Photos and Notes From December 4th Business Lunch
Panelists; Bill Page, Dylan Moore, Dan Jarvis and Daren Guillory

December LAUNCH Lunch Panelists from left to right: Dan Jarvis, Dylan Moore, Daren Guillory and Bill Page.

“I wanted to send you a quick note and let you know how much I enjoyed the luncheon on Friday. I felt like there was such energy and honesty in all of the presentations. Each person brought their unique talents to the group – which provided a really well-rounded discussion.

Again, I had the feeling that I was in a room with people just like me, and wanted to express my thanks for all of the work that goes into putting these events together. There are some brilliant people in Houston’s design community and I have such a rare opportunity to connect with them.”

– Norma Riehle

Last week’s “LAUNCH Business Lunch Series: Anything and Everything you ever wanted to know about Freelancing″ was a great opportunity for creatives to meet and speak with some of Houston’s freelance designers and illustrators.

Check out the all of the photos here.

For those that were not able to make it below are a handful of some useful tips and pointers for freelance designers:

Take care of your existing clients. With all of our panelists new clients and business invariably came in the form of positive referrals or client contacts moving to a new position.

Set your rates. While most freelancer utilize a little trial-and-error before finding an optimum. Below is a great resource from AIGA on how to set your rates as a freelance designer. Calculating a freelance rate.

Have a website. While this is a no-brainer, your website should tell your potential clients a little about your credentials as well as function as an online portfolio.

Ping your network. Whether it’s via linkedin, blog, newsletter or a holiday card, remind your business contacts you’re still there. A holiday card is a great way to get a conversation going for the New Year.

Bill in Thirds. As an independent getting paid by clients is one of the toughest challenges many freelancers go through. By billing in thirds you guarantee a measure of cash flow as the project progresses and by the time you present final design concepts you have been paid 2/3rds of the original estimate and both parties are motivated to finish up the project.

Build Strategic Partnerships. As an independent, your vendors often times become your most valuable strategic partners in rounding out your services. Learn how to collaborate and outsource to these vendors in order to free up your time to focus on your strengths.

Set Boundaries. As a freelancer time is money, literally, but life is important too. Learn how to set boundaries to achieve a measure of balance.

A big thanks to our panelists:

Bill Page –
Dylan Moore –
Dan Jarvis –
Daren Guillory –

We want to hear from you! Please comment or email us your thoughts and ideas.

By John Luu
Published December 7, 2009
AIGA encourages thoughtful, responsible discourse. Please add comments judiciously, and refrain from maligning any individual, institution or body of work. Read our policy on commenting.