With this being my first ever blog post, I wasn’t sure exactly what to write about. I perused blog websites and YouTube for inspiration before realizing I might as well just introduce myself. If you’re on my site you’re either a friend or someone interested in my services. As there are many freelancers and agencies to choose from, most of whom are exceedingly good, there is more to choosing a web designer, or in fact any business partner than competency alone. It’s important that we understand where one another has come from and where we want to go. I want you to know about what I do and why I do it, how I got here and why we’d work well together.
Early Life & Sports
I grew up in Nottingham in a very busy household. I have 7 brothers and sisters (steps and halves and what not, if you want I’ll explain it over a coffee as it is all rather confusing) and a large extended family so birthdays and holidays were always fun.
I always enjoyed sports growing up. I played cricket, football, tennis, rugby, hockey and basically anything with a ball! I also ran cross country, practiced Taekwondo and boxing and at university I did track cycling, rock climbing and rowed a bit too. I love being fit and active, which is fortunate because as a glutten with a sweet tooth and very little self-control, I’m pretty sure if I stopped exercising I’d resemble the Michelin Man in no time!
School & Coding
If you’ve never heard of WordPress or Webflow, or if you have and want to find out more about it, I’ll be writing a blog post explaining what each of them are soon which will hopefully answer all your questions. Click here find out all about WordPress.
Starting My Web Design Journey
When I left school I had my heart set on joining the Royal Marines but unfortunately due to a hip injury I had to find another way to spend my time. Fortunately an opportunity fell into my lap at a party when a friend of mine, Olly, asked me if I wanted to start a business with him.
Olly had worked in design and print media and heard I knew how to design and develop websites. Together we set up Uniti Ltd where we provided a host of services including graphic design, web design and development and print media. During this time I boosted my knowledge about web design and development and was thrown headfirst into the peaks and troughs experienced when running a business.
Also, during these two years from 2014-2016 I became interested in online marketing, particularly SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and PPC (Pay Per Click) on Facebook and Google. I worked with companies in the evenings and weekends building marketing campaigns in Google AdWords and Facebook in addition to organically boosting their ranking in google search.
After two years of learning new skills and gaining essential experience I decided to take a step back from web design and development and start my next adventure, as a student at the University of Bristol.
Mathematics & Economics At The University Of Bristol
I moved into halls in Bristol in September 2016, excited to start my BSc in Mathematics and Economics. I’ll admit I was a little worried about being 2 years older than most of the other freshers. Though fortunately, as they often are, my worries were misplaced and I met lots of wonderful people and made many (what I hope will be) lifelong friends.
In first year I threw myself into rowing, which means living a slightly different life from most students. When most first years were heading to bed after a long night out, I was waking up, getting ready to either freeze whilst paddling on the river Avon or exercise to exhaustion on a Concept 2 ergometer. Unfortunately injury struck again and after rowing with a fractured rib for a little over a month I had to prematurely hang up my oar to allow my rib to heal and to rehab the musculoskeletal system of my back. After this I dabbled in MMA, rock-climbing and track cycling, all of which I found to be great fun.
On the academic side I focused on probability theory, statistics, econometrics and behavioral economics. I found behavioral economics, one of my third year modules, to be most interesting. It is essentially the psychology of decision making under uncertainty. Most economics models assume that humans are rational creatures, which is of course wrong. Behavioral economics does it’s best to introduce irrationality into the field of economics by finding the areas where people are predictable irrational. If this interests you, I’d recommend reading:
- Thinking Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman
- Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness, by Richard Thaler
- Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics, by Richard Thaler
Back To My Roots
As my time at University was reaching its end I had to think about what I wanted to do once I’d graduated. Many of my friends and course mates we’re applying for masters programs or graduate schemes; others were going travelling. All these options seemed exciting, however they weren’t what I wanted.
For me, I’d already found something I loved doing and was good at (if I do say so myself). The more I thought about it the more it made sense. I wanted to get back into wed design and development. I had two great years working with businesses, helping them to achieve their online potential and to maximize their reach.
I considered working for an agency. But working for an agency comes with a forced structure and a reduced relationship with the client. As a freelancer I can set my own structure, control my workflow and get to know the clients much better. I think that a closer relationship allows for a smoother process and a more complete final product.
So here I am, a freelance web designer and developer offering web services including online marketing and graphic design. I’m currently based in Bristol and working with clients across the UK. I hope after reading this you know a bit more about me. If you’re interested in working together then please get in touch.