Having a track record of solid, reliable, work will go a long way to helping you close sales. Having just your own website won’t do.
You’ll need to do a bit of hustling, maybe even barter with some folks and trade your skills for an opportunity.
Reach out to some local agencies to see if they have any overflow work. Agencies aren’t the most ideal to work with if you want to drive the ship of projects, but they are an amazing starting point to build up a reputation and place in the market.
The idea is to get work that you can do and build up a nice track record of good work.
SOME THINGS To Think about when starting out freelancing
When you start this journey, you’ll want to make sure:
- You can showcase the work on your own website.
- You can talk about the work you are doing.
- To try and stick to the same type of technology, or same industry, or even same location.
- The smaller the project, the faster you can deliver. The faster you can deliver, the faster you can tackle the next project and build a track record quicker.
You’ll want to get #1 and #2 in writing on your contract.
#4 you may not have too much control over.
#3 is something I wish I had done early on.
The reason why this is important is so that when you start your own sales, you are solving a problem that you have solved before over and over again.
So as an example…
If you are taking designs from an agency and building out landing pages for lead magnets and the delivery of that lead magnet. That’s the solution you can pitch over and over again to any business.
If you are building out Laravel apps with Vue,js for startup Saas companies. You know have a track record for both a technology and sector of business.
Marketing as a specialized freelancer
These 2 examples are much more marketable and easier to target potential clients than if you are just a generalist developer who builds PHP, Ruby on Rails, Laravel, but also plays around with various front-end technologies.
The generalist web developer will always be compared to the next developer on price.
Creating a specialty for yourself makes your solution appealing to businesses that need it and they will compare your price to that of their expected return.
While you are creating a great track record for yourself, you'll want to level up the game.
What is web development?
That’s the next big question here, because you can be a front-end developer, back-end developer, full stack developer. All these are very different in both skills, technical knowledge and overall understanding of the web.
If you need to build up your skills, the best way to do that is by learning and applying what you learned.
Here are some technology courses that you may want to look at:
These are in no particular order, they are just ones that I would recommend checking out that I know are good, solid courses.
Building up a solid, reliable track record of happy clients inside a portfolio is key. But that portfolio needs to be made up of clients that are similar to the leads looking at it.
If not, then you will find yourself right in the feast or famine cycle.
Start a Freelance Business
More episodes in this topic:
What are the costs involved in becoming a freelancer?
Is the income from freelancing reliable?
What payment structure should I do?
How do you build a good freelancing profile in the field of web development considering the competition?
What are skills you can learn fast and have high freelancer value?
How to start freelancing?
Should you do free work to build a portfolio?
What is freelance?
How can I start freelancing without experience?
What does it take to be a freelancer?
Why did you start freelancing?
What is the very first step to work as a freelancer?
How do you set the boundary of work you do and work you don't do?
What are your client red flags?
What should you be able to create as a web developer before starting in your freelance career?
When starting out freelance, should I just be a generalist to get my feet wet, or should I go for that niche?
As a developer, should I throw my projects on Github or build a site from scratch to grab attention?
What can I use for social proof when starting as a freelancer?
How can I start freelancing as a web developer?
Should I use my name or create a business name when starting?
Should I call myself a “freelancer” (definitive answer)?
Why should you not be a freelancer?
How do you collect online payments as a freelancer
How much money do I need to make?
Why is hourly billing bad?
Why is hourly billing good?
What are the biggest mistakes a freelancer can make?
How to adapt and change to the WordPress climate?
How to budget as a freelancer?
What is your marketing plan?
What is your sales process?
What do you do to position yourself as an expert to leads?
How do you balance your time for sales and marketing?
How do you get high-quality clients?
Should I offer my services as a web designer/developer or specialize first?
What do you do again?
What is the best freelancing website?
What do you do for a follow-up sequence for leads?
How to attract clients with big budgets?
How not to be annoying in sales?
How do you convince someone to sign a contract?
What to say when a client is late on a payment?
Best of Season 3 - Get out of the comfort zone
Best of Season 3 - Building Relationships
S06 E12 - Undercharging, Targeting the Wrong Audience, and What You Should Do About It with Alex McClafferty
S03 Bonus - Tom McFarlin on Blogging, Balancing Work and Family, and Building a Business that Lasts
S09 E11 - Differentiation, Reputation, and Pivoting From the Top-Down with Peep Laja
S01 E11 - Kai Davis helping freelancers get more clients with outreach