design styles you do not like?

Questions about the design project's scale, timeframe and budget

  1. Do you have a budget for this project?
  2. How many different concepts would you like to see?
  3. What material will you be providing me for this project?
  4. Are there any deadlines associated with this design project? (Are these preferable or firm deadlines?)
  5. Who will be my primary contact on this project?
  6. Who is involved in the approval process?
  7. Are there any third parties involved in this design project?
  8. Who will be dealing with involved third parties?
  9. What services are you expecting from me?
  10. What do you expect from me regarding this design project?
  11. What material do you require from me at the completion of this design project?
  12. Is there anything else you would like to discuss that we haven't already covered?

Bonus Questions

  1. Are there any other design projects I can help you with?
  2. Is there anything I asked you about that you need help with?
  3. Do you know anyone else that may require my services?

And finally...

The last questions you should always ask, When do you want me to get started on this design project?

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Design Resource

This week's resource is PDFpen. A Mac only software used to sign, fill out, correct, complete, edit and alter PDF files. I've been using PDFPen for several months now and it has quickly become my go to software whenever I need to work with PDFs. Keep and eye out as PDFpen is often included in software bundles or at a reduced price on it's own.

I want to help you.

Running a graphic design or web design business all by yourself isn't easy. If there are any struggles you face running your design business please reach out to me. I'll do my best to help you by addressing your issues in a future blog post or podcast episode here at Resourceful Designer. You can reach me at feedback@resourcefuldesigner.com

Dec 9, 2015
Moving Your Graphic Design Business - RD014

Moving Your Graphic Design Business

Life is unpredictable. At some point in your career you may find yourself moving your graphic design business for one reason or another. Moving across town isn't that bad. You're still local and can continue meeting face to face with your clients if you need to. But what if you end up moving your graphic design business across the country?

I've never had to move my own graphic design business, so on this episode of Resourceful Designer I invited special guest Wes McDowell of The Deep End Design and one of the hosts of the popular The Deeply Graphic DesignCast to join me. Wes recently moved his graphic design business from Las Angeles, California to Chicago Illinois. He shares how he's continuing to serve his L.A. client while he works on his SEO to try to crack the Chicago market.

I'm hoping you will learn valuable information that can help if you ever end up moving your graphic design business.

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Design Resource

This week's resource was brought up by Wes McDowell during his interview. If you want to look more professional by having a business phone number but you don't want to use your home or cellular phone. Check out eVoice.com. You save time and money when you let their system answer, route, and manage your business calls.

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I want to help you.

Running a graphic design or web design business all by yourself isn't easy. If there are any struggles you face running your design business please reach out to me. I'll do my best to help you by addressing your issues in a future blog post or podcast episode here at Resourceful Designer. You can reach me at feedback@resourcefuldesigner.com

Moving Your Graphic Design Business

Dec 3, 2015

Graphic Design Gift Ideas For Your Office

It’s that time of year again, when everyone is touched by the festive spirit. I can’t help think back to when I was a young lad and I would write out long lists of gifts I would like to find under the tree. Now that I’m much older I no longer write out lists, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have a secret wish list of graphic design gift ideas I wouldn’t mind unwrapping.

In honour of the season I posted a question to various graphic design groups on Facebook and LinkedIn. In it I asked “Other than a new computer or software, If you could ask for one thing this season to improve or enhance your graphic design office what would you want?”

I received some great answers to my question, and in today’s episode of Resourceful Designer I’m going to share them with you.

In no particular order, here are the Graphic Design Gift Ideas I received.

Wacom Cintiq.

This was the most submitted graphic design gift idea I received. Not just the Wacom Cintiq but Wacom tables in general. It seams that many graphic designers are itching get their hands on one of these this holiday season.

White Boards / Cork Boards

Another popular graphic design gift idea was white boards and cork boards. These are staples in many design studios. White boards are great for quickly working out problems, writing down reminders, or just recording important notes. Similarly, cork boards are a great way to organize notes, bills, photos and inspirational items.

Graphic Design Books

You can’t go wrong giving a graphic designer a book about design. It’s like a badge of honour to show off your collection whenever another designer pays your studio a visit. A few books that are on my list are…

Organizers

It seams most graphic designers are more organized than I am. Or at least they aspire to be. That’s probably why office organizers were a very popular answer to my graphic designer gift idea question. Most notably shelves and drawers. I myself really like the Ladder Style Book Shelves and the Winsome Halifax 7 drawer cabinet.

Ergonomic Chair

Every graphic designer needs a good chair. And from the answers I received a few are looking to upgrade theres. I’m kind of partial to the Viva Office, High Back Bonded Leather Office Chair although I wouldn’t turn down a Herman Miller chair if it was offered to me.

Standing Desk

Standing desks are a great way to relieve the pressure on your back while still working. Varidesk have some great options to choose from. If you’re on a tighter budget you can always opt for an sit/stand adjustable keyboard tray that allows you to use it standing up.

Heater / Fan

I never would have thought of these but they are graphic designer gift idea. If your office is in the basement or a cool place a heater would be a big help. And in those hot summer months a fan in the corner could help ease your day.

Studio Photography Lighting

For the photographers amongst us, good lighting is a huge help. There are many affordable lighting optionsthat will allow you to take great photos.

Learning Courses

Some say there’s nothing better than the gift of knowledge. If you are one of them you may be interested in what Lynda.com has to offer. Thousands of great courses with many of them geared to the graphic design industry. If you use this link you can Try Lynda.com For Free For 10 Days.

Drafting Table / Light Pad

These are two items that bring back fond memories of when I first started off as a graphic designer. I started by doing pasteup and used light pads and drafting tables on a daily basis. Not as popular as they once were but some designers still have uses for them.

Pantone Color Guide

This one’s a must. If you don’t already have a Pantone Color Guide it should be at the top of your graphic designer gift idea list.  They are pricy but they make our jobs so much easier.

Other items mentioned

  • Better office lighting
  • Second monitor
  • Apple Pencil
  • Advance Keyboard
  • Electronic Cutting Plotter
  • New Camera
  • 3D Printer
  • Digital Laser Cutter
  • Plants
  • Action Figures
  • Inspirational Posters

Honourable Mentions

  • An Assistant to help with the work burden
  • A door to keep the kids out of the studio.

What would I want for myself?

  • More action figures and knick knacks to show off the geek that I am
  • More Swords to add to my collection
  • More practically, a second monitor and a new chair.

Four Week Marketing Boost – FREE GUIDE

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I want to help you.

Running a graphic design or web design business all by yourself isn’t easy. If there are any struggles you face running your design business please reach out to me. I’ll do my best to help you by addressing your issues in a future blog post or podcast episode here at Resourceful Designer. You can reach me at feedback@resourcefuldesigner.com

 

Nov 25, 2015

6 Ways To Boost Your Creativity.

Are you looking for ways to boost your creativity? If you're anything like me you sometimes suffer from a lack of creativity. Sometimes it's just a slump and sometimes it's a full on block. Wouldn't it be nice if there was a way to boost your creativity during these times? Unfortunately there is no magical on/off switch or throttle we can use to increase our creative output. There are however, ways you can help boost your creativity. In today's podcast I share six ways that I use to help me when I'm in a slump.

Here is my list of ways to boost your creativity

  1. Put it down on paper or screen
  2. Step back and have a look
  3. Occupy your mind with something menial
  4. Change your perspective, literally
  5. Change your diet
  6. Ask for help

Four Week Marketing Boost - FREE GUIDE

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Design Resource

This week's resource may not sound at first like something you would use in your graphic design business. But it has helped me streamline my graphic design business so much that I have to share it. It's ScreenFlow by Telestream. Using ScreenFlow I've saves so much time. Instead of teaching clients how to use their new websites and then helping them again a month or so later when they've forgotten, now I just record a short instructions video showing them what to do. If they need a refresher or need to train someone new, they have access to the video and they don't have to interrupt me for help. For that reason along I highly recommend ScreenFlow.

And if you decide to purchase it before November 30, 2015 you can save 30% during their Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale.

I want to help you.

Running a graphic design or web design business all by yourself isn't easy. If there are any struggles you face running your design business please reach out to me. I'll do my best to help you by addressing your issues in a future blog post or podcast episode here at Resourceful Designer. You can reach me at feedback@resourcefuldesigner.com

Nov 19, 2015

Pricing Strategies For Your Graphic Design Business.

One of the hardest things to figure out when starting your graphic design business is what pricing strategies to use. There are so many options to consider; your location, your skill level, your reputation, your competition and many more. Hopefully after todays episode of Resourceful Designer you'll have a better understanding of the various pricing strategies you can use to run your business.

Here are the 5 Pricing Strategies Discussed

1) Hourly Rate Pricing

Hourly Rate Pricing is the easiest pricing strategy to implement. You simply determine your rate and then charge it to your client for each hour or part thereof spent on their job.

 

2) Cost Plus Pricing

Cost Plus Pricing isn't as popular in the graphic design industry as it is in others but it does prove useful if you're also acting as a broker for printing or other services. In Cost Plus Pricing you determine the full cost of a job and then mark up that cost by a certain dollar amount or percentage in order to make a profit.

3) Competitor Bases Pricing

Competitor Based Pricing is great for new and inexperienced graphic designers when they first start their business. You determine your competitions' pricing strategies and then base your price on theirs. Either matching or beating their price. Once your business is established you should abandon Competitor Based Pricing for one of the other methods.

4) Project Based Pricing

Next to Hourly Rate Pricing, Project Based Pricing is the most common in the Graphic Design profession. With Project Based Pricing you determine through experience and guessing what a job will cost. It is suggested you pad your estimates in case you encounter unforeseen hurdles along the way. If you complete the project faster than you had estimated you make a bigger profit.

5) Value Based Pricing

Value Based Pricing is the Holy Grail of the pricing strategies. With Value Based Pricing you ignore the actual cost of the job and instead determine a price based on the perceived value your client will get from he project. Some clients will are willing to pay premium prices for that perceived value. Value Based Pricing is the most advanced of the pricing strategies and should be approached with care. However, when done right, Value Based Pricing will produce your highest profit.

When you succeed with your chosen pricing strategies you'll...

Attract better design clients
Have a better return on your time
Be able to devote more time per project
Have less trouble dealing with your clients

If I missed any pricing strategies please leave a comment at resourcefuldesigner.com/episode11

Four Week Marketing Boost - FREE GUIDE

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Design Resource

This week's resource is the font management software Suitcase Fusion from Extensis. I've been using Suitcase Fusion to manage my fonts for over 15 years and I have never thought about switching to another option. Suitcase Fusion allows you to organize your fonts and activate/deactivate them as you need them. You can tag your fonts with provided styles or create your own allowing you to easily search through and find the font you need amongst the thousands on your computer.

I want to help you.

Running a graphic design or web design business all by yourself isn't easy. If there are any struggles you face running your design business please reach out to me. I'll do my best to help you by addressing your issues in a future blog post or podcast episode here at Resourceful Designer. You can reach me at feedback@resourcefuldesigner.com

Nov 11, 2015

How To Deal With Design Clients Who Have Tunnel Vision

It's happened to all graphic designers. A client asks you to create some wonderful design but when you're given the information you realize that your client is designing this piece for their own needs and not the needs of their clients. I call this tunnel vision. When the client isn't looking beyond themselves.

Tunnel Vision can also occur when a client has a design idea in their head, and wants you to create it exactly how they picture it. They are not open to other, often better ways to communicate their idea.

Regardless of what type of tunnel vision they have, our job as graphic designers is to educate our clients on what is good design. We need to be able to give them what they need and not necessarily what they want. If you nurture this sort of association with your clients you can look forward to a long and prosperous relationship. 

Four Week Marketing Boost - FREE GUIDE

Download my FREE guide, the Four Week Marketing Boost to help improve your business' image and create the best first impression possible to attract more clients.

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Subscribe on iTunes
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Design Resource

One of the scariest things you can think of as a designer is what would happen if disaster strikes and you loose all your computer files. What would it mean for your business? Backblaze offers a simple unlimited online backup solution for your design business for only $5/month. And it's so easy. You just set it up and forget about it. Backblaze works in the background automatically backing up your files. And if you ever loose your data for whatever reason, you wont have to worry because you'll know everything can be restored from Backblaze.

If you're interested in finding out more about Backblaze's online backup solution and trying a 15 day free trial, visit resourcefuldesigner.com/backup

I want to help you.

Running a graphic design or web design business all by yourself isn't easy. If there are any struggles you face running your design business please reach out to me. I'll do my best to help you by addressing your issues in a future blog post or podcast episode here at Resourceful Designer. You can reach me at feedback@resourcefuldesigner.com

Nov 4, 2015

12 Ways To Earn Extra Income As A Graphic Designer.

No matter how good a graphic designer you are there will be times when work is slow and you find yourself with some extra time on your hands. These times are perfect opportunities to put your design skills to work and earn extra income.

Methods to earn extra income discussed in this episode

  1. Become a print broker
  2. Become a media host
  3. Create designs to sell on merchandise
  4. Create and sell website themes.
  5. Sell your design leftovers.
  6. Create and sell designs to stock image sites.
  7. Design a font/typeface.
  8. Create and sell a Photoshop action or Illustrator Style.
  9. Manage a client's social media accounts
  10. Teach a workshop/course locally or online
  11. Build and monetize a niche website
  12. Write a book/ebook

There are many more ways for a graphic designer to use their skills to earn extra income. Those I talk about in this episode are the ones I have experience with and am comfortable talking about.

Links mentioned in this episode.

List of sites you can use to earn extra income as a graphic designer.

 

Four Week Marketing Boost - FREE GUIDE

Download my FREE guide, the Four Week Marketing Boost to help improve your business' image and create the best first impression possible to attract more clients.

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Subscribe on iTunes
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Send me feedback

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Design Resource

If you are looking for a web host for yourself or your clients I suggest you visit resourcefuldesigner.com/hosting and check out Hostgator. I've been using them for several years now and have been very pleased with their service. If you decide to sign up you can use the discount code "RESOURCEFUL25" to get a 25% discount on your purchase of a hosting package.

I want to help you.

Running a graphic design or web design business all by yourself isn't easy. If there are any struggles you face running your design business please reach out to me. I'll do my best to help you by addressing your issues in a future blog post or podcast episode here at Resourceful Designer. You can reach me at feedback@resourcefuldesigner.com

Oct 28, 2015

Just In Time Learning And Your Ongoing Design Education!

We work in a profession that is constantly changing. If we don't keep up with our ongoing design education we can quickly fall behind and become obsolete. In this episode of Resourceful Designer I talk about the concept of Just In Time Learning.

Just In Time Learning is something I first heard about a couple of years ago and it drastically changed the way I look at courses, tutorials, guides and everything else involved in my ongoing design education as both a graphic designer and web designer.

The principal behind Just In Time Learning is to only learn what you need to know for the next task you are undertaking.

We all suffer from F.O.M.O. or the Fear Of Missing Out. Whenever we come across a new feature is something or a new tutorial on how to do something we immediately want to dive right into it and expand our knowledge. The problem is, many of these things we spend time learning are not, and may never be important or useful to us. So why are we waisting our time learning them?

In this week's episode I give some examples of how Just In Time Learning has helped me and I share ways to create a learning toolbox where you can save all the tutorials and courses for future reference should you ever need them.

Links mentioned in this episode.

Evernote Essentials, The only Evernote guide you'll need.

Four Week Marketing Boost - FREE GUIDE

Download my FREE guide, the Four Week Marketing Boost to help improve your business' image and create the best first impression possible to attract more clients.

Subscribe to the podcast

Subscribe on iTunes
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Contact me

Send me feedback

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Design Resource

This week's Design Resource is Lynda.com. This is a great resource to learn software, skills and techniques to better yourself. I learned HTML and CSS by taking courses at Lynda.com. I wouldn't be the web designer I am today if not for them. You can try Lynda.com free for 10 days with access to every one of their courses.

I want to help you.

Running a graphic design or web design business all by yourself isn't easy. If there are any struggles you face running your design business please reach out to me. I'll do my best to help you by addressing your issues in a future blog post or podcast episode here at Resourceful Designer. You can reach me at feedback@resourcefuldesigner.com

Oct 21, 2015

Considerations When Starting A Graphic Design Business.

Starting a graphic design business is a big step in your design career and not one to take lightly. There are many things to consider before jumping in with both feet. In this episode of Resourceful Designer I go over several topics that you may want to consider before, during and after you've started your graphic design business.

Things to Consider...

Before Starting A Graphic Design Business

  1. Do you want to work in a specific niche of graphic design?
  2. Do you want to work from home or have an office away from the house?
  3. What type of business do you want to start (Incorporated, Sole proprietor)?
  4. Do you have enough savings to invest in a new business?
  5. How will you deal with friends and family looking for designs from you?
  6. How will you name your business?

While Starting A Graphic Design Business

  1. What type of computer will you use?
  2. Will you use your home address for your business?
  3. What will your working hours be?
  4. What will your rates be?
  5. What phone number will you use for your business?
  6. How will you communicate with your graphic design clients?
  7. How will you accept payment from your graphic design clients?
  8. You need to acquaint yourself with your bank, accountant and layer.
  9. How will you handle requests for pro-bono work?

After Starting A Graphic Design Business

  1. You will need to market your business any way you can.
  2. You must join clubs and business groups in your area. Including your Chamber of Commerce.
  3. Contact other local designers for possible partnerships and work trade.
  4. Contact local printers and suppliers and try to work out discounts for bringing them work.
  5. You must continue your education and grow as a graphic designer.
  6. You must take care of yourself both physically and mentally so you don't burn out.

There are many more aspects involved when starting a graphic design business. These are just a few that I came up with that I thought I would share with you. If you can think of more that I missed, add them to the comment section at resourcefuldesigner.com/episode7

 

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Design Resource

This week I shared three great resources for selecting and managing colours for your clients. I've only recently discovered them but have found them a big help already.

ColorSnapper 2

Spectrum

Colors Pallete Generator

 

I want to help you.

Running a graphic design or web design business all by yourself isn't easy. If there are any struggles you face running your design business please reach out to me. I'll do my best to help you by addressing your issues in a future blog post or podcast episode here at Resourceful Designer. You can reach me at feedback@resourcefuldesigner.com

Oct 14, 2015

8 Myths About Starting A Home Based Design Business.

If doesn't matter if you're a graphic designer or a web designer, it's all the same when it comes to starting a home based design business. To some, the thought of starting their own home based design business can seem quite daunting. In this episode of Resourceful Designer I cover 8 myths that often holds people back from taking the leap in their entrepreneurial journey.

The 8 Myths

  1. You need a lot of clients to make your home based design business viable.
  2. It's hard to give up a steady pay cheque. How will I make ends meat with a home based design business?
  3. It's complicated to set up a home based design business.
  4. It's expensive to purchase the hardware required to run a home based design business.
  5. I can't afford all the software needed to successfully run a home based design business.
  6. I'll be able to work on whatever projects I want once I'm running my own home based design business.
  7. I'll make a tone of money running my own home based design business.
  8. Once I'm running my own home based design business I'll have plenty of time to relax and enjoy life.

I'm sure there are many other myths I could have covered but these are the ones I hear most often.

Links mentioned in this episode.

Adobe Creative Cloud
QuarkXpress

Adobe Photoshop Alternatives

Gimp (Free, Windows, Linux, Mac)
Affinity Photo ($57.99, Mac)
Sketch ($99, Mac)
Pixelmator ($29.99, Mac, IOS)
Acorn ($29.99, Mac)
Corel PaintShop Pro ($79.99, Windows)

Adobe Illustrator Alternatives

Affinity Designer ($45.99, Mac)
SVG-Edit (Free, web browser)
Inkscape (Free, Windows, Linux, Mac)
Serif DrawPlus (Free, or £39.99 paid version, Windows)
Sketch ($99, Mac)

Four Week Marketing Boost - FREE GUIDE

Download my FREE guide, the Four Week Marketing Boost to help improve your business' image and create the best first impression possible to attract more clients.

Subscribe to the podcast

Subscribe on iTunes
Subscribe on Stitcher

Contact me

Send me feedback

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

Design Resource

If you are involved in Wordpress web design in any way you need to check out Elegant Themes. With 87 themes plus 6 very useful Wordpress plugins all for a low price. You can't go wrong. I've been using Elegant Themes for a few years now and can't say enough good things about their products and Customer service. Don't forget to sign up for their newsletter to receive 10% off your order.

I want to help you.

Running a graphic design or web design business all by yourself isn't easy. If there are any struggles you face running your design business please reach out to me. I'll do my best to help you by addressing your issues in a future blog post or podcast episode here at Resourceful Designer. You can reach me at feedback@resourcefuldesigner.com

Oct 7, 2015

Don't Compromise Your Principles For Your Design Business.

We've all experienced it. That little voice in our head telling us that what our client is asking us to do may not be a good idea. In this episode of Resourceful Designer I talk about how compromising your principles, either moral, ethical, or design can affect your graphic design or web design business.

Subjects covered

  • When a client asks you to do something against your moral principles.
  • When a client asks you to do something you are not comfortable with.
  • When a client asks you to do something against your design principles.
  • How turning down work will benefit your design business in the long run.

I share some experiences from my business where I had to make these decisions, followed my principles and how it affected me.

Links mentioned in this episode.

Subscribe on iTunes

Subscribe on Stitcher

Send me feedback

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

Design Resource

The program I've used for the past 10 years to keep track of my clients, my time spent on each project and all my estimates, invoices and collections is Billings Pro by Marketcircle. Try it FREE for 30 days.

I want to help you.

Running a graphic design or web design business all by yourself isn't easy. If there are any struggles you face running your design business please reach out to me. I'll do my best to help you by addressing your issues in a future blog post or podcast episode here at Resourceful Designer. You can reach me at feedback@resourcefuldesigner.com

Oct 1, 2015

Superhero Syndrome and Your Design Business.

Wouldn't it be cool if we had super powers? The ability to fly, teleport or turn invisible. Unfortunately none of these are possible. However, some entrepreneurs, creatives in particular are often affected with something called Superhero Syndrome. It's when we want to wear all the hats in our business which could lead to burn out.

Symptoms of Superhero Syndrome include 

  • Trying to save money by doing everything yourself
  • If something needs doing and you don't know how, you teach yourself.
  • You think your ideas and concepts are far better than anyone else's

Sound familiar? Don't worry, there are ways to deal with Superhero Syndrome and I discuss them in this episode of Resourceful Designer. So enjoy and try not to fret to much about your design business.

Linda mentioned in this episode.

fiverr.com

Upwork.com

virtualstafffinder.com

Virtual Freedom by Chris Ducker

Four Week Marketing Boost

Design Resource

If you are a web designer check out DomainBrain the easy application for managing website, mail and database access.

I want to help you.

Running a graphic design or web design business all by yourself isn't easy. If there are any struggles you face running your design business please reach out to me. I'll do my best to help you by addressing your issues in a future blog post or podcast episode here at Resourceful Designer. You can reach me at feedback@resourcefuldesigner.com

Oct 1, 2015

Dealing With Photographers
Interview with Brett Gilmour

In this episode of Resourceful Designer I'm joined by award winning photographer Brett Gilmour as we discuss things to help designers when dealing with photographers.

Brett specializes in location photography of architecture, people and places. His images have been featured in advertising campaigns and magazines around the world and he’s been honoured with three Gold Nugget Awards for Arcitectural Photography, the highest honour in North America. He’s shot photos for General Electric, Shell, Estee Lauder and Chevron just to name a few.

In the interview we discuss questions to ask when hiring a photographer, specifically what are the responsibilities of the designer and what are the responsibilities of the photographer. How to deal with contracts. What equipment the photographer needs. What the designer should expect before, during, and after the photo shoot.

If you enjoy the interview and want to learn more about Brett, please visit his site Gilmour Photography

Photographer Cheat Sheet

I put together a simple one page cheat sheet of questions you should ask when dealing with photographers based on what Brett talked about in the interview. You can download it at http://resourcefuldesigner.com/photographercheatsheet

I want to help you.

Running a graphic design or web design business all by yourself isn't easy. If there are any struggles you face running your design business please reach out to me. I'll do my best to help you by addressing your issues in a future blog post or podcast episode here at Resourceful Designer. You can reach me at feedback@resourcefuldesigner.com

Sep 30, 2015

Do Your Design Clients Know What You Do?

As graphic designers and/or web designers you're always looking for ways to find new clients. After all, they are your bread and butter. Without design clients you're out of a job. But finding new clients can be a challenge. I wrote a blog post that may help titled 10 Proven Ways To Attract Design Clients that goes over simple ways that I myself have used to get new clients.

But should all your focus be on attracting new design clients or on attracting new design work? Because there's a wealth of potential projects waiting for you with your existing clients if you just ask. Because the fact is, your design clients don't know what you do.

Sounds crazy I know. But the fact is, they became your client because they needed you for a specific project and you delivered. But when the next, slightly different project comes along will they think of you? The answer is not unless you tell them you can do it.

In this episode of the Resourceful Designer podcast I share a simple trick I use that keeps winning me more projects from my existing clients. Some of them projects my clients didn't even know they had until I told them.

Face it, as a designer you have a lot of skills. Some you use on a daily basis and others you don't get to stretch out as often as you'd like. But those skills are there when you need them. You need to inform your clients of those skills so that when the time comes they will know what you do as a designer.

Backblaze online backup solution

One of the scariest things you can think of as a designer is what would happen if disaster strikes and you loose all your computer files. What would it mean for your business? Backblaze offers a simple unlimited online backup solution for your design business for only $5/month. And it's so easy. You just set it up and forget about it. Backblaze works in the background automatically backing up your files. And if you ever loose your data for whatever reason, you wont have to worry because you'll know everything can be restored from Backblaze.

If you're interested in finding out more about Backblaze's online backup solution, visit resourcefuldesigner.com/backup

Sep 30, 2015

Welcome to the very first episode of the Resourceful Designer podcast.

I'm Mark Des Cotes, graphic designer, web designer and host of this podcast. I'm super excited that you decided to take the time to listen to my show. The fact that you are tells me a couple of things about you. 1) you're either a graphic designer or web designer (or perhaps both) and 2) you're passionate about your design business. Why else would you press play on a podcast about running a graphic/web design business? I think we'll get a long just fine.

My goal is to help you explore ways to streamline your graphic design and/or web design business so that you can get back to what you do best... designing.

In each episode Resourceful Designer I'll explore different aspects of what happens behind the scenes of a design studio. All the nitty gritty that your clients never see but are necessary to keeps your business not only running but competitive. From software and hardware, to dealing with clients and suppliers, to balancing home and business life and so much more. I'm stoked that you are joining me for this journey.

Who is this podcast for?

Resourceful Designer is aimed at solopreneurs, especially those of you running a design studio out of your home. But that's not to say that those of you not working from home won't benefit from the show. A lot of what I'll discuss can be used or modified for larger design studios and can be helpful to designers working at larger agencies. Just keep in mind that my main focus is helping the small one designer studios.

Who is this guy?

I've been in the industry for over 25 years, the last 10 of which have been spent running my own design studio out of my home. Before that I worked for 15 years in the design department at a commercial printer.

I'm also an experienced podcaster. I run Solo Talk Media where I host several TV Fan podcasts. I'm also one of the hosts for the Stuff I Learned Yesterday podcast by Golden Spiral Media.

I started Resourceful Designer to share my knowledge, and the knowledge of my guests with you. To help you streamline your design business.

I want to help you.

Running a graphic design or web design business all by yourself isn't easy. If there are any struggles you face running your design business please reach out to me. I'll do my best to help you by addressing your issues in a future blog post or podcast episode here at Resourceful Designer. You can reach me at feedback@resourcefuldesigner.com

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