Freelancing is one of the strengths of software developers. It helps developers build their skills, improve their project portfolio, and become more versatile—since it’s an opportunity to take on more projects or clients. However, it’s sometimes easier said than done. As the world is becoming more technologically advanced and IT applications are being adopted in virtually all niches of business, the need for tech professionals has risen greatly.
As a result, the competition for software developers is now greater than ever. That said if you’re fairly new to the software development niche and have acquired a few skills you want to apply, or you’re just looking to fly solo so that you can enjoy a healthier work-life balance; these few freelancing tips for developers will help you stand out in the crowd. They’ll also ensure that you take good advantage of opportunities when freelancing.
Create An Attractive Developer’s Portfolio
Are you having a few challenges landing gigs or clients? If so, try to work on your portfolio. Remember, you’re not like other professionals, you’re a developer which means you need an attractive portfolio. In a competitive tech business world, it’s not enough to just list that you have competency in Python, HTML, Java, or other programming languages without showing how you have applied those skills.
It might be okay to list your skills on a one-page resume, but when you’re trying to impress potential clients as a freelancer, make sure you don’t bring a knife to a gunfight. It’s better to show than tell. In this regard, you should build a programmer’s portfolio, which is a website like Github. Programmers use this to comprehensively tell employers and clients about their programming exploits. Whether you’re showing side projects, past academic course works, or major gigs, a programmer’s online portfolio will help you showcase it better.
Stand Out With The Right Keywords
The truth is, apart from referrals, potential clients often get developers organically when they’re looking for a freelancer. Again, it’s vital to stay visible. This means that your online profile has to have the right keywords potential clients search for.
This isn’t just about including Java, or HTML on your profile, you might need a basic understanding of search engine optimization to get the right keywords. If you’re very new to the freelancing world, it’s a good idea to target keywords for services with low competition. This way, you can easily be spotted, build your reputation, and advance to the more competitive “leagues.”
Know What’s In Demand And Own Your Skill
Yes, the IT niche is rewarding, however, it requires you to have all the advanced skills. If you lack confidence in your skills, it’s always best to opt for a niche that suits your skillset. It also helps to monitor the latest trends in the fields of web development, data security, data science, cloud computing, etc. For further advancements of your skills, you can also choose to enrol for a master in computer science online.
Once you have identified your niche and skill, it’s important to stay focused. You can use all the tips listed above, but you might feel the weight of frustration find a place in your mind without focus and patience. When thinking about how successful you want your freelancing project to be, it’s key to remember the saying, “Rome wasn’t built in a day” and apply it to your work.
If you’re a new developer, it’s understandable how hungry you may be to jump on to as many projects as you can or learn as many programming languages as possible. Yes, being versatile is great, but the truth is, clients, choose those whose skills they can trust. When they’re looking to entrust a development project into the hands of a professional, they’ll go for someone that has owned their skill rather than a general-purpose developer that knows a little bit of everything.
Use A Freelance Marketplace
Some developers are lucky to work by referrals, so they deal with clients directly. However, if you’re just kicking off your freelancing career, it can be cutthroat out there as there are dishonest clients.
The advantage of freelance marketplaces is that they stand in as a broker between you and a client so the risk of fraud or being duped for your work is lower. It’s easy: you just need to register and create an attractive profile, including the developer’s portfolio mentioned earlier. Some freelance marketplaces may not offer the platform to show your portfolio, so just have them ready in case a client asks.
You’ll need to do some investigation here so that you don’t shoot yourself in the foot. Instead of just putting any price on your service that may either sell you short or drive clients away, find out what others are charging for the same services you offer.
Still, the rule of thumb here is to come in low if you’re trying to break into a competitive niche. If there are tested and trusted developers on the same freelance platform, your only strength in clinching some of the freelance market shares might be your lower price. As you build your reputation, you can now have more bargaining power.
Deliver Quality Work On Time
Perhaps, you should take this one as a sequel to being good at what you do. If you own your skill, then you can deliver quality. That said, this tip is to let you know how important it is to be known for the good stuff. Your client will not only come back to you to handle more development projects, but they’ll be your marketers, referring you to other players in the industry.
What’s more, you should also be known for delivering on time. Sometimes, the greatest advantage a new product has in claiming its market share is arriving at the market in time. So, when a client says they want their project delivered at a particular time, try to always meet the deadline.
This tip takes more than being good at your job. You should also avoid having too much on your plate than you can handle. It’s one of the reasons developers disappoint their clients.