Creative email marketing


If you are running a design company, or you are a freelancer company yourself, you surely have realized that you spend so much time on your email every day. Email communication is a very important part of professional life; it helps build a relationship with a client and maintaining that relationship.

 

 

Social media is knowledgeably important for your marketing strategy, it reaches your audience and enables a personal contact with your target group. Although, researches have shown that marketing via email has been much more effective in design, as email helps you build trust from the very beginning of your communication with the client.

Aside from being the most effective, it is also not taking almost any of your resources. You don't need much money for this kind of marketing! And the greatest benefit, for sure, is the opportunity to personalize your messages and really connect with the potential customers.

To make your email marketing strategy effective, your emails should have a call to action - invite people to open your website, purchase a service, place an order. Most useful ways to reach your audience via email and get an interaction with them is via newsletter and email surveys.

There are various online tools which help us bring our email strategy to life, such as Mail Chimp for example. Aside from making the creation of newsletters super easy, Mail Chimp also offers strong support for keeping track of the results of your marketing. Another familiar tool on the market is for sure Survey Monkey, easy and free software which helps you send out your surveys for your market research.

 

 

A new fish in the sea of email marketing, which we would love to share with you, is Survey Anyplace. Survey Anyplace is not just another survey creator. Survey Anyplace is for those who want to try something different, exciting and creative.

Surveys are important for your business to get a feedback and analyze your market - know how to improve your job. Surveys are necessary for you, but can also be a little too much for your audience and tiring at times. The Survey Anyplace knows this, which is why they are offering a much more interesting and fun way to communicate. What COLOURlovers would be happy to hear is that this app has some freaking cool design features; you can completely customize everything and fit it to your brand.

Their other features, such as new quality questions, incentive widgets, opportunities to create a quiz, possibility to integrate your social networks and share the management between your team, are some of the reasons why this new app got real popular real quick. We recommend you to check it out and give email marketing another chance to be a fun and playful way to keep your customers happy and coming back!

 

About the author

Nina Petrov is an activist, poet, performer and mathematician. She communicates with the world mostly through words, movement and equations, but sometimes also by speaking very loudly. The only truth she could say about herself is that she keeps changing every day, never stops learning and interacting with her surroundings.

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21 Digital Marketing Hacks to jumpstart your online success today


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According to Statista, 2015 brought about $59.82 billion spent on digital marketing in the US, and the number is expected to grow to a whopping $113.18 billion by 2020. A field growing in popularity day by day, Digital Marketing has been the talk of the town over the last decade. To some, it remains a cloud of mystery.

In this infographic, we attempt to simplify the topic for brands that are just starting out and are overwhelmed by the sheer number of things they have to do. There seems to be an ever-increasing list of activities under the umbrella of digital marketing that demands our attention. Most of them are sadly not worth our time. Here, we cover what we consider the foundation of digital marketing that forms the requisite for greater things to come.

 

Website leads conversion

Your website is not just a namecard. It can be a source of leads and sales for your business. To do so, it needs to be able to convert web visitors into leads. With a potential customer in mind, you would need to ensure that your website provides them with a good level of ease and convenience, whether in navigating your website and learning about your product, or simply in contacting you. Hence, adding forms to every page of your website can work miracles, and avoids the customer having to strain their mind browsing your website for an enquiry they may have.

Meanwhile, testimonials and other social proof from your previous and current clients placed on various landing pages of your website would give a good impression to potential clients or customers, drawing them to look more into and eventually purchase your product or service. This occurs as, instead of you and your website selling the product, your testimonials etc. would do the work for you, as potential clients often prefer seeing proof that your product would benefit them, from those other than your brand’s sales representatives themselves.

Lastly, were you aware of the fact that an increasingly larger number of Internet users use their smartphones to browse websites and social media instead of, say, their laptops? This is where the importance of having a mobile friendly website comes in, since a majority of your visitors would be browsing your website through their smartphones and not their laptops. Take a step back on those graphics and animations, and ensure that the mobile version of your website is just as easy to navigate; and see the leads rolling in!

Email marketing

Lets put it this way: do you know anyone who doesn’t have an email address? Neither do we. Moreover, Exact targetreported that accessing email is the one task people tend to use their smartphones for the most; yes, even more than connecting to social media.

Hence, reaching your current or potential customers through their email may be the best marketing tool you may have the liberty to use. An email marketing campaign’s ability to be personalised specifically towards each customer gives you all the more reason to consider this particular marketing tool since. Often enough, customers seeking your product may not always be aware of that new blog post on your website, or that brand new service your company just launched. With email marketing, your customers can be made aware of all this, as well as new promotions and updates specifically catered towards your loyal customers. Moreover, A study by Adobe found that your current customers are 9x more likely to convert than 1st time prospects.

How would you jump on the email marketing bandwagon, you may ask? It’s quite simple, really. After you’ve complied a list of all your customers’ emails and contact details, you can pick one of several email software providers –Mailchimp, for example, is completely free for your first 2000 subscribers! –and proceed to blast your emails. Other tools such as SumoMe, Leadpages or OptinMonster can always be used to continue collecting more emails, and by sending out regular and attractive emails to your customers, you earn their loyalty.

Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization –or SEO, as it is more commonly known –is the buzzword within digital marketing as it stands now. SEO is the top source of organic traffic and leads. With 97% of consumers using the Internet to search for products or services they require, SEO potentially is a vital lead generation tool.

So, how does one go about planning SEO? To track your web traffic, install Google analytics; to communicate with the Google search engine, install Google search console; and lastly, install an SEO plugin such as Yoast, if you are using WordPress. After submitting your sitemap to the Google search console, you must begin producing keyword-based content. This, along with ensuring your website’s URLs are short and concise, would gradually move you further up in your potential customers’ search results, hence leading them to your website and, eventually, helping you create yet another source of leads. For more information, check out our comprehensive guide to technical SEO.

Social Media

In the current decade, social media has become the driving force for businesses. Often enough, it can too be said that, without a presence on social media, your brand may just cease to exist. Keeping up with the times is crucial for your business, both in drawing in more customers and maintaining your existing ones. As with the case of email marketing, social media aids your brand in getting the word out; in updating your clients of your new promotions and services, while targeting potential clients with the use of ads. Our day to day lives often feel incomplete without accessing social media a few times a day, at the very least, with Singaporeans, for example, having reported to be spending a whopping 2.2 hours a day on social media. An indication of the role of social media within businesses can be seen too with the online presence of 91% of retail brands on two or more social media platforms.

In terms of your website, connectivity to various social media platforms and vice versa should be your topmost priority. This can be established by adding social sharing buttons to every page of your website, and, while sharing posts on social media, ensuring that your posts lead to your website, so as to increase the traffic and resulting leads. However, before you can go about sharing and spreading the word on social media, it is too integral that the content on your website is beneficial enough to your users. Social Media, as the name suggests, is a platform for socializing and not for selling. Hence, brands should strive to provide value and useful content on social media, with the view of building a long term relationship with their audience.

Finally, it is also recommended that brands try out advertising on Facebook. It allows them to reach out to a huge group of audience at low costs, relative to other traditional ads platform such as newspaper or magazines. However, there must be proper strategy in place if one is seeking to obtain a positive ROI from their facebook ads. To that end, you can check out our guide to Facebook advertising.

Blogging

Blogging is an up-and-coming method of leads generation. It is premised on the idea of using information to create trust with today’s highly educated audience. Pay close attention to your content, and always prioritise quality over quantity. If consumers of your blog posts are put off after having read just one low-quality piece, chances are they might not return again to your website when a new piece is published and promoted.

Look to your customers’ recurring queries and frustrations, and turn them into blog posts; not only would your blog posts then be of interest to your customers, but they too would gain more traction as compared to other, less significant topics. Moreover, the content itself should be in a specific tone of voice that would attract customers; easy to read and conversational tones which can also be promoted on social media are often the best approach. Take your time in copywriting the headlines of your articles too; with the fast-paced life that we currently live, your customers would more often than not only read your article’s headline, and then go on to read the rest of the article if and only if it piques their interest.

Conclusion

Adapting to the changing tone of the world has become crucial, with the fear of you and your brand being left behind quite real. Your customers now expect you to maintain an online presence, while it has been proven time and time again that digital marketing, as compared to more traditional marketing perspectives, outperforms in all aspects, whether it be cost, convenience, or audience reach. Following these hacks listed above, digital marketing would be less of an uphill task.

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Professional Showcase Of 25+ Web Development Tools and Resources


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It is very popular these days to use web resources and services to deliver better quality and save time or even money. I dare to say that it is a damn fine idea. Why build from scratch rather than let the web tools or services do their magic?

You can focus on delivering quality and increasing the user engagement, while the web tools and services can help you with your daily tasks. Below there are many WordPress professional plugins, themes and a managed hosting solution; website builders, a fmarketplace with thousands of digital products and many useful services.

Check the reviews below and share your thoughts.

1. Tickera - WordPress event ticketing system

 

 

Selling and sending tickets online is now easier than ever. Tickera is a highly appreciated WordPress plugin which will help you have your own online ticketing system. It is fully compatible with all WordPress themes which respect the standard and will blend perfectly into your new or existing designs.

Everything you need can be done with Tickera, it is packed with tons of features and options. You can use their ticket builder to fully customize and differentiate your VIP and standard tickets. You can put barcodes, use discounts to boost sales and much more. Much more can be done, check their website.

The pricing starts from $49 per year and there is a one-time installment fee of $70. Keep in mind that Tickera does not take a cut of your profit, they have fixed, transparent costs. It is probably the most affordable and professional solution on the market.

See Tickera in action! Here are some examples of the most used scenarios for ticket selling. Whether you are hosting single event or having website with multiple events or decided to harness the power of Tickera and WooCommerce fusion via Tickera Bridge for WooCommerce - it is all there for you to try out in "real life" examples! If you need a demo account go here.

 

2. LayerSlider - Responsive WordPress Slider Plugin

 

 

With more than 1.5 million active sites daily, LayerSlider is probably the best premium multi-purpose animation platform which will help you build sliders, gorgeous image galleries, animated landing pages and even full websites in record-time.

LayerSlider is the complete solution, being packed with tons of features and options. It has versatile layouts where you can select a full screen, full width, full size or hero scene display mode. It is fully responsive, looking great on any device: smartphones, tablets and desktop computers. LayerSlider is having the best drag and drop editor on the market. It is super simple to use, you don’t need to have coding skills or previous experience and it has everything included to help you: live preview, undo-redo, keyboard shortcuts, Photoshop-like image editor which works excellent and much more.

The version for WordPress costs $24 and for jQuery is just $15, both having lifetime updates with regular new great things included and 6 months support. On their website you will find all the documentation you may need and a dedicated support team to help you.

3.  Pagely - Managed WordPress Hosting

 

Beyond being the first Managed WordPress hosting solution, Pagely is committed to creating a company that values employees and customers first. They work hard, are kind to everyone, and act with a conscience. It's these values with which they’ve built a best-in-class service with the industry's top engineers who care about the communities they serve on a human level. This, along with an innovative and proprietary tech stack built on Amazon Web Services makes them the market leader in managed WordPress hosting for enterprise.

 

Pagely utilizes a partnership with Amazon to deliver the best-Managed WordPress hosting services on the market with the most experienced technical staff in the industry. They are focused on enterprise and the public sector but any WordPress website which needs speed and availability will benefit from having Pagely on their side.

 

Check Pagely and pick the plan you need, if you don’t know what fits best you can discuss with their friendly and professional support team.

4.  Goodie - Web Development Service

 

 

Goodie is a professional but with a different approach web development service which will build you the website you dream for. The price is starting from $999 and if you need more features, Goodie will send you an affordable quote for the additional options. If your website is super-simple, they will add value, so your website will worth the money you have paid.

Upload your projects details and get in touch with Goodie.

5.  Ultra – The Most Powerful WordPress Theme

 

Ultra is a powerful WordPress theme made by the well-respected developer Themify. It includes a brilliant and easy to use drag and drop builder, 11 bonus add-ons and the possibility to create unlimited websites with the license.

6.  WPKube

 

 

WPKube has a small, yet a premium collection of WordPress themes which you will find very interesting. All their themes are pixel-perfect, multipurpose, load extremely fast and are SEO friendly. Check their portfolio.

 

7.  Colorlib – Apply

 

Apply is a gorgeous, free one-page theme which is having a modern and clean design. It can be used showcase your mobile app, but also for other scopes. The free themes are having lots of features and options which normally can be found in the premium templates.

8.  Postcards

 

Postcards can be quickly used to create professional emails without writing a single line of code. The powerful drag and drop builder and the 70+ elements will make your life easy. Keep in mind that the elements are retina-ready, you can choose from 800 Google Fonts and more customizations can be further made.

9.  Slides

 

Slides is a premium website builder which will help you have your own gorgeous website in minutes, without having any previous experience or coding skills. You can choose from 180+ beautifully designed and fully functional elements that in combination with the drag and drop builder will create you a gorgeous websitE.

10.  Codester

Codester is an excellent marketplace which is quickly growing from one month to another. Web designers, developers and everyone looking to buy PHP scripts, app templates, website themes and much more. If you are looking for an additional income, you can sell your products on Codester, they are not requesting your products.

11.  MeridianThemes

 

 

MeridianThemes is a powerful WordPress theme developer which is creating pixel-perfect, free and premium templates. All of their products are having gorgeous designs, load extremely fast and look great on any device your website visitors may have.

12.  uiCookies – Frame

 

uiCookies is popular for delivering awesome free themes which can be easily fully customized to fit any project. Frame is a free one-page theme with a modern and clean design, fully packed with features and options that are giving this theme a premium touch.

 

13.  FreelanceLogoDesign

FreelanceLogoDesign is a platform which lets graphic designers compete to send their best logo design. Enter a simple logo design brief and pay $19, the platform will assign 3 designers which will be creating 6 custom logo concepts for you. You will receive the logos in less than 6o minutes and after you pick the one you like, you will pay $49 for the copyright.

 

14.  MailMunch

Working on all websites and all e-Commerce platforms, MailMunch is a popular way to increase conversions on your website. Create beautiful opt-in forms without writing a single line of code, starting from the professional included themes.

 

15.  WhatFontIs

 

 

WhatFontIs will quickly identify the fonts you are looking for from any URL or image which you will upload. What is even greater to this platform is the fact that you will receive free and premium alternatives, most of the times saving you money. Start using it, you will find it very useful.

 

16.  Pixpa

Pixpa is a powerful and popular portfolio website builder, packed with an excellent drag and drop builder, beautifully designed themes and much more. You don’t need any coding experience or previous experience, anybody will obtain great results.

Try it for free for 15 days.

 

 

17. SuperbWebsiteBuilders

 

SuperbWebsiteBuilders is a decent choice for users, who intend to find the best website builder to complete particular tasks. The website provides the reviews of the top rated website builders, their characteristics, and list of pros and cons users should know when selecting the best platform. Due to the professional approach of Howard Steele, the owner and the chief editor of the website, it has become a decent information source for professional web designers and newbies.

 

18.  uKit

uKit is a robust website builder for business owners that have an edge over other site-building solutions due to its solid functionality and easy to use interface. The brings over 350 designer-made themes encompassing 38 business categories to suit just any kind of website. The platform offers everything you might require to set up your own professional digital presence and go online in a matter of minutes.

 

19. uCalc

uCalc.pro is a free online service that lets you create a custom embeddable calculator in a matter of minutes. Start by choosing a template (there’s a good collection of modern, designer made layouts), add the input fields you want and you’re all set to go live. Your visitors will be able to calculate mortgage, loan payments, interest rates and much more directly on your website.

 

 

20 .IM XPRS

IM XPRS is a decent choice when it comes to selecting a functional and affordable website builder. This cloud-based system is free, yet it offers a broad spectrum of web design options and tools needed to create websites of diverse specialization and complexity level. The service comes with the Polydoms technology, responsive templates subdivided into thematic categories, design customization tools, White Label solution and WYSIWYG visual editor that ensures intuitive, quick and safe web building process.

 

21. InvoiceBerry

 

Looking for a complete, simple to use and budget-friendly invoicing platform? InvoiceBerry is what you are looking for, is a perfect fit for small companies and freelancers. Sending fully customized invoices takes less than 60 seconds and the platform can also help you track expenses and payments, create reports and much more.

InvoiceBerry is having a free forever plan, start with that one and you can upgrade anytime.

 

22. SalesMate

 

 

Being used by more than 1,500 companies, SalesMate is a smart and powerful CRM software that will help you better organize your work, have a clear pipeline, increase email productivity and much more. Try it for free for a period of 15 days and check all the features and options that SalesMate is having.

 

23.  Ucraft Website Builder

 

 

 

 

Ucraft is a cloud website builder, which is in demand with experienced web developers and newbies, who are just making their first steps in the web design niche. The system allows creating and customizing websites of different types. There is even a Free Landing Page Creator, which makes to possible to build landing pages in minutes and connect them to any domains you wish or get the new one from the system in no time. It’s also possible to launch a functional web store here due to the integrated eCommerce engine the system can boast.

 

24.  Controlio

Controlio is a professional computer and internet monitoring software which is loaded with tens of great features and options. You can have live surveillance, continuous screen recording and much more. Prices start from $7.99 per user per month.

 

25.  EvergreenFeed

EvergreenFeed is a great way to put on autopilot your social media channels. This way you will save a couple of hours every week, hours which may bring you money by taking new projects. They are having a free plan which you should start with.

 

26.  Uncode

 

 

With Uncode you can take the building of an website using WordPress to the next level. It has a tailored version of the popular Visual Composer with advanced techniques, massive features and options. Everything you can thing for is included in Uncode.

 

27.  RumbleTalk - WordPress Social Chat

RumbleTalk is a popular choice to implement a web chat to any website. Using this webchat you can discuss with your website visitors but many other things can also be achieved. Audio and video calls can be made, image, video and youtube sharing and even more.

Up to 5 seats and 1 room is free. Try it.

Conclusion

Whenever you are looking to get things done quick while having excellent results, any of the above web resources are great options. Some of them are having free trials or even free forever plans, testing them is easy and free of cost.

As a final note, these web tools and services were manually selected and represent the best 26 web resources in the first quarter of 2018.

Please share your opinions and tell us what web tools you are using.

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6 Tips For Matching Wall Colors With Your Home Furniture


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Walls occupy the largest chunk of a house. At any given moment, walls are always visible and present to give a house its character. Wall decoration is thus pivotal for achieving the desired mood within the house. Matching the right walls colors with furniture is an art that is central to home decor. Depending on the colors and patterns you choose, wall decor can:

  • Give the room a desired ambiance
  • Remove monotony and blandness in the house
  • Exhibit a unique artistic character

 

Selecting the Right Fabric

Furniture upholstery is crucial when decorating the house. The right fabric can determine how elegant the house looks. Upholstery fabric should generally be selected with consideration of practicality and functionality. For instance, you do not want to go for silk or velvet choices if you have kids and pets in the house. Strong fabric that is durable would be appropriate instead.

It is important to know that matching colors with your furniture is essential in achieving the various home decor effects. Here are some key tips for matching wall colors with home furniture.

Gray

Gray is a solid choice for walls and home decor as it is very receptive to art and decoration. This color exudes indifference and neutrality. Decorating gray walls is quite easy as the bland effect it has acts like a canvas. You can thus use almost any fabric and furniture with gray without giving the room an odd look.

Blue

 

There are many shades of blue and they all give an effect of relaxation. Blue walls are best used in the living room where there are gatherings most of the time. When it comes to decorating blue walls, furniture that has green, mustard, pink, and other vibrant colors is the best.

Pink

Pink is known as a very vibrant and affectionate color. The color has a generally calming effect and it is delightful to look at. Pink walls are perfect in the bedroom but they can also be just fine in the living room. White, gold, or powder rose furniture blends perfectly with pink walls.

 

Green

Green is found all over nature. The color is relaxing, refreshing, and it is the perfect choice for expressing composure and serenity. The color is thus great for the living room, study and even bedroom. Green walls are perfect when they are accessorized with pink, red, blue, white, off-white, or gold furniture.

Orange

Even though orange is pretty uncommon in houses, this color is a very artistic alternative. Orange is the color of sunshine and thus gives a mood of heat and aggressiveness. Orange walls are excellent in the kitchen. Furniture that comes in teal, brown, turquoise, green or white is perfect for complementing orange walls.

Red

Red is a color that expresses passion and energy. You can generally expect the color to elevate the state of any emotion. This color is thus quite tough to accessorize but furniture that is either white, pink, green, gold and a few other bright colors is perfect for complementing red walls.

In summary, the above tips will work for any house. It is however important to note that the different color shades have varying effects. When decorating the house with fabric, it is important to consider allocating enough time for research in order to pick the best colors that work for you.

 

 

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Colors and brand personality


The effect that each color has on us depends mostly on personal experience and association an individual has about the color. We already know that colors symbolize different abstracts from culture to culture, but on top of that, there is a personal psychological level which is a non reliable factor when we're choosing the brand color.

When we're thinking about branding, there is so much to consider depending on the product we're designing the brand for. True, a lot depends on the visual aspects of a brand, but we shouldn't forget everything else in order to make a harmonic holistic approach to the brand personality. Things such as the certain smell we use for the shop, texture, patterns, customer service, music. So besides what the color represents, we should think about whether it fits what we sell and does it match everything else in the brand?

 

The role color holds in the brand identity is to make it easily recognizable, which is of great importance to the consumerist brain. Another thing to consider is which colors our biggest competitors use and how can we help the customers make an easy differentiation between the companies. Although, this is not always the right way to go when creating a brand. For example, both Twitter and Facebook use the color blue, and they are both social networks. The reason behind the color they chose is in fact very practical - since using these platforms requires spending time looking at the screen, they chose the color which is most comfortable to the eye so their users can spend more time on the network.

To think like successful brands, we need to think about our consumers, and not about the colors themselves. First we need to know what kind of emotions we want our customers to feel when using our product or service. What do we provide for them? Comfort, pleasure, confidence, excitement?

 

There are five dimensions of brand personality: blue for honest, welcoming, sentimental and friendly feeling; red for exciting, bold, creative and independent; green for reliable, successful, confident and smart; purple for elite, feminine, pretty and sophisticated; yellow for tough, outgoing, strong.

 

What do you want your customers to feel when they buy what you sell? Find the dominant emotion and focus your brand around it - think about practical factors and how to match every aspect of the brand with the color you choose.

 

About the author

Nina Petrov is an activist, poet, performer and mathematician. She communicates with the world mostly through words, movement and equations, but sometimes also by speaking very loudly. The only truth she could say about herself is that she keeps changing every day, never stops learning and interacting with her surroundings.

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3 Unconventional Tips to Scale Your Freelance Design Business


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It’s a tough world out there for freelance designers. You have to fight off agencies, other freelancers, and increasingly, design tools to get new clients.

Your skills and knowledge can only take you so far; to survive in this hostile, ultra-competitive environment, you need some business hustle and marketing chops.

This is where I come in. In this quick guide, I’ll share 3 tips and tactics you can use to explode your freelance career. Whether you’re a practicing freelancer or looking to start after getting inspired by ColourLovers, you’ll find these tactics more than handy:

 

  1. White-label your services to agencies

Imagine that a client comes into an agency looking for a new website. Halfway through the project, he decides that the company’s current logo is too bland. So he asks the agency to design him a new one.

The trouble is, the agency has never offered logo design services before. But since it doesn’t want to turn away the client to a competitor, it happily agrees, even though it has no clue how it will actually deliver the logo.

This is where you can come in. As a freelance designer, you can “white label” your services to agencies.

White-labelling means that you’ll do the entire creative work, but the agency will take credit for it. In exchange, the agency will give you bulk work without having to deal with the problem of finding and serving clients.

For freelance designers, this is as good as it gets to a guaranteed income. If you can stick to the creative brief, agencies will love to offload their work to you. This is also a great way to build relationships and start creating your own agency.

 

  1. ‘Productize’ your services

Pricing services by the hour is standard practice in the creative industry. For agencies, it has its advantages – they can calculate costs easily, distribute resources across projects, and bill clients quickly.

For freelance designers, however, hourly billing isn’t always the best way to go. By exchanging your time for cash, you essentially limit your income. After all, you can only bill for a maximum of 24 hours in a day.

The solution? ‘Productize’ your services. This means moving away from hourly billing to a fixed-fee model.

In this model, you sell each service (such as logo design) for a fixed-fee. Clients also get a list of “features” with the service (such as 2 revisions or guaranteed 5-day deliver). This effectively turns your service into a ‘product’ that clients can purchase with the click of a button.

Productizing your services offers several benefits:

  • You can scale easily since you’re not limited by the number of hours.
  • Productizing can hide the actual effort involved in delivering a service, allowing you to charge more for less work.
  • Products are easier to sell since there is no lengthy sales process or consultation call.

If you want to scale your income, productization should be high on your priority list.

 

  1. Use project management best practices

Have you ever felt overwhelmed while running a project? Do you regularly lose track of key objectives? Do you struggle to juggle clients and change requests?

If yes, you might be suffering from project mismanagement syndrome.

So many freelancers fall into the trap of focusing so much on their creative craft that they completely neglect the project and business side of things. They use ad-hoc processes to break down complex projects, eyeball project estimates, and use email to keep track of open issues.

This might be fine when you’re working on tiny projects and small clients. But as your practice grows, you’ll realize that neglecting managerial best practices makes it impossible to run complex projects. In fact, you’ll even find that larger clients expect you to know the basics of project management.

While project management is a massive discipline in its own right (the PMP exam requires about 7,500+ hours of active project experience), here are a few things you should know:

  • How to break down complex projects into their constituent deliverables
  • How to develop communication and stakeholder management plans
  • How to create a change management plan to track issues and requests

Refer to this guide to project management to get started. You don’t have to know everything in it (you can skip ‘project management methodologies’, for instance), but even understanding the basics will help you stand out.

 

Conclusion

Being a freelance designer is difficult in this day and age. As much as you’d want to focus on your craft alone, you can’t ignore the importance of knowing business and project management tactics. Follow these three tips to take your freelance design business further than it’s ever gone before.  

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How to download YouTube videos safely


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You need a very good downloader to download YouTube video safely. Even though there are hundreds of such downloaders available, finding the right one can be little time-consuming and you may need to do some good research. The best downloader will have some definite advantage over the general downloaders which are available today. The following factors are very important in choosing a downloader which will help you to download you Tube video safely.

Speed up the downloader

Speed of the downloader is very important. There are some downloaders which are very sluggish and they need few hours to download a simple video. You cannot wait hours for the downloader to download a video. You need a downloader which will download your videos with a fast speed. There are some YouTube video downloader apps which will download a two-hour full HD video in just four minutes. Such fast downloaders use the multithread technology and as a result of that you get the benefit of getting your video within few seconds.

Supports any format

Find a video downloader that will allow you to download You Tube videos in any format. Which should download the videos in MP4, WebM, 3GP, FLV formats. You should also be able to save any YouTube music as MP3 files. Such a downloader should be able to rip web links to AVI, MKV, WMV, iPhone, PSP, Android, phones, etc.

Save several videos at once

Your downloader should allow you to save several videos at once. There are many downloaders which does not allow this feature. Would you like to keep downloading videos one by one doing everything manually? Definitely not. You need a downloader which will help you to save time by saving several videos at once as you want.

Original quality

Just make sure that the downloader you are using preserves the original quality of the videos. If you get a low quality video that you cannot use or which is very much pixilated, what is the use of downloading the video? It is just a waste of your time and Internet. You need a downloader which will preserve the original quality. Some of the downloaders may even help you to improve the quality by allowing you to download in a higher resolution. It is also important that your downloader allows you to download 4k and full HD videos. With time, the quality of the videos in you Tube and other sites are increasing and so you downloader should be able to handle the latest type of videos and download it for you within a short time. Find a downloader that supports different qualities such as 4K, 1440p, 1080p, 720p, 480p, 360p, 240p, 180p.

Ability to limit download speed

It is important for people with slow Internet connection to limit the download speed. However, most of the downloaders are not sophisticated enough to allow such ability to limit download speed. However, there are some very good downloaders available which will allow you to limit download speed according to your wish. Choose a downloader which has this facility.

Ability to download from different sites

There are some downloaders which will allow you to download videos only from a few sites. On the other hand there are downloaders which will help you to download such videos from 10,000 sites. Which one will you choose? You should be able to capture online videos easily from YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo, Dailymotion, Twitch, LiveLeak, Veoh, local and adult sites.

Freemake Video Downloader is a downloader that have all the above mentioned features. It lets you download YouTube videos and 10,000 other sites; save videos, playlists, channels in HD, MP4, MP3, AVI, 3GP, FLV, etc. It is absolutely free. Download it here

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How To Start Photo Editing Business


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Often freelance photo editors want to become independent and earn more. They are thinking about starting their own photo editing small business providing photography editing services. At first glance, this scheme may seem to be adventurous, but you should have different professions to run your own business successfully.

  1. Be a businessman

If you open your own business, you should forget about freelancing things. Become professional in providing image editing services. Being a good retoucher is not enough. Become the businessman, make managerial and business analysis, attend professional courses and lectures. You should know how to be a leader and work in team. Raise your communication skills – be very polite and stress-resistant.

  1. Be an engineer

The guarantee of excellent work in the sphere of online photo editing services gives an excellent quality of equipment. You should provide your photo editing team with professional tablets and calibrated monitors. Besides, you need 24-hour Internet access to contact your customers at a convenient time for them or to send the orders. Do not deny the importance of the softwares for photo editing, always buy only the licensed versions.  

  1. Be a bookkeeper

Determining the price list for your services is one of the most problematic things for any image editing company. You should have a bookkeeper’s skills. If you set a too high price, this will immediately scare away a large number of customers. If you set the low price, your business won’t bring income, because you need to pay taxes and bills. There are two types of payment – by the hour and by the photo. Some companies charge a fee depending on the complexity of the work, for example, the company FixThePhoto  divides the services and pricing by levels of photo editing service for photographers.

  1. Be a marketer

It is extremely essential to attract a number of customers who need online photo editing service to make the business profitable. Find the portrait of your potential client and become useful for him/her. When you start your own business, get ready to look for the clients by yourself.

Marketing campaign helps a lot. Make sure that you have a great website with all the necessary information about your image editing company. It is crucial to create a user-friendly site in minimalist tones in order to focus the potential client on the services and your portfolio, as Weedit.photos  company does. Do not be lazy to create accounts on social networks and advertise your services. Be prepared to create the banners that will convince the customers to order your services. Use apps to create advertisements quickly.

Online work is good, but do not forget about offline business development. Organize photography exhibitions, free lessons and lectures. Become interesting for people and design your photography brand.

  1. Be an artist

If you are a retoucher – you have a good taste. People don’t judge a book by its cover, do they? Of course they do. Make your portfolio amazing. Add many before and after photo examples with different types of photo editing services on your website. Besides, the website should look attractive and stylish. Web

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Four Days of Color with Leatrice Eiseman ~ Win a Full Color Training Scholarship + More!

Four Days of Color with Leatrice Eiseman ~ Win a Full Color Training Scholarship + More!


Understanding color can be a daunting task with many dead ends. Have you ever taken a color theory class only to be left feeling like it didn’t teach you anything to do with applying color in the real world?

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Maybe you have an awesome natural instinct for putting together cohesive palettes or colorizing fabulous patterns perfectly, but why are you so good at it? Validating the why, where and when of color will change your entire outlook on color and what it can do to your personal or professional life.

Color opportunities exist in many industries. Companies need color design expertise to guide them through the many choices they have to make as a successful business. Choices they must make involving color range from advertising, product design, branding and many more. You need credible, verifiable information to back up your decisions as a consultant or designer and you need more than a simple love for color to get you there.

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Rebirth of Neon

Rebirth of Neon


Neon is one of those palettes that often finds itself on the wrong side of the high-brow/low-brow division. Most of us associate the vibrant colors with things like the blinking signage advertising the local bar or fast-food spot, or our favorite "Saved by the Bell" inspired outfit from middle school.

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Neon Flame image #2 | Tronized Beauty image #3 | Superfresh image #1

But neon "throw-back" clothes are back, and just as neon's having a fashion revival on the street, it also has a place in the couture scene.

Take these three projects, which insert the hues for dramatic touches that serve as the centerpiece of the images.

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