Tim has been a freelance web designer for over 8 years, working from his home in Wolverhampton, UK. Tim loves the variety his work gives him, and says his one piece of advice to other freelancers would be to never stop pushing yourself to become a better and more efficient worker!
1) Firstly, thank you Tim for the possibility of an interview! It’s a pleasure for us to have you in our Insides series. Could you tell us a bit about yourself and what are you up to right now?
Hello, it’s a pleasure. Well I’m originally from Blackburn (UK) but moved down to Wolverhampton (UK) about 8 years ago. My days are very varied from dealing with emergency support requests for WordPress sites to large ongoing design projects and everything in-between.
2) You describe yourself as a Freelance Marketer, Developer, WordPress Expert and Web Designer. What was the source of inspiration behind entering these fields?
I fell in love with web design when I was 14 years old and have self-taught myself everything. While starting out I got a job as a Marketing Executive which gave me valuable insight and practical knowledge on the marketing side of things. I also think this gives me an edge to my web design, not just creating websites but websites that convert for my clients. I have found being a developer helps when taking on complicated design projects, I’m a one stop shop for all your website needs!
3) What exactly made you decide to become a freelancer? How long have you been freelancing?
Well I never really intended to ever be a freelancer I just woke up one day and realised I was getting too many website request to call it a hobby! From there I have been doing it for over 7 years and am still loving every hurdle & jump that comes my way.
4) Was it difficult for you to start freelancing? Did you face many problems? Could you share with our readers the most important lessons you learned on the way?
Simply don’t undervalue yourself and never agree to a discount without removing some aspect of the project, every penny you quote should have value attached to it. E.g. of course I can half my quote but you’re only going to get half a website.
5) What do you love most about your work? Is there one particular project that you are especially proud of?
I love the unpredictability of the days and that I probably work more hours than I ever have but I see the exact value in return. I’m proud of every project I complete and wouldn’t hand it over until I was, it’s no fun taking on jobs for jobs sake only do what you enjoy.
6) Do you use other freelancers or companies to provide skills that you don’t possess or to delegate tasks when you have too much on your plate?
I do try and I am at a point I can no longer grow without doing so, in the past I have always done everything myself as its much about the person doing the work about the site specification. It needs that sparkle only a few people can give.
7) How do you set yourself apart from your competitors? What makes you special?
Apart from my special sparkle 😉 the one thing that everybody wants is someone dependable and honest and that’s exactly what I am!
8) How do you market your freelance services? Are there any tips you could give to fellow freelancers?
A decent website, I can’t count how many web designers have poor websites or use the excuse that they’re too busy with clients… you’re a web designer you need a good website and if you work hard work always comes in. I got to the point I could do with some more work so got some flyers printed, more work came in the week after and I still have the unopened box in my office.
9) What does your working routine look like and how do you manage the pressure of meeting deadlines?
Well I have recently found the app devRant which has helped me vent with fellow devs and it’s always a good read to see other people’s problems. Freelancing is a 24/7 job, if you want a 9 to 5 or a fixed day this isn’t the career for you. Long days, long nights and very little sleep are part of the package. Good accounting software with unpaid reminders helps a lot and I am a big fan of the Kanban to-do layout.
10) What are the top three books, websites or magazines you read to stay up to date in your field?
I have a Feedly account with about 500 feeds, cant really say which sites come first you need a lot of sources to keep up to date in a fast changing world
Freestyle! Is there anything you would like to tell our readers?
Always push yourself, and take on risky projects with short deadlines. You will find better and more efficient ways to be a better freelancer but don’t let the clients take advantage of you!
Where to find Tim Oxendale