The culture of freelancing is spreading swiftly across the globe, and as the field is packed with opportunities, there is something for everyone.
Opportunities for freelancer developers, writers, designers, bookkeepers, photographers and many more professions have opened up through freelancing and every business is now getting their requirements fulfilled through freelancers.
Irrespective of your background, your education, your skill set and your domain, if you have a talent and an innovative mindset, you can make a good living out of freelance opportunities.
Going full-time freelance brings multiple benefits with it, such as:
Being The Boss
Working as a freelancer will provide you with the opportunity to work as per your own liking and make you the boss of your work.
You can choose the projects you wish to work on as per your benefit, making you maximize your efficiency. Freelancing provides you with the freedom one desires to choose one’s own projects and clients.
Maximum Work, Maximum Profit
When in a job, the company takes a huge bite of the amount that the client is paying for your work. But the scenario in freelancing is different.
In freelance projects, your hard work is paid directly to you and you are able to charge what you think is right for the effort that goes into the project. In the end, you will pocket the profits that the project brings in.
Time is Flexible
Freelancing is perfect for the people who are not looking for 9 to 5 jobs and want to work on their own time. One can decide their hours of work as per their liking and schedule and attain the freedom and flexibility to schedule their work accordingly. One can work according to their productive work times, be it 6 in the morning or 2 in the night.
Freelancing Means More Money
As said above, you are your own boss and you get to keep all profits. Which means you do not have a salary cap or an income restriction. You are not in bounds of an hourly, daily or monthly work rate and your income can be increased by the effort you put in.
The more time you spend in looking for clients and working on projects, the more income potential you have.
The biggest feature of working as a freelancer is that one can work remotely as freelance work does not require work from a specific location (there might be some exceptions).
You can work from anywhere, be it at home, a park or even a coffee shop. The idea remains the same, location is not important when the work is being completed.
At any given moment, millions of snippets of code are being written which will solve multiple problems across a variety of domains. One of the codes might become a household name soon such as Android or Apple.
How to Become a Freelance Developer
Developers are working towards making the world a better place, code by code. It is vital that they earned a deserving paycheck.
Freelancing as developers can earn you huge sums of money when compared to a monthly salary from an average firm. Working as a freelance developer can also help you increase your skill set by dealing with multiple domains of work and receiving a wider perspective of the IT industry.
There are multiple ways to earn money as a freelancer and we are here to help you learn how to start making money as a freelance developer.
1. Choose a Niche or a Domain
New freelancers tend to take up any work they can get their hands on, which can prove to be a big mistake.
Everyone has a different skill set and a domain which they excel in. While it is important to think out of the box, one should know their limits.
It is vital to understand the difference between a specialist and a generalist. While one can be a generalist and have multiple domains of work, some high-paying clients look for a specialist to receive high-quality work. Most clients will look for a person who does one thing but does it exceptional rather than a person who does many things well.
Most clients also look for long associations when it comes to freelancers to make the most out of a skilled person without having to shed off full-time salaries.
A long association in the freelance domain is worth its weight in gold as it can help you attain the much-needed work security. To achieve that soon, you should select your niche and maximize your efforts and get the most of your freelance career.
2. Stand Out from Other Developers
It is important to understand that you are not the only freelance developer out there and there might be a tough competition, however little in any field you go.
In the field of freelance developers, one should always try to stand out from the crowd of other developers to create a high-quality portfolio and clientele.
To really stand out from other freelance developers, one should try to connect with their clients keeping in mind their technical understanding.
Most freelancers fail to connect with their customers well and lose important work which can have severe consequences. It also means that you need to grasp and know more to catch the attention of employers.
For instance, if you are a web application developer, you need to learn node js, react, angular and many other web-based frameworks and its related tricks. This is a catch in freelancing that you must have.
If you are a freelance developer and wish to help clients with their work, always understand their level of intellect before throwing technical jargons.
Your client might be a baker or a digital marketer who needs a mobile application. So he/she might not understand even common technical terminology. It is vital to help them understand the degree of your services by using as common terms as possible.
You have to make them understand that you are here to solve their problems and how you are going to do so. This will bridge the gap between you and the clients and help you generate large amounts of business.
3. Selling Your Services.
Although it is one thing to enter the freelance industry, it is important to understand how to sell your development services.
No matter how skilled you are or how good your code works, if you do not have what it takes to sell it, you will fail as a freelance developer.
Many people feel uncomfortable with the notion of selling or dealing with clients, but it is important to move out of the comfort zone and fight for your place in the freelance industry.
Selling your coding services can be divided into three fractions:
- The first contact with your clientele
- The proposal
- Finalizing the deal
The first point of contact with the client is the most important as it is ‘make or break’ the first time. It is, as they say, the first impression is the last impression.
Understand what problems they have and what they are looking for you, rather than ranting about what you can do for them. One should not talk about their skills or boast about their work. But talk about how they are going to solve the customer’s problem.
The proposal should have the solutions or probable solutions to the problems they listed out to you with a realistic price tag. All this combined can help you attain clients where they look at you as a problem solver and not just a freelance developer.
Freelancers can get opportunities to sell their services both offline and online.
There are multiple offline events where developers can meet small and medium business to get the kick-start required to their freelance career.
Simultaneously, there are multiple websites online which connect with you with potential customers to gain work. While the number of potential customers is large in numbers, there is also a stiff competition, which affects the pay scale. Moreover, the websites take a considerable fee which decreases the final payment even more.
4. Creating a Portfolio
Your customers need to know about you for them to consider buying from you. Creating a high-quality portfolio will be the stepping stone to your freelance career which will help you showcase your skill set and your previous work.
Freelancers with an exceptional portfolio website get recognized more than average freelance developers.
Your freelance developer website should:
- Show your skills
- Highlight your experience
- Talk a bit about you
- Include updated contact information so clients can easily connect with you
The main idea behind a stellar portfolio is to spark an interest in the minds of potential clients and convince them that you know your stuff.
This is the reason why it is important to invest a significant amount of time in building a portfolio, which will be the first thing clients get in touch with to reach you.
Before you go all-in into freelancing, your portfolio should be ready to showcase that you have the expertise needed to help business with their problems.
5. Determining The Fee
It is significant to understand the correct fee structure when asking clients for remuneration. Too high a cost might bring you no work and too low a cost might not help you live a comfortable life and meet the basic expenses.
Most clients will not even hesitate to pay a good price if the freelance developer knows their thing and gives an astonishing impression. As you grow in the field, you can increase your prices gradually and your experience will surely fetch you the price.
In your early freelance career, before setting a bare minimum price that you need to survive, calculate the value you will be adding to the client’s business and make sure you are not underpaid.
Once a client comes on-board and you have a good relationship with them, you can always talk to them about your finances and get your price increased steadily.
Well, there you have it. Even though you will begin on a small scale, do not underestimate the profits that freelancing can bring you.
Slowly and steadily your work will be recognized by the who’s who and it can drive a mammoth amount of traffic to your website, which can generate a tremendous amount of sales.
While you are working, it is important not to rush and take any project that you get, and never rush a project. Patience is the key to both receiving and doing projects in freelance industry. This will help you become a successful freelance developer.
About The Author
This is a guest post by Saurabh Hooda, co-founder of Hackr.