Have you ever wondered who comes up with the creative logo designs or consistent brand identities that most companies use? Meet our featured Soloist Vince Burkhead. From logos to icons and landing pages, he works with companies to define and execute their brand identity through visual design.
With nearly two decades of experience working as a freelance designer and brand strategy expert, he brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to his client projects. In addition, he’s looking to expand beyond his client work and get into creating educational material for other designers and agencies.
What’s your elevator pitch to new clients?
I’m a brand strategy agency.
We offer agency level work at a fraction of the cost of the big boys. It’s a virtual business model with no overhead, with a collection of high level freelancers who all work together.
How did you start freelancing?
It was losing my job to company-wide layoffs a week after 9/11. The terrorist attack on 9/11 made me realize that life is short and you really have to take ahold of your life and dreams and go for what you want for yourself. I had been thinking about it for years though.
What do you love about freelancing?
Being able to choose my own clients is the biggest bonus. Yes the flexibility of schedule is amazing, but being able to say no to clients that aren’t a great fit is the most important thing to keep you happy with the work you are doing.
I also get to learn about new industries and meet new people all the time which makes my job interesting. I love doing pro-bono work as well. My future is in my hands, it’s totally up to me and I like it that way.
I understand you have a sick family member at home with cancer, so sorry to hear that. How has freelancing impacted your situation in this regard?
It’s been a huge help to be around. Working for yourself is invaluable because you can move your schedule to accommodate the most important thing–your family. You can always work around the family’s schedule..
The flexibility is invaluable. In an office job, that would be extremely difficult.
What recent work are you most proud of?
I’m most proud of a pro-bono job I did for the SE Asia tsunami victims in 2003. The website raised money for 1,500 families. It was called Educate A Child Trust. It helped people find housing after the disaster.
I won an IMA (International Media Award) award for that project
How do you keep the work and new clients coming in?
It’s mostly organic, word-of-mouth referrals.
Recently I connected with a blogger online who owns a few larger agencies. He passes me leads that are too small for him and I kick back a percentage to him. It’s a win-win for both of us, and a win for the client.
What are some tools you use that make your Freelance work life easier?
I use a Post-It note system to track my hours, different colors for each client.
What’s next for you?
I would like to put together a series of online video educational sources for brand strategy.
For both freelancers and mid-level design firms and for clients. It’s a lot of up-front work, but then you sell it over and over. Online education is huge and a great opportunity.
One guy started blogging 4 years ago and cleared $1.7 Million last year. He builds education video classes for people who want to blog. Bryan Harris is his name of Video Fruit. He’s a real inspiration.
Check in every few weeks when we’ll highlight another LocalSolo Freelancer. If you’d like to be a featured Soloist, just send us a message.