A lot of programmers struggle to freelance and earn income online and offline. They try over and over again but they fail. Usually, they don’t follow a plan or a strategy to get “hired” from among lots of other programmers. In this post I’ll show you steps that if you followed you will eventually land on your first freelance project. So, let’s get started.
1. Create a Portfolio
I’ve seen many programmers who apply for jobs on freelance websites without having a portfolio. By doing so, you’re decreasing the chances of being selected because, obviously, the job publisher wants to get to know you, what you can do and what you have done in the past. Thus, make sure to show them your portfolio that contains projects related to the project that they want.
Let me show you my portfolio that I used to use when I was working as a freelance developer
As you can see it clearly shows my name, programming expertise and projects that I worked on. That’s it.
2. Apply Fast
Searching consistently is extremely important than one might think. Set a period of time during the day where you just apply for freelance projects. And apply quickly before many other freelancers do. That means that you will need to apply for projects that have just been posted on freelance websites. If many other developers have already applied then don’t apply. The reason is that the job poster would probably have read enough and also might have already selected a freelance programmer. Therefore, you would be wasting your time if you apply.
3. Get reviews
If you don’t have reviews yet, then you’ve got to get reviews by working on very simple projects and ask people for review. I would say at least two five-star reviews. The reason for this is because reviews will create trust. Another trick to get a review fast is to find a simple project, like a simple web development task, and message the customer and tell them that you will work on their project for free in exchange for a five-star review, or find a local business and let them know that you would do a web development task for them such as creating a small website or very simple mobile app.
4. Put yourself in their shoes!
Yes, most programmers and developers just send the job poster a couple of sentences that will NEVER make the job poster select them for the job. The project owner wants to know that you understand their problem and you will solve it for them. Therefore, you have to read what the job requirements and what the problem is, then ask them questions to strike up a conversation, that way you’re massively increasing your chances of being selected. On the other hand, NEVER be needy and never send a long boring message that just focuses on your experience.
5. Stay in touch
Working with a new customer is always much more difficult than an old one. When you have worked with a customer, do NOT abandon them. Instead, make a long term relationship with them, and consistently reach out to them asking if they have any problem and let them know you’re available and willing to help. I remember back in the day I worked on a PHP API project on one of the freelancing websites, after I finished, the customer was very satisfied with the work. I asked them to add them on Skype and WhatsApp, then I used to reach out to them consistently and guess what? Whenever they had a problem they would reach out to me because I consistently reminded them of me that I’m their “problem solving” guy. As a developer, I worked on five projects with them so far and still in contact with them. Moreover, they recommend me to their contacts!
Lastly, if you really want to work as a freelance programmer/developer then I’d recommend taking my course Freelance as a Developer, where I teach you several ways of how to work as a freelance developer with strategies that work.
Also I’d recommend checking out a list of 50 Best Freelance Programming Sites. If you followed the steps I mentioned above then start signing up in these sites and follow my strategy.