Blog posts on creative business & entrepreneurship

How to avoid getting ripped off by a logo designer

How to avoid getting ripped off by a logo designer

Unethical freelancers are the worst, and it stings even more when those rotten apples are my own colleagues. I want to make their job of cheating you harder, and your job of finding great freelancers online easier. Here’s what you can do to protect yourself from being taken advantage of. Read more...

8 painful lessons from my most horrible client experience

8 painful lessons from my most horrible client experience

Last year, I’ve had the most awful “client from Hell” experience in my 12 years as a professional designer. While the experience itself was horrible, the things that came out of it made my business so much better. Here are the lessons that inspired my transformation toward the next level of professionalism. Read more...

Stop chasing clients: 4 effective alternatives to cold pitching

Stop chasing clients: 4 effective alternatives to cold pitching

If you've found yourself in a situation without clients and many bills to pay, you might get tempted to start pitching your services to people who haven't heard about you yet. Pitching is not fun, it puts you in an inferior position, and the effectiveness can be hit or miss. Here's what I recommend instead. Read more...

Why basing your brand strategy on your “ideal client” is wrong

Why basing your brand strategy on your “ideal client” is wrong

Ideal clients: those mythical creatures all brand strategists talk about. Who are they? How do you find them? How do you charm them so they become your real, not just ideal clients? Maybe those aren't the first questions you should be asking yourself. In fact, by starting your branding strategy with your ideal clients, you might run into some traps. Read more...

The 5 Types Of Bad Clients & How To Repel Them

The 5 Types Of Bad Clients & How To Repel Them

Service businesses can’t afford to work with the wrong kinds of clients. We spend so much time immersed in the projects and client communication, and constantly taking on people who are a poor fit will destroy your business. Here are practical ways to use your marketing to repel the wrong clients from your business. Read more...

Who the Hell needs “branding”? Here’s how to get noticed, your way.

Who the Hell needs “branding”? Here’s how to get noticed, your way.

I write a lot about branding on this blog, but I don’t blame you at all if you’re getting sick and tired of hearing this word all the time. Let’s try something different today instead. Let’s drop all pretense of there being any system or formula that you need to know or follow in order to succeed in business. Let’s deconstruct “branding”. Read more...

What is a unique value proposition & how to create one

What is a unique value proposition & how to create one

Your unique value proposition is a statement of how your business solves the customer’s problem in a unique way – what differentiates your business from thousands of others in the world who are attempting to do the same. Finding it may be one of the most challenging aspects of branding and marketing. In this post, I offer tips on how to do that. Read more...

Avoid panic: Start looking for a designer before you need one

Avoid panic: Start looking for a designer before you need one

Every now and then a business owner inquires about my availability, and I have to turn down their project because they want me to start working on it immediately, which just isn't possible. Many business owners are very bad at planning, which is why they only think of looking for help at the very last minute. If you’re a business owner, it would be wise for you to be actively looking for potential people to hire all the time. Here’s why. Read more...

“Premium” isn't “luxury” & more myths about premium brands

“Premium” isn't “luxury” & more myths about premium brands

Most people when they hear the words “premium brand” imagine a luxury brand: Cartier, Tiffany, designer clothes, vintage champagne, 95% fair trade cocoa chocolate with edible 24-karat gold flakes. You may be feeling this way about the word “premium”, too. But in truth, you may already be using premium products and services yourself, without even knowing it. Read more...

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