From side hustler to full-time freelancer: How Organize & Automate made it happen for this student

From side hustler to full-time freelancer: How Organize & Automate made it happen for this student

A lot of people have been asking me if Organize & Automate is suitable for new designers, or people who WANT to start a design business but haven't yet.

I'm here today to say a big, fat yes. It's perfect for new designers, and here's why:

The one thing that makes me cringe about new freelance designers is that they tend to jump right into client work without setting up systems or clear processes for their clients. They think they'll just figure it out as they go.

Here's the problem: As they take on more clients, they raise their prices. They see what other freelancers are charging and somehow feel entitled to earn the same amount. But you CAN'T raise your prices and deliver a beautiful design through a crappy process. Your pricing doesn't just account for your skills, designs and time. It accounts for the experience the client gets.

10 time-saving systems to set up in your web design business

10 time-saving systems to set up in your web design business

When I first started my design business, I thought the only thing I had to do was design (and be good at it).

Boy was I surprised when I realized everything else I had to do to keep my clients happy and keep myself sane. I couldn't just design- I needed to have a smooth client onboarding process, use a project management tool, master the art of Inbox Zero, streamline my project hand-off process and more.

There's so much that comes with running an online business! The key to running a profitable & enjoyable business that doesn't take over your life and drive you crazy?

Streamlining your business as much as possible.

There are 10 things designers can streamline that will lead to a less stressful, more sustainable creative business, but I'm just going to dive into 3. (You can find out what the full 10 are in my blog post!)

7 Productivity Myths That Are Slowing Your Design Business Down

7 Productivity Myths That Are Slowing Your Design Business Down

You started your creative business because you wanted to do creative work. You wanted to make things, design things, code things and get PAID for it. When your first started your business, the prospect of getting paid to do what you love was suuuper exciting, right?

What's not so exciting is realizing that your usual business day will be about 30% creative work, 70% general business tasks.

For weirdos like me who geek out over systems and tools, that side of business is actually really fun. (I know- I'm crazy!)

But for the majority of designers out there, doing all the business-y stuff like replying to emails, managing clients and organizing the client process is hard work.

You find yourself thinking- is this stuff really that important?

Yes, it really is.

Before I dive into decluttering and organizing your design process over the next month, you need to own up to whichever excuse you've been using to NOT get organized.

Own up to it, confess to yourself that it's a load of poop, and set aside some time each week to go through these emails and get yourself organized.

As a designer myself, I know how difficult it can be to even want to get organized. All you want to do is design awesome stuff, right?

You can design without any systems in place. But with systems in place, you can do it faster and at an even better standard.

Ready for this?

Here are the 7 most common productivity excuses I hear around the webosphere. Which one are you going to own up to? ;)

Designers: 5 reasons to stop procrastinating and finally get organized

Designers: 5 reasons to stop procrastinating and finally get organized

Getting organized, setting up systems, automating your business… it’s the unglamorous part of running a design business.

You put it off because you just don’t WANT to do it. It seems boring. It seems hard. And you have more important things to do- like finishing up that logo design for a client, or tweaking that bit of code.

I know that’s how you feel because I used to feel like that too.

I was running my graphic design business for TWO YEARS before I actually decided to set up systems and organize my business. It’s no surprise that after I did, my clients went from satisfied with my work to ecstatic about the whole process.

At the moment, you may be thinking:

"I don’t have time to experiment with lots of new tools and find the best ones for a design business."

"I have client work to do. I can’t fit this in!"

"And even if I wanted to, where would I even BEGIN?"

If you HAVE thought that, I want you to know it's perfectly normal. But the benefits of taking some time out to set up systems within your design business MUCH outweigh the cons. You CAN find time, and it's worth it.

Here are 5 reasons why you should stop procrastinating and get organized:

4 Tips For Keeping Your Client On Schedule

4 Tips For Keeping Your Client On Schedule

Clients live very busy lives so sometimes they may forget to provide feedback or hand in files on time. This can seriously delay your projects and have you pulling out your hair. Thankfully, freelance designer and hand letterer Gillian Tracey is here today to teach you 4 ways you can keep your clients on schedule! 

Clients. They’re the lifeblood of our businesses and give purpose to our passion. But no matter how dreamy the client is, it’s a rare occurrence for a project to stay perfectly on-track from start to finish. This common problem can cause all kinds of frustrations, stress, and project overlap for freelancers and designers, so let’s get some systems in place that will help dramatically improve keeping clients on schedule!

Getting well-structured processes and procedures in place before you get loaded up with client work is definitely key. You may find that you tweak your process here and there as you learn from trial and error, but in the meantime there are some things you can do to build a strong foundation for your business.

Here are 4 straightforward tips to help get you and your clients to stay on-track from the moment the contract is signed to the final delivery of files!