Want to start a career as a freelance software developer? Then these tips are for you.
Learn varied languages
There are fewer jobs available with one programming language than which require many. So, try to learn the most popular languages. Knowledge of multiple languages can increase the number of jobs you are able to qualify for.
Join an online community
Joining an online community has many advantages. It helps in networking with other freelancers and non-freelancers. You can take and give advice to other software developers like you.
Enhance your soft skills
Soft skills are essential at any time. Effective communication skills are required when talking to clients about a project and during the interviews. Time management is a vital skill as you are in charge of how much work you decide to take on and the work hours you put in. Taking too many projects on at the same time or underestimating how much time you require for a project can affect your projects and clients’ impression of you negatively.
Now for the four main steps to starting your career:
First of all, you need to find some projects to do. LinkedIn, freelancing platforms and recruitment agencies are great ways to get your first projects. You can use Twitter also by informing your followers that you are on the look-out for new projects and request them to retweet. The same way, word of mouth can also be used as a way to help get new projects.
A mistake that freelance software developers can make is take up all projects that come their way. It’s tempting to do so but it’s a bad idea. You can end up overworking and getting burned out. You might even miss deadlines due to overloading yourself with too many projects. Consider various aspects before choosing a project from the available ones. Factors like clients, rates, number of applicants and the project itself must be thought about before applying and/or accepting a project.
Write a cover letter
Personalize each cover letter for each client and make sure the cover letter conveys to the client why you should be chosen for that particular project. You need to let the client know that you can help him/her and how you can do so.
Decide how much to charge
If you have a good reputation, you’ll be able to set a high rate but with no reputation, clients won’t accept paying you a high amount. As your experience in the field increases and you have completed more and more projects successfully, you can demand higher pay.