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Designer's Freelance Cookbook

By nuSchool

Introduction

You went to school to learn how to design. Be it Graphic, web, UX or industrial design. But how are you supposed to make a living from your art? No one has taught you that. At the nuSchool we want to help you gain practical knowledge, that will improve the way you work, think, live and feel. Join the ride.

nuSchool — Boost your lifestyle and career with Fresh Education for Creative Professionals

Added by nuSchool: “The new world is here. Are you ready for a better life?

1 Are you ready for the new world out there?

Our ManifestSo you chose to be a creative professional. You've decided you're not going to make a living by being a paper pusher, but rather live from your art. Awesome. You wake up in the morning feeling motivated to create beautiful, useful and meaningful things. But then reality bites - Your accountant is calling, asking you for tax documents; your

2 The Journey to Finding My First Client - nuSchool

The Journey to Finding My First ClientWhere can a single young freelancer find a handsome client with a decent budget to pay her for a design? It's a tough world out there. Online dating sites are just terrible. So are those massive online job-hunting platforms. They give us the illusion that there are tons of options out there for us.

Added by nuSchool: “So you are about to get your first freelance design project. A client calls you. Here are a few short tips for how to take this call. It's a short and fun video.

3 4 Mistakes To Avoid On The First Call With The Client [VIDEO]

4 Mistakes To Avoid On The First Call With The Client [Video]Do you tend to freak out when you a get a call from a new client? I used to as well, and then I learned some tricks that work like magic. So here are classic mistakes that happen to everyone on the first call, and how you can avoid

Added by nuSchool: “Everything you need to know if you wonder how to hack freelance design

4 The ultimate guide to freelancing

There are a ton of different reasons people choose to freelance. Sometimes it's born of necessity: you decide you need to take jobs on the side of your regular gig for extra money, or you're suddenly unemployed. It makes sense to use your existing skills to start a freelance career in either of those cases. Others take a more calculated

Added by nuSchool: “Don't work for nightmare clients. It's more work that you're getting paid for...

5 9 nightmare clients and how you can avoid them

Clients come in all shapes and sizes. They're the lifeblood of any creative agency, bringing with them problems to be solved in return for hard cash. So when someone comes along with an exciting project it's easy to get excited about the design possibilities without thinking too clearly about for whom you will be working. Spotting a bad client early

Added by nuSchool: “You got an offer for a new project? Congrats! We're happy for you! But now you need to know how to price it, right? Here are a few tips that will help you to price your work

8 What I learned about pricing while being stuck in traffic

Awesome pricing technique for writing design proposalsCan you believe that a single pricing technique has changed how much I earn? Not only that, but it made my clients happy as well. Unbelievable. Until a few years ago, I used to drive 45 minutes to work every day. I would listen to Audiobooks in my car while being stuck in traffic.

Added by nuSchool: “Just before you start the design work, you should write and sign a contract with your client. And you should make sure your contract is aligned with these 3 simple principles

9 Three principles your contract must align with

Three principles your contract must align withBeing a freelancer is awesome. You are the boss, you manage your time, your projects, your mid-day naps (don't worry, we won't tell anyone about your naps. nuSchoolers believe that napping is great ). As a freelancer, you don't share your profits with anyone but yourself. Well, maybe with your dog in case you

Added by nuSchool: “You gotta learn how to manage yourself. Set goals, learn how to deal with deadlines, and differentiate between what's urgent and what's important

10 How To Manage Yourself

How To Manage YourselfSometimes people tell me stuff like: "I can never be a freelancer, cuz I can't manage myself" or "I can't work from home, there's just too many temptations" or maybe "I don't have enough willpower to manage myself". Somehow I've got the feeling people think that when you're a freelancer you've got to be a self-motivated-superman, whereas

Added by nuSchool: “You're working on your project, but ho there are so many distractions! Here are some quick ways so you can get your focus and mind back.

11 How To Get Your Focus Back. Your Time Too.

How To Get Your Focus Back. Your Time Too.We are freelancers. We need to manage our time, our projects, to be our own chief financial officer, customer manager, the marketing guy and.. oh right... we also need to work for what we were hired for - to be creative. On top of all that we've got to do every day,

Added by nuSchool: “It's time for a LOL break. Read these funny stories about some clients from hell, before you get back to work...

12 These Client Stories Will Make You Cry With Laughter

These Client Stories Will Make You Cry With LaughterNigntmare clients. I didn't sign up for that when I decided to be a creative freelancer. But I guess it comes with the job. In realtime, clients can make me cry. In retrospect - they make me cry with laugher. ClientsFromHell is a super-duper-funny website that is curating stories about... well you

Added by nuSchool: “You work from home. But it doesn't have to feel lonely. Here are some ways to avoid loneliness as a freelance designer.

13 The loneliness of the freelance designer

The loneliness of the freelance designerWhen I was 23 I experimented with loneliness - I used to read a lot of Paul Auster at the time, and I wanted to see what would happen if I am really alone and avoid talking to other people for a while. So I rented an apartment in a small fishing village in the

Added by nuSchool: “The client is not paying to you? Or not paying on time? Apparently this problem happens to around 80% of freelancers. Here's a great video for how to deal with that sh*t.

14 F*ck You, Pay Me!

F*ck You, Pay Me!My mom taught me not to curse. But some people are really asking for it. Say, customers that don't pay for the design job you delivered, in which you put so much energy. You might feel like you wanna flip a table (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻ but apparently there are better ways to handle it. Here's a video we

Added by nuSchool: “You're getting them projects, and you feel it's time to charge more. Here's how to do that.

15 The art of charging more as a freelancer

All freelance designers and developers eventually have to face these ultimate questions; " How much should I charge for my services? Should I charge by the hour, or by the project? " And then, once that question is answered, of course, the question becomes, " How can I charge more? " As opposed to a traditional job, in which you

16 Why Design Students Should Freelance

Why Design Students Should FreelanceOne of the most valuable things I learned fairly early in my college career was the importance of freelancing as a design student. The value of this became more obvious every year until I graduated by seeing the work done by students who freelanced versus students who did no more work than they were assigned to

17 How To Get Started As A Freelance Graphic Designer

How To Get Started As A Freelance Graphic DesignerHave you ever wondered what it takes to get started out as a freelance graphic designer? If you are thinking about venturing into the field of graphic design for yourself, then this article should prove to help you tremendously! I will be giving you a look at how I got started out

18 5 Ways To Increase Your Value To Your Client

5 Ways To Increase Your Value To Your ClientMost of us, designers, assume our client cares only about the quality of our design work. While it's true that he cares how awesome our design is, the client also cares about other things. Here are 5 things your client cares about, and how to increase your value to him. Nail these,

19 Portfolios: Your First Date with A Client

Portfolios: Your First Date with A ClientSpoiler: there's a tool to help you build a portfolio within minutes in the end of this post. Don't look! Don't look!When a potential client lands on your portfolio, it's a lot like a first-date. It's the first time this potential client has seen you (and your work). While they browse through your portfolio,

20 Why Should I Pick You As A Designer Over The Competition?

Why Should I Pick YOU?Most of us think that the only parameter that determines whether or not we win a project, is how much money we ask for it. I think differently. Equally important, is how relevant to the job you - yes, YOU, are. I think we got it all wrong - it's not "just business", it's personal. As

21 The Reasons You're Losing Design Contracts

The Reasons You're Losing Design ContractsEditor's note: This guest post is written by This post originally appeared in his Jeff Archibald. He is co-founder of a design agency in Edmonton called Paper Leaf, an award-winning shop focused on brand identities, websites, and interfaces. If he's not learning, creating, speaking or herding cats, he's partaking in one of his many other

22 How to price a logo design guide: free tools and pro tips

How to price a logo design: free tools, pro tips and one grandmaSo you were asked to give a price quote for producing a new logo, ah? How hard can that be? you ask yourself. I'll just look it up on the internet, you think. LOL. Asking Google something like "how to price a logo design?" is like dealing with

23 Who’s afraid of cheap logos?

Who's afraid of cheap logos?If there's one thing that scares us even more than the prospect of cheaper competitors learning to design and offering it at a cheap price, it's that someone in Silicon Valley will open a startup that can automate design - thus putting the last nail in our coffin. When companies like 99 Designs & Fiverr offered

24 "How Much Should I Charge?"

"How Much Should I Charge?"How many times did you ask yourself this question? A potential client wants your proposal for a design project. You're sitting in front of your computer, scratching your head. You ask Google, your friends in Facebook, your Linkedin groups. You browse designers' forums. You've found some price lists. Are they relevant for you? Are they relevant

25 Eliminate fear from negotiations to get what you deserve

How to eliminate fear from negotiations to get what you deserveMost of us creative freelancers aren't greedy. We just want to earn a decent living. So how come so many of us are afraid to state what we really want when we negotiate for our projects? See how to conduct negotiations to get what you deserve. We are afraid of

26 Your Free Design Work Will End Up In The Trash

Your Free Design Work Will End Up In The TrashI lost $100,000, and that's just a rough estimate. If only I hadn't worked for free for so many years, who knows, maybe I could have owned my own apartment by now. I thought it would be good for my career, bring opportunities, help my friends, my family, that it would

27 Can you steal the best pricing techniques from restaurants?

Can designers steal the best pricing techniques from restaurants?You can learn a few awesome pricing techniques just by looking at how menus are designed. When I look at restaurant menus, my brain divides into two. The primitive part, which makes salivate at the food. At the same time, there is the analytical part, which tries to work out whether or

28 Mistakes Freelancers Make

Mistakes Freelancers MakeI want to share with you the biggest mistake I think I made starting out as a freelance designer. I didn't correctly position myself in the market. Based on the inquiries that I get every week, I'm going to bet that you too are making the same mistake. It's okay, there are mistakes freelancers make. I'm excited to

29 How can designers beat low-price competitors?

How can designers beat low-price competitors?One of our biggest fears is that our clients will find out someone else who would be willing to do the same work, but for a lower price. The fear is then swiftly replaced by anger: "Aren't those designers ashamed of themselves? They're destroying the market!". We end up trying to educate our clients that

30 Getting Paid As A Freelancer

Getting Paid As A FreelancerAs a freelancer, or small business owner, it's extremely important to get paid as soon as possible because more than likely you don't have a Scrooge McDuck money bin to help you out. Money can be a tricky subject, and for one reason or another getting paid as a freelancer on time is something that will

31 Pay Me... Or Else! - Free ebook by The nuSchool and Webydo

Lior FrenkelCo-Founder, The nuSchool Lior has been freelancing for years building websites. He has met every possible type of client & learned how to make the best of every project. These days he's consulting, blogging & speaking around the world. Lior has been building websites for years as a freelancer. He has met every possible type of client and learned

32 Why you need a contract for every project

Freelancers: Why you need a contract for every projectAre you starting a new client project soon? Stop what you're doing right now and go make a contract for that project before you do anything else. Actually, read this first. Then go make a contract for freelancer. As a designer, it can be easy to jump past the initial stages of

33 Learn from your bad clients

I want to write my experiences and lessons from a recent logo design project I took on, which unfortunately did not go as well as I would have hoped. I still have a good relationship with this client, and although a final design was selected and full payment was made, I am aware that unfortunately they will continue to revise

34 Client deadlines: how to make them respect it

The clients misses deadlines - nuANSWERS"nuANSWERS" is where we feature an actual question submitted by one of our students and the answer we gave them.This week's question comes from KT, who wants her clients to stop being late with providing her with what she needs to complete the work.KT wrote: Dear Lior,I have a question. I often write proposals with

35 Save Yourself From Endless Client Requests

Save Yourself From Endless Client Requests[This post is now updated with even more tips and a slideshow]- "There's one more thing I need you to do..." - "Can we add those last few things to the design before we publish?" - "I had a dream last night. We need to re-do everything!"There's nothing I hate more than hearing my clients

36 Things I’ve learned as a freelance designer

Things I've learned as a freelance designerYou wouldn't see the "freelancer" title in my LinkedIn profile. But the truth is, I work as one since I was 17. I had my first paid project while I'm still in high school. It was a 3D design project of the Hebrew Temple of the Egyptian era. Then came an opportunity to do

37 How to build confidence when you start freelancing

How to build confidence when you start freelancingHow do you start freelancing? It's easy. Learn your profession, find those clients and charge them for that service! There is a slight chance you'll face some obstacles. One of them is really tiny, not too big of a deal.. It is the fact that it is FREAKING SCARY. The number one issue

38 How to Stay Productive as a Remote Worker

How to Stay Productive as a Remote Worker (Without Missing Out on Traveling)Most posts about productivity as a remote worker read like a how-to on turning your home into a cubicle: keep business hours, dress for work, create a "work area." I take issue with advice like this, because it seems to point to the idea that the only way

39 Working freelance doesn't mean working on weekends

Working freelance doesn't mean working on weekendsIf you're a freelancer, it's easy to fall into the trap. For me, working all the time made me tired of what I love the most.I've been working freelance since 2004 (2007 full-time I guess). During this time, I alternated periods of intense work (when I ran out of money) with a very relaxed

40 The Designers' New Year's Resolutions for 2015 - nuSchool

Leading Designers Share Their New Year's Resolutions for 2015The holidays offer us the chance to relax and rethink what we wish for ourselves for the next year. But starting with a blank page is hard, so we thought you might want to hear what other designers wish for themselves. We asked a number of our favourite super-talented, uber-awesome designers "What

41 Have a fresh start in 2015: Accomplish those things during the holidays

Have a fresh start in 2015: Accomplish those things during the holidaysThe holidays are coming and everyone's on vacation. Your email inbox is as dry as the Sahara and every other message you send out gets you an automated reply: "off to the Caribbeans for a month, back January 6th." Meanwhile you are sitting in front of your computer with

42 How to take a vacation

How to take a vacationHer: Want to go out for a day tomorrow?Me: No way I can skip an entire day. I need to finish-up the design for the Cats Pajamas' website, and I have to be available for my clients. The life of a freelancer...Her: Hold on a minute, if you're a freelancer, doesn't that mean you're your own

43 Making 2015 more fun and more profitable

How I'm going to make 2015 more fun and more profitableI'm going to tell you how five years ago I changed my own life course, and how my life has been getting better and better ever since. By the time you're done reading this you will understand how to make 2015 a better year in terms of profit, fun, and

44 Bilingual Freelance? Watch Your Language!

Bilingual Freelance? Watch Your Language!Editor's note: This guest post is written by Jonathan Maimon. He is a bilingual freelance copywriter and internet marketer, working with a bunch of brands, as well as creating new media for Kinetis. Jonathan has spent the recent years between NY, London and Tel-Aviv. In the very little spare time he has left, Jonathan delves into

45 You should be napping - Yeah!

You should be napping - Yeah!You should be napping. It can improve your energy level, productivity, memory and happiness. C'mon, I know you think I'm just looking for excuses to sleep in the middle of the day, but this is scientific. Seriously. Winston Churchill needed it for winning wars - he was the one who coined the term "power-nap". Bill

47 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Writing Copy For Your Clients

3 Questions to Ask Yourself (and Your Client) Before Writing CopyOne of the toughest parts of writing copy - and writing in general - is firing up the engines. We've already covered how to begin writing and getting words from your head onto the page, so this time let's go back to one step earlier - how to even know

48 Writing for Designers

Writing Tips for DesignersWriting is an inevitable part of a designer's day-to-day: preparing work proposals, composing lengthy official emails, creating copy for designs. Even though you first set out to develop a career in a visual field, soon enough you will discover that using that particular brain function is not enough, and will be forced to go literal (literally). Unfortunately,

49 Create a WordPress website in just 15 min-No coding needed

Create your WordPress website without coding in 15 minutesSetting up a WordPress website is becoming more and more like opening a Facebook account; but people still fear this process, and find it more difficult than it actually is. But fear not! I'm going to show you how to create a WordPress website in 15 minutes! Without having to know how

50 Who’s responsible for setting up a website hosting for clients

Who's responsible for setting up a website hosting for my client? nuAnswers"nuANSWERS" is where we feature an actual question submitted by one of our students and the answer we gave them. This week's question comes from Fern, who wants to know how involved you should be in setting up a website hosting for your client Thank you for writing an

51 How to sell your digital art? - nuANSWERS

How to sell your digital art? - nuANSWERS"nuANSWERS" is where we feature an actual question submitted by one of our students and the answer we gave them.This week's question comes from Rick, who is looking for tips on how to sell his digital art. Rick wrote:Hi Lior, I purchased the Pricing Class and watched all the videos. It's great and

52 It's that creative block again

I have no ideas... again...My heart is pounding. Suddenly cleaning up the house seems like a fun task. Maybe I should take the trash out too? Anything that will keep me from sitting down in front of the computer and facing the fact I have no idea what to do. No matter how many years I've been doing it, no

53 Be a Better Freelance Designer

Be a Better Freelance DesignerHere are the lessons I've learned that will aid you in the years to come to be a better freelance designer. 1. Work when you are at your most creativeDon't just sit there and stress about it, get up, move around, watch TV and do everything you can to switch off from the design challenges you

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