1. When did you realise you wanted to be a designer?
Year 10 Art Class (2003) when I was introduced to Photoshop. Prior to that I’d wanted to be an animator for Pixar, Industrial Light and Magic or Animal Logic, but once I got to my final year of high school I was pretty set on becoming a graphic designer, so I applied for universities to learn design and graduated with a degree in Design (Visual Communication).
2. How did you get started and what was the biggest hurdle you overcame?
I started my branding business, G’day Frank in mid-2018. But prior to that, I had worked for 7 years as an in-house designer for a TV production company. The biggest hurdle was starting my business. Learning the financial, legal and business practices to make a decision to leave my full-time job was massive. Especially as a husband and father of a newborn baby at the time, the leap was risky but well worth it in the end as I found the right time and did my due diligence.
3. What’s been your most successful way of getting clients?
4. How do you get clients to stay with you and use you for more work?
I’d like to think I provide a great experience for my clients that goes above and beyond. An experience where I strive to develop a genuine relationship and rapport. While also delivering them the results they are looking for or even exceeding expectations if I’m lucky. So I guess, just be a good person, do great work and put your client first. Because you don’t just deserve their trust by being the expert in the room, you need to earn it.
5. Do you ever have issues with clients paying late? How do you manage that?
I’ve not really experienced this problem to an extreme level. I simply follow up courteously with a straight forward request to make their payment. But to avoid this situation, I’ve found it relies on getting money upfront before they receive deliverables or before you move onto the next stage of a project, which means you are invoicing at the start of each phase (if it’s a multiple phase project) and not beginning that phase until they have paid.
6. What does your typical work day look like?
I work from home so my day starts from when I wake up as I typically check social media and emails. But I’ll start work around 9-9:30am and work on client projects typically during the day until 5-5:30pm. But during the day it’s also doing admin tasks like bookkeeping, emails, phone calls, engaging with people in DMs on social media and making the odd story on Instagram. While also doing jobs around the house or engaging with my family throughout the day. Then once we’ve had dinner and my son has gone to bed, I’m back in my home office from 7:30pm till 11pm. Either working on content for G’day Frank or G’day Design Life – which could be IG/LinkedIn/YouTube content, editing and uploading podcast eps, updating either of the two websites and/or engaging with my private G’day Design Life community.
7. Any piece of advice/wisdom that you’d like to give the readers at This Design Life?
Enjoy the process and journey of the pursuit to reach your goals. Because each time you reach your next goal you’ll simply wonder “So, that’s it? I feel nothing. What’s next?” and you set off on a new journey to reach that next ‘what’s next’ moment. So enjoy the process and trust your process of getting there.