A few weeks back, in partnership with Adobe Catalyst Business, we held a contest to redesign a fictional pizza business website, currently in all it’s 90′s glory. We had a huge number of submissions, and it was an incredibly tough job for our staff to vote on a winner! There were so many great designs, I wanted to take the time to show off some of the runners up. It’s not often that you get to see more than two dozen different takes on the same concept from great designers.
To refresh your memory, here’s the original Mario’s Catering masterpiece…
How can you possibly improve on such brilliance? Read on to see some of the best of the FreelanceSwitch community’s ideas! Continue Reading
One of the most frustrating situations you can encounter as a freelance designer is when you’re all ready to go but the ideas just aren’t flowing! You struggle to retain focus but staunchly refuse to accept defeat, until your screensaver goes on.
Over the last couple of years we’ve done our best to provide sources of inspiration for just this occasion, with articles on getting inspiration such as:
- 34 Places to Get Design Inspiration Online and Off
- 60 More Places to Get Design Inspiration
- 33 New Places to Get Design Inspiration.
One site that has been mentioned throughout is Creattica, a gallery of great design and inspirational imagery. It’s a great place to start with your search for ideas and has a wealth of outstanding design in almost every category imaginable! Today though we’ll go even further afield and look at 25 more sites that might just give you the inspiration you need to make that breakthrough!
A few months ago, as I was engaged in some much-needed tidying of my desk, I discovered beneath a stack of index cards and tangle of wires a magnetized card with the following quote:
“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face…Do the thing you think you cannot do.”
– Eleanor Roosevelt
I bought this card many years ago when I was going through a difficult period that had nothing to do with freelancing or writing. Back then, I would wake in the morning and reach for this card, which was waiting for me on my nightstand. For a long time, this quote helped me to get out of bed every day and fight the good fight.
Happily, my life has since moved on to a much smoother phase. Nonetheless, after finding the card on my desk, I propped it next to my computer. As a freelancer, it’s good to have a daily reminder to be bold. Continue Reading
The theme of this year’s Blog Action Day is water. That means that approximately 2,500 blogs around the world are, in some way, writing about all-precious H20. At FreelanceSwitch, that got us thinking. Aside from not having to drive to work, how can freelancers go green—and fluidly continue doing so?
There are a variety of simple things you can do as a freelancer to go a little easier on Mother Earth. Continue Reading
Securing regular work can be a dream come true for a freelancer. Instead of wondering where your next paycheck will come from, a client you work with frequently enables you to enjoy stability while still being able to have that freelance freedom we all love.
But if all you are doing is taking assignments from the same clients, you could be hampering your overall business efforts. Why? Because opportunities come and go. A regular gig can dry up just as quickly as a one-time job. And if you’re only working with the same pool of people, you’re not making any new connections for the future. Continue Reading
You may not be a marketing consultant by trade. But each of us, once hired to handle work for our client, becomes part of the giant grinding wheel of marketing; and even a cursory knowledge of the marketing basics, along with some hot tips from the minds and sciences on the bleeding edge, will give you the sharper dueling blade you need to pull ahead of your competition (but no beheading please).
To get the most out of this list, here are a few tips: Continue Reading
In Janet Martin’s August 4 FreelanceSwitch article on creative activities, we read about the importance of building new creative muscles.
The end of this article included a list of five suggestions for expanding one’s creativity:
- Try photography
- Make something by sewing it or employing another craft
- Learn stop-motion animation
- Take a writing class
- Take a drawing class
These are very good suggestions, but, to me, they don’t go far enough. All too often, we creatives are criticized for not understanding how non-artists work. So, it’s time to break out of our artistic bubbles and explore the rest of the world. And, not to worry, there are plenty of friendly tour guides out there. Continue Reading
A goal without a plan is just a wish. ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery
You might have noticed it already, but I really enjoy living the freelance life. The freedom and the flexibility that I now have allows me to look at things differently. I may not have the security that comes from a steady paycheck, but as one commenter noted a while back, it’s unlikely that all of my clients are going to disappear at the same time, and I will always have the ability to go out and find new clients.
As much as I enjoy this lifestyle, it’s not something I see myself doing for the rest of my life. No, I don’t think I will ever be comfortable working directly for someone else, but I do anticipate graduating from virtual assistants and working from my home office. I can see an office environment, with a small team, where we can help small and medium sized businesses achieve their goals. Continue Reading
Most of us who jump the corporate ship to be our own boss are looking for some kind of meaningful work and balance in our lives. We want to share our lives with our families, find our passions, and do what we love doing without all of the endless meetings, bureaucratic hoop jumping, and coworkers who grate every last nerve. It all sounds so perfect while plan our sojourn into solo bliss while we are walking along the endless line of cubicles.
What happens often though is not unlike Liz Glibert’s experience in Eat, Pray, Love, we may be doing what we love, but we certainly aren’t experiencing the passion that we crave and we don’t have the balance in our lives that we were searching for. Most of us can’t chuck it all and travel for a year exploring our inner guru, but we can take some steps to finding the peace of mind we are searching for in our work and personal lives. Continue Reading
A few weeks ago I asked you to send me some pictures of your office, the response was even more amazing than what we got for our last showcase of home offices. There was such great response, that unfortunately I’m unable to showcase everyone’s photo. I picked out some of the best pictures you, our fantastic readers, sent in. Here are the top 15 home office solutions. In case I didn’t include yours, don’t worry – I loved to see them all, they were all great in one way or another. Let’s check ‘em out! Continue Reading
I’ve noticed a rash of design professionals leaving their jobs lately to pursue creative freedom. Designer Frank Chimero, Helen Walters of BusinessWeek, Andrio Abero of Wieden+Kenndey, and Alex Bogusky of MDC Partners have all written high-profile accounts or made announcements about going on hiatus or quitting. There are countless others leaving both high-ranking positions as well as quieter corners. Is this an industry that is constantly in flux, or is there something to be said about all the ship-jumping? While each “adventurer” (a less patronizing title than “dreamer”) will have their own personal reasons, I can offer some insight into my own recent experience of striking out on my own. Continue Reading
Why do so many freelancers fail while others who face even greater obstacles succeed? Is it natural talent? Is it hard work? Is it sheer persistence?
I find these questions absolutely fascinating. That’s why I’ve spent a great part of my adult life studying freelance success.
But it wasn’t until I recently read Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers that much of what I had learned came together into one unifying principle:
Success only happens at the intersection of preparation and opportunity!
To better explain this, let’s take this discussion outside of freelancing for a minute because there’s a fascinating lesson here. Continue Reading