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Growing as a Freelance Designer

An interview with
Jay Clouse


The dream for many designers is to work exclusively on logo design. But most design jobs sadly require you to work on many different types of design projects. So if you want to work exclusively on logo design, you need to work as a freelance graphic designer, and build your own business.

Freelancing can be tough, so to help you grow and flourish as a freelance graphic designer Ian's joined by Jay Clouse, the founder of Freelancing School, where he helps creatives thrive as business owners. Jay also hosts the Creative Elements, a podcast where he talks to high-profile creators about the nitty gritty of building their creative career.

We discuss a wide range of topics to help you succeed as a freelance designer. This includes common mistakes freelancers make, the importance of systems, networking and relationship building, CRMs and managing your finances.

Jay Clouse Interview Transcription

Ian Paget: You've been freelancing yourself now since April, 2017, and I know a big part of what you do now is help other freelancers succeed. I know there's a lot of people in the audience that will probably already be freelance. They dabbled in freelance or they want to go full-time. So I think this would be a good opportunity to dig into that a little bit more from your perspective. I know myself it's not an easy thing and I read some of your blogs. I can see that you've got an interesting perspective on it. So, what are some of the common problems that you see freelancers face when they first start out?

Jay Clouse: Totally. When I got started freelancing, that word wasn't even really in my vocabulary. For me, I think I came at freelancing from the opposite direction of a lot of people where I had a good background in business and entrepreneurship, particularly working at startups, and I just didn't want to have a boss anymore. And so I went out on my own and I just was confident that I could figure that out. And by virtue of people asking if they could pay me to do certain things, I found myself freelancing. And so, the biggest mistake that I see so many freelancers make is just, they're uncomfortable with the business aspects of running a business and resistant to learning.