Start & Run a Graphic Design Business

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Overview

There are minimal costs involved in starting a graphic design business which makes it an attractive opportunity for anyone with an artistic eye. All that is required is a computer, an Internet connection, and design skills. It?s the kind of business that can easily be run from your home! The graphic design business has changed significantly over the past few years. The popularity of photo- and art-sharing websites and social networking sites, and the low barriers to setting up websites have driven a demand for ...
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Overview

There are minimal costs involved in starting a graphic design business which makes it an attractive opportunity for anyone with an artistic eye. All that is required is a computer, an Internet connection, and design skills. It?s the kind of business that can easily be run from your home! The graphic design business has changed significantly over the past few years. The popularity of photo- and art-sharing websites and social networking sites, and the low barriers to setting up websites have driven a demand for fresh new graphics and provided numerous opportunities for graphic artists to reach new markets and customers. This book will show you how to capitalize on these opportunities, market your business, find clients, and stay organized. Like all books in the Start & Run series, this book is written in an easy, step-by-step format. The included CD-ROM has forms and worksheets that will help you develop a successful business.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781551808505
  • Publisher: Self-Counsel Press, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/31/2009
  • Series: Start and Run A Series
  • Pages: 200
  • Sales rank: 1,323,058
  • Product dimensions: 8.20 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Steve Slaunwhite is the author of Start & Run a Copywriting Business and is regarded as one of the five or six top promotional copywriters in North America.Michael Huggins is president of Mindwalk Marketing & Design, and a business and marketing coach to self-employed designers. He publishes the popular online newsletter and podcast called For Graphic Designers Only.

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Table of Contents

Introduction xiii
Part I: Your New Business Adventure 1
1 Getting Started: Understanding the Basics of the Graphic Design Business 3
1. What Is Graphic Design? 3
2. Understanding the Three Forms of Media 5
3. Who Buys Graphic Design Services? 5
4. Graphic Design Specialties 6
5. Can You Make a Living in the Graphic Design Business? 6
2 Understanding What It Means to Be a Design Entrepreneur 8
1. Working on Your Own or with Others 8
2. The First Step to Becoming a Design Entrepreneur 10
3. Your Start-up Costs 11
4. Dealing with Insecurity 12
5. Are You Cut out to Be Your Own Boss? 13
Contents v
vi Start & run a graphic design business
3 The Pros and Cons of Partnerships 16
1. Should You Form a Partnership? 16
2. The Problems with Partnerships 17
3. A Positive Spin on Partnerships 19
4. Keys to Building a Successful Partnership 20
5. Write a Detailed Partnership Contract 21
6. Alternatives to Partnering 22
Part II: Setting up Shop 25
4 Setting up Your Business Structure 27
1. Types of Business Structures 27
2. Business License 30
3. Employer Identification Number or Business Number 30
4. Open a Business Bank Account 30
5. Hire an Accountant 31
6. Insurance 31
5 Creating an Identity 34
1. Your Company’s Name 35
2. Your Company’s Unique Marketing Message 41
3. Your Company’s Professional Standards 41
4. Your Company’s Visual Image 43
6 Office Location 46
1. Your Work Space 46
2. Working at Home 47
3. Working at an Office Location 50
4. Leasing Office Space 51
5. Subletting an Office Space 51
6. Making Your New Space Pay You 51
Part III: Marketing Your Business 53
7 Finding Your Niche in Graphic Design 55
1. What Type of Design Will You Do? 55
2. Overview of Niche Markets 56
3. What Is Your Niche Market? 58
Contents vii
8 Targeting Your Market 60
1. Attracting Prospects 60
2. The Four Types of Marketing Strategies You Need 61
3. Your Target Market 62
4. Unique Marketing Message 66
9 Creating Your Marketing Plan 67
1. Situation Analysis 68
2. Research Your Target Market 69
3. Strategies and Tactics 71
4. Measurable Goals 72
5. Budget 73
6. Putting Together Your Marketing Plan 74
10 Your Online Marketing 78
1. Your Website and the Internet as a Marketing Tool 78
2. Domain Name 79
3. Building Your Website 80
4. Getting Found on the Internet 84
5. Optimize Your Internet Marketing 86
6. Email Marketing 87
7. Pay-per-Click Advertising 93
8. Blogs 94
11 Your Portfolio 96
1. Three Essential Portfolio Presentation Steps 97
2. Four Goals of Your Portfolio 97
3. Creating a Project Synopsis Outline 99
4. Target Your Portfolio for Impact 100
5. Putting Samples of Your Best Work Together 100
6. Getting Samples for Your Portfolio 101
7. Archiving Your Samples 102
8. No samples? No problem! 102
9. Displaying Your Portfolio 103
10. Organization Is the Key to a Strong Portfolio 105
viii Start & run a graphic design business
11. Creating Various Format Versions of Your Portfolio 105
12. Your Portfolio Is Not a Pricing Tool 106
13. Showing Off or Persuading the Prospect? 106
12 Your Capabilities Kit 107
1. What to Include in Your Capabilities Kit 107
2. Designing Your Kit 110
Part IV: Doing the Work 113
13 The Proposal 115
1. Before You Write Your Proposal 115
2. Request for Proposal (RFP) 118
3. Request for Qualifications (RFQ) 118
4. The Size of Your Proposal 119
5. What to Include in Your Proposal 119
6. Draft the Proposal 123
7. Present the Proposal 123
8. Close the Sale 123
9. Sometimes Only an Estimate is Necessary 124
10. The Difference between a Proposal and a Contract 124
14 The Contract 126
1. Your Intellectual Property Rights 126
2. The Importance of a Signed Contract 127
3. What to Include in Your Contract 128
4. Be Open to Negotiation 130
15 Repeats and Referrals 131
1. Provide Good Quality Work 131
2. Provide Good Service 133
3. Things to Do to Get Repeat Work 135
4. Referrals 137
16 Dealing with Client Problems 140
1. The Formula for Dealing with Problems 140
2. Avoiding Problems — Speculative Work 142
Contents ix
17 Your Creative Process 144
1. The Creative Brief 145
2. Creating a Timeline 147
3. Managing Your Revision Process 148
4. Getting Feedback 148
5. Obtaining Design Approval 149
6. The Mechanical Process 150
7. Working with Content 152
8. Tracking 152
9. Project Creep 152
10. Using a Docket System 153
11. Email Communications 153
12. Improve Your Design Skills 154
18 Hiring Photographers and Illustrators 155
1. Finding Photographers and Illustrators 156
2. Rights to Completed Work and the Cost 156
3. Tips for Working with a Photographer or Illustrator 157
4. Tips for Art Directing 158
19 Pricing Your Services 160
1. Pricing Strategies 160
2. Charging a Flat Fee 162
3. Charging by the Hour 162
4. Quick Methods for Selecting Your Fees 163
5. Calculating Your Hourly Rate 164
6. Finding Your Client’s Budget Number 169
7. Basic Components to Base a Quote 170
8. Presenting Your Quote 171
9. After You Have Submitted the Quote 171
10. Negotiating Your Fee 171
11. Invoicing 174
x Start & run a graphic design business
SAMPLES
1 Calculate Cost per Lead 74
2 Homepage Headline and Body Copy 82
3 Follow-up Email 90
4 Follow-up Emails to Clients to Get Repeat Work 136
5 Letter to Client at Final Sign-off of the Project 151
WORKSHEETS
1 Are You Ready to be an Entrepreneur? 14
2 Discover Your Business Name 39
3 Find Your Niche Market 59
4 Create a Marketing Plan 75
5 Three Essential Portfolio Presentation Steps 98
6 Qualify Your Prospect 115
7 Do You Want to Work with the Prospect? 117
8 Understand What Your Prospect Wants 118
9 Calculate Overhead Costs 166
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