If you are a freelancer then you are a lucky guy because you have no boss :) Freelancing is the best thing for a web developer and it’s the second stage for any web developer. I said second because obviously the first would be to learn to program and convert yourself from a nonskilled into a skilled programmer. On one side, freelancing gives you a state of satisfaction but on the other hand, you need much care to handle this satisfaction and keep your position maintain.
In this post, I tried to discuss a few very important qualities of a web developer that he/she must adopt if they want to be a successful freelancer. Please note that these qualities are not about the technical experience of web development but these are the things that play an amazing role for successful freelancers. Because everyone can be a freelancer but not every freelancer can work longer as a freelancer if they don’t adopt and follow the things which they must have.
1. Are you active on Social Networking websites?
Yes very important for new freelancers who are in try to find good clients. If you are a freelancer then it happens to you many times that newcomers ask you “How do find Clients” :) And you should ask them, Do you have any profile on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn? So, it is really important to have an online profile or portfolio. If you are no one then you will remain as no one. Get a profile on such websites, follow the technology blogs and see what’s happening in the web development world. Put your involvement in any ongoing web-related discussions. Show them you are someone who also knows to program.
On your profiles, clearly mention who you are and what you do. Always use your real full name on professional profiles instead of short and fake names because trust starts from your name.
2. Sign up for Major online Workplaces
A good option for finding some good clients but don’t take it, easy pal, because you are going to wait for weeks or even a few months to get a project. Well, some lucky guys get hired on their first day. You can be too, Who knows :) There are many job portals where people are looking for good developers. If you create a good profile, add your experiences, what you did and what you can do as a freelance web developer. Don’t get excited and fill the profile with a lot of things. Only add what you have experienced. Be specific, add more examples of your work and website links you have developed. If you don’t have any previous work to show then set your skills set more properly so it should show a client what you are capable of.
3. Do what you can do.
If you can not work in WordPress then don’t try to add it to the portfolio. It will make your resume heavy and clients may think you are as much more experienced than originally you are. Show what you got and do what you can do. If you don’t know how to fix a Joomla website then don’t try to bid on a Joomla project on jobs websites. You should be more care full in bidding on projects. New users try to bid on more projects without checking the detail of the project and its scope. If you get any project which you are not able to do then you are on step one to ruin your job profile. So, always bid on projects which you are sure about.
4. Communication and Client handling
If you can’t communicate with your clients then you are in big trouble. Communication is a very important and key tool in building relations with clients. If you use emails or messages to communicate then use appropriate words in your message, don’t discuss nonrelated things which can hide your original goal to discuss. Be specific and always give important what the client is saying and what he is looking for. Client satisfaction is much more important than your problem in doing those things :)
5. Check the client’s biodata
Always try to find out the person who is hiring you. Sometimes people get you involved in fake discussions just to know your point of view about their ideas. Always try to search for who is on another side. For this, you must have the contact address from which he is communicating like email address, skype, MSN, or whatever ever is using. Put that in google and let it show you what is related to that person. Ask the person to use a professional email address. If still you are not sure about him or could not find anything about him then let it go with speed until comes to a deal. This is not necessary but you should not ignore this thing, that’s what I think :)
6. Consistent working time
Are you working at different times each day? Then you are losing something. If a client is expecting something from you at 11 am then don’t deliver it at 5 pm. Build a suitable timetable which should be good for you and your clients. Normally there can be time differences between clients and freelancers so chose the time which can be best for both of you. Different timings while working will create a gap in direct communication which will lead to a weak relationship.
7. Use your own development server
Work professionally and as a freelancer, you should have a hosting space on which you can show your work progress to clients. Don’t submit the whole work to the client. Upload on your server and send your client a demo URL to check the progress. Keep that URL secure from public access. It’s better if you have a blog or your own domain name which will help you to use it for such purpose and also will give your work a brand name.
8. Estimate work and cost properly
If a new project arrived, give it some time to gather all the requirements. Read each and everything and make it clear in your mind. Find out its complexity, and how much this gonna take your time. If anything is confusing don’t hesitate to ask your client. Try to clear every point. Schedule talk/chat meetings with clients, the such way many hidden things of the project can come to view. In fact, you should prefer to give dedicated days for the estimation of a project because if your estimation is good you are going to enter in next level of trust with the client, which is mean you are going to get more work.
9. Easy access for clients to you
This is very important that how easily a client can contact you or talk to you. So for this, you should always check your emails twice a day at least. It will be best if you can be online on a mobile device, this way clients will feel comfortable and it will be in their mind that they can contact you any time he will need. Use simple contact meanings, don’t give your client a list of email addresses or phone numbers. Try to use a single email address or direct all other account emails to a single one so that you don’t miss any emails.
10. Track changes and bugs
Always note the changes and bugs posted by the client in a proper place. If you are using an online project management tool then ask your client to use this and help him in learning to post issues, bugs, and changes there. This will help you both to track down the changes and bugs in a better way plus the client will feel more comfortable in sending you queries. If your client is not a tech guy he will prefer to use emails to send changes and discuss things, in that case, you should take care of those things and put them in the proper place so that you won’t miss them.
Freelancing is a good thing but not an easy thing to do. You should always be a man of rules. If its time for work and show something to the client then don’t go outside and enjoy with your friends ;-) If you are working in a company then you have achieved a good thing but if you are working as a freelancer and have a good number of potential clients, earning much more than a monthly job salary then this is the best thing. In the next post, we will cover “how to be a successful freelancer”. Be in touch.