What is Crowdfunding & Can It Help You Fund Your Side Project?


Like many designers, you may have a side project. You may even be sure that your idea is a really good one.

The trouble is, it will take money to really pursue your idea. That’s the end of your really good idea and your side project. Or is it?

There are many funding options for business startups including the bank, investors, and begging for money from friends and family. Thanks to the internet, there’s now another source of funding for business startups.

Crowdfunding made big news recently when open source developer, Ubuntu, got into the crowdfunding arena with their planned entry into the already crowded smartphone market. You’ll find the Ubuntu Edge on the popular crowdfunding site, Indiegogo.

Is crowdfunding a great way for designers (and others) with big ideas to get their ideas to market? Or is it just another fad?

In this post, I’ll examine crowdfunding in more detail. I’ll also list a dozen crowdfunding sites. If you liked this post, you may also like How to Evaluate a Business Idea and What to Do Next.

Top Tips on How to Stop Struggling to Get Paid for Freelance Designers

US one hundred dollar bills falling from a blue sky.Have you ever had trouble getting a client to pay you? Some freelance designers struggle to collect the money that is due to them.

From a freelancer’s perspective, getting paid is the most important part of the project. The money we get from freelancing pays our bills and helps us to stay in business.

And to be honest, no one wants to spend weeks (or even months) trying to collect from a former client. But sometimes, payment problems happen anyway.

Happily, there are some steps you can take to reduce or even eliminate payment problems. In this post, I share some tips to help you get paid including the seven steps of effective invoicing and five invoicing tools. If you enjoyed this post, you may also like The Nitty Gritty Details Freelancers Need to Know About Getting Paid.

Improve Your Creativity & Problem-Solving with these 7 Brainstorming Techniques

Do you allow yourself enough time for creative brainstorming?

Most designers don’t. In fact, many designers don’t allow themselves any time for brainstorming. Then they wonder why they feel uninspired.

Maybe you feel uninspired because it takes time to be creative–time that most freelance designers don’t work into their schedules. The true creative cycle looks something like this:

But many designers act like this is the cycle:
No one is a never-ending fountain of creative ideas. We all need inspiration sometimes. In this post, I share seven great brainstorming techniques that you can use to improve your creativity and solve problems. If you’ve ever suffered from creative block, this post is for you.

If you liked this post, you may also like My Best Ideas for What to Do When Your Freelancing Creativity Fails You.

What to Do When Your Client Asks You to Do Something Stupid

Sooner or later, it’s bound to happen.

If you’re a freelance designer, eventually a client will ask you to do something stupid. Something that you know won’t work.

I’m not talking about moral issues here, but rather about practical design issues. The client has asked you to design something that simply won’t be effective. (I would hope that you already know what to do about moral issues.)

If you enjoy this post, you may also like What to Do When the Client Is Wrong.

12 Forums for Web Designers, Developers, and Other Web Professionals

Are you overlooking something important that you could use to advance your design career?

If you’re not participating in online forums, you may be missing out.There are a significant number of benefits to being part of a high quality online design forum.

In this post, I’ll share the benefits of taking part in online design forums and I’ll explain how to find a good one. I’ll also list 12 popular online design forums for you to consider.

How Murphy’s Law Impacts Your Freelancing Business

How’s your luck?

If you answered “not so good,” then you may be suffering from the effects of Murphy’s Law. According to Murphy’s Law, “anything that can go wrong will go wrong.”

Of course, Murphy’s law is not scientific fact, but rather folk wisdom. But you probably already know that there are many times when, despite your best planning, everything seems to go wrong.

You might rush off to an important meeting, only to arrive and discover that you accidentally put on mismatched shoes. You might spend hours planning a relaxing time off with your family, only be deluged with emergency calls as soon as you leave. And when things go wrong, they usually do so at the worst possible time.

Freelancers can learn a lot from Murphy’s Law. While you might not be able to avoid it entirely, you can learn to manage your bad luck when it happens. In this post, I’ll share three examples of Murphy’s Law and explain how each situation could be managed.

Why Writers and Designers Need Each Other

While it’s tempting to think of the writing and design as two completely separate disciplines (and in a sense they are), it’s important to remember that they are actually complementary. Design and copy are often depicted as competing with each other, when in reality they are two sides to the same coin.

A partnership between a freelance writer and a freelance designer can be rewarding and beneficial to both parties.

In this post, I’ll explain how writers and designers can benefit from working together. If you enjoyed this post, you may also like The Pros and Cons of a Freelancing Partnership.

Five Sloppy Habits that Can Hurt Your Design Business

Did you know that bad business habits can hurt your freelance design business?

It’s true, bad habits can keep you from earning to your full potential. They can also cost you money if they cause client dissatisfaction.

In this post, we’ll take a look at sloppy business habits you need to break. If you liked this post, you may also like 3 Freelancing “Bad Habits” That Cost You Money.