Meet Jake, a CERT 5 freelance graphics and logo designer.
Tell us a bit about yourself. How did you get into freelancing?
My name is Jake and I am a professional freelance graphic designer, more specifically a logo designer. I have been designing for 7 years altogether.
For most people, freelancing is just something they came across one day, happened to love the idea and implement it into their own lives. But not for me, freelancing was something I wanted to do for a few years, even from being 15 I never liked the idea of working for someone and sticking to working hours, picking up my wage envelope at the end of every month, I always wanted to work for myself – but knew starting a business would be too much work so whoever invented the word ‘freelance’ deserves a medal as far as I’m concerned!
The hardship was finding somewhere to work on, it’s okay starting a website but when you’re a nobody you haven’t got a snowball’s chance in hell of finding work. I even considered doing the worst thing in the world for me: Getting a 9-5 design job! But when I found PeoplePerHour it virtually saved me!
What was your previous job before deciding to go freelance?
I didn’t have one, I was fresh from university when I first signed up for PPH so this was the first ‘job’ I had, although I wouldn’t call working on PeoplePerHour a ‘job’ as the flexibility of the site is astonishing!
How did you come across PPH?
It was a miserable day and I was searching for some work online, I’d just come out of university so could have done with a little extra cash. I went onto numerous websites and they were all not to my preference. But then something amazing happened – I found PeoplePerHour! I had a look round the site to see if it was for me, and I instantly fell in love with it. As fast as I could, I made myself a quick profile and my life changed!
What was your first job like on PPH?
My first job was excellent, it was a logo design for a champagne brand. The client was awesome and I satisfied them entirely, and therefore lead to my first 5-star feedback! The feeling was insane. Then, astonishingly the very next proposal I sent was accepted! It just proves how 1 positive review is all it takes to get your profile going on PPH.
What is a typical day like for you?
I will wake up about 8 o’clock and make myself some cereal and a coffee (or two!), then I will take a shower and head out for a morning stroll to clear my head. By the time I get back we are talking 9:30, so I will log onto my Mac and see if any PPH messages need responding to, check my emails and once that’s all done, I will spend a bit of time proposing for jobs/looking for work.
Then it’s a lunch break, I will usually make myself a sandwich or sneakily nip down to McDonald’s and grab a big mac (maybe once a month!). Then I will work on some projects, mood board or sketch client’s designs and maybe propose for more jobs.
At about 6PM I will make myself some dinner, or ‘tea’ as we call it up ‘ere in Yorkshire! Go out for another walk in the summer months to clear my head from all the computers.
When I arrive home from my walk about 7 I have a strict ‘no computer’ from then onwards (unless I have something urgent to do) because it just makes my eyes red and dry. I’ll go to bed about 11!
How does freelancing compare to a 9-5?
Freelancing is nothing like a 9-5, it is so much better! If I worked in a boring old office all day answering calls and sorting out spreadsheets, I’d have to ask permission to go out for a walk at a certain time and the answer would most likely be no. But as a freelancer I can go for a walk at 3, and have a late lunch if I want to – I can pretty much do what I want as long as I am working as well.
What benefits have you found by using PPH?
That I can keep everything all in one place. PPH is so organised and tidy (the opposite to me!), I can do all my work, payments etc on one simple website so it saves going back and forth from different places all the time. I love it!
What does your future hold? Where would you like to take this?
I am very happy doing what I am doing, so not really dreaming big at the moment. I will look to keep working on PPH until I get established enough to get frequent work on my own website.
What are your top 5 tips for freelancers who are new to PPH?
- Don’t panic if it takes you ages to get your first project – It took me about 7-8 proposals before one was accepted, so keep working, pitch often and your moment will come!
- Keep your profile looking tidy and attractive – this includes a good looking portfolio, a well-designed cover image as well as a good, detailed ‘about me’ page. This helps potential clients see why they should hire you over another person. And you get to showcase your best work.
- Always produce your best work – Great feedback and a high feedback rating makes it incredibly easier to win more projects, and it shows potential buyers that they are in safe hands.
- Only propose for jobs that you know you can do – for example, if you are a more amateur logo designer, don’t go proposing for 100-pound budget jobs, because they are either pretty rich, or they are looking for top quality, flawless work. If your proposal is accepted you will be a small fish in a big pond.
- Never undersell yourself – Unless you are looking for that first project, never price considerably lower than you are worth because you are just being taken advantage of.
What are your top 5 tips for your particular role?
- Be sure to get a good brief – if the client says ‘I don’t have any ideas just use your creativity’, tell them that that is impossible, because that could be just about anything! Make sure you get them to narrow down their ideas.
- Never jump straight into photoshop – to get a unique logo design for your clients, you would need to go through the process before designing, this includes mind mapping, sketching, mood boarding etc. The client doesn’t need to see these, but it sure helps you.
- Make sure the designs are original – just think, if you are using stock images, thousands of others will also be using them, so a unique logo just became a cliche design that thousands of companies are using.
- Don’t always do exactly what the client tells you to – Remember, you are the expert, so if your clients wants something that you know will not work at all, be sure to raise it with them, because your job as a designer is to produce the best design possible.
- Keep it simple – the best designs are simple! If you over complicate it then it doesn’t make the logo seem memorable, as it is too ‘busy’.
What web browser do you use?
I use safari 🙂
If you were an animal, which one would you be and why?
A cat, I would love to sit around, sleep & eat all day!
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