Creative Freelancer Blog

On the Creative Freelancer Blog, guru Ilise Benun—founder of Marketing Mentor and co-producer of the Creative Freelancer Conference—and a host of other prominent experts in the field tackle all things freelance. Get the scoop on freelance graphic design work, how to start your own graphic design business, networking, building strong relationships with clients, designer resources, and much more. Freelancing can be a seemingly complicated and daunting career prospect for any designer—but it doesn’t have to be. The Creative Freelancer Blog breaks it down, demystifies it and gives any designer the tools they need to successfully go solo.

Problem Clients Video with Ilise Benun

[Video] Do You Have “Chaotic” or “Clueless” Clients (or both)?

If you’re battling big egos and unfair deadlines, you’re not alone. But for freelancers, solopreneurs and small agencies especially, one bad client can mean big problems, draining your resources and even harming your carefully built culture. In this presentation, given at Ad Age’s Small Agency Conference (2014 in Austin),  I identified 4 red flags to...

4 Personality Traits of Successful Freelancers

There are 12 important skills and personality traits that you need to run a healthy and successful freelancing practice. There are certainly more, but here are the first 4… 1. Curiosity. Many solopreneurs consider themselves to be introverted or shy. You just want to do your work, right? You don’t want to promote it, and sometimes...

Tom N. Tumbusch 2014

The “problem” of more work than you can handle

Finding enough work to fill your pipeline can be a challenge, especially in the early days of your freelance career. But if you do your marketing work consistently, provide great service, and eat your Wheaties long enough, your business will eventually reach a point where you’re pushing the limits of your capacity. This doesn’t...

Ilise Benun on your online marketing plan

Time for a Marketing Reboot?

If your marketing has slowed down lately, you’re not alone — and there are lots of possible reasons why…. It could be the effect of the summer lull. Or maybe you’re coming off a monster project that consumed every bit of your time and energy and you literally couldn’t focus on anything else while it was going...

Illustration by I. Keith Murray

Watch Out For These Client Red Flags

  Are you dealing with a problem client right now?You know the ones I mean…they have unrealistic expectations and unreasonable deadlines. Or they are high maintenance drama queens overreacting about a tiny detail.If so, you’re not alone.We all have them!The thing to remember is that they are not bad people. They’re often under a...

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Summer Lull = Time to Improve Your Proposals?

If you’re experiencing a little “summer slowdown,” please don’t use it as an opportunity to panic. Instead, use the little August lull to work “on” your business instead of “in” your business. Let’s start with your proposals — I’ll be they can use some improvement. Well, I have the perfect solution to that problem: Monday,...

Ilise Benun on your online marketing plan

Do They Show Your Work To Their Spouse For Feedback?

  Here’s an email newsletter I got today from CFC-veteran and copywriter, Conrad Winter (a.k.a. The Backpocket Copywriter) — just had to pass it along! Dear Ilise, It used to drive me crazy when clients would tell me, “I showed your ideas to my spouse, and…” Or “Let me get back to you, I...

[Podcast] The Art & Science of Pricing

There is an art and a science to pricing your services and to do it well, you have to have both! As a creative professional, the art part shouldn’t be a problem, right? I wrote about the “science” part in a HOW article published in the magazine and excerpted here. And I recently recorded the...

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Two visitors, two calls-to-action

Your website can have the world’s most awesome content. But if you’re not giving readers a next step—what’s the point? For a website to work (funnel ideal clients and projects, weed out tire-kickers, gather info and save you time)—it’s got to ask something of your visitors and encourage a next step. But not all...