22nd December 2016 | London
Some things all design freelancers should know

Some wise words to wrap-up the year of 2016 from Glug Boss Nick Clement...

Well, it’s been a rollercoaster of a year, from working with the Grand Tour trio (Clarkson, Hammond & May) on their new DriveTribe driving social platform to creating and heading up internal Experience Design teams for new clients. Also starting a new business called Availo with fellow designers where we aim to get freelancers design gigs. Alongside that growing the Glug event series for the creative community to 24 cities worldwide with an amazing team and taking it into it’s 10th year.

So I just thought I’d dust off a few thoughts I’ve been having the past few months. So here’s a few things I’ve learnt after 9 years of freelancing in this incredible UK creative/design industry.

The list (I do love a list):

There’s always work, get better at networking.

Communicate well, at all times, swearing is a necessity.

If stuck, ask for help.

Two heads are better than one, look into Design Pairing, outside of your main discipline too.

If your workplace is toxic, then leave, there’s thousands of options.

Do let your recruiter know about any issues, as they’ve no doubt spent a lot of time working for you behind the scenes, something can always be sorted out.

Invoice 40%+ up front, always. Cover your arse. Pot Noodles aren’t very nutritious.

If someone’s late with payment; pester politely and repeat. Don’t work with them again if it’s gone on too long. It’s beyond rude, you’ve done the commissioned work. There’s a petition here worth looking at.

Get a good briefing template that works for you (to send to potential clients, it separates the bad ones from those that need your help).

Work out a design process that works for you and your client/customer, keep refining it.

You are not a rockstar, however many hits your vlog gets.

Good friends are a luxury, get out from behind the screen and socialise in real life.

Make new industry pals on Twitter and collaborate.

You’ll be asked for big ideas, the small ones can also make huge impact, fight for them too.

Warm, personal emails get you meetings, however ‘big’ the recipient.

Your parents were right about nearly everything.

Constant freelance work can be obtained. (See tips above).

Have a decent website with case studies. More than 10 projects is a bit much.

The big choices matter less than you think.

Get an accountant, don’t bother doing finances yourself, but get to understand them, especially your P&L and taxes and use software like FreeAgent.

Making things for a living is pretty fucking cool.

Chase your dreams, you deserve it.

Blatant obsession beats talent.

Do free work for causes you believe in.

Don’t do free work that might ‘lead to something’.

Don’t listen to me.

Have a wonderful Christmas.

Be Courageous.


Feel free to get in touch with me on Twitter @NickClement


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