Berkeley woman goes from graphic designer to business owner

Jessica Greenwalt, a Berkeley-based graphic designer, launched her own freelance business full-time in January 2010 despite the recession. A year later, she manages eight contractors and boasts clients including UC Berkeley and Behr Paints.

One of your claims to fame is a top position in Google search results. How did you do that? If you put freelance graphic designer into Google, I come up as No. 1. Back in college, we had one Web design class that taught us about search engine optimization. People started paying attention to my site, I won a few awards and now it’s just spread.

What do you do for your clients? I take the time to interview people and find out what their target markets are, and I research their target markets. Rather than just coming up with a design that I think looks cool, it’s more of a research-based design.

What’s the market like in your field now?
In the Bay Area, it’s an amazing market. I talk to designers from all over the country and they’re always saying how hard it is to find work, but here we have so many companies starting. And all those people need a website, they need a logo.

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