1. When did you realise you wanted to be a designer?

Looking back on my childhood, I was always attracted to creative subjects such as art and design, so there was something engrained there from the beginning. However, it wasn’t until I was 15 that my school’s career advisor let me know about graphic design being a career. I looked into further and I was hooked. A career in design was for me.

2. How did you get started and what was the biggest hurdle you overcame?

My interest in design originally stemmed from a hobby of Photoshop, Geocities and MySpace (ah, those were the days!). I was inadvertently learning design via creating terrible, terrible websites. This then morphed into creating a “business” of sorts, which then morphed into a blog and eventually my design studio “JUST Creative”. I’ve written about my “evolution as a designer” here in more detail.

3. What’s been your most successful way of getting clients?

Inbound marketing to my own website, via resourceful content. I’ve run a blog for nearly a decade now, so there is a ton of content on there which gets picked up on search engines, and that’s how clients come across my website and subsequently, my work.

4. How do you get clients to stay with you and use you for more work?

To be honest, I actually prefer working on the start up phase or rebranding of a business VS production work so I tend to create style guides for businesses so they can independently utilize other resources to build their business, which is much more cost effective for them, and it allows me to work on what I love. But for the sake of the answering the question, it comes down to providing value to the customer. You want to be seen as THE resource that will improve their business.

5. Do you ever have issues with clients paying late? How do you manage that?

I require an upfront payment for every project I work on, and that is generally between 30-60%. I don’t release final files until the full payment is received either, which is stated in the proposal and agreement.

6. What does your typical work day look like?

6:30-8:00 Wake Up, Breakfast, Family Time
8:00-9:45 Emails & Social Media
10:00-11:00 Gym
11:00-18:00 Design / Creating Content / Lunch / Play with Son / Design
16:00 – Break & Snack Attack! Possible MTN bike ride or run.
18:00-20:00 – Bath Time / Dinner / Emails (as it’s now business hours in Northern Hemisphere)
20:30-21:30 – Netflix / Playstation
22:00 – Zzzz

7. Any piece of advice/wisdom that you’d like to give the readers at This Design Life?

There’s no magic bullet. Success comes from hard work.

Jacob Cass specialises in logo design, branding and web design to businesses of all sizes around the world. Including Disney, Nintendo, Jerry Seinfeld and hundreds more. He also runs the incredibly successful design site Just Creative.