Today, I will share you with my top 7 top tips for finding your feet in becoming a full-time Freelance Web Developer. I have been working as a Freelance Developer now for just over eight years and it has been my full-time job now for over five years.
It most certainly isn’t the easiest job to get started but it’s very rewarding once you can sustain regular work and achieve your monthly income targets. Standing out as a freelancer, especially as a web developer can be quite tough as it’s quite a competitive world out there. However, due to the increase of technology, web developers are more in demand these days. If you’re going to start, I would definitely recommend freelancing in your spare time to build up some clients and tackle a lot of the tasks I am going to talk about below. For instance, I started freelancing whilst I was working a full-time job for other companies. The main reason I did this was to put me in a better position to survive more comfortably as opposed to simply diving straight into the deep end and constantly searching for work.
If you are a web developer, I would recommend working for a few digital agencies so that you can acquire all the tech-related skills you need. By doing this, you will then also gain the features and skills of web developments that can help you serve more easily as a freelancer.
Once you become a freelancer, you will be able to work on your own terms and you will be the boss; trust me, it’s a great feeling. If you are ready, then here are my top 7 tips to help you get started.
Tips to Become a Successful Freelancer Web Developer
To stand out from the crowd as a freelancer, here are some tips and strategies you should consider to become more successful:
1. Learn Required Skills & Identify Your Niche
2. Needs to be Pro-active
To be an effective freelancer, you need to be more active and focused. Asides from waiting for projects and recommendations, you have to take a big step up and take the lead role. Have a look for some potential clients and approach them with your offers and services. A lot of freelancers avoid looking for clients and prefer waiting for references and this avoidance can be the biggest mistaking in your freelancing career. You’re the boss now, you need to put your energy into your everyday life to track potential clients and approach them in a professional manner. Since a lot of freelancers fail to do this, it is a great way to get ahead of your competition and stand out on the top list for your potential clients.
There are several freelancing websites available today which is exactly how I got started. The main ones I used initially were:
There are a few other ones you could use as well such as Freelancer and Fiverr, although I did find more success on the three I mentioned above.
Start by building a profile that stands out from the crowd, provide all the services you offer and start submitting your proposals for jobs; even if it’s just a simple small task. On these freelancing platforms, you get feedback once you deliver a job, the more feedback you receive, the more likely a potential client is going to pick you for the next job.
You will be surprised with the clients you can meet on these websites, they can quite often lead to giving you regular jobs moving forward. Not only that, but I have even worked with a few digital agencies that can supply you with regular work. This can be even better for you as they have a team of designers who can supply you with design mockups and then it becomes your job to only build the website. I myself have landed jobs as a contractor which came about from a freelancing website. This means I have a contract to work a set amount of hours per month which gives me a guaranteed wage at the end of the month. These can be hard to come by but trust me, they will come over time and it makes life a lot easier as you won’t have to constantly apply for jobs; more work, more money right?
3. Build an Attractive Website / Portfolio
This is a very important aspect that can help you in your freelancing life. If you create an attractive, eye-catching website displaying your skills and portfolio, it will for sure pique your client’s attention. It’s a great tool to demonstrate all the services and skills you offer as well as a reference point so potential clients can look at what sort of jobs you have delivered in the past. For example, I created a portfolio page so people can check out the websites I have built. It is the best marketing device to take the lead in your field.
4. Use Social Media Platforms
Everyone scrolls endlessly on social media platforms in their daily lives so it’s always advantageous to make use of this to benefit your freelancing career. Update all of your social profiles with the skills, services, and projects you have worked on to attract more clients through these platforms. LinkedIn is one of the most effective social media platforms for approaching clients as recruiters give more priority to this platform to hire freelancers and full-time employees.
Other than that, set up a Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube channel; it will only benefit you by being on more platforms. For example, on your YouTube channel, you could showcase your skills and tips to make yourself a brand. Furthermore, you can offer your services at affordable prices, which will help you approach new clients.
5. Generate Connections
If you want to be successful in becoming a full-time freelancer, you will need to build professional connections to promote yourself. Use relevant networking websites like LinkedIn and learn the ways of generating connections for better reach. In this highly competitive field, it can be a difficult task to attain freelancing projects in the beginning so building connections can certainly help you along the way. Try sharing some of your articles, commenting on appealing posts and engaging more with them to help get your name out there.
6. Holding Up Powerful Clients
Once you find powerful clients, try not to let them go so easily. Remember, they can provide you with regular work which will make you far more productive, i.e. less time looking for work and more time devoted to getting jobs done and getting paid. The most effective way to hold your clients is to deliver your best services and meet your deadlines. Be honest with your client, if a job is going to take two weeks, be sure to tell them that so you can firstly stick to your deadline and deliver on time. Furthermore, be sure to respond to them professionally and notify your clients of your progress. If for some reason you feel that you won’t be able to meet a deadline, let them know in advance and ask for an extension, the earlier you do this, the better. Another tip is to invoice your work properly which can reduce conflicts during payments. For example, you can agree on upfront payment of 50% and then request the final 50% once the job is completed. You can even create milestones if you prefer and agree on getting paid for each milestone you deliver. Trust me, fewer conflicts will build more trustworthy relations.
7. Ask For Feedback From Your Clients
After offering your services to your satisfied clients, ask for their feedback and recommendations. Approach them to recommend your works and services to their friends and colleagues to help promote yourself and gain jobs in the future. If you go above and beyond the client’s expectations on a job, you will most certainly be rewarded and they might spread the word anyway. You could even approach this by offering discounts to these clients if they preferably recommend you and bring in more clients. Moreover, these positive feedbacks and testimonials will certainly help you to expand and generate more income.
Starting as a freelancer in the web development sector is not as easy as it sounds. However, you can make yourself the best service provider by pushing in more effort through proactivity. Asides from offering the best services and having more skills, always update yourself with the latest technologies so you can stand out from the crowd.
Did you find this article useful? Let me know in the comments below. Even if you are thinking of embarking on the journey, my inbox is always open to help people wanting to take on this career path.