How To Become A Freelance Programmer In 2023
Freelance programming is a wonderful career with a lot of possibilities to it. Freelance programmers have flexible schedules, work remotely, and can potentially make a lot of money. However, if handled poorly, freelance programming is a business venture doomed to failure.
If you’re interested in creating your own freelance programming venture, you need to know how to get started. Keep reading to discover some steps that will help you get off on the right foot.
Related: How to Become A Computer Programmer in 2023
Prepare Your Skills
Before starting a freelance programming business, make sure to prepare your skills first. Freelance programming is a competitive field where you need to be skilled to make it. So, preparing yourself for a bit is essential.
There are plenty of soft skills that go into freelance programming. Effective communication is critical in almost every business deal. You will need to have the ability to communicate with clients in a professional way to get and retain their business. In this same regard, teamwork is also a necessity. You will often have to work with your client to achieve their goals.
You will also need the business skills necessary to run your freelancing work. You need to have the knowledge to know what to charge based on the services you offer. Along with this, you need the ability to step back and objectively evaluate your business tactics. Doing so will allow you to ensure that your freelance programming business is efficient and effective.
On top of all this, you must be incredibly competent in your field. As a freelancer, standing out against the crowd is one of the most important factors contributing to success. You need to offer something better than anything else out there; otherwise, you will be lost in a sea of your competition. Take time to practice or consider using a coding bootcamp to improve your skills before striking out as a freelancer.
The most important aspect of operating as a freelance programmer is the ability to find jobs. If you aren’t able to find jobs for yourself, your time as a freelance programmer will not last long.
Use Your Professional Network
One of the best ways to start finding jobs is through your own professional network. Reach out to people you know in the industry to see if they know of jobs or if they have jobs to offer. In many cases, they may be able to direct you in a helpful way.
If you’re coming into freelancing from a job in the world of tech, like programming or data science, you may already have plenty of contacts within the field. Reaching out to these contacts may be the way you find your first few jobs.
The biggest problem with this tactic is that most people’s professional networks are limited, and people new to the industry may not have any professional contacts at all. This will hurt at the beginning but is a problem that can be addressed later on. As you get jobs as a freelance programmer, make sure to make efforts to expand your network. This will open the door to job opportunities in the future.
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Apply For Jobs
The most basic way to get jobs is to apply for them. This is just as true for a freelance programmer as it is for anyone else.
Many online marketplaces list plenty of jobs for programmers. Companies like Upwork & Fiverr offer quick jobs that you can often do with little to no experience. While doing jobs for these sites, you can start to build your resume and create a positive work history. However, these aren’t the highest-paying jobs out there, so it is best to move on from them as soon as you can.
You can also apply for other listings as you find them. Be on the lookout for companies that list jobs and make an effort to routinely apply for listings you are qualified for. Doing so on a regular basis will give you a greater chance of finding something worthwhile.
Related: Is Programming Hard to Learn? What You Need to Know
Develop Your Own Profile
While most methods of finding work will have you looking for clients, you should also have a way for clients to find you. This gives you a chance to pull in new clients in a more passive way.
The first thing you should do is create your own website. Fill it with information about the services you provide and what clients can expect from you. Also include details about yourself, like your work history, experience level, and any relevant education. Make sure to include any coding bootcamps you attended.
If you have time, you can write articles about programming for your website. These will demonstrate your knowledge of the industry and show potential clients that they can trust you. It also improves your site’s SEO and, thus, improves the chances that potential clients will find you.
Alongside your website, make use of various social media platforms. Social media is a hive of interactions, and some people almost exclusively do business through social media. Having a presence there will allow you to be discovered by a new audience.
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Contribute to Public Projects
Sometimes, finding jobs is simply about putting yourself out there. Doing so puts you in contact with people who can help you.
You can start contributing to open-source projects. These get you involved in the greater programming community and, in doing so, build your list of contacts. Through these contacts, you may be able to find jobs. Plus, contributing in this way is a great way to build your reputation further, add to your experience, and keep your skills sharp.
You can also answer tech questions online. Search out places where programmers and non-tech people post questions. Whenever possible, answer their questions for them. Each time you do, you make a new contact while simultaneously demonstrating your knowledge.
Becoming a Freelance Programmer
Becoming a freelance programmer can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. Taking time to hone your skills will give you the best chance to make your mark. Meanwhile, knowing how to get jobs will ensure you can achieve success. With this knowledge, you can make it as a freelance programmer.
Related: Is Software Programming For Everyone? (2023 update)