Being a freelance web developer is now more acceptable as a normal career than it was some years ago. On the same note, the economy today is virtual-friendly and the world is quickly embracing working online as a true means of earning. Indeed, earning a decent income is no longer a preserve of those who are employed in the offices. The success rate is evident among the many who successfully make their dollars online.
Working as a freelancer is motivating considering that one can choose a project they would love to work on and not be forced to complete those they do not like. This ensures that an individual handles fewer tasks exceptionally well which culminates into a very fulfilling and rewarding career.
However, we all have to agree that leaving a traditional job for freelancing can be quite a scary thought. There are however enough success testimonies from people who have dared to take the challenge. If you are the kind of person who would love to build your own network, success, and skills, this route is definitely worth a try. Enough people have confessed that the best decision they’ve ever made was to become a freelance WordPress developer. As such, a majority claim that since taking the leap, the quality of their lives improved dramatically and that they now enjoy more financial freedom.
In this article, you get to learn some of the key lessons passed down from those who have walked the path and transitioned with great success from the normal jobs to freelancing.
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1. Organize your finances
As an adult with financial obligations, there’s a high chance that your salary helps to dictate your budget and is used to finance your expenses. So, if you are uncertain about taking up full-time freelancing and are yet to make the decision, the following financial questions might just be the pointers you so much need.
- Are you able to comfortably pay your next month’s rent?
- Can you pay your rent for half a year?
- Will you be able to cater for the electricity bills?
- Are you able to pay your car expenses and insurance on time?
This is a safe approach that will cushion you should there be no income for that period of time. It is a lesson that you would not wish to learn practically.
As a newbie, it is vital to understand that assured income may be more than the that of day to day. As such, having a solid financial plan is vital when transitioning. It’s also advisable that you take up an extra job and start on freelancing as a part-time venture as you build up financial backup. In a nutshell, you better build up finances that would take you up to one year if possible to cover you in case you do not get any client for that long.
At first, the pay might not be as much as the traditional job you are leaving. However, the financial freedom you experience as a freelance web developer is way too comforting.
Be honest with yourself and your customers. As such, it is crucial that you concentrate and do what you love doing. In just the same way a neurosurgeon will not beat themselves up if they cannot perform a heart surgery, so shouldn’t you if you find that some projects are beyond your scope. In fact, it is okay not to know everything. Trying to handle projects that you are not very comfortable with will cause you unnecessary stress.
As a certified WordPress developer, you also don’t have accept every WordPress assignment that comes your way. It is vital to choose what you can execute to perfection. Taking up too many tasks will set you up for small pay as you get many offers. Experts, on the other hand, create a niche and dictate the rates hence, high premium with few jobs. The major difference between the two; experts work smart while the others will put in a lot of hard work.
3. Open a freelancing account online
The next step will be to identify a platform that will connect you to the right potential clients that are looking for your services and skills.These are often in plenty. Your set of skills and industry may just direct you to the most suitable ones.
Fiverr, Upwork, and PeoplePerHour are just some of the most popular freelancing platforms. Other platforms like Codeable can also be goldmines to freelance web developers.One major benefit of joining a freelance platform is the connection to clients
Since many people are already registered with these accounts looking for the services you are offering, it’s easier to get clients here as compared to going out there trying to hunt for them on your own. The networks, in exchange, retains a particular amount of your earnings as their fee. In most cases, it is usually a 10 percent cut.
Premium networks for freelancers such as Codeable try to release the freelancer off many things that would otherwise consume their valuable time such as billing. This allows you to give your clients and your projects optimum attention.
4. Build your credentials
As sad as it may sound, when starting out, you are considered to be a stranger to your potential clients. As such, the conversion rate of people you engage to how many become actual clients can often be low and often frustrating. However, it’s important to mention that this is normal and so you shouldn’t quit.
Indeed, when starting out on freelancing, the first months are basically spent getting acquainted with the hustle. While ten people may turn you down, you should not change your attitude on the next one. The last thing the rejects should do is make you give up.
Priceless Tips That Will Help You Win the First Few Projects
Take time to create a great portfolio website
Give it personality. The client should see a reason to hire you so don’t just list your skills and qualifications. Remember there is a huge pool of developers online. As such, try to convince the client that you’re the best among all those and thus give them a reason to pick ahead of the rest.
It might take some time to get past the lowest ratings and go up the scales in reviews, but it’s all worth it. In the beginning, approach as many potential clients as possible. Take projects that you are sure you can deliver and give them your best. Ensure what you deliver is always of the highest quality. Taking time to build a credible and a catchy profile will work to your advantage in the end.
Approach freelancing as a marathon and not a sprint.
You will be in for a long haul. In this business, you dictate the quality output since you work alone most of the time. Going by Henry Ford’s words, it is important to “do things right even when no one is watching.”
Work extra hard
With no supervision, you can choose when to work, when to shop, time to wake up, and all that. It is awesome! However, in order to remain disciplined, it is vital that you set a target of hours that you want to work every working day. Make sure you put in those hours as it fits your schedule.
Key Ingredients of a Successful Freelancing Career
Besides energy, time, and effort, freelancing requires an exemplary high-level of self-discipline if you’re to make it. Considering that no one will be hovering over your head to check whether you have reported or completed your work it is important to remain focused on the right things at the right time. At this point, no one really cares what you do but yourself.
Build a network
It is often said that your network is equal to your actual net-worth. For this reason, it is vital to identify and associate with qualified professionals in your field. In freelancing, referrals play quite a major role. As such, you may wish to direct people to other qualified trusted professionals if you are not in a position to handle the task. Rest assured others will also refer clients to you as well when time comes.
Referred clients tend to trust you more easily which is key to getting loyal clients who pay more in the end.
And the best part, when your network grows bigger, it only keeps attracting more leads, some of whom are private. This not only reduces competition posed by the thousands of online developers but also saves you incredible time as you will no longer have to stay online bidding for jobs.
Stay in touch with your clients
When you get a client, your goal should be to serve them so that they come back again and again. If possible set a system that makes your communication with them easier. Helping them get to you quickly and faster will give them more reasons to want to hire you. A happy client will most likely refer others to you and rate you even more highly.
Consider joining affiliate programs
In the case where your clients constantly seek that you recommend other vendors to them in your line of duty, then it’s important for you to consider joining affiliate programs and in turn get paid for those referrals.
However, joining programs such as Godaddy’s Affiliate Program should be driven by the genuine love of service and not just for the intention of making a quick passive income.
You should never fall into the temptation of giving clients leads with an awful reputation in the name of making affiliate income. Customers can tell when dealing with a greedy web developer. Ensure the services and products you recommend to your clients will be of help to them and that you too can use them.
It takes faith and a lot of calculation to be a freelance web developer. As a beginner, learn a lot from the ones who have been in the field for long. Try to avoid the wrongs they might have committed and get the right way of going about various things. Be encouraged by the numerous success stories online to make that seemingly dangerous move.