Carl Fairclough

Carl Fairclough

Freelance Designer Joined about 6 years ago via an invitation from Becca T. Carl has invited James Stiff

  • 32 stories
  • 150 comments
  • 27 upvotes
  • Posted to Who here lives in Berlin?, in reply to Andrea Grasso , Jan 05, 2016

    Thanks dude. I've looked at Barcelona quite a lot but Berlin seems to have a much bigger design community – is that not the case?

    0 points
  • Posted to Ask DN: For those that freelance - how well are you doing, financially?, in reply to Julian Lloyd , Jul 14, 2015

    Yeah, I'd shown some interest last year when I was still a full-timer and they got in touch after I'd made the switch. I think you're right with the description, they shortlist a few designers for clients, hold payments in escrow and take a % cut.

    0 points
  • Posted to Ask DN: For those that freelance - how well are you doing, financially?, in reply to Julian Lloyd , Jul 14, 2015

    Months 1 & 2: my old boss sold his company and started up afresh with a spin-off product, he asked for some of my time. Also got a referral from his old company to work on a big marketing campaign which kept me afloat for a while. That was basically it.

    Whilst I was doing that I picked up a few interesting leads via sites like Hacker News & AngelList, and the work has just started to come through from them. I recently got invited to join Crew too which has been awesome, so I'm speaking to around 2 very strong new leads every week – hence the projected pick up in income..

    That being said, at the beginning I was going for quick fixed-price jobs, just to get the cash in. Whereas now that I'm more comfortable I'm planning ahead a lot more – speaking to clients and looking to start work 2-3 months down the line.

    0 points
  • Posted to Ask DN: For those that freelance - how well are you doing, financially?, in reply to Rami James , Jul 13, 2015

    Thanks! I've still got a lot to learn when it comes to building a client base & managing my time.

    1 point
  • Posted to Ask DN: For those that freelance - how well are you doing, financially?, in reply to John Howard , Jul 13, 2015

    The bonus is when projects start rolling in that it becomes a full-time job and/or business

    This is so true. I started out with the goal of striking a perfect work/life balance, but I'm really enjoying work right now. Running/being a small business is pretty fun, believe it or not.

    2 points
  • Posted to Ask DN: For those that freelance - how well are you doing, financially?, Jul 13, 2015

    Lot's of people in the 10+ year camp here, I'm at the other end of the spectrum.

    I'm in my 4th month as a full-time freelancer. Income hasn't been great (ok, it's been awful) but is steadily increasing. I've learned that there's a delay of around 1 month before a job gets the go ahead, and then obviously you only get paid the final % when the you finish the job.

    Here's a summary:

    Month 1: $1550

    Month 2: $1900

    Month 3: $2100

    Month 4 (this month): $5050

    Month 5 (projected): $7100

    My target is to average $5000. If I want to earn more than that I'd have to either increase my rate or work longer hours.

    3 points
  • Posted to Do you love hero areas or hate them?, Jun 02, 2015

    I view them in a similar light to book covers. Whilst you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, a good book cover matches the tone of the content which follows.

    They aren't always relevant (think DN) & don't contribute to the website's offering, but they help to grab attention and set the tone – most of the time.

    8 points
  • Posted to Ask DN: I'd love to go freelance/start a creative company. Where do I begin? Should I do it?, May 28, 2015

    Hey! I asked a similar question myself a while back.

    What I did: started picking up freelance gigs in my free time. I was very unhappy at my 9-5 because of questionable business ethics, so for about 2 months I devoted a lot of my spare time to getting small freelance gigs. This kept me sane and generated some extra cash, which was nice. It was my goal when I very first started out to become a freelancer (with a view to starting up my own fully-fledged agency eventually), so it wasn't on a whim. I was taking a step in the right direction.

    Then, I hit a tipping point at my 9-5 and decided that enough was enough: handed in my notice, with no upcoming work booked in. I spent the next month (notice period) tweeting, updating my website and getting the word out that I'd be freelancing full time. This landed me enough work to see me through the next month, and I've been moving forwards from there.

    This isn't an ideal way to do things, but it worked out for me. I've turned down lucrative full-time offers because I'm happy with my new work-life balance and the projects that I'm working on.

    Finances: Overestimate your monthly outgoings. Figure out how much you're going to make in a bad month. If the second figure is higher than the first figure, start freelancing. If it's not? Increase your rate.

    If you can, make sure that you have some money in the bank to keep you going for at least a month. I did it with no savings and only my last paycheck; I just about scraped through the first few weeks. It's terrifying not to have a buffer.

    1 point
  • Posted to UI/UX Designer...what?!, in reply to Peter Sandberg , Mar 04, 2015

    I'm inclined to agree. I've read many articles about UI/UX/design-in-general written by people with zero experience, purely as a marketing exercise. I've even seen people giving talks on UX who have zero experience (again, as a marketing exercise). It's frustrating and devalues the skills behind it.

    It's a new "top ten portfolio websites of 2012" breed of writing. If I can't see the author, I find myself thinking that it is just a piece of marketing material written by an unfortunate copywriter who's fallen into the SEO world.

    /rant

    1 point
  • Posted to Show DN: carlfairclough.me redesign, in reply to Juan Solano , Mar 03, 2015

    I remember that being a bit of a pain when I was building it and left it at a point where I felt it was just about good enough. I'll take another look at it soon — thanks for pointing it out!

    0 points
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