New Year, New Goals, New Strategies.

The start of a new year almost always brings new goals and ambitions, and the inevitable promises that come with the changing calendar. We all make solemn vows to be more productive, spend less time browsing Facebook, and to eat more kale. Well, ok. Maybe not more kale.

For small business owners, the new year often brings new business goals, such as making better use of the Internet tools and resources that make up the backbone of a business’s online presence.

Successful business owners know that the Internet can bring customers to their doorstep if they can harness the power of digital tools such as SEO and social media strategies. But, these are not always easy concepts to learn, especially for people who already have a heavy workload.

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GDPR And GreenCup 2018 | GreenCup Design

GreenCup and GDPR Compliance in 2018

By now, most people have received a flurry of emails from websites and online subscriptions announcing updates to their Privacy Policy statements. The term GDPR Compliance has probably flashed across your monitor several times as you’ve read through your latest emails.

You may also notice that many websites now provide a toolbar somewhere on the page that allows you to control what information that site can collect and store. Most newsletters, product updates, and other subscription-based emails may send you a separate request for permission to continue as well.

GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation and is a set of rules put in place to better protect people from the unauthorized collection and use of their personal data. The new rules make it easier for people to see who has access to the personal data that has been collected by each website they visit, and easier for people to control the access to and retention of their personal data by that website or any of its third-party partners

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Having a Bad Experience with Freelance Designers? Consider This.

It is completely reasonable to write off a bad experience as a bad experience — and often it really was just a fluke. But if you keep having bad experiences, or find it hard to get a Designer to work on your projects, there may be more to the story. Here are three possibilities to consider.

Reconsider Your Budget

One issue I see repeated throughout the freelance world is clients don’t realize how much our services are worth. For example, a good branding package could easily cost $10k. The problem seems to be that, for an ‘intangible’ service, clients don’t appreciate the cost of time and expertise. I’ve seen this undervaluing happen with Website Designers and App Developers, too.

Our services cost what they do because of years of study, honing our craft, and expertise. If you had a bad experience, it may be that you were only able to afford someone still in school or new to the game (or, dare I say, someone who didn’t know what they were doing). Consider re-evaluating your budgetary priorities — especially when it comes to brand design because that’s the first thing your customers experience and it leaves a lasting impression.

You Blundered

Freelancers hold all of the responsibility of lead acquisition and networking for their business, which means they are often out and about, bumping shoulders with other freelancers in their field. For Graphic Designers, that includes events put on by the AIGATuesdays TogetherCreative Mornings, and local design-oriented organizations (like the D-Schools and Universities). I see the same people over and over again — which means we talk.

What is the first thing you ask someone you haven’t seen in a while? You ask how things are going. And when the one thing you know you have in common with the person in front of you is your freelance work, the gut response is typically to do with business. If there is a client that’s being a pain the ass, it’s on my mind and will come up first in conversation.

I know what you’re thinking — it’s unprofessional to name names. And I definitely agree. But references are made and sometimes names are named, usually not to slander but to protect each other and share advice for future experience. I would never post to Social Media or my Design Blog about a bad client, and I don’t think any of my peers would either. But the fact remains that sometimes, one just needs to vent to another who understands.

You’ve Been Blacklisted

When a potential client requests my time and proceeds to be rude, talks down to me or my employees, alters my contract, or asks me to sit in for a few hours as their secretary, that’s an automatic ‘no’ for working with them.

These offenses, however, are so great that declining to work with that client isn’t enough. You see, I don’t want any of my peers to waste their valuable time or be treated that way, either. In this case, I may actually go out of my way to name names. This means your business has been blacklisted in the Design community to some extent, leaving you with few quality options.

So be courteous — just because we’re freelancers doesn’t mean we’re not running a business with margins and standards, just like you.

5 Reasons why Being an Entrepreneur Kicks Ass

Becoming an entrepreneur is a big decision. But it’s 2015, and life is moving faster than ever thanks to the Internet. With so many tools on the web offering a myriad of ways to execute your vision, why wouldn’t you take the leap? For anyone who’s still undecided about starting their own business, here are five reasons that are sure to convince you.  Read more

Tidbit: Social Media’s Role in Small Business

Social media is VERY important to Small Business, but some Small Business owners just don’t have the time or extra mental space to handle it.  Here are some reasons why you should make time, and how to manage it so you don’t go crazy.

You asked for more bloopers, and we didn’t have to try hard. Read more