With some 3 out of 10 graphic designers self-employed — almost five times the number for all professional and related occupations,* many would-be entrepreneurs can readily attest to the fact that starting and running a successful design firm takes far more than raw talent; it takes determination, discipline, and above all, a large measure of business acumen — something woefully lacking in design school training.

The Graphic Designer’s Business Survival Guide is a valuable, no-nonsense operations manual for building and managing a small, successful design consultancy. Its content is taken directly from the playbook of someone who has seen it all during four decades in the communications design business. From being brushed off as just another freelancer to being sought after as a highly valued creative resource, I’ll share the real keys to success in this business with you: being able to “walk the walk” and “talk the talk” with clients and prospects by communicating with them on their playing field. How? Certainly by delivering targeted creativity — but also by taking the time to really understand business objectives and corporate cultures and to be able to quantify design decisions in ways that clients can relate to and respect.

My book is intended as a total immersion primer on how to structure and manage a successful consulting business, develop a unique market niche, pitch and land lucrative clients, and build lasting, profitable relationships. It covers the ups and downs, highs and lows, and ins and outs of delivering creative services on target, on time, and on budget to clients who expect a high return on their investment, whatever their marketing objective may be.

If your goal is independence, creative satisfaction, a good income, and enough free time to enjoy life outside of the design business, this book is certain to become an indispensable reference tool that will pay for itself over and over again.
*Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook

Packed with valuable sample agreements, letters, forms, and more, The Graphic Designer’s Business Survival Guide reveals how to:

• Create a website and portfolio that highlight design problems and solutions
• Do pre-pitch research and deliver winning presentations
• Prepare persuasive proposals that win lucrative contracts
• Establish a reliable system for tracking billable hours (and staying solvent)
• Use cold-calling strategies even sales phobics can master
• Quantify design decisions in ways that clients can relate to and respect
• Break out of the “freelancer” mode to that of highly compensated creative consultant

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