Campaign Monitor is a great tool for delivering email newsletters, and it is geared towards designers. Their A/B testing newsletter software allows you to create two versions of an email newsletter that vary in some way, deliver each version to a select group, and then send the most successful version to the rest of your mailing list.
Tracey Halvorsen is a blogger, painter, author, speaker and Principal and Creative Director at Fastspot, a Baltimore, Maryland-based interactive agency. I had chance to speak with her about many aspects of running a design business, including dealing with client requests, the importance of failure and being a woman in the web design and technology industry.
Graphic design pricing and budgets can be difficult to determine, especially when you are getting started. Fastspot's Tracey Halvorsen talks about factors that can affect graphic design pricing, such as the importance of a project to your portfolio and referrals that can come out of the work.
Getting jobs without work in a portfolio is difficult, as is building a portfolio without jobs. Fastspot's Tracey Halvorsen talks about how to get your portfolio started without existing clients.
I had a chance to speak with Tracey Halvorsen, Principal and Creative Director at interactive agency Fastspot, about important skills for graphic designers aside from designing.
When is the right time to start a freelance business? What are important tips for people leaving a full-time job? I had a chance to speak with Tracey Halvorsen, Principal and Creative Director at interactive agency Fastspot, about advice for designers looking to start a freelance business.
Social Networking is an important part of any business. Using social media can help a design business communicate with their clients and similar businesses and find potential projects. Social networking sites such as Twitter, foursquare, Facebook and LinkedIn can all be powerful networking tools for a design business.
Getting interviewed for a website is a great way to promote your graphic design business. Online interviews will expose your business to a larger audience and drive traffic to your website.
In a perfect world, clients would always pay on time and in full. However, over the course of a graphic design career, it is almost inevitable to come across late paying clients.
When communicating with clients, it is often a good idea to pick up the phone. Relying on email can lead to misinterpretation of your tone and message.
It is often difficult to find out your client’s budget. While some may reveal it, others will want to get a quote from you first. However, with some explanation regarding the benefits of a disclosed budget, some clients will talk money with you early in the process and this will often save you time and improve your relationship with the people you design for.
Working with clients is a necessary, and sometimes frustrating, part of being a graphic designer. Without clients, however, designers don’t have much business. Therefore, it is important to learn how to deal with the various requests and comments that you will come across in a design business. One of those situations is when a client thinks a task is easier than it actually is.
LinkedIn is a business networking website that allows professionals to connect and help each other. Unlike many other networking tools that were originally geared towards socializing, LinkedIn is specifically for business networking and therefore an obvious choice as a tool to market yourself as a graphic designer.
Facebook is enormously popular, most often thought of as a social tool for friends and family to share photos, thoughts and anything else that the huge Facebook network allows. It is also, however, a powerful business tool. With so many people on one website, it was inevitable that businesses jumped in with profiles, or pages, of their own and by taking advantage of other business opportunities.
Twitter is often thought of as a social tool… a way to keep up with your friends on what they are doing at any given moment. It can, however, be a powerful business tool. Countless businesses from software developers to illustrators to the New York Times use Twitter to keep their followers up-to-date on their latest happenings.
Graphic design clients are often influenced by people close to them, and rightfully so. It’s no surprise that clients may say things such as “my wife wants the background blue,” because most people take advice from their friends and family. For graphic designers, this can become a problem… especially when the advice of these people goes against their design sense.
Graphic designers, like most professionals, need extended periods of time to focus on a single task. While it is important to keep in touch with clients and address requests on a timely basis, it is also important to give yourself time to complete a design or project without distraction. Consider setting a time management schedule for checking email and other forms of communication.
When working as a graphic designer, you are bound to have clients who want projects done on a short deadline. When this happens, you have to first decide if you have the time to complete the project on deadline, and then decide whether or not to charge a rush fee. There several things to consider that can help you decide whether or not to charge more for work done quickly.
When going into a meeting with a potential graphic design client, negotiating cost will often be the most difficult part of the conversation. Talking about the design or technical side of a project is usually relatively easy. In a negotiation, both parties should be looking for a mutually beneficial relationship; the designer gets a price he or she sees as fair for the amount of work, and the client gets quality work within their budget.
When working as a graphic designer, you will inevitably come across clients with limited budgets. In some cases, this may mean you need to decline the job. However, other projects have benefits beyond pay, and you will find yourself looking for ways to work within the client’s budget. There are several reasons you may want to do so, and several ways to make it less likely to regret your decision.
When reaching the stage of a project when it’s time to seal the deal, you may find clients are hesitant to sign a lengthy contract or scared of the term “contract” in general. Therefore, it is important to treat contracts as two-way agreements and present them as such to your clients.
When working as a graphic designer, there may be situations where a contract does not seem necessary. However, it is a good rule to have a contract regardless of who the job is for, the length of the job or the amount of work involved.
After working out a budget with a client, it’s important to set up a payment schedule. This helps to keep the project on target and makes both parties comfortable with the payments owed and the work being done.
The most simple and straightforward approach to determining a budget is to ask the client what they can spend.
Over time, graphic designers will want to, or have to, raise their hourly rate for design work. When taking on new clients, this is easy, because the client does not know your previous rates. When raising rates on existing clients, this can get a little trickier. You don't want to lose a client over a $15 an hour increase, but you also often cannot continue to keep a client on at an old rate.