A lot of programmers struggle to freelance and earn income online. They make many attempts 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’m going to explain to you what exactly you need in order to successfully get your first project online. So, let’s get started.
1. Build a Portfolio
Many programmers either don’t know what a portfolio is or underestimate the importance of having one. Having a portfolio is super important for many reasons, and the most prominent reason is that you need to show your client projects you have worked on and your expertise. So in your portfolio you will need to diplay all the most important projects that you worked on and you’re prod of. If you put yourself in your client’s shoes you will definitely realize that you would hire any programmer unless you really feel that they understand what you want and can accomplish what you want. 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.
If you don’t have a website, I’d highly recommend getting a FREE domain using BlueHost.
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. Don’t apply to projects that have already been there for more that two days.Many people would have already applied and 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. Just apply for new projects that have been posted in the last 12 hours or so.
3. Get reviews
This is so important if you’re new to freelance websites. 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. Many think that if you apply for many jobs then they’ll eventually get a response and get selected. Unfortunately this is far from being true. Quantity doesn’t work in the freelance world where there are thousands of other people applying just like you, let alone the face that the employer -client- has many options to choose from, therefore, you’ve got to be distinct and unique. That can be easily done by explaining to them that you understand what they need, your willingness to help, and of course skills (through your portfolio).
5. Stay in touch
It’s always great to stay in touch with your clients even after the work is over. 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.