Freelancing Tips for Beginners

One year ago, I graduated from university in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic with a degree in Finance. But to be be honest, I didn’t really want to have a career in that field.

I love coding and web development. But because of COVID-19, it was so hard to get a job in tech. Many companies around the world were trying to reduce their employees (especially at the beginning of the pandemic), so that made me a little bit sad and hopeless about the future!

Needless to say, I didn’t have a solid plan then. But after a while, I saw a lot of success stories of people who were laid off and started working as freelancers, and I wanted to try it! After a lot of effort, I got my first client, and then started to get more and more!

Internationally, freelancing jobs are growing rapidly. As of March 2019, Google’s workforce was composed of 120,000 contractors/freelancers- more than the number of permanent employees on its payroll, which was around 102,000. Slide1-fhmcr

In this short article, I will share some insights and tips that will help you get your first client!

Just Get Started

When most of us want to start something new, we spend too much time thinking and planning rather than doing! But sometimes, they spend so much time planning that they lose their passion for it! Take action, and start building your portfolio. This is the first step on the road, and it may take some months, so don’t lose your drive!

Build Your Portfolio

This is the most important step to take before freelancing or searching for a job. Start planning, learning, and building these projects because your clients will ask you to see some of your work, and it’s so important that you have something awesome to show them! When you build your portfolio, make sure your featured projects are distinct and innovative. Make something that will stand out to your clients.

And here is a [great repo]((https://github.com/florinpop17/app-ideas) that has a ton of ideas to inspire you.

Marketing Yourself

Make sure to document the process of building your portfolio! Make sure to update the progress of your projects on your social media accounts, and share them with relavant groups, and blogs.

And remember, social media is the best way to get clients!

Also, there are a lot of other ways to increase your web presense, like writing blog posts, and sharing your experience with others. It’s an effective way to get more clients.

This is a great article that explains how to market yourself as a freelancer.

Remain Focused

Productivity doesn’t happen by accident! Get organized by dividing your day into goals, each with a clear purpose. Think of this as a detailed to-do list of prioritized daily tasks. Keeping a to-do list is the simplest and easiest proven tool to ensure you stay focused and increase your productivity. Set reasonable targets for each day. All you need to get organized is a pen and paper, or even just an app on your smartphone.

Study Your Market

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Studying your market will allow you to meet your potential clients where they are. As our world (both digital and analog) becomes louder, and demands more and more of our attention, this proves invaluable. By understanding your client's problems, pain points, and desired solutions, you can aptly craft your product or service to naturally appeal to them.

Write Good Proposals

A good proposal defines the services that will be provided in a professional and comprehensive way, and should give the client a feeling that you will provide a high-quality product. This feeling will allow you to charge higher rates for the work to be done.

But how do you write good proposals to gain more clients? Well, it is not only important to consider the content of your proposal, but also how you structure it. You can present certain sections in a strategic order to break up all the information you are giving the client while maintaining their attention. This way, the potential client will be able to absorb every detail of your proposal.

Always consider more than one solution. When you write only one offer in your proposal, you are putting your potential clients in a position where they have to accept what is presented or not! Try to add multiple solutions with different prices.

You can find more tips and tricks for writing your proposals here: Writing proposals as a freelancer.

Pricing

It’s so hard to set your prices at the beginning. And who would blame you? You probably haven't priced out your services before! My shortest answer to all who ask me similar questions is to go to platforms like Upwork or Fiverr and see what others are charging for the service you intend to provide. fiverr pricing

Never Stop Learning

The successful freelancer can pivot quickly and seamlessly to meet the demands of a particular client. If you’re asked to deliver work that you’re not quite familiar with, take the initiative to do the research needed to finish the job.

Think of it as Method Acting. Read some examples of what you’re being asked to complete, and let those examples inform and guide your york. Ultimately, you want to internalize your clients' expectations, and be able to produce the requested work with minimal revisions.

With time, the more content and styles you encounter will better prepare you for future contracts, and at least make you more accustomed to adapting to new work.


This Dot Labs is a development consultancy focused on providing staff augmentation, architectural guidance, and consulting to companies.

We help implement and teach modern web best practices with technologies such as React, Angular, Vue, Web Components, GraphQL, Node, and more.

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