Tag Archives: freelance

Six Steps to a Super Happy Client

Catching attention and bringing in new clients is easier than it seems. A lot of it is down to keeping your existing clients happy, offering a fantastic customer service, and generally doing things to keep your clients in a positive mood about whatever it is you do for them, whether you’re a graphic or web designer, web developer, or even a photographer. This article outlines eight great tips to help keep your clients super happy, ultimately resulting in long-term clients and even a longer client list!

Step 1: Keep A Positive Attitude

Some clients know a lot about the creative industry, and can sometimes surprise to just how much they actually know, especially if they’ve been in the same job or running the same business for a long time. These clients are usually generally easy to keep hold of, so long as you get the work done to a good standard. Others, however, are amateurs, and either think they know more than you about your professional field but actually don’t know much at all (these are the bad clients – you can usually tell instantly if a bad client has approached you if they something along the lines of “I have made a proof of the design I want in Microsoft Office”, or just generally don’t know much about design and are happy to let you get on with it (these are the good clients, who leave almost everything up to you).

Mainly because of the several types of clients I listed above, it’s not always easy to keep a positive attitude whilst working for them – some know exactly what they want and won’t stop harrassing you until it’s perfect, others don’t know what they want at all and don’t stop harrassing you until you’ve made thirty-odd-thousand revisions, and then there are some that are fine and just let you get on with it. So, what can you do to keep a positive attitude?

Listen To Your Client

However much they annoy you and make you feel like your blood cells are about to burst from your veins and splatter all over the ceiling, try your hardest to listen and to pay attention to what they’re saying. Wait until after they’ve finished talking to make your own suggestions, instead of interupting them, otherwise they may also get annoyed, resulting in a bad relationship on both ends and probably leaving you without some work, which definitely isn’t worth it just because you couldn’t bare to listen for any longer!

Show Your Client Examples Of Work

Show them examples of your ideas, whether existing work from your portfolio, or work of other creatives – you could print some examples of work that have a relation to their company or project (i.e. if your client wants a brochure designed for their clothing company, look for some great examples of brochures related to apparel design or fashion) and show them when at a meeting, or send it via email. This could be a great opportunity to show off your technology, too – why not upload the photos to your iPhone or iPad (when it has been released, of course!) and flick through some examples this way? This way your client can interact, keeping them happy and possibly making another conversation about the device, which helps to build up a happy working relationship. Discuss what you like about the shown examples, and what they like, and come up with your own (rough) ideas whilst you are still with the client.

Discuss The Ideas

Discuss the ideas and try to repeat some of their ideas in their inital brief/speech to keep them happy, and to make sure they know you were listening to them when you first spoke about the particular project.

Step 2: Keep Your Client Up-To-Date

Clients like to be kept up-to-date; afterall, they are paying you for their services! There are a few ways to keep them up-to-date, some old fashioned, some modern, and some in between.

Electronic Mail (Email)

Probably the most used piece of “technology” to keep your clients up-to-date. Send them the odd email to let them know how the project is going – you can also send them screenshots of the work in progress, although I would avoid this if you’re client isn’t too tech-savvy. Screenshots can confuse some people, and you’ll get silly questions back asking things such as: “Why is there a border?”, “Why is the design in a browser?” and “Where is the rest of the text?”. If you send screenshots, make sure your client is 100% sure they know it’s a screenshot of the work in progress, not a draft!

Google Wave

A lot of people don’t yet have Google Wave, but if you do, you’ll probably find you can invite clients, friends and family to join. Ask your client if they would like an invitation to join Google Wave (something else which will probably make them happy, just because you asked them!), and tell them that it is a great way for you to keep them up-to-date with the latest going-ons regarding their project. It’s much easier than email, and you can look back over your discussions and ideas without going through thousands of emails in your inbox and/or trash can.

Social Networking

Most people have at least one social networking account – it may be Facebook, Twitter, or even the old school MySpace. Search for your clients, and if they have an account send them a friend request and keep them up-to-date this way.

Phone Calls

Call your client (make sure it’s within sensible hours, 9am to 7pm is usually good, although it’s always best to ask when the best time to call is!) and discuss where you are with the project and when it is you expect to show them your progress.

Text Messaging

A quick and simple way to let them know when you’re expecting to send them an email or document regarding their project. A simple text such as “Hi Client, just to let you know that I’m going to be sending the inital draft your way via email later on this evening!” will keep them reassured that you are working hard on their project, and will earn your a few brownie points.

Snail Mail

If the project is huge, why not send them some drafts via traditional post (now more commonly referred to as “Snail Mail”!). This will surprise them, and will bring joy to their day to see your great work, especially if you didn’t tell them you were going to send drafts via post.

Step 3: Send Completed Projects In Several Ways

This is a good one. There’s nothing better than receiving a finished file in various different and stylish ways. Don’t just send the files via email – be creative, afterall that is the field you’re working in! Try some of the following ideas…

Electronic Mail (Email)

Always send a copy of the files via email, whether as an attachment or an email with a link to download for XX amount of days or months, or even forever if you have a good host or server. Email is a quick way for your clients to download and view the files, and access them from whereever they are at the current moment in time: at work, at home, or even on a business trip or a luxurious holiday.

Compact Disc or Digital Versatile Disc

Burn your completed files to CD or DVD (depending on their final size) and pack it (or them) in a smart disc holder that you personally designed. Include your email, web address, your clients name, the project ID/number/name and the web address to where they can download the back up copy of the files. This is a great way to hand the files over to your client, as it is a secure back-up aswell as something solid, meaning every time they see it they will think of your company and (hopefully) of the good service you provided them with.

USB Pen/Flash Drive

These things have hundreds of names, but I’m sure you know what I mean! They can be picked up at incredibly low prices now, and there are several places out there offering to print your logos on them – a great way to impress your client, and to remind them about your company incase they ever need more creative work or would like to recommend a friend or family member! Giving something to your client will always help to keep them happy, even if it isn’t much. Afterall, it has always been the thought that counts, right?

Step 4: Be Generous

This isn’t always a good idea if you need to make a living, which most of us do unless you’re already a millionaire (in which case I doubt you’re reading this – if I’m wrong, please feel free to stick around and make a donation!). But, being kind and generous will more than likely put you into a better position with your client.

Offer To Buy Them A Coffee

When at a meeting with your client, offer to buy them a coffee (or similar). In most cases, they’ll probably refuse and offer to buy you one, but the thought is still there. Afterall, if they’re a good client and have a good project, they’re more than likely paying you enough to buy a coffee every couple of minutes!

Give Away Customized Pens etc.

Buying a bulk lot of customized pens, mugs, rubbers, rulers (the list goes on…) is a cheap solution to giving away something for nothing to your clients. Make sure your email or telephone number is on the pen so they can easily get in contact with you where ever they are (assuming they have a internet connection of phone!). Just the fact that you’re giving your client something for free of charge will bring a smile to their face.

Offer A Free Print

If you design for fun (i.e. posters) why not offer them a free A4 print? You can probably get a good quality print from your home printer and it’ll cost you next to nothing. If your client likes your style of work, they’ll probably be overjoyed with this!

Step 5: Set Them Up A FTP Account

You can set your client up with a FTP account on your server with no cost. Why?

Easy File Sharing

Using a FTP account for a particular project is a super easy way to allow both you and your client access to the projects files wherever you are at any time of the day. If you have a good host or server, this will probably cost you, well… nothing! If your hosting account doesn’t offer you unlimited FTP accounts, you should check out HostGator, who offer unlimited space, bandwidth, domains, email accounts and FTP accounts for under $10 a month – your client will probably be happy if you refer them, too, as they are a great company.

File Storing

Let them know that for as long as they use you as their primary designer that they’re free to use their FTP account on your server for as long as they want to store files such as office documents, creative files and images up to a quoted amount – this shouldn’t have any effect on your server so long as it is used sensibly and will make for a super happy client, as this alone is a service people pay a lot for!

Step 6: Refer Your Client To Good Companies

When it comes to your client actually getting their work printed or on the web, they can sometimes get lost. Offer to set up accounts for them for a small price, or refer them to companies that you trust and know are good.

Hosting

Refer them to your trusted hosting company. I personally use HostGator (as I mentioned earlier). A lot of hosting companies also have referral links, and if you’ve kept your client happy, I’m sure they’ll be more than happy to use that link when registering to get you a few extra quid or dollars.

Domains

Let them know what you think the best place to register their domain is. Provide them information on where to find reliable and trusted multiple domain web hosting as well. Some places are better than others depending on what domain it is you’re looking for. My domains are registered with HostGator, although one is registered with GoDaddy as it offered a better price for the particular domain.

Printers

Refer your client to a good digital or lithography printers. Depending on the project size, a local press might be better, but be sure to check out online firms such as JamJar Print and UPrinting.

Living With A Freelance Designer

The life of a freelance designer can be pretty hectic. A lot of people assume that because you work for yourself you can set your own work hours and have plenty of scope to make life easier. Any freelancer reading this will know that it isn’t the case. In most cases when you make the decision to work for yourself you find that you must put a lot more hours into your job than you would if you were being employed. This can place added pressure on your nearest and dearest.

I’ve read a lot of articles about striking that all important work/life balance. It’s a challenge that never ends, the fact of the matter is this: If you are self-employed the chances are that you love what you do for a living, which means the line between work and life can get blurred. How does this affect the people that make up your life outside of work?

In an effort to understand how my job affects my personal life I asked my fiancee to write a short letter, highlighting some of the problems that my job creates for her personally and us as a couple.

What follows is that letter. I’m not going to offer any sort of rebuttal or defend any of the points raised, as it contains her opinions on what it’s like living with me. To give you a bit of context there are a few things you need to know. I’m a graphic designer working full-time, as well as undertaking freelance projects outside of work. As part of my freelance activities I also maintain a graphic design blog. I have lived with my fiancee, Claire, for over two years now, in that time my freelance activities have grown and begun to take up more and more of my personal time.

Here is what Claire has to say about living with a freelance designer…

“When Ken asked me to write this article I have to admit that I cringed. He wanted me to be honest about what life is like living with a designer. To sum it up, it’s very different and at times can be a bit difficult.”

“If you’re in a relationship then there has to be a life style change for the both of you. When Ken and I started living together it was hard for me to adjust to his work life. I guess in the same respect it was hard for him to change his work habits around me.”

“If you live with a designer then your life can, at times, revolve around them. Let me explain what I mean. A designer has deadlines to meet, whether they’re freelance or not, they will always have deadlines to meet and depending on the client, it can take up a lot of time to meet their needs. This can mean that they don’t have time for anything other than work. Don’t expect much in the way of house chores to get done, as their attention is all focused on the job. The one thing Ken did do, when we started living together, was the cooking, purely because I couldn’t cook to save my life. So he taught me and now I cook more often. The thing is you have to let them do their thing and at the same time help them where you can.”

“I have a lot of patience and understanding now. More so than I did, but there are still times when I wish Ken would just walk away from that God damned computer for a while and spend time with me!”

“If you’re living with a designer then you’ll know exactly what I mean when I say, you can tell when they’re pushing themselves too far. You’ll also know how you can sometimes feel a little neglected.”

“It’s important to understand that none of this is done on purpose. Try to learn to be patient with them and talk to them on occasions. Don’t do what I did, which was burst into tears and start yelling “You ignore me, all the time!”. Apart from looking like a tit and making you both feel bad, it gets you nowhere.”

“Work is work and it needs to be done. My advice to designers is this: Don’t push yourselves so hard. Like Ken you’ll work yourself to the point where you just can’t work anymore and you’ll have no energy to do much else. Leaving someone else to do the things you’ve forgotten about. Learn to take a break and I don’t mean a five minute break, I mean a day off. Use that day off to spend time with that special someone in your life. They need you more than your clients.”

“When Ken and I first moved in together it took us months to settle down and balance our lives together. It’s to be expected. I’d say that right now we have almost the perfect balance. I say almost because let’s face it, no one’s perfect. There are still times where he works his ass off and there are still times when I wish he would just stop, but it’s a lot less now than it used to be.”

“To sum all this up into one sentence for both the designer and the person living with them, all I have to say to you both is this: All work and no play makes you both stressed, so try to be understanding and patient with one-another.”

Conclusion…

I’d like to say thank you to Claire for being so open and honest in her statement, as well as letting me share a part of our lives with you, the reader. I’m extremely lucky to have a partner that is so understanding and supportive. The main thing that has helped us to find our work/life balance is good communication. A skill that all designers have. In essence design is all about communication, it’s our job to define and transmit the correct messages on behalf of our clients.

My advice to all freelance designers is to make sure you use your communication skills in your personal life as much as you do while working. This is one occasion where having a part of your work life bleeding into your personal life will benefit you.

Have you ever stopped to ask how your busy schedule effects your loved ones? Has your job ever effected your personal relationships? Can you offer any insights into striking that all important work/life balance?

15 Tips to Stay Productive in a Permanently Connected World

Staying focused on your work has always been difficult, especially when you’re working from home. In the past, distractions have tended to come from outside the office, bedroom or wherever it is that you work in the form of screaming kids, noisy neighbours or the sudden urge to start vacuuming the house for no apparent reason. These days, the biggest distractions of all stare you right in the face. They’re “inside” the computer that you sit in front of for hours each day.

I’m talking about the constant disruptive force that is the internet. Social networking sites, particularly Facebook, Myspace and Twitter, provide a constant distraction when working from home, not to mention all the websites and blogs that you check on a daily, sometimes hourly basis. As if that wasn’t enough, you’ve got people emailing you comical YouTube videos and trying to Skype you while you’re hard at it.

We know that being productive can be very tricky, especially when you’re not being paid by the hour. That’s why we’ve come up with 15 tips to keep you immersed in your work, improve your productivity and get you paid more in the process.

1. Create a Good Schedule

Image: Peter Kaminski

If you want to stay organised and productive, having a tight schedule is an absolute must. Make sure you include everything or it’ll soon break down as you try to catch up with tasks you’ve forgotten. Remember, a schedule is more than simply a to-do list. As well as specifying each task you have to carry out, it sets you a specific time slot (and time limit) in which to do it in.

Arrange your schedule so that the most important and pressing tasks are carried out first, stay focused on targets and always include deadlines. Importantly, you mustn’t forget to set aside time in your schedule for rest and relaxation, which includes checking social networking sites, doing a spot of online shopping, reading blogs, listening to music and whatever else you normally do online.

2. Write To-do Lists

Image: Jayel Aheram

In addition to a schedule, write regular to-do lists to ensure you keep on top of all your commitments. Make a new to-do list each day, which outlines everything you want to achieve. Put the most important tasks at the top of the list and don’t rest until everything has been crossed off. Make to-do lists the old fashioned way, on a scrap piece of paper, or make them online for free using browser based to-do list apps like Remember the Milk or Ta-Da Lists. This way, you’ll never lose a list again!

3. Limit Email Checking

Image: Source

Allocate time slots throughout the day for checking your emails. Don’t check and respond to each email you receive individually or you’ll never get anything done. Check your emails first thing in the morning, once during the day (perhaps after lunch) if necessary, and once at the end of the day too.

4. Get a Workspace

Image: Risager

Designate yourself a workspace. If you’re renting a space in an office this isn’t going to be a problem, but if you’re working from home, the temptation to set up camp for the day on the living room sofa can be very high. Once on the sofa, watching videos on YouTube is going to be preferable to getting some serious work done. If you’ve got a spare room in your house then use it as an office. Otherwise, clear a space for yourself in your bedroom or living room and surround yourself with any equipment and paperwork you might need.

For those with limited space (which happens to be a lot of us) it can be hard to separate our home social life with our working day life, especially if you’re trying to relax on the sofa in the evening with what is typically your “workplace” only meters away from you. Try rearranging your room to make the most of the space, and use double-sided bookshelves and separators to separate the working side of the room from the relaxing side of the room. It’s hard, but with a little bit of commitment it can be done.

5. Establish a Daily Routine

Image: ARendle

Get yourself into a daily routine and stick to it. This means going to bed, waking up, starting work and finishing work at roughly the same time each day. Work out when you’re going to be least distracted by phone calls, friends, kids or anything else, and make this your normal working day. For the vast majority of people, this is going to be roughly 9am to 5pm. Try to stick to a good amount of working hours; 7-9 hours, 5 days a week is usually a good amount of time.

6. Make the Most of Any Free Time

Image: gregoryjameswalsh

On some days, you’re just not going to be very busy and on others you’re going to finish a task with a few hours to spare, leaving you time with nothing to do. Rather than finish work for the day, stay productive. There’s always something useful you could be doing. Check on your bank accounts, invoices and expenses, organise your paperwork or simply give your workspace a bit of a clean and dust. You’re certainly not going to want to do these things when it’s hectic!

7. Ban Social Networking

Image: mollybob

Social networking sites are the bane of a freelancer’s existence. Most people have a love/hate relationship with them at the best of times, but freelancers will find them particularly damaging to their bottom line. Unless your work is tied to Myspace, Facebook or Twitter, ban yourself from checking them altogether while you’re working. As I said earlier, set aside time in your schedule for them or reward yourself with 20 minutes of social networking for completion of a professional task.

If you need to check a social networking site on a regular basis (blogs owners for example tend to do this on a regular basis) then this is fine – but don’t get distracted! Go onto the site (or open the application), do what you had to do and exit. Avoid getting distracted by things that you won’t help you get professional tasks completed – if you see something that you would like to read in your personal rewarded time, go back and visit it later.

8. Take Regular Breaks

Image: Thomas Hawk

Don’t forget to rest and take regular breaks throughout the day, especially if you’re working on a computer. Forgoing breaks can lead to RSI and low mood. Taking a break, however, means getting away from the computer altogether, not having a 5 minute glance at Facebook. Treat yourself to a tasty, healthy lunch – it’s one of the benefits of working from home – and try to get outside for at least half an hour each day. If you can fill this half hour with a run/jog/walk then you’ll feel all the better for it and your productivity will improve too.

9. Get a Business Phone Line

Image: splorp

If you regularly use the phone for work, I strongly suggest getting a line that’s solely for business use. Not only will it remove distractions and improve productivity, it’ll help you keep tabs on your business expenses. It can be costly to have a proper phone line installed, but getting a Skype phone number is really cheap. If you’re going to be on the computer most of the day anyway, then using Skype might actually be preferable.

Alternatively you could buy a cheap mobile phone for business use – you don’t need an expensive one, as it’s primary purpose is to replace a traditional office phone – that means you don’t need to be able to check your emails or social networking sites on it. You can have an expensive personal phone for that!

10. When You Finish Work, Stop Working

Image: -nathan

Once you’ve come to the end of your schedule and crossed off everything on your to-do list, it’s time to relax. Stave off the temptation to check your emails every hour throughout the evening and take business calls- you don’t want to over-exert yourself. Get away from the computer and take your mind off work to be at your most productive the following day.

11. Do Your Research

Image: kerfern

You need to stay abreast of the latest developments in your line of work. Make sure you know exactly what’s happening in your industry – you’ll feel more of an accomplished professional and this will really shine through when you’re meeting clients and applying for jobs. Everything you could possibly need to know, you can find online, by reading online journals and following industry-specific blogs and forums.

12. Use the Best Apps Available

Image: LevelTen Interactive

There are tons of online tools and apps designed to make your working life that little bit easier, boosting your productivity. Many of these apps are browser-based and free, meaning that you can access them from any computer without installing or downloading anything. Try Dimdim for web meetings, 30 Boxes for a calendar, 280 Slides for presentations, MindMeister for brainstorming, and Dropbox for storage.

13. Network and Collaborate

Image: D’Arcy Norman

Most self-employed freelancers are self-motivated and enjoy working alone. This doesn’t mean, however, that they won’t benefit from the help and advice of others. It’s important that you get out there and meet people who are doing similar things to yourself, so you can share tips, collaborate on projects and get more work. You don’t even need to leave the comfort of your executive chair to do this. There are hundreds of online communities and forums brimming with people in the same situation as you.

14. Critique Yourself

Image: jurvetson

Even if you’re completely satisfied with the work you’re producing, there’s always room to improve. Nobody is going to analyse your performance but you, so take time to look back each month and find ways of improving your productivity. If you’ve been distracted too heavily by social networking, for instance, make sure it doesn’t happen again the following month. Although you should give yourself praise for a job well done, you should constantly be striving to increase efficiency.

15. Invest in Good Office Furniture

Image: jnyemb

While largely unrelated to a “Permanently Connected World”, this last tip is vitally important. Working from home is a rather sedentary pursuit and if you spend most of your day at a desk, you must invest in a good quality chair. There’s nothing worse than chronic back pain at ruining your productivity. Executive chairs can be stupidly expensive and often unnecessary. Just make sure that you’re sitting comfortably in a proper chair and not slouching all day.

 

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The First Step To Freelance Design: 16 Superb Articles You Must Read

There are many benefits from being self-employed, but as with most things in life a few disadvantages are thrown in with the package too. We get to work from home, work our own hours, do what we enjoy, have as many days off as we want and blast out tunes all day long (well, at least I do!). But unfortunately we also have to correctly manage our time, avoid distractions and mistakes, find our own work and communicate with difficult clients – we do it wrong, and our wage (ultimately our lives) depends on it. This article compiles 16 superb articles to help you get your head around freelance designing.

I’ve been freelancing for about half a year, the last week or so of that being full-time since quitting my part-time job. I have a fairly good idea of how to manage my time and make things work now, but I still have a lot to learn, and I still will in a years, ten years and probably twenty years time.

I have compiled a list of 20 superb articles specifically aimed at self-employed individuals and designers, all of which have helped me progress as a freelancer and a designer.


1. Freelancing 101: The Typical Life

This is a wonderful article by Elle Phillips (full time freelance designer since 2004) about their typical day to day life in the home office. When I read this article I could really relate to it, I have set myself a lot of the same rules such as strict working hours (unless it is really urgent).


2. Critical Mistakes Freelancers Make

This smashing article by Robert Bowen outlines 10 common mistakes that freelancers, especially new ones, commonly make. Knowing the mistakes before you make them can often result in not making it at all, so this article is one you need to check out, especially if you’re a newly self-employed person.


3. Time Management 101

So you have the skills and courage to become self-employed, but your rubbish at managing your time? This 101 course in Time Management by Bob Bessette can teach your a superb way of organizing your daily and weekly tasks by putting them in to categorized buckets.


4. What To Do When Your Project Starts To Go Downhill

Projects of all kinds in the creative field can go downhill, even if you’ve spent days or weeks on end planning it. This article by Bill Dotson reviews the situation hundreds of designers face every day, and helps you make the most out of a bad scenario to get you back on your feet and the ball rolling faster than ever.


5. Five Survival Tips For The Newly Self-Employed

Self-Employment and Freelancing isn’t always fun and games. It involves hard work, excellent time management and the ability to keep track of your earnings, net profit, outgoing expenditure and the ability to fill in boring forms. This short and handy article by Serena Cowdy offers five survival tips on tax, insurance and why you need to keep all of your bills.


6. Opps! I Did It Again, I Made A Freelance Mistake

We, as humans, aren’t perfect, and we never will be. If we make a mistake, we fix it and learn from it so not to make the same mistake again. Making a terrible mistake on a project tends to leave you with two options: Option One is to ask the client for more time with an updated quote and lose respect and credibility. Option Two is to fix your mistake free of charge and keep your credibility. But why do we need to make a mistake in the first place? This article by Shoaib Hussain offers professional advice on how to avoid it.


7. A Simple Guide On How To Effectively Talk To Clients

Every client is different. In fact, every person is different. Just because one person from a company has the knowledge to talk to you about software, the internet and different techniques, it doesn’t mean someone else from that same company has the knowledge to talk to you in the same manner. This article by Jacob Gube offers fantastic advice on how to find more out about your clients and how to effectively talk to them.


8. When And How To Dump A Client

It’s a cruel and difficult world when freelancing. There are perfect clients, chatty clients, grumpy clients, and pure terrible clients. There’s nothing worse than working your ass off all night long for a low-budget job. This article by Shoaib Hussain offers five incredibly useful tips on when and how you should dump a client if they’re continually a pain in your back-side.


9. How To Manage Time When Working From Home

In your old job you may have been organized, tidy and dedicated. Since becoming self-employed and working full time from home have you noticed a change? Are you turning into a frenzied mess? Don’t be ashamed, when you are your own boss and don’t have any one to listen to it’s hard to dedicate time and very easy to get distracted. This article by Natalia Jones shares 10 top tips to help you get back on track.


10. Ways For Designers To Work For A More Productive Work Day

A combination of good habits can drastically improve your work day. This article by Adam (The Pro Designer) offers tips on time management, taking short breaks out, eating healthily and how to get main tasks done in your best working hours. All of the great tips in this article are all ways of getting more work done in a shorter period of time.


11. How To Get Your Ideas Across To Clients

Getting your ideas across to clients isn’t always an easy task. Some expect miracles, some have a bad taste in design and others just simply don’t appreciate what you’re capable of. Fatima Mekkaoui shares great tips on how to involve and engage a client within a project. If you like the following quote you’ll like this article: “Tell me and I will forget. Show me and I might remember. Involve me and I will understand.”


12. How To Plan A Content Heavy Website

Although this great article by Mary Fran is specifically aimed at keeping yourself organized when planning a content heavy website, it’s got some brilliant little tips that work for other areas of design, too. If you find struggling to file yours documents in a logical and uncomplicated way then this is a great place to learn how to put that right.


13. How To Respond Effectively To Design Criticism

Regardless of whether you are self-employed, an in-house designer or one of many employees at a design agency, you need to be able to accept criticism in all forms, shapes and sizes – if you can’t do that and you want to be come a designer than you’re either heading in the wrong direction or you need to adapt and change how you take harsh comments. This article by Andrew Follett explains just how.


14. The One Thing You Need To Do To Become A Better Designer

Matt Ward shares his opinion on how you can become a better designer by redesigning famous logos, studying effective layouts and by never being completely satisfied with your work. Every designer has room for improvement and this article is just one of many great write-ups out there that might just help you on your way to learning some new essential skills.


15. 16 Tips To Improve As A Graphic Designer

People learn in different ways, some by reading, some by doing and some by listening. Brian Hoff shares with us sixteen ways on how you can improve as a graphic designer, including collecting books, taking lots of photographs, redesigning old projects to see how you’ve improved and sketching on a day-to-day basis.


16. You Can Survive And Thrive After A Crisis

This incredibly inspirational article by Grant Friedman really digs deep into fellow designers from the online community past, sharing with us how they overcame hardship and achieved success. If you’re struggling with life at the moment, family-based, money-based or you’re simply not enjoying your job, this article can really make you look at things differently, overcome your problems and turn it in to great success.

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