Tom Beavan - Freelance Web / UI Designer from the UK

16.07.2018

Tom Beavan is a freelance UI/Web Designer from the UK who specializes in WordPress design. He's built himself up as a freelancer enough to have 5-10 job prospects monthly! How did he do it? He's got some great advice for up-and-coming freelancers.

Hello Tom, it’s a pleasure to have you here. Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

Hey, I'm Tom, a 31-year-old entrepreneur from the UK and the founder of Tom Beavan Websites. I have been freelancing for the past 7 years now, specialising in website design, UI and WordPress.
 


Tell us about your career – where did it all begin? And what led you to becoming a free- lance designer and developer? You’re working on an agency before, how did you deal with the fear of leaving a stable job and salary?

My career in the web industry began as soon as I finished my university degree at the University of South West England where I managed to get a first class honours degree in Internet Computing. I completed a work placement in my third year at a Wiltshire-based web company and ever since I’ve wanted to be involved in the web industry. Designing and building websites allowed me to express my creativity and I got a buzz from creating something that wows people. I love to see things grow.

Since finishing university, I have worked for multiple agencies in the southwest of England and have learned so much from each company, both the good and bad.

I started freelancing for small companies in evenings and weekends whilst working as a traditional employee during the day. Over the years, word got around, my website started getting more traffic and I was getting regular freelance work. Not feeling confident in myself to start freelancing full time and not feeling the time was right, I did this for 7 years.

Some people ask how did I do it? Hold down a day job and then carry on doing more websites in evenings and weekends and have a family? The answer is … I love it, it doesn't feel like work when its growing something for me. In the long run I know it’s going to work out and be worth it.

Recently I decided to go freelance on a full-time basis which was not a decision I took lightly. Friends, clients and other freelancers have said to me for years I should go freelance full-time but it’s never felt the right time for me. I have a young family, fiancée and a mortgage which has always served as motivation to ensure I can guarantee the work and income.

I was able to make the decision due to a number of things:

  • Belief in myself
  • Support from friends, family and industry experts
  • Preparation

 

I love it, it doesn't feel like work when its growing something for me. In the long run I know it’s going to work out and be worth it.

 

What kind of projects do you enjoy most doing? Is there any particular project that you are especially proud of?

I love working on projects that allow me to express my creativity through my work. I love the reaction of my clients when I overdeliver.

 

Do you use other freelancers or companies to provide skills that you don’t possess or to delegate tasks that you don’t enjoy doing that much such as accounting, taxes, etc.? Why/why not?

I am a strong believer in getting the right people for the right job. I am fortunate in the fact I am a good website designer and love building WordPress websites so I don't usually have to bring in help. But something I have worked very hard at is to build a network of trusted partnerships which I know, when called upon can deliver the same standard of work as me. I work with some incredible designers, developers, videographers and photographers, and their collaboration allows me to deliver incredible results for my clients.

 

One of the hardest things for freelancers is steadily finding clients – How do you find new clients that re interested in your services? Do you work mainly with local clients or more with international clients?

I have found LinkedIn is a very powerful business tool in making connections so you can make introductions to agencies. My website is a regular source of enquiries; I get around 5-10 solid leads per month. Finally, networks like Facebook Groups for like-minded people work really well for me.

 

Another big struggle for freelancers is pricing – how do you do this? Do’s and don’ts?

I work out how long it's going to take me and charge my hourly rate by the time it takes.

 

…collaboration allows me to deliver incredible results for my clients.

 

What is a typical day like for you? How do you manage to balance work and life?

Work/life balance is something that has not worked for me and I am still working very hard to master. It's the biggest challenge I have found. My fiancée has been incredibly supportive with my passion and understands the need for me to work evenings and weekends. One of the main factors of me going freelance full-time was to even out this imbalance.

 

What’s next for your business? Are there any exciting projects coming up or any goals that you’re tracking on?

I have a short-term plan and a long-term plan. My short-term plan is to build up monthly support contracts with my clients which will allow me to help them grow their businesses. Not only will it help them but it will help me get some regular income. The long-term plan is top secret (for now).

 

Last but not least, what do you like most about running your own freelance business? Would you change anything of it?

I love seeing something grow and am having fun along the way. It’s what keeps me pushing forward.

 

Freestyle! Is there anything you would like to tell our readers?

I specialise in website design and WordPress theme development to a high standard. If anyone is interested in partnering up on projects or would like any more from my story so far, I would be happy to talk more.

 

Where to find Tom Beavan?

 

Walter Mattos Freelance Creative Director


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Comments

  • Commented by Marcos bechelany on 30.07.2018 at 04:22 h

    Excelente artigo. Motivador para todos os freelancers inciantes como eu que buscam inspiração e incetivo em experiências de sucesso. Parabéns e obrigado Natalia.

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