At present, working as freelance is more viable due to the existence of platforms where jobs are offered. You can basically get a project from a company located on the other side of the world. 1It is also possible to show your work, communicate with your customer prospects, send and share files easily.
Working as a freelancer is a great opportunity to get interesting projects from companies located in other countries. It may also be the first step towards forming a small business.
Without a doubt, working as a freelancer has several advantages. But before you decide to be a freelance developer, there are certain skills you need to perfect in order to keep your business afloat.
Managing time is one of the biggest challenges freelancers face, particularly if they have always worked on an office schedule. But understanding how long certain tasks will take and organizing them on a calendar to meet delivery dates is essential if you want to work as a freelancer.
One of the first steps is to establish the number of hours you will work per day and how many days a week. From these hours you will have to deduct time to check emails and respond to your customers, send job proposals, etc.
You can improve your productivity by having a list of the activities you have to do every day. To do this, you must separate each project into smaller tasks. It may be useful to divide the project into phases and on the basis of each phase start listing the tasks that will be needed to complete them.
Marketing is about creating an online presence. It is obvious that the first element you must have is an online portfolio with samples of the projects you have completed for your customers, as well as your personal projects.
It is recommended that you have your own domain in order to customize your website. You can do it simply by choosing a content manager like WordPress. You just have to worry about choosing the right topic for your new site.
Apart from having a website of your own, it is recommended that you create professional social media accounts like Facebook or Twitter to find news, follow other developers and share news with your followers. These social networks will not only help you generate online presence, but also help you find contacts and promote yourself.
If you really have the interest and enough time for any topic or branch of development or programming, you could create a blog to talk about these topics.
In this way, you could be recognized as an expert on a particular subject. Of course, it’s not a title you could get overnight, but it has considerable advantages and it’s an excellent way to win recognition.
As a freelance developer, you will need to learn how to communicate with your customers and have a good relationship with them. This way, they are likely to contact you for other projects or even recommend you to their acquaintances.
As you should know, this is the best form of marketing, so make sure you make a good impression on your customers.
In order to be more likely to be recommended by your customers, you must not only present a perfect code, but you must be charismatic and empathetic for your customers, in order to understand the problems they face in their business and give solutions and suggestions according to the situation.
If your clients notice that you present the advances on time, offer alternatives to different situations, listen to and take into account their suggestions, answer their questions, then they are quite likely to be satisfied with your performance and have no problem contacting you again when another project comes up.
It is also important to interact with other freelancers and developers because in the future they could collaborate on projects together or you could hire one of them for certain projects.
Calculation of rates
Calculating your rate as a freelancer can be a complex task, basically because it depends on the type of project you are being commissioned and the skills you will test.
The length of the project and the number of hours you will invest should also be taken into account. Without a doubt, there are many factors that influence setting the rate for your projects and it is essential that the calculation is done properly because you will have a lot of competition.
Some customers will prefer to opt for a freelancer that has a lower rate, but others will evaluate not only the cost, but also the experience you have, the references of other customers who have worked with you and the skills you possess as a developer.
Another important point to consider is to make a formal contract with the client. In this contract all project details such as delivery dates, number of revisions, dates and payment modalities will be placed, the expense that the client will assume if he decides to cancel the project, etc.
Having a written contract is essential as it helps to define your responsibilities and those of the client.
As the owner of your own business, you’ll have to learn about accounting as well. It is essential to verify if your business is growing year by year or not. Dedicating yourself to it monthly can save you a lot of headaches when developing annual reports or calculating taxes.
It is important to keep track of any income and departure from your business, taking into account your salary and any other service you subscribe to (if it has to do with the progress of your business, for example, hiring an email marketing service).
As part of accounting work, you also have to deliver invoices to your customers every time you complete a job. Currently, there are services to generate electronic invoices, so you might want to consider it if you notice that this task is taking too long or you prefer to spend that time in other activities related to your business.
Developing new skills
To be a perfect freelancer, you need to constantly learning. New technologies are emerging every year and it is important that you keep up to date. Also, there are likely to be certain languages or frameworks that you want to learn to handle.
Managing your time is one of the most difficult tasks you face as a freelancer, particularly because there are a number of new activities you need to do to keep your business afloat. But this fact should not stop your learning, an important element for your career and business.
Learning about new technologies not only keeps you informed and up-to-date, but you also get a better chance of getting other jobs that interest you too.
In addition, adding new skills to your resume will allow you to increase your basic fee, particularly if you learn some language or framework that not many developers know about.
If you can manage to learn above points, i am sure that one day you will be a great freelancer.