I have four tips on how I have come to succeed as a Freelance developer. From early on, during my adolescence and youth, I have always been very interested in dedicating myself to my work. So much so, that I tried many things throughout my life, from buying electronic items from china in batches and selling them on eBay. To working my luck in affiliate marketing.
But it was when I decided to study Computer Science and dedicate myself to software development, that I began to see more clearly that this could be an option that I should not rule out. Today I am 100% dedicated to my project, mainly focused on Android development, but my experience can also be worth it if you want to become a freelance programmer and provide programming and development services to the clients and getting paid in return.
1. Get some experience
You have asked people several times if you could become a freelance right after finishing your degree. The short answer is yes, but you will have much more struggle than if you do it once you have had an experience.
People with experience in a field generate much more credibility. This is the same whether you want to look for a new job or if you want to work as a freelance. When I decided to start dedicating myself to Android development, even though I had been working as a developer for almost five years, this did not open too many doors for me to this new specialty.
How did I get it? Stay until the end, because in the fourth point I reveal it to you. What is true is that if you want to be taken seriously, you need professional experience. The more, the better, but at least two years, I think is reasonable.
2. Learn new skills
Once you set it up on your own, knowing only about programming will not be enough, you will need to have much other knowledge if you want to ensure success:
· Mentality and self-knowledge
· Public speaking
· Time management
And long etcetera that will emerge on the go. I am not telling you that you must master all these facets from the beginning, but, at least, keep in mind that you will need it. More than just knowing them, there is the fact that you are going to need them, and that you are not going to be able to spend 100% of your time simply programming, as you would in an office. If this does not go with you, then perhaps entrepreneurship is not for you.
In networking, you will meet everyone who will open the doors to possible opportunities that would not otherwise be possible. If you know people within the sector, they surely have needs that at some point you can cover yours with your services.
In addition to this, being part of the community will make you feel much less alone since you will meet other people who share the same interests and concerns. For me, starting to be part of the community and attending events helped me become passionate about my work and see that there were people who enjoyed what I did every day.
4. Invest in a personal brand
For me, the most vital point is to stand apart from the competition. If you don’t work on your brand, you will be one of the thousands of developers who could anyone could hire for very cheap to do that work.
Experience can help, but it will not be a differential value. However, if you can show that you are an expert in what you do and share it with the world, many more doors will be opened to you. And what kinds of things can you do to grow your brand? There are many, but here I mention a few
Write a blog
It is the easiest way to start because it does not require exposing your image, only your texts. Write about problems you encounter day by day and how to solve them
Write a book
Here we reach a higher level of complexity since writing a book requires a lot of will power. If you have something significant to tell, don’t doubt that it is one of the best ways to position yourself in the market for a specific topic.
Books can be self-published; in case you think that there will be no publisher interested in publishing it. But believe me, there are many waiting for a good book.
Giving talks increases your value incredibly, and it is one of the fastest ways to gain authority because it requires many additional skills that a programmer does not necessarily have.
If you can prepare content and explain it clearly in front of an audience, you will have come a long way. The talks could initially be in your own company, to be in a safe environment.
Later, you could go on to give talks at small local events and finally jump into significant events. It doesn’t seem very easy, but it is a worthwhile effort.
Create a portfolio
When someone comes to you, they need to know if what you do fits what they are looking for, both in form and in the final quality. A portfolio that shows what you have achieved will open many doors for you. It can be both personal Apps and Apps you have made for other people, as programming projects and assignments on GitHub on different topics.
If you take advantage of the blog articles to support them with an example on GitHub, you will be adding value in both points at the same time.
Participate in Groups, forums, and social networks
It is an excellent way for people to meet you in the online environment. If you know developer groups, help them solve their problems, and they will have you on their mind when they need something. Spend time on platforms like Stack Overflow.
If you also season all this with some interesting social media profiles, to which people want to subscribe to stay up to date, you will have won friends forever.
Videos on YouTube
YouTube is one of the most potent platforms for generating a brand since it has a powerful search engine, unlike other social networks. It means that the content you publish today can be visited even after many years and remains there, providing value forever (unlike other social networks).
It is the best platform, along with the blog, so that your content lasts over time. Besides, many developers use it in their day to day to continue learning, so it is a very natural environment in which we find ourselves.
If you want to be a freelance developer, start today
Let me tell you that it is not necessary to jump into the pool overnight. Starting today, you can start creating your brand so that the day you decide to take a leap of faith, you do so with a vast network that will save you from falls.
It is not an easy path, but if this is what you want, it will more than compensate for everything that a traditional company can offer you. You will own your time and be the boss of yourself, and that is priceless.