Freelancing can be the dream for many. Being your own boss, working with a variety of customers and clients, having flexible working hours – it all sounds like heaven! What’s more, becoming a freelancer doesn’t have to be difficult. There are many websites dedicated to freelancers; all they need to do is set up and account, fill in their niches, upload examples of work, and wait for clients to hire them.
If you wish to become a freelance web developer, it is time to take action. Freelancing can change your life. Here’s how to start your freelancing endeavour.
1. Set up your own website and get insured
You need a platform to market yourself on, as well as a place for people to get into contact with you, should they need your services. Make sure your website is up to code. It needs to be clear, concise and explain your services. However, avoid speaking in technical jargon – you need to appeal to everyone. Include an ‘About’ page, as well as a ‘Portfolio’ and ‘Contact’ page. Learn how to build a beautiful and reliable website by looking at the best web design trends of 2018.
Like all businesses, you need to get the right insurance, should anything go wrong. Hiscox can explain and guide you on the insurance requirements for contractors. Through contractors insurance, the policy will provide cover for negligence or breach of duty of care, defamation, civil liability, and much more.
2. Ensure you have the right skills
As a freelancer, you will wear many hats. You may have the skills to code, know HTML like the back of your hand and know how Java works, but you will also have to be your own PR manager, accountant and recruiter. You are effectively a boss for your own company of one.
If you haven’t learned a specific skill yet, like coding, for instance, then do this before quitting your job. Coding is incredibly important, and all web developers need this skill.
3. Find your niche
While it may seem better to be a dab hand at everything, if you have a specific niche, then you can become a renowned expert in a specific category. It is always better to be known as the best in a particular area, rather than that developer who can do an adequate job for a range of criteria.
When selecting your niche, ask yourself the following questions:
· What are your interests?
· What do you have experience in?
· What is popular right now?
4. Build your brand
Getting your name out there can take time. You need to learn how to market yourself so that people know who you are, what you do, as well as your rates and skills. Learn to network through LinkedIn and related conferences, have social media profiles, teach and blog on your website (content marketing is huge), and whenever someone hires you, ask for a review at the end of the contract.
Crawling to the front page of Google is also hugely beneficial. Firstly, target your local area. This is much easier than competing for worldwide recognition. You could also target major cities such as Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh and London.