Are you a web developer with a rewarding yet tiring 9-5 job and contemplating going full-time freelance? Although, the idea is quite daunting to you and you wonder how will you make that work? Well, it is absolutely do-able with some major perks involved.
Firstly, web app development is one of the most sought out services after mobile app development. Secondly, with the increase in demand and software industry expected to rake 507.2 billion US Dollars in revenue, web developers are always in high demand.
So even if you are not a seasoned developer and just started – you too can make a living as a freelance developer. The perks that come along with working remotely and being your own boss have been enticing many IT experts to consider a career shift from the full-time corporate hustle to the full-time freelance lifestyle.
Now it all comes down to the main question: How can I become a successful freelance web developer? For starters, it is not rocket science but does require certain steps that would ensure your mark on the freelance world as a worthy web developer. Let’s start, shall we?
Step 1: Be an Expert in One Language but Continue to Learn More
One of the challenges freelance developers may face is the shortage of high-paying projects that are in line with their expertise. Considering you are doing freelancing full-time, you need to equip yourself with the knowledge of several programming languages and technologies. This way, you can attain more projects and jobs.
It is best to start with technologies and languages that are in-demand and have a great scope in the future as well. Then start building your experience with them, which will, in turn, build your credibility in the online market.
Keep in mind that freelancing isn’t a ‘gig’ but an entire thriving ecosystem that has competition. So go into this arena with the mind that you are an entire unit providing various web development services. Once you have this in mind, you would want to become a complete one-man business. So what to do next?
Step 2: Setup Your Freelancing Website and Market Yourself
It is important that you have an online presence – a place that lets employers get hold of you and also see the work that you have done so far. One of the most challenging things is to make sure you are making yourself visible through your completed client work. ‘Let your work speak for yourself’ – that sort of thing.
Hence, take your time in building your online portfolio – make it engaging, interactive and a site that showcases your personality as well. Keep everything transparent including your rates. Remember that personalization is the key here. Another great way to impress the visitors is by making the site yourself from scratch. It could become a prototype that potential customers can engage with and gauge your skillset. Since this is a website, you can also include a technical blog where you write about all-things-web-development. This is another great way to show visitors about your web app development knowledge leading to trust-building.
In the end, make sure you leave options for them to reach out to you – which could include links to your social media accounts, live chat options, or a form where they can leave their queries which then you can get back to.
As a freelance web developer, you can also work through a contract with a software development company on a big-scale project. So all in all, your portfolio is your biggest representation. So make sure you pay special attention to it.
Step 3: Sell Your Services to the Right Market
For this, you need to make sure you are aware of your targeted market. So do your market research, and then effectively target them and sell your services. It could be an industry you are familiar with or have passion for –like medical, or automobiles and such. Simply target those clients.
Another great area of the market would be the un-touched ones. Those businesses that either doesn’t have a website or any kind of online presence or those that have a website but have been laying around inactive and incomplete for a long time. You can help such businesses take off in the realm of world-wide-web through an efficient and optimized website.
As a freelancer, utilize all avenues and opportunities to market yourself. Even in a physical setting, you may bump into someone that is looking to hire for his/her IT requirements. In short, get yourself a business card made.
Step 4: Keep Yourself Updated at All Times
As a freelance web developer, nothing hinders your home-based career than staying outdated. Considering how demanding the web development industry is and how fast it is progressing, it has become necessary to keep yourself updated with the latest trends, techniques, technologies, and languages. Otherwise, you will be left behind in the race. You will not only lose clientele but your credibility as a skilled developer will also diminish.
So keep working towards learning new upcoming technologies, grow your skillset, and take necessary certifications if required.
The starting of your freelance career as a web developer might not be as rewarding as a corporate 9-5 job. However, slowly and steadily it will establish itself giving you maximum freedom, control, flexibility, work-life balance, and great earnings.
Lastly, grow your network as much as possible. As a freelancer, you may need your network more than the regular folks. Your long-term clients or even the ones that you have worked once only can become your biggest advocate. So never miss an opportunity to expand your network.
If you are still considering this a risky move, then contemplate your own will and capacity to handle your entire freelance career on your own – tough at the start, but immensely rewarding and worth the hard work. However, in the end, it depends on your alone. Nearly 61% of the freelancers have stepped into this kind of work by their own choice.
Nonetheless, the sky is the limit for web developers in the field of freelance – A) there is never any shortage of demand. B) You get to work on your own terms and have a healthy work/life balance.
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