As a designer, it can be a struggle to communicate the value of your services and get paid what you are worth. What do you do when potential clients say they can’t afford your rates? I’ve had my share of horror stories, and I’m sure many of us have been approached with empty promises like “This would be great for your portfolio!” or “This will lead to more work and exposure in the future,” only to be left overworked, frustrated, and jilted in the end.

Here are some questions to ask yourself the next time this happens.

black-co-working-spaces

Co-working spaces are shared office environments where people pay rent for table or office space. Unlike typical office environments, most people using co-working spaces do not work for the same organization. However, co-working spaces can provide opportunities for collaborating and networking with other independent professionals. In addition to providing many of the amenities of a traditional office — Wi-Fi, a physical address, meeting spaces, etc. — co-working spaces also host fundraisers, happy hours, networking mixers, and other special events as a way for people to socialize with others “after work”, so to speak.

Why are co-working spaces important specifically for Black designers and developers? Experts predict that 40% of the American workforce (about 60 million people) will be freelancers by the year 2020. Research from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation revealed that over 64% of African-American millennials want to start their own businesses. As more Blacks around the world become entrepreneurs and freelancers, co-working spaces can become a valuable option.

writing-successful-proposals

As a freelance web professional, writing proposals is an essential part of bringing in business. A well-written, persuasive proposal that lays out the concept of a project and shows you understand the client’s business requires a nuanced approach and a gift for storytelling. The suspense of whether or not a prospective client approves or rejects that proposal can be stressful, but it’s a necessary evil.

Writing a proposal can be a chore, but it has to be done! And lucky for you, I have a are a few tips that can help you not only become better at writing proposals, but also increase your proposal acceptance rate.

networking-tips

Although signs are showing that the job market is improving, the unemployment rate for African-Americans in the U.S. is still more than double the unemployment rate for whites. While there are a number of reasons why this is the case, many experts say that a lack of a strong network of professionals will hinder many people’s job searches.

Finding a job is about who you know, and that can make the search even more difficult for African-Americans. In a 2013 study published by the Russell Sage Foundation, Professor Nancy DiTomaso of Rutgers University says that hidden forms of racial inequality tied to seemingly innocuous things like networking are holding black job-seekers back. In a job market where hiring is increasingly based on personal connections and internal employee referrals, African-Americans are at a disadvantage because they don’t have as much “social capital” and aren’t as connected to networks that can help them land good jobs compared to other races.

For black professionals in the fields of web development, web design, and graphic design, finding a strong professional network is especially important. The combination of fierce competition for jobs and the smaller number of black professionals in the field may mean that you will be passed over for opportunities. However, by following these tips, you’ll be able to create and establish a network of professionals that will enable you to to take your career to the next level.

15-ways-generate-income

We’ve all had those moments when business gets slow. You may be exhausted after a flood of clients, but you know you have to network your butt off to get more clients to meet your monthly quota. We’ve all been there.

Recently, I created a training course and turned away new projects as I got closer to my launch date. It was a big mistake because that project didn’t make as much money as I would have liked. After the launch, I had to come up with a game plan.

If there’s one thing I can take away from my recent experience, it’s this: you have to find time to look for new projects and clients, and revisit your existing client list to make sure you have a consistent stream of income.

Let’s face it, although we do what we do because we love it, we also have to run a business…and that requires income.

Here are 15 ways to generate income when business is slow so you can get out of that slump.