Feels like just yesterday I was finishing college and struggling to find a job in design. Not many respectable studios were hiring and the ones were, well, less than desirable. I ended up working at Apple retail as a software and hardware trainer withering away as I grew increasingly discouraged about not landing a job in my field. My heart was in design and would settle for nothing less. Eventually, fed up, I left Apple and pursued independency as a freelance designer. A chance I took nearly three and a half years ago. Wow, three years ago; how things have changed. Three years ago was good; last year excellent; this year: an unbelievable growth. Growing more curious I asked you freelance and agency Design Twitter and Google+ folk if you’ve also seen a growth. I received around 60 (and growing as I write this) responses all stating an increase.
Incredible! Happy for everyone! But where is this coming from? Why? Are more people using the web and seeing the true value of it’s earnings and reach finally? Does a majority of the recession reasoning the U.S. deal with the way business is changing and companies are growing online through collaborative consumption? How much of an impact does Dribbble have on the increase of jobs (I’m sure a lot but that doesn’t mean Dribbbble gives them the money to spend on us)? How much of an impact does Apple have on our professional (surely companies have noticed that good design does indeed make a difference)? Why, all of a sudden, have people been investing more in good, strategic design?
These are just a few of the many questions I’ve been asking myself lately. I too have nearly doubled from an already incredible year last year – not to mention we still have five months left in the year. I could answer these questions personally from the stance of my insights and business however I’m just one person giving my take on this dramatic increase. A better assessment would be getting more takes and stories on the matter; so I ask you, Designers, Freelancers, Agencies:
- Have you seen an increase of work this year versus last? Much more? About the same? Less? A tad more? Come on spill the beans.
- Where are your clients coming from? Word of mouth? Dribbble? Google searching? A little this and a little that?
- What do you feel accounts for this increase?
- US folk (or non if you like to also chime in): Why do you think our country is struggling financially, yet people are throwing money into our work?
- If you see an increase of work, what type of work are you seeing the most of (ie: Startups? “Social” UI work? Church sites? etc.)
- Are you marketing more or less?
- Are you turning down more work than you take on?
Would love to make better sense of all this and your help would be appreciated (and also helpful for everyone).