Welcome to another Freelancer chat! Today we’re talking to Matthew Marron. I met Matt via the 4N networking site forums and was impressed by the fact that he’s a student who’s already carving out a great career as a freelancer. Although I did type up the odd thesis when I was a student, I would never have dared to try to go it alone and be completely self-employed, so I really admire anyone who’s trying to do that. Matt’s website is here – and let’s now learn more about how he took the plunge and decided to go it alone. I do like his answer to “What do you wish someone had told you before you started”!
What’s your business called? When did you set it up?
My business is called Matthew Marron Graphic Design and I first started freelancing around 3 years ago.
What made you decide to set up your own business?
I was still at college and just didn’t seem to be learning enough, and I realised I was at the age where I could start to be taken seriously by clients. My work was well above the standard needed, so it made sense to start earning a bit of experience and portfolio work as well as a bit of money!
What made you decide to go into this particular business area?
Graphic Design is my passion; it’s as simple as that. I live and breathe it and have a lot of inspiration boiling inside of me!
Had you run your own business before?
Nah – I’d messed about with bits of freelancing throughout High School but I was entirely self taught in Photoshop back then and working at 72dpi, which meant everything I did looked terrible when printed.
How did you do it? Did you launch full-time, start off with a part-time or full-time job to keep you going … ?
It was just gradual, I do it alongside my University degree which helps me pay for living costs, and this in turn will set me up for going full-time after graduating next year.
What do you wish someone had told you before you started?
Where the tree of clients is planted, and directions on how to get to it!
What would you go back and tell your newly entrepreneurial self?
Plan my time better and don’t let £30 jobs have lots of amendments!
What do you wish you’d done differently?
Same as the above really; I was a bit too nice and a bit too cheap at first. I was getting lots of cheap work but the amendments meant that I was spending a lot more time than planned on what were supposed to be 1 hour jobs!
What are you glad you did?
Started in the first place. Graphic Design is a hard game to get started in and I think too many people just assume they won’t be able to get work if they start up on their own.
What’s your top business tip?
Go for it! It applies to everyone, but especially students who have a lot of spare time. If they’re good at what they do, they have nothing to lose, and the experience is priceless.
How has it gone since you started? Have you grown, diversified or stayed the same?
I only really try to get work during the holidays, which works really well for me, as I get a lot of work when I’m off uni and then I get a steady stream of work during term time on the back of that.
Where do you see yourself and your business in a year’s time?
Full-time! Huddersfield University has a business start-up scheme which helps with office space and free phones, and this, combined with the connections I have steadily built up, will hopefully help me land on my feet.
Libro of course wishes Matt the best of luck with his future endeavours! You can find the Matthew Marron website at www.matthewmarron.co.uk and contact him via email firstname.lastname@example.org, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/mmarrondesign or on Twitter: @matthewmarron
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