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Tips & Templates

  • Guidea’s UX Interview Questions and Process

    This is an interview with the owner of a great UX agency out of Austin, Texas. Her name is Theresa Neil, and I’ve helped her find several contract UX designers through Folyo. In this episode we talk how Guidea approaches hiring a UX designer and give you tips for applying, such as: Why they came to Folyo to hire a...

  • Winning RFP Response Example (with Real Audio Case Study)

    Joey Kirk is the owner of Made by Munsters a 3-person web design firm based in Indianapolis. A few months back, he emailed me to tell me he’d won a six-figure project off of my membership RFP site, Folyo. He even offered to chat with me to give you an inside look at the process. Here’s what an actual winning...

  • The Best Testimonial Questions to Ask for Great Case Studies

    Testimonials and case studies are among the most persuasive tools a freelancer has to sell their services. That’s why NOT baking them into your business (with things like automatic client follow-ups and testimonial questions) is a failure! It’s way too common for freelancers to have nothing to show for projects they put weeks of work into. Some freelance designers even...

  • Best Books for Web Designers (Updated for 2019)

    As a freelance web designer, you have a lot on your plate. I’ve been there and these books have helped me build a successful business. These are the best books for web designers. Best Books for Web Designers in General How to Win Friends and Influence People Price: $15.29 One of my all-time favorite books. "Everyone claims to have read...

  • What is my Dream Job? Disney World… and Here’s How I Made Into a Business

    Folyo is all about building a business that lets you do the work you love and that’s why Rob asked me to share my story today. When people ask me what I do for a living I get excited because I get to answer: my dream job. What is my dream job, you ask? Going to Disney World… well… technically,...

  • The Best Website Proposal Template and Other Tools for Designers

    Are you sick of wasting time writing proposals that don’t close? Without a system for creating proposals, website design RFPs and other contract design opportunities are hard to land. But the hardest part of all is creating an effective proposal. As a result, we’ve teamed up with Jonathan Stark to create a proven website proposal template you can use on...

  • Part-Time Remote Graphic Design Jobs and Everything You Need to Build a Business on the Side

    Part time remote jobs can make starting a freelance business 10× easier. Why? Because when you’re starting out you need one thing: clients – and finding enough leads to build a pipeline can be challenging, especially if you’re already working. But part time remote jobs can help. You can even use them to supplement your existing client work. This post...

  • Remote UX Jobs Now Hiring and What You Need to Win a UX Contract

    Remote UX jobs are a relatively new type of design work. That’s why we started Folyo. We wanted to help UX designers find the work they were meant to more easily. We hand-screen jobs for our members which lets them see all UX jobs in one place, instead of across several job boards. Recent Remote UX Jobs, Contracts, & RFPs...

  • Best UX Portfolios Examples for Freelance Designers (Updated for 2019)

    At Folyo we help companies find UX designers by matching them with the best UX portfolios and designers for their project. Here’s how the process works: We send out a UX job to our membersWe field responses and review the best UX portfoliosWe interview designers and present the top options to the company As a result, we have a collection...

  • Awesome UX Designer Job Description Template

    Below is a UX designer job description template we created by asking real UX designers what the job description of their dreams would look like. The goal was to create a job description that would attract super talented designers and empower them to do the best work of their career. We think it’s a great starting point for a job...

  • Recruiter Interview Questions You Should Learn if You’re Looking for Freelance Work

    In this interview I chat with a real recruiter who shares all of his secrets for how he picks which freelancers to introduce to clients. If you micro-manage yourself, then you don’t have to be afraid of a client doing it.

  • How to Setup Email Filters for RFP / Job Alerts

    Occasionally someone asks me about filtering Folyo projects for them based on a specific niche or keyword. The great thing about Folyo running on email, is that it’s easy to setup this kind of thing with normal email automation and rules. If you use Gmail for example, here’s how to create a filter targeting any keywords or niches you like,...

  • Freelance Designer or Studio? What’s the Best Way to Sell Yourself?

    Here’s a question I get a lot from Folyo members and it’s a good one. I run a small studio. Should I present myself to clients as a freelancer or as a studio? The short answer is: it’s usually better to present yourself as a freelancer. 80% of the projects on Folyo are looking for an individual.  Quick disclaimer: that DOESN’T mean they aren’t open to...

  • Recruiting Plan Templates for Awesome Hires, Every Time

    Hiring can be a bit of a catch-22: you don’t want the very important (and highly-paid) people at your company wasting time on things like recruiting strategy, sifting through resumes, or interviewing applicants BUT they seem like the only people capable of it. This is why recruiting plan templates can be extremely valuable. Recruiting plan templates help you create a...

  • Dribbble Jobs Review: How Much it Costs and How it Works In-Depth

    We recently purchased two Dribbble Jobs products for finding a designer. This is a review and comparison of the platform based on what we found. It’s a great primer if you’re looking into using dribbble jobs as a hiring company or manager, and also if you’re a designer looking for work on the platform. Hiring on Dribbble Jobs: Two Product...

  • A Review of Folyo: How it works and more

    The point of Folyo is to increase the amount of opportunities and like-minded people in your network that can help you. To steal a concept from Baseball: it’s supposed to give your team more at-bats. When you have more at-bats – it’s more chances to hit a home run. The goal isn’t just to hit more homers (or land more...

  • How to Improve Your Networking Skills as a Freelancer

    In this episode I talk to Kaleigh Moore about how to grow your network authentically if you’re a freelancer.

  • LinkedIn for Freelance Sales: How to use LinkedIn as a Freelancer

    In this episode I talk to Liston Witherill about the similarities and differences of using Linkedin and Podcasting for sales.

  • Where to Find the Best Website RFPs in 2019 (Updated)

    “There are many good organizations that have to go through an RFP process to hire anyone. And those are good jobs to go after. People who tell you they don’t go after RFPs and people who tell you they don’t have meetings are both lying to you.” – Mike Monteiro, Design is a Job Last year we found over 100 high-quality...

  • A Guide to Positioning Strategy for Freelancers and Small Businesses in 2019

    I recently read April Dunford’s short book on positioning, Obviously Awesome which I strongly recommend if you are looking for help with positioning. My main takeaway was that I needed to stop positioning my business in a market category that I thought it should be in and instead look at the data. That sounds intimidating but it’s really not. She walks you through...

  • Client Intake Form Template to Automate Emails without Losing Your Soul

    You probably do a lot more sales activity than you think. Most of it is mind-numbingly boring and repetitive, yet, you keep doing it because it makes you money. Answering a prospect’s question that you’ve answered a hundred times before is actually quite important because it brings in sales. It’s a chore, but you put up with it. Client intake...

  • Awesome Web Designer Job Description Template

    Here at Folyo we asked real designers to help us write the web designer job description of their dreams. The goal is for it to be a job description that empowers designers to do the best work of their career and help companies create an awesome user experience. We think it’s a great starting point for a job ad or...

  • Project Scope Template That Eliminates Scope Creep on Projects

    “I won’t touch projects that have budgets smaller than $30,000. Anything lower is usually low-quality and unprofitable for me.” That’s a statement I hear repeatedly from freelancers. I’m not sure why $30,000 is the number for quality and profit but it seems to be the one that comes up most often. Projects below this magical threshold get rejected by people who...

  • Simple RFP Template You Can Fill Out in Under 3 Minutes

    If you’re hiring a freelance designer it means you are currently in 1 of 2 groups. You’re either about to work on a project that matters or you’re not.  If you look at the past year, you can trace back most of your success to just a handful of projects. That’s out of potentially dozens of individual projects in that timespan....

  • How much to charge for logo design

    In this episode, Jonathan Stark and I talk about value-based pricing: the best way to price risky, 3+ month-long projects, for large clients.

  • Positioning Statement Example for Freelancers

    Virtually every freelancer uses confusing terms to describe their work. Just try explaining one of the terms below to a normal person: Chances are you lose their attention in the first 10 seconds. So with that in mind, why use these words to describe your service to clients? Most of them aren’t even clear to people in the industry. UX design? That’s debatable.Brand design? What’s...

  • How to start your emails to clients so they want to hire you

    When humans open an email there’s only one question we ask ourselves. If you’re sending an email you can get around this mindless human flaw by greeting them in their native tongue … preferably using their first name. This is a dog-whistle that tells people you’re a fellow human. Test your brain, see if you can spot the human: This will only...

  • How to Get Web Design Clients Fast – in 7 Steps

    There was a time when all month I’d worry about where my next project would come from. I felt helpless. The online community didn’t help. Freelancers would tell me that this was just the way things were. Freelancing had dry spells — period. As time passed, I started to push against this narrative. I knew there had to be a better way....

  • How to be a Freelance Graphic Designer

    Getting fired hit me like a ton of bricks. I still remember the copy machine going off in the background moments after my boss told me he was letting me go. In fact, that buzzing sound is etched in my memory. Why? It was a wake-up call. I realized on that day that full-time employees have no control. A lot...

  • Portfolio Examples of Great Freelancers That Work

    If you’re a freelancer, what would you say is the single most important factor when it comes to clients deciding whether or not to give you a project? Having a great portfolio? A lot of experience? Being familiar with all the latest tools? Wrong. Now don’t get me wrong, those all count for something. But the most important factor is...

  • The Truth about Freelance Resume Experience

    I got a question from an experienced UI designer recently: Should I ever talk about my “15+ years of experience”? It’s a great question. The first thing you need to know about experience is that everyone claims they have it. As such — no matter how experienced you actually are — your claim of it is meaningless. We live in a world where “rounding up”...

  • The Best Referral Email Template for Repeat Work

    I’ve written a lot about how to write emails that win you clients the past couple of years. Even though all my advice has been soaked in experience (and tested by my customers), late last year I started to feel like a phony. I was giving advice I wasn’t using myself. I wasn’t walking the walk. Because I’m not taking on freelance...

  • The Monthly Retainer Agreement Email Sample Template

    Monthly retainer agreements are the gold standard of freelance client work. Why? Because they take care of one of the biggest pain in the butts of freelancing: the feast of famine cycle. And there’s a common situation that is a perfect opportunity to offer a monthly retainer agreement… few freelancers take advantage of. What is it you ask? It’s when...

  • Seth Godin’s 7 unconventional rules for getting clients

    When Seth Godin started Seth Godin Productions, a book packaging design consultancy, he operated out of his studio apartment in New York City. Just years later, he sold one of the first internet marketing firms in the country to Yahoo for millions. The skills he picked up during his freelance book design and internet marketing days have catapulted him into another hugely successful...

  • Walt Disney’s 16 unconventional rules for getting clients

    Most people don’t know that Walt Disney started out as a freelance cartoonist. He carried those lessons throughout the rest of his career, continuing to meet with distributors and clients in one-on-one sales situations.  He began his career in a different era but the principles he used work just as well today. Authenticity and delight will never go out of style. If you can...

  • The 20+ Best Email, Proposal and Website Templates for Designers

    These templates for designers are the absolute best resources I’ve found to helping hundreds of design firms get clients. Most designers don’t know that 90% of their proposals, emails, and websites are client repellent. The resources below are the opposite. They will show you exactly what to do instead. Start here The email line that’s client repellent A case-study on how...

  • How to End an Email and the Email Line That’s Client Repellent

    I discovered how to end an email at a time when my business was going through a particularly bad dry spell. I was responding to design jobs, networking, and more but nothing seemed to work. The stress was mounting each day and I felt like a balloon stretched to it’s breaking point every time I entered a new meeting. I...

  • 13 Jason Fried Quotes on Getting Clients for Freelancers

    Note: the Jason Fried quotes in this article are derived from researching Jason’s past interviews and blog posts — I didn’t interview Jason personally. Before building Basecamp, Jason Fried was already doing millions of dollars in client work with his design agency, 37signals. 37signals had a reputation for doing thing differently. The way they got clients and presented themselves was unique. Like...

  • Guide to Productized Consulting

    Can you run your agency like a product and offer low prices to your clients while still being profitable? Knapsack Creative does. I talked to Ben Manley about the nuts and bolts of running a web design agency like a product. He shares how he provides quick turnarounds, low prices, and live collaboration while other agencies can’t. Key takeaways from...

  • A Breakdown of Basecamp’s Product Design Process for Software

    How do you follow Basecamp’s awesome motto: “your company should be your best product,” when you’re not totally sure what that should look like? That’s what I talk to Jonas Downey, product designer at Basecamp and co-founder of Hello Weather, about in this interview. We jump into how and why Basecamp has designed a 6-week cycle structure for their team...

  • The Best Graphic Design Job Boards for Freelancers (Updated for 2019)

    Dribbble Jobs Dribbble's job board is a good one if you're looking to add outbound leads to your pipeline. The product team has done a good job of keeping the product simple and staying out of the way. Expect about 1-2 remote freelance jobs per day. Buy Now Our Review 99designs Design crowd-source competition site where clients create a brief...

  • AngelList Review: Does AngelList Work for Freelance Designers?

    OK. So in my last lesson I gave you the top 5 places to go to get high-value UX / frontend design clients. These 5 sites make up 80% of the great UX projects posted online. And the biggest source of all is AngelList. If you want to do the least amount of work for the most great clients, this...

  • How to Get Web Design Clients Fast

    Have you noticed some people kill it without a portfolio? I regularly meet design firms doing millions of dollars in client work with a website that just says “coming soon.” That’s the power of spending time on things that really matter. You get away with skipping hours and hours of wasted time, working on a portfolio that won’t create a...

  • The Ultimate Follow Up Email for After You’ve Sent an Application or Proposal

    Your follow up email after a job/contract application is one of the biggest determinants of whether you land the gig. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but… that job post or RFP you applied to? Yeah, that puppy got A LOT of applications. So many, in fact, that the person in charge of hiring for it is now...

  • How to Cold Email for Job (Email Template That Actually Works)

    Knowing how to write cold emails for jobs or contracts you want is one of the most important life skills there is. If you can do it effectively, suddenly, you control your own destiny. A few years ago, I learned this skill. I cold emailed jobs on Folyo and won over $30,000 in just a few months. I learned how...

  • 19 David Ogilvy Quotes on Finding and Selling Clients

    David Ogilvy quotes are the best. The man who made advertising an art-form, unsurprisingly put out some great thoughts in word-form via books, quotes, and more. This post is a look at his approach. “In the modern world of business, it is useless to be a creative, original thinker unless you can also sell what you create.” – David Ogilvy...

  • Lead Management: How to Create a Great First Impression and Win More Projects

    This is a guest post by Dennis Field. He’s currently working on his first book, The Designer’s Handbook. We’re in the middle of a design boom. Thanks to the success of design-conscious brands like Apple and Nike, more and more companies are starting to see the value of focusing on design. Just look at Google’s recent Material Design initiative if...

  • Where to Hire a UI Designer in 2019

    As someone with a hybrid designer/developer profile, I end up hanging out with a lot of developers and entrepreneurs. And when the conversation turns to finding talent, sooner or later someone will point out just how hard it is to find designers. It’s as if designers were elusive beasts, hiding in the deepest, most remote jungles. Of course, that’s not...

  • The $5 Logo

    Buying a $5 logo can seem attractive. “For just five dollars I can buy several $5 logos and just pick the best one!” That’s exactly what we did in this Fiverr review. We walk-through exactly what you get / can expect using the Fiverr platform to buy a logo. A Logo for Just Five Dollars? We recently published the Results...

  • The Startup’s Guide to Budget Design

    Did you know that Stack Overflow used 99Designs to crowdsource their logo for only $512? And at the other end of the spectrum, rebranding a major company or institution can often cost upwards of a hundred thousand dollars. This just goes to show that when it comes to design, you can find something at any price. So I thought it would be interesting to...

  • Examples of Professionalism for New Freelance Designers

    Imagine you’re at the restaurant. The food is OK, nothing special but not bad either. But the waiter somehow remembered your name from the last time you visited. What’s more, he helps you order by suggesting his favorite dish, and brings your food right away. Sounds like a nice place, right? I’m willing to bet that despite the average food,...

  • Creating a Custom Blog Design for my Small Business

    The web moves fast. Trends like flat design and responsive design didn’t even exist a couple years ago. Yet some things can stay surprisingly relevant, even 10 years on. Cameron Moll‘s article about realigning rather than redesigning is one of those things, and it immediately made sense to me when I first read it,. After all, why throw out all...

  • Graphic Design Portfolio Tips

    Note: be sure to also check out our quiz on evaluating your portfolio site’s effectiveness! As the curator of Folyo, I see a lot of different portfolios go by. And I can’t help but notice the same patterns of bad design cropping up time and again. Being designers, we should be aware of how much look and feel can influence...

  • Graphic Design Pricing List: “How Much Does a Website Cost?” and other pricing questions (Updated for 2019)

    This week we surveyed our design community about pricing to give you a crystal clear idea of what freelance design costs in 2019. The result is a graphic design pricing list below that will help both freelancers and businesses looking to hire one, by giving a fair starting point. After all, the best design jobs and contracts start from a...

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