"can you do this?"

Proactive. Not reactive. I need that tattooed somewhere...

As a freelance designer, you’re the catch-all.

Can you do [insert project or idea here]?

This question could lead to great projects and a great client relationship only if you learn how to answer it honestly...

If I’m honest, most often I read this question as

Hey, I have an idea and I need you to provide a solution for me. How little can I pay you for the quickest possible turnaround so that my idea is now reality?

It’s terrible, I know. People do not actually mean those words.  

My 2014-2016 response: “I have a few hours open this week, so send me anything you need me to do.”

My 2017 response: “Thanks so much for reaching out! I offer streamlined brand design & design support to current clients, so I’d love to talk with you more about your business needs and my design process. I know that ideas are communicated best with a strong brand identity and consistent design, so if there’s any way we can work together, I’d love to tackle this idea with you. When you do you have time for a call?”

See the difference? Know what you offer and sell that. You don’t have to sell all your available margin in your work week to the first person to email you. 

I’m speaking from experience and am constantly preaching this to myself. It’s a process... but I’m finding that it’s empowering to both me and my potential clients to know exactly what I do. And what I don’t do.

Laura BalfourComment