Xander Pollock

Xander Pollock

Design Sprint Consultant

I help companies and organizations solve their most important business challenges using design thinking. With skilled facilitation, my personal product design expertise from Google, and a battle-tested process, I work with teams to collaboratively design a solution and use design thinking to solve business challenges. Before consulting, I worked at Google for four years on the Google Maps and the Gmail team doing user experience and user interface design. Before that, I started a company building software for small business owners that was acquired by Google in 2011.

8 action items

Calculate your freelance rate

    • Understand how much your work is worth the client, and the charge a fraction of that.

    • Understand your clients business and how they make money

      Once you do this you can estimate how valuable your work will be to grow their business or make them a better company

    • Understand your clients needs

      Sometimes they say "logo" but they mean "identity." Sometimes they say "user interface design" but they mean "product direction." When you understand their needs better then they do, you are in a better place to truly help them grow their business. That's how I ended up joining my friend to start the company we sold to Google. He said he needed a logo, but he really needed product design and a true partner.... See more

    • Charge a fee for the entire project or a weekly rate based on how much your work can help their business

      Your rate is not about you, it's about your client. Make your rate a fraction of the value you add or a fraction of the money you are saving the client. For example, when I facilitate Design Sprints I can save clients hundreds of thousands of dollars in time and energy, so I'm able to charge a fraction of that.... See more

Use social media to get more freelance work

    • Use Linkedin to sell solutions, not yourself. I landed a $40,000+ contract through Linkedin this way.

    • Update your LinkedIn headline to what people are searching for

      For example, mine says "Design Sprint Facilitator & Teacher For Hire." When people come across my profile, or search for someone with a design sprint expertise, I'll come up in the search results on LinkedIn and Google.

    • Update your LinkedIn summary to outline your services

      This accountant is a great example of how to do this well. https://www.linkedin.com/in/jeffmadduxcpa/

    • Use LinkedIn's media sections like it's your portfolio

      Instead of making your client click out of LinkedIn and have to figure out how to browse your portfolio, just upload your work right to Linkedin. You can see how I did it here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/xanderpollock There's a better chance they will see your work if it's all right there.... See more

Questions to ask in an interview to understand the culture of a team and company

    • Culture is never about perks, its about relationships.

    • What's something you were recently surprised by?

      A friend of mine started a new job. The unofficial policy is that when a new employee is hired, you take them out for coffee or tea the first few weeks they are there to get to know each other 1:1. He was shocked.

    • Who has been here the longest? Why?

      I consulted with a fifty year old company and met a guy who had been working there for forty years. That says something about the company. I later heard that it was common people are there for 10 years or more. That's a culture people really loved working in because I know they don't pay competitively and they have zero perks.... See more