You might have to struggle initially to be a freelance developer, but passing through those struggles are really essential to truly start freelancing as a developer. But, today I’ll be making your path easier to get started as a freelance developer.
As this is a getting started article, I’ll be posting more articles on the topic of Freelancing and Development. Today I’ll be teaching you how to get started, make up your freelance developer profile, promote it, get your initial orders and maintain a nice income flow.
Also, giving you pro tips to be a best seller and gain a nice reputation as a Freelancer.
Getting started as a Freelance Developer
There are a lot of freelancing platforms that you can choose to be a freelancer. And choosing a freelancing platform depends on what kind of person you are. Before choosing the platform, I would like to ask you some questions…
Is development and programming your passion?
Have you ever built something, a project or equivalent?
How good you’re at typing and concurrently thinking?
How good you’re at writing proposal frequently?
These questions will answer all your doubts like…
Should I do Freelancing as a programmer or developer?
As I’ve already asked you the question “
is development and programming your passion?” If yes, then yes you should do freelancing as a programmer. A lot of people might try to convenience you to do a corporate job but believe me that’s boring. Freelancing is really a thing that’s worth trying.
Do you need to accomplish any projects to start freelancing?
Yes, you need it. It’s extremely mandatory. Accomplishing a project that is related to your niche skill will boost your portfolio, and makes you genuine.
Try doing some projects related to your niche skill. Like, I wanted to make Django and Selenium my niche skill. So, for Selenium, I created a bot that really solves the real-world problem, and for Django, I developed a school management system.
I am not saying you have to create something that solves a real-world problem. You can copy any other nice idea, and develop something similar to it on your own.
Which freelancing platform to choose?
Well, it really depends on what type of person you are. Well, I am a person who likes to set up things once, do tweaks once in a while and wait for a good result, so I chose Fiverr as my main platform.
Also, having SEO skills is a super plus point for Fiverr freelancing.
But if you’re a person who likes to deal with things differently, make every process unique and type/send a proposal each and every time then, I would say Upwork or Freelancer suits best for you.
What do I suggest?
As I’ve been to the level of Level Two Seller in Fiverr, I might be a little biased on this. I will surely suggest you start with Fiverr because it fulfils my working attitude as I’ve said earlier.
Making up the freelancing profile
You might remember that I’ve asked you if you’ve done any projects or not? If not, stop reading and go build at least one project and make your portfolio look good.
Whether it’s Fiverr or Upwork, the method I’m gonna tell you about is really a genuine method to build up your developer freelancing profile…
Here are some essential things you need while building your developer’s freelancing profile…
Select a niche tagline
If you consider yourself only a web developer, that would be extremely broad. But if you consider yourself a CMS developer or a web forum developer or Express JS web developer you’ll be niche specific.
Having a niche-specific tagline is really important. Like if you’re a Django developer, and also wanna do game development, then that’s okay. You can choose a niche tagline like…
Django web developer, also love doing Game Development
By the way, if you’re starting freelancing as a Django Developer, knowing about Django Web development niches will really help you to boost the speed of your freelancing journey.
Be sure about your skills
When I was starting freelancing, I used to add as many skills as I can to my profile, but that’s really inorganic. Even if you know a lot of coding skills, try to add just 7 to 9 initially. Because you’re here to build the profile, and adding that number of skills will make your profile look genuine.
After getting some orders you can slowly start adding new skills to your profile. But try to be as minimalist you can be while adding skills.
Write a better profile description
Before writing a better description, you need to know what’s a better description? A better description contains your work experience, your skills and what value you gonna provide to the client. Let’s say if you wanna freelance as an app developer, then your description should look something similar to…
I am an Android and IOS and wordpress developer and love my work. I have been into Mobile and Web Development since 3 years and I am just loving it. Since my start, I have worked over many Android, IOS and web development projects for many clients and produced high quality work. And I am aiming exactly same here of Fiverr..!.
abdulmanan1993 (Top Level Seller on Fiverr)
Choose a professional profile picture
Select time a professional profile picture is no big deal, but it’s really one of the factors that’ll make you a popular freelance developer.
How to choose a professional profile picture for freelancing profile?
As you can see in the profile of jishaansinghal, he is not even smiling on his profile. Is he doing something wrong? Definitely not, smile isn’t mandatory, then what’s mandatory? You don’t even necessarily have to show your face, so what to do?
The profile image you’re using should be clear and related to your gig. You can even use your cartoon image if you’re selling services related to art-making.
Basically, there is no rule for a good profile picture, you just need to be relatable on your profile photo.
But for beginners, you really need to use a professional profile picture. So how to select a professional profile picture for a freelancing profile…
Your photo must be clear and clean
Try to be friendly and open minded by smiling, do not awkwardise it
Relate your services with your profile picture, like by staying near your laptop or showing that you’re coding
Again, these three ideas are really basic, there’s no parameter for a professional profile picture. Someone might say you to click a picture in a suit, that’s bullsh*t. I prefer hoodies (kidding).
Index your certifications
Adding certifications will make your Freelancing profile look better. So, listing all your certifications in the profile will really help you.
You can add any kind of certificate, Codecademy, upGrad, Coursera, Udemy or freeCodeCamp.
Believe me, adding certificates on your skills will really help you to be genuine and increase the probability to get new orders.
Adding freelancing services
This section is the most essential part that you should not skip. After knowing your niche skillset, this process will be too easy for you.
While writing about your freelancing services you must be conscious about search engine optimization as well. The basic idea of adding freelancing services is the same in Fiverr or Upwork, but the methods and processes are different.
In Fiverr, your freelancing services are called gigs. And in Upwork, I guess it’s called services.
Tips on adding freelancing services
Never explain who you are, instead explain what you provide
In initial paragraphs, explain what are the specific things that you can develop, like: Blogging Website, Inventory Management System Mobile App or similar
After some paragraphs, explain about your experience in that particular field
Try to add keywords on the description that you wanna rank on. Remember, do not spam keywords, instead use them in a explanatory way. Fiverr freelancers can use this tool called Fiverr Tags Generator to get some popular related keywords. Also, do not over-do it.
Use lists to make your freelancing service description (aka GIG description) more readable and easy to understand.
Also, using bold text for heading is really effective to grab clients attention. But over-doing it will surely hamper your number of orders.
I’ll soon post an article on how to write a search engine optimized gig (freelancing service) description.
Promoting your Freelance services
As you know, adding a freelance development service to your profile isn’t enough to get your first order, because you need to gain some web-ping to boost your profile’s presence on the web.
So, how to market your services or gigs and gain initial orders?
Where to promote Freelance services?
Basically, here’s when your social media comes in handy. Here’s how you can promote your freelance programmer’s services…
Quora, it’s one of the best platform to promote your development or programming services.
Medium, undoubtedly this platform helped me to gain my initial orders.
Facebook and LinkedIn Groups, join groups related to your development service and share it
For more knowledge on it, you can learn about Promoting Freelance services on social media in 2022.
Try to be as specific as you can, sharing your services on social media as mentioned above really helps. Try to increase your social presence and reputation on the web, so that you can sell your services.
Also, choosing a better freelancing platform is really vital, as mentioned above it really depends on what kinda person you are.
Pro tips on working as a Freelance Developer
These pro tips are what really helped me to be motivated and keep up the journey. These concepts will really help you while freelancing as a programmer…
Do not underestimate yourself and your skills
I used to underestimate myself and my skills. Also, “I am not worthy enough” is another thought that hits a lot of time, which is inorganic and toxic. This thought kills people inside.
The continuous thought of I dunno the stuff that my friend knows might hit constantly, but that’s good and organic. This will force you to learn more, and keep growing. This is the law of survival.
That can be a framework, language or tech that you dunno, but your friend does, but I extremely suggest you be motivated with it, not to be jealous.
Do not undervalue your skills
A lot of freelance developers become flexible with pricing, and I really don’t do that. Discounting $30 for a $550 project is okay, but $220 is not okay.
You can discount 5% to 7%, but going over it is not suggested.
Always ask the client their budget, if they tell you the budget, that’s cool and you can act accordingly. But sometimes they force you to tell the price, at that time you need to know your real value.
How to know real value of your skill?
To know the real value of your skill, you can check their freelancers’ profiles. Analyse how much they’re taking for it, and make up a price that matches the nearest value or make up a price according to the data you collected.
Gain community based reputation
Gaining a reputation in online communities or forums really helps. Contributing to a programming related forum, makes us feel good, refreshed and updated. You can join Webmatrices, Twitter or Reddit for this purpose.
Happy Freelancing, happy coding.
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