Monday, July 16, 2012

Start working as a freelance programmer

Workflow

If you want to start working as a freelancer you must know that sometimes you will not have projects to work on and sometimes you will have a lot of bids that were accepted. You should not decline any project that you could complete because if you do a good job then your employee will hire you again for other related jobs.

When you do not have any project in progress do not worry, just bid on projects and use your spare time to learn. An important thing to keep in mind is not to overwhelm yourself with work because only when you are rested you will do a good job.

You should continuously learn something new

IT world is continuously developing, so are the new technologies, principles and practices. You should always keep your knowledge up to date. For example if you use a CMS then you should know that at least once an year a new version is released. You will need to study and learn what new approaches implies the new release. Most of the freelance programmers are working with several languages and libraries. Let's say if you are a developer and you are using PHP, maybe a PHP framework, HTML/CSS is a must, maybe even a CMS and Javascripts's library jQuery then you will need to always learn the new things. 


A good way to learn new approaches to different problems is reading books. Other good learning resources are video tutorials, articles,


Personal skills

English is a must in freelancing, as a freelancer you will need to communicate with clients or other developers, in my experience English is the most spoken language. Another great skill needed is communication, Employee will hire you again if they considered you a nice person.

Prove your employee that you are reliable, do not leave him in the middle of a project just because things get hard. If you do your best then you will win a friend and future collaboration. 


Create a personal website

You should create a personal website where you should put some portfolio items, contact information, maybe a contact form and maybe if you have time write some tutorials about what you are doing(programming, writing, design). Post some links to your profiles on freelancing platforms.


Build trust between you and your employee

First you should be honest, if you can not complete the job then tell him do not abandon the job by not responding to his messages. Clients appreciate honesty!
When you are registered on freelancing websites post relevant information about yourself on your profile. Also you should upload a decent photo with yourself because clients are more comfortable if they see the person to whom they are giving a task or a project. Another thing to keep in mind is to do a good job and to not try to overcharge your clients! All this will build trust between you and your clients, this trust will get you more work. 

Freelancing platforms

Here are some freelancing websites that I tried:
vWorker.com
freelancer.com
A website that is not really a freelancing platform is http://fiverr.com/, however you could browse the website and find out more about it, maybe you could do some work there. I have made some PHP scripts there for some bucks.

Other websites that I did not tried yet are:
http://odesk.com/
http://www.guru.com/
https://www.elance.com/

If you have an advice or something to help new freelancer please post them in your comments. Thank you!