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BryanFreelancer Focus is (hopefully) a regular feature, where freelance designers are invited to answer a series of questions about themselves and freelancing. This week Bryan Zimmerman (pictured left) is the freelance designer in question. If you would like to take part please read my previous post.

1. Your name?
Bryan Zimmerman

2. What type of work do you do? (design for print, web, multimedia etc)
I am currently involved with web and print. I am also preparing to launch a site of my photography as well as a book of poetry.

3. How many years had you been working in the design industry before you went freelance?
None. I just dabbled, went to school, got a degree and leapt into it head first

4. How long have you been freelancing?
5 months

5. Why did you decide to go freelance?
I needed to unchain all of the ideas caged within my head. It is very hard to do that when you are working a full time job that has nothing to do with design.

6. How did you market yourself (find design work/new clients) in the beginning – (online portfolio/brochure/direct mail/email/phone etc)?
I partnered with my brother who already had a successful design firm.

7. How do you market yourself (find design work) now?
Word of mouth is still the best advertising. All of the work I have done so far has been from recommendations

8. How did you decide what to charge? What was the process?
I did a lot of research on what other designers were charging, and adjusted my rate according to my experience

9. Do you work from home/have an office/work inhouse at design agencies?
From home

10. How do you organise your workload, do you work long hours?
I work long hours, but not in a row. I will work from 3am until 9am, take a power nap, and the go back to work. That is one of the great things about working from home.

11. How much holiday do you give yourself?
Everyday is a holiday when you are doing what you love!

12. How do you keep up to date with what is happening in the industry?
Subscribe to select trade magazines, podcasts and newsletters

13. What about the business side of things, accounting, invoicing, bookkeeping, how do you manage it?
QuickBooks 2007 . . . . . My savior! Oh yea, the accountant helps too.

14. What is the biggest piece of advice you would give to someone starting out freelacing?
If you are going to work from home, make sure you have at least 3 months salary put aside to sustain you. I learned the hard way.

15. Would you ever go back to fulltime work?
Yes. In fact I am pursuing it now as the money coming it is just not enough to cover all of my bills.

16. Any thing else you would like to add?
Draw incessantly! Some of my best designs came from sitting at the park or in my office sketching, and trust me I am NO artist.

17. Where can we see some of your work (URL)?
http://www.bryanjzimmerman.com