Become a Successful Freelance Web Developer with These Tips
Freelancing has grown immensely over the last few years and will continue to grow in 2020 and beyond. And why not? Freelance work offers many advantages over the standard 9 to 5 routine work. One of the main advantages is freedom and flexibility. Freelancers can work from home or pretty much anywhere as long as they have laptop and internet connection. They are in full control of their time meaning they get to set their own hours. They can choose the projects that they really want to work on and one of the biggest benefits of all is they are their own boss.
What Does It Take to be a Good Freelance Web Developer?
People get started fully motivated and feel they will be a success overnight. That often does not happen. The reality is it takes time. It’s like a former planting a seed knowing that it will take months for it to grow into something that they can harvest. To be a good freelance web developer and sustain in the field for long, you need to have the following skills.
- You need great time management skills. The good thing is that you can learn these time management skills and better organize your skills in order to ensure you are maximizing your time.
- You have to be dedicated to learning. Things change on a daily basis in the freelance field. The technologies change, the tools change, what people expect from a website changes and you have to keep yourself updated about all these changes.
- You need to be self-motivated. As a freelancer, you will go stretch of time without income which can be detrimental to your motivation.
- You need good communication skills. If you are working with clients, you want to have that open line of communication with them. You want to have clear communication where you fully understand what it is they need and they fully understand what it is you will be providing.
- You need to have amazing networking skills both online and offline. There are so many different opportunities and places you can go to and network with people. Go to meetups and interact with people within the business who might need your services.
How to Get Started as a Freelance Web Developer?
Are you thinking of becoming a freelance web developer but not sure how to start? The following tips will help you get started.
Choose a Niche
One of the things you need to focus on is figuring out your niche. What do you want to specialize in when it comes to web design and development? Do you want to focus on real estate websites, blogging markets, or eCommerce development? Identify what these specialties will be and then make sure you do everything you can to brand yourself as the person for that specific field.
Create a Business Plan
You also need to build out your business plan because if you fail to plan then you are definitely planning to fail. Make sure you have a good business plan in place that is going to dictate exactly what you will be doing, what’s your expectations are, your timelines, etc. How you are going to document your income and your expenses and what do you believe is going to be the determining factor if you are succeeding or not.
Build Your Brand Online & Offline
Now another thing you need to focus on is making sure you fill out your brand. You have to fully fill out your website with all the key points you want to keep the focus on. You also want to make sure that you get all the handles from social media that connect to your website and brand. For instance, FME Extensions is a brand which offers website development in Dubai, virtually every social media handle should be branded with FME Extensions as the following.
- Twitter @FMEDubai
Once you have setup your website, social media accounts, and your business plan, now it’s time to announce to the world what it is that you do. Don’t be the secret web developer, nobody is going to hire you if they don’t know about you.
How to Find Freelance Work?
There are numerous places you can go to and methods you can use to find freelance work.
1. Freelance Sites
One thing that people consider very early on is to join a freelance job site. Upwork, Freelancer, Guru, and Fiverr are among the top general freelance websites.Although these job sites offer great freelance work opportunities, the downside is great competition. There is a lot of people who have been there for years and have already developed their reviews, marketing and dominate on these job sites.
There is also a race at the bottom. Everybody is trying to provide more services for less money. While this may sound great, you have to remember as a freelancer, are you going to be able to deliver on what you promise? Can you provide all the services you have marketed for 5 to 100 bucks? Keeping in mind these points, you have to figure it out for yourself whether the job sites are for you or not.
2. Social Media
Another place you should definitely be is on social media. Make sure you are developing a following and let people know you exist and what you do. Social media can be one of the best ways for you to get business.
Of course, you also got to focus on blogging because it is one of your ways to show that you know what you are talking about. If you can blog on your website often, blog posts that are specific towards your niche, eventually you are going to get found in search engines. This should be part of your overall SEO strategy. Search engine optimization is one of the best ways to generate traffic in the long term for your website.
4. Guest Blogging
You may also want to consider guest blogging. This is where you go to other websites that are in similar fields but not your direct competition. You create blog posts, reach out to their audience, and provide them value. In the process, you assert yourself as someone people can learn from and might be able to drive traffic back to your website.
5. Offline Networking
Networking offline is something that will keep you in business in the long run. There is a ton of people all over the world doing web design and development but if you can market yourself locally and let people know what it is that you do, word of mouth can be one of the best lead generators for you.
If you have some money, you may also want to advertise online and offline.
Tips to Succeed as a Freelance Web Developer
The following tips will help you succeed in the freelancing world in the long term.
- Always learn from your last project. What went well, what did not go so well and what can you improve on.
- Stand on top of the web developing trends.
- Always have clear and open communication with your client. Make sure you are reachable and communicating effectively.
- Have a reasonable pricing strategy in place. You don’t want to race to the bottom but don’t price yourself so high that you never get any client.
- Set aside 10 to 20 percent of what you make for rainy days.
- Remember, you are the lead generator, the marketer, the project manager, and customer support. Remember to be good in all aspects and hold yourself accountable for everything.
- Master the technologies and tools you work with.
Freelancing is a lucrative business and has a great future. Investing time and sincere efforts in it now will definitely pay off tremendously in the months and years to come.