10 Tips for Freelance Web Developers & DesignersTuesday May 30th, 2017 Z.com News, Events, Information
By: Mark Christopher Lund
"If you're not doing what you love, you are wasting your time"
The freelance world is as gratifying to some, as it is frightening to many. The fear behind this is quite understandable as being a freelancer, unlike working in a steady job, gives you less security especially in terms of financial stability, but if you’re committed in making freelancing as part of your lifestyle you can be sure to succeed one way or another.
To an amateur web developer as with any new freelance worker, getting yourself out there might not be that easy, but with the following tips hopefully it can give you ideas in maneuvering yourself into the right direction.
#1 : Create an Online Portfolio
Whether freelancing is your bread and butter or a part-time gig you wish to get into, having your works online not only makes a huge difference is reaching new possible clients, but also makes it easier for them to see sample of it. As a web developer certainly you would already know this, but for the few who are just now dipping their toes into the water, this guide: Getting Started with your Website, could be of help in easing your way into the web development scene.
#2 : Sign Up to a Freelancing Site
Why wait for possible clients to find you, when you can look for the clients you want yourself? In the first few months, even years, building your reputation from the ground up may seem like a daunting task, luckily there are tools now for freelancers that can help you out in looking for clients online. There are a number of sites freelancers could use to look for clients in, Freelancer and Upwork being the top pick. Start by visiting some of these sites and creating your own account, you may not know you might just find what you are looking for.
#3 : Find Groups with Similar Interest
What easier way to get into the groove of things rather than being with your co-freelancer. Having tight and strong connections is one way to ensure your success in this type of work. Joining communities that fosters this growth would be of great help in increasing your knowledge, making you more proficient with your job and thus boosting your chance of getting projects to work on.
#4 : Attend Events & Workshops
Ones you have joined a group, you could next join workshops to get more know how on topics relating to freelancing or you could also join local IT communities like Developer’s Connect Philippines (DevCon), Philippine Web Designers Organization (PWDO) , WebGeek and Google Developer Group (GDG) Philippines, just to name a few, if you wish to gain more knowledge and be updated with the latest trends in web development and the IT industry in general.
#5 : Always Be Updated on the Latest Web Trends and Technology
Information travels fast especially now that we are living in the social media era, technologies being used in web creation are always changing and evolving . A good web developer should not only be updated with these latest changes and trends, but also be aware of of other affairs such as topics concerning security threats and how user friendly your site is in terms of usability. As more threats are filling cyberspace nowadays, the security and privacy of the users should be one, if not the most important, to consider in web development. Making this your priority will prove your competence and garner more trust from clients with the projects you handle.
#6 : Find a Wide Range of Clients
In the beginning of your career, picking specific clients to work for is a good idea, this will give you more time to focus on each projects more diligently and accurately, but if you wish to increase your influence and market reach, going outside the box and taking in clients you would normaly not, well become a necessity if you wish to thrive as a freelancer. The jump shouldn’t be too big, start small like if your original clients are mostly in the medical service industry look for clients not too far apart.
For example clients that creates and sells tools for medical practitioner, not only well you learn new technology to work with, by integrating e-commerce functionality to the site you will build, but you may also start getting the attention of new clients for future projects that may need the same technology for their sites.
#7 : Improve Client Relations
The job market for web developers in today's age is pretty stiff, so even if you may not be the best in the field, if you have the right attitude the client needs and wants you will be sure to always have new projects to work with. Having a close professional relationship with clients is an utmost important, they are your main source of income after all and also a proven fact, oral referrals from previous clients are always better than advertising yourself online.
#8 : Know Your Value
A common mistake done by amateur freelancers is pricing their services either too high or too low, the later being more common. As a freelancer you are the manager, the salesperson and the employee, thinking of yourself as company in itself would make this a lot easier to understand. Do a little research to maximize your creadibility and price competitiveness.
#9 : Create a Comfortable Workspace
You will be working for an unimaginable amount of time so it’s only right to get yourself as comfy as possible. To some working in their bedroom might be okay, but to others, who are easily tempted to just rest and not do any work by the nearby bed, this could have an adverse effect on their productivity.
Build an area specifically for work, this is not only to keep you more focused on the tasks, but also having a separate area for work gives you more thinking space and a sense of being in an actual workplace rather than just being in your own room.
#10 : Work and Life Balance
Being a freelancer it isn’t surprising that there will be times that you will be tackling pretty much all the responsibility, that a company/group of people would normally be handling, all by yourself. It is at this point that you might become overwhelmed and decide to throw in the towels. Though it may be quite difficult at first, but having the right mindset and taking tasks one by one instead of all at once, soon you will be able to create the right environment to work on.
Freelancing isn’t for everyone, but for those who had decided to pursue this field, you have already proven to have the strength and courage to get started. Now, it just a matter of keeping this desire and passion flowing as you go forward into your career, with proper motivation and a can do spirit becoming successful in this line of work is possible and remember to always strive to learn something new everyday.