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

1. Your name?
Pawel Grabowski

2. Where are you are based (Country/Area)?

3. What type of work do you do? (design for print, web, multimedia etc)
Design for print. Specilizing in direct marketing and promotion.

4. How many years had you been working in the design industry before you went freelance?

5. How long have you been freelancing?

6. Why did you decide to go freelance?
To work for myself. I think I’m a bit of free spirit, so 9-5 is not really for me. I like to be in control of things as well.

7. How did you market yourself (find design work/new clients) in the beginning – (online portfolio/brochure/direct mail/email/phone etc)?
It was mostly phone/email at the beginning. And loads of determination 🙂

8. How do you market yourself (find design work) now?
Mostly recommendation/networking. I hardly market myself any other way.

9. How did you decide what to charge? What was the process?
Ugh, don’t even ask….

10. Do you work from home/have an office/work inhouse at design agencies?
Mostly from home, occasionally inhouse from agencies. Either way is fine with me anyway.

11. How do you organise your workload, do you work long hours?
Yes, usually 6am – 6pm. The whole administration takes a lot of time. Also, I get to travel to a lot of meetings, I live in a small town near Dublin, so have to travel to the capital quite often to meet clients/prospects. That takes vast amount of day sometimes, and the work has to be done as well.

12. How much holiday do you give yourself?
Two weeks.

13. How do you keep up to date with what is happening in the industry?
Blogs, meetings, lectures. I also lecture design (freelance 🙂 , so I’m getting quite a lot of info from the college.

14. What about the business side of things, accounting, invoicing, bookkeeping, how do you manage it?
I have an accountant looking after more hardcore aspects of that. For basics I use QuickBooks. In Ireland where I live the system is quite simple, so no problem doing it myself.

15. What is the biggest piece of advice you would give to someone starting out freelancing?
Be confident and work out your rates well before you begin! Set everything in paper, always!

16. Would you ever go back to fulltime work?

17. Where can we see some of your work (URL)?