A lot of programmers struggle to get jobs on freelance websites. They try over and over again but they fail. More often than not, they don’t follow the right strategy to get selected from among tens of other programmers. In this post I’ll show you strategies that if you followed you will eventually land on your first freelance project. So, let’s get started.
1. Search actively & apply before others
Searching consistently is extremely important than you think. Choose a time of day where you just apply for projects. And apply before others. That means that you will need to apply for projects that have just been posted on freelance websites. Don’t apply for projects that have tens of other programmers have already applied for. 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.
2. Apply with 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 apply with a portfolio simply by having your own website with a page that has all the projects you’ve worked on in the past.
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.
3. Write a meaningful message!
Yes, most programmers and developers just write a couple of sentences that will NEVER make the job poster pick them. The project owner wants to know that you understand their problem and you will solve it for them. Therefore, you gotta read what the job requirements and what the problem is, then ask questions if something seems ambiguous, that way you’re sending a message that says that you understand the problem and you are capable of solving it. On the other hand, don’t write a very long boring message that never helps too. Keep it short, precise & meaningful.
4. Ask questions
Before applying as a freelance programmer for a job make sure to read everything and make sure that you’re capable of solving the problem, otherwise, find another project. Furthermore, ask questions, because that way you’re sending a message to the employer that you want to help them. Also this will open a door for discussion and lots of messages between you and the employer, which will increase your chances of being selected.
5. Get reviews
If you’re new to a freelance website, then it’s crucial to have a few reviews. I would say at least two five-star reviews. That way you will be selected much easier than if you did not have any review. The simplest way to get reviews is either 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. First reach out to them, let them know that you’re a programmer, and offer them the same deal of solving the problem for free in exchange for a five-star review in your personal website and in the freelance website.
6. Keep old customers
Working with new customers is always 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 happy. 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!
You can checkout 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.
In conclusion, if you keep using the same old approach, you will be having a hard time getting a job on freelance websites. Change the way you reach out to customers. Follow these steps in this article. They will make a huge difference and immensely increase your changes of being selected. And if you really want to become a Professional Developer, then I’d recommend joining my courses where you’ll build real apps that will take your skills to a high level.