First month in Brighton

  It's been a month since I moved to Brighton from Birmingham. I know the city well, having gone to the University of Sussex back in the mid-90s. However, I've never had a 'proper' job here, so I was keen to jump into the creative / freelance world as soon as possible. Co-working space Joining the Skiff was a great decision. It's know for being one of the cooler and more social co-working spaces (and also one of the more expensive) b...

Relocating as a freelancer

I'm about to relocate 3 hours across the country from Birmingham to Brighton. To my American readers that may not seem very far (I know people who've moved from New York to LA), but it's still a big deal to me. I've been talking about moving for about 3 years and I'm not going to lie - the main reason it's taken me so long to actually do it, is my business.    I've been extremely lucky to have worked with some great people in and around Birm...

This week: waiting waiting waiting

w/c 4 Apr 2016   It's all about waiting this week.     MOVE DATE I'm in the middle of selling my flat in Birmingham and relocating to Brighton, on the south coast. As with any move there is a huge list of things that need to be done - not the least is packing. However, I'm still waiting for my move date so I can't really start tackling most of that list as it could be a few weeks away. Also knowing a move is coming I've

Freelancers: pricing structure options

My role as a freelancer means I work on a wide variety of projects. From one-off infographics, to long-running research projects. I've found that there is not a single perfect pricing system - instead I make a decision on a project-by-project basis. I will ask myself:  - is there a defined outcome / product? - have I done anything like this before? - how easily can I estimate the hours I will spend on this? - is there a risk of 'project creep...

5 Big Things of 2015

It's been quite a year! Here are a few of my highlights from 2015.   My Route Without doubt, the largest project I've ever worked on. My Route was a heritage project looking at the history of the Stratford Road in Birmingham through the changing businesses. I was commissioned by Sampad to design a touch table to allow the users to explore a map of the road, and find stories through audio, image and video content. This involved working wi

Thank you to …

I know as Brits we don't celebrate Thanksgiving, but it seems as good an opportunity as any to send out some THANKS of my own. I've been running my own business for several years now (after a career change brought on by redundancy from my job in commercial radio) and I still have to pinch myself today when I think about all i have achieved.  Yes, I work hard, yes I've been savvy, but I could not have achieved what I have without the support and kind...

If you needed any more proof that I am a data visualisation and productivity nerd …

In order to keep track of the various projects, I use an Excel spreadsheet. This calculates project hours, rates etc. The spreadsheet breaks each day down into 30 minute blocks, into which I paste a coloured block and code - which helps calculate the running totals. As well as being useful - it also generated this bonus visualisation! I started this in Oct 2013 - So now, I present, my work diary from Oct 2013 - Dec 2014.   ...

UPDATE – courses, quickies and connections

I'm constantly pleased to see the number of organisations thinking about visual communication. Over the last 6 months I've been busy with a series of "Influential Analysis" training courses for Understanding Modern Government, where I have been (hopefully) inspiring people to rethink how they communicate information both internally and externally. Organisations attending the public courses, or booking in-house sessions, include various NHS trusts...

Information Designer for Hire: what to expect

 Caroline Beavon is a freelance information and infographics designer - get in touch for more details Whilst organisations may have had experience working with graphics or branding designers in the past, the process to develop an infographic is very different. Ask any graphics designer who's been asked to convert a 20 page report into an image, and chances are they'll tell you that designing an infographic requires a whole new set of skil...

5 key elements of a freelance career

5 key elements of a freelance career
I was recently invited to speak to BA students at BCU about enterprise - and specifically, how I managed to forge a freelance career for myself. Having retrained (I used to be a commercial radio journalist) I think there are 5 key areas I focused on to make it PEOPLE People have to be the main focus of your freelancer career - you work alone so you have to generate all your work yourself. Social media is a brilliant tool for finding new contacts an

10 Ways I Stay Productive

10 Ways I Stay Productive
As a freelancer it's very easy to fall into bad habits - working from home, lots of different projects and being my own boss means long days of low productivity, and no clear division between work time and free time. Since I left my "proper" job in 2009 I've been trying a host of ways to get things done - these are the things I've learnt work for me. 1. Find Your Work Hours It's taken me a while but I've found I am super productive early in the morn

Moseley Exchange – a new way (for me) to work

Moseley Exchange –  a new way (for me) to work
  Since I started working for myself, I've been on a hunt for that *perfect* place to work. I tried the various coffee shops around Birmingham (read my findings here) but working in a coffee shop 5 days a week is not financially viable. (In order to stay in a coffee shop guilt-free all day you'd need to buy at least 3 drinks and some food  - totting up a daily spend of around £10.) Plus all that coffee isn't good for you. I experimented w...

The Oldest Intern In Town

The Oldest Intern In Town
Recently I took the decision to become an intern. I spotted brand agency Orb were on the hunt for a creative copywriter intern, and thought it was too good an opportunity to miss. Now, I'm not your run-of-the-mill intern. I'm 37 years old, for starters. I've been working as a journalist since 2000 and now specialise in information design and social media/online content. So, why be an intern? - I hear you ask. Good question. Despite my experi

New Year Resolutions – Social Media and Blogging

New Year Resolutions – Social Media and Blogging
I've decided to group this years New Year Resolutions into several categories Social Media Health and Well-being Productivity ----------------------------------------------------- I use social media a lot, but sometimes it's easy to fall down the rabbit hole and become distracted with ineffective activities. As someone who is trying to build a freelance business, I need to be more focused in my online actions. So, this years New Years Reso