I've been freelancing at web design and development since around 2006. This was alongside my full/part-time employment, and I enjoyed the extra work. To start with I was self-taught, as I wanted to build a website to show off my theatre lighting design work (in my previous life I was a sparky, another story!). I grew hungry to learn more, and ended up going back to university to gain a BSc in Web Technologies. It then became clear that I wanted to build websites full-time, so I graduated and went straight into a web developer job at a design agency.
Bits of freelance work continued on the side, but I always thought it would be great to freelance full-time, but never had the guts to actually quit my job and go for it.
Then that decision was taken out of my hands, as I was made redundant from my web developer role. At the time it seemed like the worst thing ever, to suddenly be without a job. I decided to take it as an opportunity to make a go of freelancing full-time. What a blessing in disguise it turned out to be.
That was just over 2 years ago. The first year was tough. Despite building up a few clients I was only just making ends meet. I tried advertising locally in a couple of places (online ad and a local business directory) but nothing really came of it. This past year however, things have really started to pick up. I'm constantly busy and I've even got myself an accountant (which i highly recommend). How did I get the work? Well, it's all word-of-mouth, plus I've landed a couple of awesome clients who give me lots work. It goes to show that going the extra-mile for clients really pays off, as you'll get recommended to others.
Nowadays I can't wait to start work each day. It's not even really work to me, it's something I really enjoy doing. It's fun. I love building websites and hopefully helping make the web a better place.