Freelance web developers are self-employed professional coders who create websites for a variety of clients and are paid per project. They get to set their own price, choose which clients to work with, and work on as many projects as they want because they don't work for an employer. This blog explains how you can become a freelance web developer in six easy steps. Read on to discover them. #TWN
You are probably here because you are ready to peddle your dream of becoming a freelance web developer to reality. Maybe you are sitting in your cubicle, dignifying all the creative yet subtle ways of saying ‘I had enough – I quit!’
Why wouldn’t you think that? You have invested tireless hours and did all the heavy lifting – you have learned to code! Beyond that, over time, you have apprised yourself of the web developer's working processes and adjusted your expertise according to different projects or situations. It is time to break the wheel and take the onus of actualizing your thought of becoming a freelance web developer.
If you are already a developer, you have been most likely working for the same organization for ages or have been hopping from one job to another every year. What initially appeared fascinating quickly turned mundane!
If you are a tech junkie, you will be seeking ways to build a skill set that empowers you to work on your terms rather than taking orders from someone else.
So, you have all the skills:
It is the right time for you to join the freelance programmer movement.
Being a freelance web developer puts you in a high-value position! However, getting started can be difficult. As a freelancer, you must be able to effectively run your business and self-discipline demands hard work. You must be focused and self-driven.
In case you need some motivation, here are three significant benefits of being a freelance web developer:
#1: High-Demand! The skills you own are extensively sought-after in every industry. Presently, there are over 69,000 web developer jobs in the United States of America alone!
#2: There’s a substantial deficiency of web developers globally. In 2020, close to 1 million software developer jobs went unfilled. That’s the potential web developer role that holds bare-handed!
#3: More often than not, contract salaries are usually high! An average web developer salary in the US is $75,889, which equals Awesome!
Now that you are convinced the position of a freelance web developer is the wise option, it is time to walk you through the step-by-step process.
Now’s the time to explore a functional process, which, if followed correctly, will get you up and running.
Who doesn’t want to stand out from the crowd?
Firstly, you will need to find a holistic web development course and refine your skills. After that, find a niche of your interest and focus your skills there.
While it is good to be a programmer who can do a little of everything, your value will be significantly higher as an expert of a few verticals.
“Becoming known as the solution to a particular set of problems is crucial to your freelance career, so you need to be willing to differentiate and then lock it in.” – Ted Johnson, Freelance Web Developer!
It will be considerably easier to advertise your proficiency and promote your skills if you say you are the expert in a specific sought-after area, or, better yet, the one only who can do it!
You have found your niche! Kudos! Now it is time to get busy building!
The ideal place to begin is your portfolio website, being the only website you will edit, update, and constantly develop through your career.
Your portfolio serves as your spokesperson that highlights your skills! Besides, it also serves as a reference for your potential clients. After all, your goal should be easy to find, easy to remember, and good to know!
Once you have published your resume, previewed samples of your former projects, and added a contact form, what’s the next step?
Build your ideas! They differentiate you from the crowd! Once you have built your portfolio, you will require things to put it in. It is an opportunity to augment your personal brand by:
Being your personal show window, your portfolio must represent your best work! Have a blog that appropriately explains your process, ask and answers as much as possible questions and concerns on social media, and build every day!
It all comes down to the Hustle! Spreading out your name as an expert in your field can be tricky. However, if you want to own the freelance lifestyle, hustling is inevitable. I like to be the bearer of good news; it isn’t as hard as it seems! There are ample opportunities for you to get known without spending a fortune.
By broadcasting your work, developing a network, blogging like an expert, you will have enough ways of connecting with people.
You must talk to people – Online and Offline alike!
Always remember you will have to initiate many conversations before finding clients, so get used to it!
In the words of Professional freelancer Rebecca Shapiro:
“Make sure that you seek freelancers outside of your industry, as well. Be as far-reaching as possible. Go into building these relationships with an attitude of giving instead of getting and you’ll find you’ve easily built a reciprocal referral network.”
Keep your goals simple and make yourself visible! Getting Google to spot you can be difficult if you have a normal name! Emphasize attaching your name to your social profiles, portfolio, and content.
If you want to become a freelance web developer, only learning how to code won’t be enough! You’ll need to master other skills encompassing being a salesperson, project manager, and even the head of customer care. You might lack experience in these verticals, but they play a pivotal role in the success of your freelancing career.
It means you need to get more organized! (And we all need help with that)
Here are a few suggestions on project and time management tools:
• Quoteroller is a convenient, time-saving tool for quickly creating and sending professional proposals to clients. You can track the progress of your proposal and even see when the client has opened it.
• Asana is an excellent project management system, especially if you need to delegate tasks or collaborate with others.
• Google has a plethora of calendar and management apps.
• BillingsPro, which is used for project management and invoicing.
• With FreshBooks, you can manage your projects, invoicing, and expenses all in one app.
• HubStaff is an Asana integration that allows you to track your time and productivity as well as bill clients accordingly.
Now that you have that new, in-demand skill and a slick website, it's time to work on some real projects to show potential clients.
Do this while you're still working your full-time job to get a sense of how much time you'll need and how much you can start earning per project.
Experience is what counts while you're still finding your feet. You're still in the process of learning how to run a business and work as a freelancer.
Use this step to learn how to deal with clients and find out what they expect from you.
Get back on your feet by assisting someone!
Working on projects for local charities, schools, or small businesses that cannot afford to pay a web developer's hourly rate benefits both you and them.
My final and most important piece of advice is as follows:
You will not be an expert in your field when you first start out.
You may take on projects that you are unsure how you will complete. If that's the case, and you're not certain how you'll complete a project, give your client a reasonable estimate of when they can expect it back. If you tell them it will take longer than expected, it is better to tell them now rather than after the deadline has passed.
There is assistance available!
Google, as well as websites like StackOverflow, can assist you with almost any programming query you may have.
Don't let a lack of confidence prevent you from tackling these larger projects. It's how you'll grow as a freelancer and learn your trade.
Anything is conceivable. You're now your own boss.
In case you haven't figured it out by now, being a freelance web developer isn't easy. In fact, it's excruciatingly difficult work. However, the benefits of the freelance lifestyle will far outweigh all of this.
You must establish a reputation as a hard worker as well as a dependable, honest web developer.
Keep these three guiding principles in mind at all times:
Accumulate as much experience as possible, and always, always do a good job.