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Jigar Shah
Jigar Shah

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How to Become a Freelance Developer

How would you like to work from a place that your heart desires while wearing the comfiest of clothes? Yes, remote work can help you do this and much more. The remote working trend is increasing and so is the popularity of freelancing as a career choice. If you are an experienced developer or aspiring to be one, starting as a freelance developer might be a great career choice.

Freelance developers are self-employed professionals who code for a living. Since they don’t code for one specific employer, they get to choose their own projects and prices. To be a successful freelance developer, you’ll need a balance of business and coding skills. There are different types of developers that possess varied skills as per their area of expertise.

The most common types of developers are web developers, Blockchain developers, NFT developers, Full stack developers, android developers, iOS developers, Game developers, and there are many more.

In this article, we will look into the benefits of working as a freelancer and how to become one.

Why become a freelance Developer?

Imagine making money from the comforts of your own home. As a freelance developer, you will be your own boss. Being a freelancer gives you control over what clients you wish to work with and when do you wish to work. It also helps in developing you holistically as a professional as you will be playing multiple roles including that of a project manager, salesperson, customer support, etc.

Being able to pick your own working hours and projects works wonders for your mental and physical health. Better work-life balance is another perk of being a freelancer. If you are someone who enjoys coding, you should check out the different benefits of being a freelance developer:

  1. Better work-life balance: As a freelance developer you will be able to have a better work-life balance as you will not be bound by fixed working hours.
  2. Being your own boss: You get to be your own boss without having to deal with office politics and hierarchy.
  3. Flexibility to choose: Freelance developers can choose their own projects/ prices/ working hours/ clients.

How to become a freelance developer guide?

If you are someone who wishes to start your career as a freelance developer, we have listed down the top seven ways for you to follow in order to make your journey smoother. This is a step-by-step approach one can take if they are planning to leave their full-time job and start a career as a freelancer.

Self introspect to check if Web development is your passion
Don’t hop on the web development bandwagon just because it is the next big thing. Web development is not a piece of cake and establishing yourself as a freelancer might take some time and effort. The process might take months or even years to start earning well as a freelance developer. To stick with something for a long time consistently, you must be passionate about it.

Wondering if you are ready to take the plunge? To help you reflect on if being a freelance web developer is right for you, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Does the thought of making websites and web apps excite me?
  2. Would it be an exciting choice for my career?
  3. Do I have enough knowledge and experience to take up freelance projects on my own?
  4. Am I ready to take the big leap?
  5. Do I have enough funds to fall back on in case things are a little slow in the beginning?

Find your niche
Finding your niche is important when you plan to become a freelance developer. Being a jack of all trades and master of none is not going to bear any fruits for you. Your personal value will increase as you begin gaining expertise in a particular area. To build your niche skills and gain foundational knowledge, opt for a web development course.

When you have built your skills in a way to align with your niche, marketing yourself as an expert becomes much easier. It also helps clients to gain trust on you and what you bring to the table. Establishing yourself as a subject matter expert will also help you in finding better paying clients.

Build your portfolio
Once you have found your niche, start building everything and anything that is related to your area of interest. The best place to get started is by building your portfolio website, it is the one website that you will keep updating, editing, and continuously developing throughout your career. Make your portfolio to exhibit who you are and what skills you possess as a freelance developer. Keep a blog that answers client queries, start interacting with people on social media, and keep building more.

Use your portfolio to display your skills and gain more clients. Boost your personal brand by practicing your niche skills often, building your own ideas and exhibiting your technical chops.

Start creating your personal brand
Making your own personal brand as a freelance developer is no walk in the park but doing so will bring so many opportunities your way. Keep hustling till you make your name out there as an expert in your field. Sometimes it might even take a few years before you start onboarding clients but patience and consistency is the key to success.

Here is how you can do this - showcase your network, build a network, impart knowledge through blogging and vlogging, and connect with more and more people through multiple channels. For people to know about you and your skills, you’ll have to talk to a lot of people both offline and online. Use social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Quora, etc. for online marketing.

Learn how to manage work and multiple
Becoming a freelance developer is much more than just knowing how to code. It requires you to be a project manager, a salesperson, and a head of customer care - all at the same time. All these areas are equally crucial for your freelancing career to grow.

Utilize the help of project management tools like Jira, Trello, Asana, OneNote, etc. to manage your work and keep track of upcoming tasks. Learn how to get work done within the scheduled timeline and keep the client satisfied with the quality and quantity of work.

Keep building your experience
Now that you have developed expertise in an area of your choosing and built yourself a portfolio, it’s time to start working on some real projects to show the potential clients. Register yourself on freelancing websites such as Upwork, Fiverr, etc. to take on jobs and gain experience. You can either do this along with your full-time job to get a taste of freelancing or dedicate all your time to freelancing projects.

Remember you are still in your learning phase here so try to get the maximum out of this and evolve as a freelance developer.

Don’t give up
Always keep in mind that establishing yourself as an expert is going to take some time. Don’t lose hope in the process and be consistent. It is possible that you will take more time than usual to finish up your first project, giving your client a realistic idea of when they should expect to get the work done. It is better to be upfront than to tell them once the timeline has passed.

The take away

There are dozens of reasons why you should start your journey as a freelancer. There is no fixed way of becoming a freelancer and everyone who has become a freelancer has been on a different journey. But we have covered the basic steps that one should take in order to begin their journey.

Our advise would be to keep learning on the way and implement these learnings to grow faster. Don’t let your confidence stop you from taking on bigger projects. Keep believing in yourself and develop yourself as a freelance developer. You can surely get in touch with the renowned software development company which can hire you on freelance basis.

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