1. When did you realise you wanted to be a freelance designer?
Ever since secondary school, aged 13, I can’t remember the exact moment but I did graphics at school and enjoyed it so much I started a business doing it.
2. How did you get started and what was the biggest hurdle you overcame?
I got started whilst at school, I would go home a design. Never did homework at home, that’s probably why my GCSE grades weren’t as good as they could have been. The biggest hurdle has been (and still is to an extent) pricing my work. I over came this recently by building up enough confidence to throw out a big number. Ever since I haven’t charged any less.
3. What’s been your most successful way of getting clients?
Word of mouth. I have had a few clients though college teachers and then they referred me to others. I make sure that people I know, know about Blue Deer Design. From there I am just spreading the word.
My website and social media presence has also helped me. I consistently post of YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. I try and keep every route open.
4. How do you get clients to stay with you and use you for more work?
By offering good customer service. It is vital. If I do something wrong then I make sure I put it right as soon as possible. Looking after my clients means that they will look after me.
5. Do you ever have issues with clients paying late? How do you manage that?
I have had a few problems in the past but if you hassle them enough they will eventually pay.
6. What does your typical work day look like?
I try and get up at 6:30. Do the morning routine.
7ish I watch a youtube video or two whilst having breakfast.
Then I get down to business. Looking at emails and making a note of what needs doing throughout the day.
Normally at about midday I get out of the studio and go to the gym. I don’t like staying inside for too long and exercise is good for you.
After the gym I’ll have a few new ideas that have formed subconsciously whilst away from the desk.
So I get back into the work. Normally working until late. With breaks and videos throughout the day.
If I don’t have much client work on I will be creating content for YouTube and my website.
I enjoy what I do. It doesn’t really feel like work so I can do it all day (at the moment at least).
7. Any piece of advice/wisdom that you’d like to give the readers at This Design Life?
Design for the client not your portfolio. This is something I have caught myself doing a few times. I have thought up a cool design that will look great in my portfolio. However it doesn’t really fit the brief.
I now make sure that I design for the brief and think about my own gain and portfolio after the work. If you can do both than that’s the ultimate goal.