This is Moshiur Rahman,a CERT 5 creative graphic designer and illustrator who provides wonderful insight into what life is like as a freelancer!
Tell us a bit about yourself. How did you get into freelancing?
Hi, my name is Moshiur Rahman and I am from Bangladesh. I’ve been working on PPH since the beginning of my ‘freelancing career’ it has been around 3 successful years now.
I’m an expert image editor and also a good vector art designer having more than 4 years of working experience. I have been learning and designing for over 5 years and now I am really good at any kind of graphic design like illustration, technical drawing, brand design, print design, flyer design, banner design, logo design, magazine design, cover design, product label design, vector art design, business card design, web-banner design, letter head design, poster design, outline etc. I’m pretty busy on PPH but I love what I do!
I have a traditional graphic design background. I followed the “proper path” and gained a degree at Shanto-Mariam University of Creative Technology. However, during my first stint in the industry, I was more or less hurled into the big, wide world of Web. I have since accumulated 3+ years of experience, working with various Web development companies, as well as taking on a couple of in-house positions. I’ve worked on numerous client projects ranging from little brochure-ware sites to mega-budget labyrinths.
What was your previous job before deciding to go freelance?
I decided to go freelance straight away, I didn’t have a job previous to setting up on my own as a freelancer. Freelancing was my first professional career and PPH was the platform for it!
How did you come across PPH?
When I completed my degree course I was trying to find a good graphic design outsourcing platform for starting my career with freelancing, then I found a group “PeoplePerHour Bangladesh” on Facebook. I joined that group and learnt more about PPH. Then I signed up to the site and here I am!
What was your first job like on PPH?
The first job that I completed on PPH was to make some illustrations for a PowerPoint presentation. I successfully completed that job as per client requirements and the client gave me really nice feedback. After that first feedback I have not needed to look back!
What is a typical day like for you?
As a freelancer, my days are sometimes chaotic depending on client needs. I do all my work from my home office. My day typically starts at 10am and I do a quick email check to make sure there’s nothing urgent, then shower, breakfast, and coffee in that order. The rest of the day is flexible since it depends on my clients needs. I schedule Sundays as a complete friends and family day for hanging out – you do need to find time to relax!
How does freelancing compare to a 9-5?
The biggest draw to freelancing is the flexibility it offers. When I am a freelancer, I am my own boss. I call the shots regarding my work hours and the projects that I take on. While freelancing offers a higher level of independence, it requires a great deal of discipline too. When you choose this route, you are fully accountable to yourself. You are in charge of everything from finding clients, managing your time, to taking care of your finances. Freelancers can choose to work at different times of the day, they do bring their work home and they don’t have a constant wage month-by-month as they would if they were employed.
What benefits have you found by using PPH?
There are so many benefits I have found by using PPH, it can’t be described in words! I can work around the world from my home via PPH. I have found some amazing clients here and they are very professional. PPH has also given me the opportunity to create some awesome Hourlies to sell my services. I think that is one of the great benefits of PPH. It has given us the opportunity to sell our services to new clients around the world. The payment system of PPH is good and smooth. I can easily transfer my money from PPH to my personal bank account. It’s so reliable, secure and super-fast! I just love working with PPH!!!
What does your future hold? Where would you like to take this?
I am fully satisfied with my profession and I am proud to be a freelancer. I love my work. I can’t think of my future without freelancing as a major part of it! I have a big dream, I want to train people and then I want to build my own freelance graphic design company with them. This is because, gradually, my number of clients is increasing and eventually I will need help, as I can’t handle all of them alone!
I always believe “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.”
What are your top 5 tips for freelancers who are new to PPH?
1. It’s essential to complete your profile first and get a few reviews on your page. Put some examples of your work and create few hourlies as per your skill. Then you need to apply for jobs in your specific field.
2. Determine your hourly rate and don’t undersell yourself. Create a rate sheet and try to stick to it. If you are the cheapest deal around, you also look like the least valuable deal around. Show confidence in the quality of your work and others will too. Find the right fee for you.
3. Set a realistic schedule. In the beginning, you’ll be working to grow your business or clients. So don’t waste your precious time. Set a realistic schedule and discipline yourself to keep it.
4. You need to brand yourself. You’re going to need to pin-point exactly what makes you stand out from all the other freelancers in your field. Be specific. Then, build your brand around your special skills. Once your brand is established you can move on to marketing yourself. You can also promote your PPH profile. This option is available in your PPH account!
5. Focus on “doing good work and making happy clients” but don’t be afraid to market yourself beyond the standard resume and cover-letter approach. Potential employers can recognise passion. When you care about what you do, it should show in everything you do, including how you project yourself online.
What are your top 5 design tips for small businesses?
There are a few fundamental rules which will help you to create professional looking designs.
Tip 1. Know your Stuff:
Learn your audience – are you selling to a particular type of person/age group/religion/sexuality/gender etc. Define it and then just stick to it. This sounds like a cliche but it’s amazing how many small businesses don’t define their audience or their interests clearly from the start. Without it, you have no focus to then be able to create briefs.
Tip 2. Keep it Objective:
Use colours and fonts that appeal to your audience and NOT to you. Often people become too focused on what they like as opposed to what their audience will like and what will actually work.
Tip 3. Use contrast to help your designs stand out:
The best designs stand out. One of the simplest ways to make your design jump off the page is using contrast. Choose colours that contrast well. If you have a light coloured background then use a dark font.
Tip 4. Keep it Professional:
Use professional images – you will be amazed at how much better professionally produced images make your marketing and brand look. This doesn’t necessarily mean spending money on a photo shoot but there are plenty of great free photos online which take a little bit of searching. Don’t be afraid to use what’s available just make sure it fits your brand.
Tip 5. Keep it simple:
Lastly, it can be easy to get carried away with so many great images, graphics and fonts to choose from. Simple is always best when it comes to graphic design.
What web browser do you use?
I use Google Chrome because it is generally faster, updated more often, and I have the least problems with it.
If you were an animal, which one would you be and why?
If I were an animal I would choose to be a giraffe because they have beautiful and glowing fur. Likewise, professional salespeople are well dressed and groomed, making for an excellent first impression when meeting clients. Giraffes are elegant and graceful as they run, plus they move at very high speeds. Well-heeled professional people are elegant as they accomplish much in a very short period of time. They, too, run at high speeds to please clients. The strategy of a giraffe truly stands out. The giraffe does not focus on low-hanging fruit because they are tall, they gain the wider perspective from the top of the tree. They can determine which is the better fruit and work the tree from multiple angles, providing a wider array of possibility. Similarly, salespeople who begin with the bigger perspective first are able to get broader understandings of situations to ultimately build larger sales.
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