Freelancer Spotlight with Paul Lapkin

  • Remote Working & Freelancing
  • Success Stories
Madi 💫
· 4 min read

Our team chatted with Paul Lapkin to learn about his freelance journey and what helped him be successful on Contra!

Tell us a bit about you and your freelance journey

After working for more than ten years in various tech companies, agencies, and startups, I decided to transition into freelance full-time in 2022. During this transition, I came across Framer, which had just released the beta for Framer Sites. As someone with a deep passion for typography and web design, I was excited by the possibilities that Framer offered. This discovery prompted me to specialize in web design and no-code web development. This decision has been very rewarding, allowing me to work on numerous exciting projects with clients from around the globe.

How did you connect with the clients you're currently working with?

When I first started freelancing, I created fictional projects to showcase the style I wanted to work in. I shared them on social media, focusing on minimal web design with bold typography, large imagery, and a clear, simple user experience. After a while, I landed rewarding projects like Blaze Type's “How to Design Fonts?” This opportunity allowed me to demonstrate my skills and establish my presence in the Framer community. As a result, I began to attract clients seeking similar work to what I had created.

Blaze Type – How to Design Fonts 🏆 by Paul Lapkin

Made in Framer — Unleash your inner Font Designer with ‘How to Design Fonts?’ by Blaze Type®. Recognized by Awwwards, CSSDA, Framer and The Brand Identity.

Have you ever had to turn down a project or client? How did you go about doing it?

Before initiating any project, I always meet with the potential client to ensure we are a good fit. During this meeting, I ask important questions about the project to understand the client’s goals, budget, timeline, and expectations. This conversation also allows for open communication and the establishment of trust. If I feel uncertain at any point during the conversation, I will politely decline the project. In that case, I prefer to refer them to the Contra job board so they can find another expert who better fits their needs. This approach ensures that both parties are satisfied, and the project progresses smoothly.

What are green flags in a client for you?

As a freelancer, I understand the importance of time and a positive working experience. When taking on new projects, there are several key things I prioritize. Firstly, receiving timely payment is crucial for my financial stability and to feel fairly compensated for my effort. Secondly, I seek engaging and rewarding projects to further my professional growth and maintain my motivation and passion. Lastly, clear project requirements and minimal revisions are important indicators of effective communication and a smoother, more efficient work process. I focus on these aspects when considering new opportunities to ensure a mutually beneficial working relationship.

How do you balance your personal and professional life as a freelancer?

Balancing your personal and professional life can be challenging as a freelancer. Like any other job, it's essential to establish clear boundaries and create a schedule so you don’t end up working after hours. To achieve this, I often work at coffee shops to get out of the house and simulate a work environment. This way, there is a clear separation between home and work. These boundaries allow time to focus on relationships and hobbies and develop new skills to create a strong work/life balance.

Paul Lapkin on Contra | Award-Winning Framer Expert

View Paul Lapkin’s Portfolio on Contra, the Independent-first, commission-free freelance marketplace shaping the future of work. Hire a freelancer today!

Can you tell us about a recent project you completed? What did you enjoy about working on it?

Recently, I finished building the Framer website for the first-ever Contra “Creator Tools Awards.” This project was exciting since I collaborated closely with the Contra design team. They made everything seamless, from project handoff to fast payment and precise requirements. The whole experience allowed me to dive deeper into the world of design tools and explore various new options to improve my workflow. My favourites are Framer for web design, Jitter for animation, Grammarly for writing, and CapCut for social media. These tools have enhanced my productivity and creativity, and I look forward to incorporating them into my future projects.

Contra's 2024 Creator Tools Awards | Designed by the Contra team, Developed by Paul Lapkin

Catch up with Paul on the internet:

Madi 💫
Community at Contra ✨
Hi, I'm Madi ✨ I connect independents with resources + support to take control of their independent career! 🚀 In my free time, you can usually find me reading or exploring a local cafe ☕️

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