Making the jump from full-time employee to freelance developer isn’t easy. It means finding your own clients, taking care of your own expenses, and marketing your talents.
One of the main concerns for anyone venturing out on a freelance career is how to get clients. Luckily, there are options aplenty, from flying solo to using a platform or recruitment firm’s help.
Here are some of the most common tips for freelance developers looking to build their business.
You have to do a little marketing
If you haven’t already, now’s the time to start marketing yourself and your skills. To get started, you have to think through a few things about who you are and how you want to operate.
Sit down and write some notes about how you want to handle your:
- Brand Identity
- Building a portfolio website
- Pricing model
- Budget for marketing (if needed)
- Specialty and focus.
Why are these things important?
Speciality & Brand Identity
Having a brand identity can help you market yourself and attract customers who already know what you’re about. It goes hand and hand with your specialty. For instance, if you are particularly skilled at creating e-commerce websites, that can be part of your brand identity and your niche.
Having a portfolio is essential for freelance web developers. It’s not often you’ll come across a client that will hire you sight unseen.
Create a website that has case studies of sites you’ve worked on for other clients. That way, you can send it to those inquiring about potentially hiring you. Allowing them one place to browse your past work and see examples of your skills can speed up the hiring process and sometimes help bypass the reference stage.
One of the most important steps you’ll take as a freelance developer is developing your pricing model. You need to go into it knowing that your talents are sought after and price yourself accordingly.
Keep in mind that you can also be flexible. You might be able to charge more for certain projects and industries and less for smaller projects. Think through all the scenarios and decide what makes sense for you.
A marketing budget doesn’t have to be as intense as it sounds. This can be as simple as setting aside funds for platforms like UpWork and Fiverr. Consider manual outreach part of your marketing as well.
On the other hand, you can put yourself out there with advertising like Facebook, Google Ads, and flyers in your local area.
Keep in mind that the decision to market yourself is entirely up to you.
To be a successful freelance designer, you need to make time for client outreach. Find ideal clients and reach out to see if they need help with any projects.
There are a lot of ways to go about this kind of outreach. But it’s best to set aside a block of time each day to do so.
With a little effort and a lot of thought, you’ll find yourself slowly accumulating clients and growing your freelance career in no time!