Info

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!
RSS Feed
Resourceful Designer - Resources to help streamline your graphic design and web design business.
2017
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2016
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2015
December
November
October
September


All Episodes
Archives
Now displaying: May, 2017
May 25, 2017

How often do you feel that afternoon crash?

You know what I’m talking about don’t you? That crash you feel somewhere around 3 pm? You were productive all morning, you had a good lunch and came back revigorated but somewhere mid-afternoon it hits you. The Afternoon Crash. 

Some say it’s caused by low blood sugar, some say it’s your body’s natural sleep cycle, others blame diet or being mostly inactive during the day.

Although I can’t make you suppress those afternoon yawns, I can offer some tips and advice on how to avoid the dreaded afternoon crash and remain productive until the end of the day. For full details be sure to listen to the podcast but here is a brief rundown of what I talk about in this episode.

Tip #1, Take Short Breaks

You’ve heard how sitting for too long isn’t good for you? Well, One of the best suggestions I have for you is to incorporate short breaks into your workday to get up and walk around.

Getting up and walking around will help clear up your mind so you can remain focused when you return to whatever task you were working on. Not only that but it’s also good for your long-term health.

Just like your body gets tired and needs rest to recuperate, your brain gets tired as well. All it takes is a couple of minutes of getting up and walking around and you’ll be surprised how much better you’ll feel.

Tip #2, Eat Well

One of the perks of being a home-based designer is that we have the entire kitchen at our disposal when it comes to snack and meal time.

One of the cons of being a home-based designer is that we have the entire kitchen at our disposal when it comes to snack and meal time.

What you choose to eat during the day plays a big part in how productive you’ll remain.

Having the whole kitchen at our disposal makes it very easy to grab the wrong things when we’re “in the groove” and don't want to take too much time away from our desk. It’s a lot easier to grab a few cookies and get back to work than it is to peel and cut up a carrot.

Last night’s leftovers make a great lunch, providing you eat a lunch size portion. If you pack on your lunch plate like it’s dinner time you’ll only be contributing to that afternoon crash as your body uses up energy to digest the large meal.

Eating healthy and in proper portions will help you remain productive when you really need it.

Tip #3, Get Organized

Every designer has their own way of handling tasks and projects. To learn more about how to do this listen to episode 66 of the podcast Tackle Your To-Do List With Tasks and Projects.

Keeping your to-do list organized and up to date helps you organize your time and balance your workload. And when you have a balanced workload it makes it easier to focus on the tasks at hand, even when your brain starts to feel that afternoon crash coming on.

When you feel that fog approaching, turn to your to-do list to keep you on track. If you’ve organized it well, you’ll know exactly what it is you have to do next.

Tip #4, Limit Distractions

In order to work most effectively, you need to limit the number of distractions around you. This will allow you to remain focused on the task at hand.

Studies prove that it takes roughly 15-20 minutes to recover from a small distraction and get fully back into the task they were doing before being distracted. Every one of those distractions saps away at your energy and contributes to that afternoon crash.

Email is the biggest culprit. I talked about how to handle email in episode 43, A Don’t Do List For Your Graphic Design Business.

Emails distract you with every new email notification. If you stop what you’re doing to check your email every time you hear the new email chime go off, you’re going to find it hard to keep your concentration up for the entire day. Instead, you should set aside certain times of the day for checking and replying to emails. Or at least wait until you complete your current task to check them.

Better yet, turn off your email when you are not using it and you’ll notice a big difference in your work habits and energy.

Email isn’t the only distraction. Social media, internet browsing and many other things can distract you and sap the energy you need to get through your afternoon without experiencing a crash.

It's up to you

Everyone has a different working style and what may work for one person might not work for another. But if you follow these simple tips you’ll find yourself with enough energy to avoid that afternoon crash and overall you’ll be more productive.

What do you do to avoid that afternoon crash?

Let me know your strategy by leaving a comment for this episode.

Questions of the Week

Submit your question to be featured in a future episode of the podcast by visiting the feedback page.

This week’s question comes from Andrew

I know you are wildly successful, so I'm surprised when I hear you talking about smaller jobs that you take on here and there. Do you take on everything that comes your way no matter how small? Do you have guidelines about what you will and won't take on?

To find out what I told Andrew you’ll have to listen to the podcast.

Support The Podcast

If you've been enjoying the Resourceful Designer podcast and are looking for a way to give back, you can now become a Patron of the show. For as little as $1 per month, you can show your support. There are also several perks for those who wish to donate more. Visit http://resourcefuldesigner.com/patreon for more details and to start supporting the show.

Subscribe to the podcast

Subscribe on iTunes
Subscribe on Stitcher
Subscribe on Android
Subscribe on Google Play Music

Contact me

Send me feedback

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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

May 18, 2017

Do you dread pricing design jobs when you don't know how long they'll take?

Have you ever had to quote on a design job but you have no idea how long it will take to complete it? If you're familiar with Project Based Pricing or Value Based Pricing then it isn't really an issue. But if you're one of the many designers who bill by the hour you may dread this scenario. 

In this episode of the Resourceful Designer podcast, I talk about what you can do when you have no idea how long a project will take. Be sure to listen to the episode for the full story.

Pricing design jobs by the hour.

It takes a lot of practice to correctly guess how long a design job will take to complete. Notice I used the word "guess"? Because that's what it is, a guess. If you guess wrong you could loose a lot of money on the job. The only way to protect yourself if to pad your guess by overestimating which isn't good for your client.

But what if there's another way that works for both you and your clients?

Actual time billing.

When the scope of a design project is such that there's no way to determine how long it will take, offer to bill for the actual time you spend on the job.

Many clients will accept a contract stating you will bill them your hourly rate for the total time you spend working on their project. This is the easiest method and it benefits both you and your client. You know you won't loose any money on the design project, and your client knows they won't overpay on the job.

But what if the client is worried you'll take too long?

If your client is hesitant to sign your contract, you could offer a maximum price for the project. You bill them by the hour for the time you spend working on the project up to the maximum price, providing the scope of the job hasn't changed.

This option should satisfy worried clients and make you look good when you come in under the maximum price. Just be sure the maximum price you set is enough to cover any unforeseen complications that may arise during the project.

How do you handle pricing design jobs with undefined time lines?

Let me know by leaving a comment for this episode.

Questions of the Week

Submit your question to be featured in a future episode of the podcast by visiting the feedback page.

This week’s question comes from Tim

How many works/projects/clients do you normally allow yourself to take in simultaneously within a week?

To find out what I told Tim you’ll have to listen to the podcast.

Tip of the week Get your Clients to pay for it.

When it comes to hardware, software, plugins, fonts etc., If you need to purchase something for a specific project then you should be charging the client for it. Even if it's something you will be able to use in the future for other clients. There is nothing wrong with telling a client you require something to complete their project and including it on your invoice. You can then use that item as a selling feature or service you offer for future clients.

Subscribe to the podcast

Subscribe on iTunes
Subscribe on Stitcher
Subscribe on Android
Subscribe on Google Play Music

Contact me

Send me feedback

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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

May 11, 2017

Where do you look for new work?

One of the most asked questions I’ve heard over the years is “how do I get new design clients?” It’s a valid question. But let me turn it around and ask you, why do you need new design clients when your existing clients have plenty of new work you could do for them?

In this week's episode of the Resourceful Designer podcast, I discuss how you can leverage your existing clients to get new work. Be sure to listen for the full story.

Your clients already know you.

Wouldn’t it be easier for both you and your client to work on new projects together since you already have a relationship started? It would be so much easier than starting from scratch with a new client.

"But if my clients had new work for me they would surely let me know."

Unfortunately, this isn't always the case. In fact, your clients may be coming up with all sorts of great design projects and not thinking about you at all. There are so many jobs and projects that go on in a business that would be perfect for you but for some reason your name never comes to mind. Things like display and presentation boards, facebook ads, internal handouts and so much more.

It’s not because the client doesn't want to spend the money, it’s simply a case of them not realizing it’s a job for a skilled designer.

Why don't they ask me to do it?

The answer may be as simple as your client not knowing the full scope of what you are capable of. To learn more, listen to episode 2 of the podcast.

If your client hired you for web design they may not know you also do print design or vice versa. Just because you designed a logo for a company don't presume they know you can also design their business cards and stationary unless you've told them. A lot of clients don't think that way.

Telling a client you can design everything for them isn’t enough. Because your client may not know what “everything” entails.

How do I get new work from existing clients?

The answer is simple, make sure they don't forget about you. In other words, make sure you have a good relationship with them. Because people don't forget those they have good relationships with. And if they have a good relationship with you, they will think of you when new work comes up.

How do you build a good client relationship?

The trick is to keep in constant contact. No, I don't mean you should stalk your client. Just make sure they don’t forget about you. You have plenty of tools at your disposal you could use without seeming overbearing.

Email or e-newsletter.

Email or E-newsletters are great ways to stay in contact with your clients. Use them to let your client know what you've been up to.

  • Let them know what interesting projects you've done for other clients.
  • Let them know what new skills you've acquired.
  • Let them know what new products or suppliers you've started using.
  • Let them know what new services you're offering.
  • Let them know anything and everything that may peak their curiosity.

Your clients may find something you write about interesting and ask you to do a similar project for them.

Don't forget to send personal emails to congratulate your clients on anniversaries, events, new products, accomplishments, and anything else of interest. Congratulating them via email is much more personal than doing so over social media.

Any reason you can find to reach out to your clients and remind them you are there is a good thing.

Who knows, they may just reply to your email with some nice new work for you to do.

Phone

Email is good, but hearing your voice is so much better. Follow the same examples as above but do so over the phone. They will appreciate it more and remember it longer.

Not to mention that having you on the phone makes it much easier for them to ask your advice and possibly send some new work your way.

Social Media

Follow your clients on social media and interact with them. Comment on, like, and share your client’s posts. They take notice of who is following them and will remember you for it when they have new work that requires a designer.

Visit them in person

The above methods are a great way to improve client relations. But nothing beats a face to face meeting to drum up new work. Even if it's just popping in unannounced to say hello while you're in the neighbourhood. The fact that you took the time to stop in shows that you are serious about your relationship with them. Plus, there’s something about having you right there in front of them that can spark a client’s memory which can easily lead to you leaving with new work to do.

A wealth of opportunities exist.

We spend so much time worrying about attracting new clients that we sometimes overlook the wealth of opportunities available from our existing clients

Reach out to them. The worst that can happen is you build a better relationship with them which could lead to new work in the future. And that’s never a bad thing.

How have you leveraged your existing clients for new work?

Let me know by leaving a comment for this episode.

Questions of the Week

Submit your question to be featured in a future episode of the podcast by visiting the feedback page.

This week’s question comes from Ruel

I'm starting to offer design services for payment. In the past I didn't charge. I'm at a point where I utilized a stock image from a service called Shutterstock.com. Since the service charges for license, how would you go about charging for a design project that uses licensed material like a photograph?

Would you pay for the photograph license and include that cost for the overall job?

Would you have the client pay for the photograph license separately and charge for the design job without it?

To find out what I told Ruel you’ll have to listen to the podcast.

Tip of the week Payment Fees

This week's tip is more of a warning. If you are charging your clients an additional fee when they pay by credit card or through services like PayPal you are probably breaking the law. According to the terms of agreement with these companies, you are not allowed to pass the service fee you pay on to your clients. If you are caught doing so you could loose the privilege of accepting payments that way.

Subscribe to the podcast

Subscribe on iTunes
Subscribe on Stitcher
Subscribe on Android
Subscribe on Google Play Music

Contact me

Send me feedback

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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

May 4, 2017

Have you heard the concept of Good, Quick, Cheap?

I first heard the concept of Good, Quick, Cheap on The Real Brian Show podcast. I was so fascinated with the concept that I decided to explore how it affects the graphic design industry. In this episode of the Resourceful Designer podcast, I expand on the concept and talk about Good Design, Quick Design and Cheap Design.

To get the full story you'll need to listen to the podcast but here's a breakdown of what I discuss in the episode.

The dream client

Wouldn't it be nice if our clients had unlimited budgets, gave us all the time in the world to work on their projects, and allowed us to design it any way we wanted?

We can dream, can't we?

The truth of the matter is, there are very few clients that have both the budget and the time we would like to have on a project. If you manage to find one of these elusive clients, latch on to them for dear life and don’t do anything to compromise that relationship.

The realistic client

More realistically clients want you to design something good, quick and cheap. But therein lies a problem. You see, good, quick and cheap are all possible but only two at a time.

Pick two

The concept behind Good, Quick, Cheap is that not all three are available at the same time. Your client can only choose two of them.

  • If they want a Good and Cheap Design, they won't get it quickly.
  • If they want a Cheap and Quick Design, it won't be any good.
  • If they want a Good and Quick design it won't be cheap.

It all comes down to perception, need and value. Your client needs to decide which one they can do without, Good, Quick or Cheap.

Be sure to listen to the podcast episode for the full story.

Have you ever thought of the Good, Quick, Cheap concept before?

Let me know by leaving a comment for this episode.

Questions of the Week

Submit your question to be featured in a future episode of the podcast by visiting the feedback page.

This week’s question comes from Michael

Do you turn down work that does not align with your personal values and morals? If so, how do you "let them down gently"

To find out what I told Michael you’ll have to listen to the podcast.

Resource of the week iThemes Sync

It's important to update WordPress, both for the security of your site and to take advantage of the latest features and improvements. But updates to WordPress core and any plugins or themes installed on your sites can happen pretty frequently. If you're managing multiple WordPress sites, keeping them all updated can take up a lot of your valuable time.

iThemes Sync is an easy way to manage updates for all your WordPress sites from one place. Instead of logging in to each site individually, you have one place to view and install available updates, making WordPress maintenance easy.

Subscribe to the podcast

Subscribe on iTunes
Subscribe on Stitcher
Subscribe on Android
Subscribe on Google Play Music

Contact me

Send me feedback

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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

1