Nathan Minns

Web Designer, Sitebuilder & UX Specialist, Actor, Traveler
Hello! I'm a web designer and traveler (just got back to the USA from Estonia). I'm happy to review your website via Loom for free - UX, UI, whatever you need :).
TL;DR: Should I brand myself as a small agency or freelancer?

For a long time, I thought that I would be taken more seriously if I used "we" and "team" in my marketing materials for web design through Blue Drop Design. I felt I would be able to charge more.Β 

Now that I'm more confident in my own abilities (I'm a full-time web designer at a company now as well), I feel that I should own that it's just me working on projects, and charge for my time/expertise because my services are worth it, not because a "team" of a couple of my friends will be helping out. Maybe it should be "Hi, I'm Nathan, a web designer," instead of "Hi, we're a web design agency."

At the same time, sometimes I feel that I work too much on my own website, instead of going out and networking.

Do you think that I should make the Blue Drop Design site more personable, or does it matter?Β 
This is a really great (and common) question. It really depends on how you want to view your business.

I think it'sΒ easierΒ to sell services on behalf of yourself when you own, "I'm the one doing this work, here's some of my past work, here's what people say about working with me."

If you don't aspire to create a larger team, I think this is a good route.Β 

There seems to be a bit of a ceiling though. Larger, more established companies are going to feel more comfortable hiring a reputableΒ companyΒ rather than a freelancer in a lot of cases. Being a solo act, you're allowing the client to make some assumptions about the overall size and maybe even "legitimacy" of your operation.

But on the other side of the token, smaller businesses and individuals would probably rather work with a PERSON than a company.

So, to wrap it all up...

  • Would your ideal clients rather work with a person or an agency?
  • Do you aspire to build a company bigger than yourself?
  • Are you more comfortable selling as an individual or an agency?

Those would be my biggest questions in making the decision.Β 
I've heard a lot of people jump on the Personal Capital train.

Has anyone used Personal Captial and Mint? Which do you like better and why?Β 
I use Personal Capital lightly for budgeting and easily tracking my expenses; lately and quickbooks self employed has made strides in personal expense reporting though so I’ve been using that more since I use it for my business anyway!

I've been a freelance web designer for the last 5-ish years, working through Blue Drop Design, all starting from when I created my acting website in 2015 (you can watch my mime performances there too - they're pretty intense though, be warned.). Since then, I've had a variety of freelance jobs, traveling around Europe, and now I'm a full-time web designer at Buckeye Interactive (fully remote), and I'm a freelance web designer after work! I also love traveling, so ask me about it!

For fun, here's what my first ever website looked like :).Β 
Oh my gosh these mime performances are exactly what I didn't even KNOW that I needed today! This is amazing haha.

Man, I forgot about the wayback machine too. I'm trying to find an old version of my site now'veΒ come a LONG way in your own web design!
Nathan Minns replied
  ·  3 replies
You are sharing old websites, the oldest one of mine I can find on archive is from January 1999 ....

Sorry, I'm a geek, can't help myself, here's my tech site from 1999 talking about Y2k
Nathan Minns replied
  ·  6 replies