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How to become a freelance software developer

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If you are a software developer, it is very easy to dream of working freelance instead of a regular, boring-sounding, 9-to-5 job. It is attractive, has plenty of additional benefits such as seeing the world, and allows you to make plenty of money from very lucrative contracts without portions of the money being redirected to other expenses.

However, the reality of making this dream happen is another story altogether – there is no guarantee you can make it a reality. If you have no idea where to begin in the world of freelance, visit Dormzi for freelance software developer jobs which will help you get started. There is a question you must answer: whether you are ready for this path. Freedom does not work for everyone, but if you are certain this is what you want to do, here are some tips to help you adjust to it and thrive.

What plan do you have to begin your freelancing career?

If you already know that freelancing is your thing, you can approach it from two ways:

  • Making a plan to gradually enter the freelancing space
  • Jump right into the field, with little or no experience

The first approach is generally safer because it does not need as much of a life change as the second one, and in many cases it gradually becomes a full time job after you do it for a specific time. The second option is risky, although it can work if you have contacts and resources to kick start your working life.

Know the methods you will use to find work

Regardless of whether you will use the instant jump into freelancing or you ease into it, it is important to know the methods you will use to find new clients and jobs. Some of the most effective methods are:

  • Word of mouth – this is what most freelancers, even those taking on projects outside the realm of freelance software development, use. It is important to use past clients you have worked with in order to market your services, so work hard to get that good reputation.
  • Social media (especially LinkedIn and Twitter) – similar to the previous method, as you are letting people and your followers know that you are looking for work, and they share this information to their followers.
  • Networking events – these allow you to meet other software developers and IT professionals, as well as clients, which ultimately expands your network. As you discuss your work with them, you tell them that they can contact you when they need software development.
  • Recruitment agencies – these can connect you to employers, and let you know if there is a position for a part-time job, full-time job, or tasks on a contract.
  • Freelancing platforms – these include Elance and Upwork. They connect you to clients who are seeking freelancers.
  • Developer As A Service (DAAS) platforms – tailored specifically to software developers, these work like freelancing platforms but are a great place for freelance developers to begin their trade. They include Crew, X-Team, and Toptal.
  • Micro-consulting platforms – these are quite unique in their own right, as they mainly give you opportunities to help clients through code sharing, screen sharing, video calls, and one-on-one sessions. While you may not make as much money through them, they allow you to learn some new tricks and add value to a client through fixing bugs.

Choosing projects

There are unlimited numbers of projects you can choose when you are freelance, but never make the mistake of selecting all of them. Limit your options to a maximum of 5 of the most compelling ones, and then take time to apply to each.

Some considerations to think about when choosing a project include:

  • The client’s reputation – the more difficult a client is, the harder it will be for you to do your best work for them, and the less the project will succeed.
  • Feasibility – you need to ensure the project makes sense, as some may not be feasible enough with the resources you have because of technical issues. For instance, using an app on iOS to achieve a task, yet the app is built using an Android format.
  • Applicant numbers – the more the applicants, the lower your chances of being hired and very low numbers of applicants are an indication that the client may need a developer with very specific knowledge, or struggles with a very low budget or other issues.
  • The client’s hiring rates – if the client proposes 50 projects but never hires anyone, then it is a waste of time applying to them.

These are just some of the factors to keep in mind when beginning your career as a freelance software developer, and they will hopefully help you advance your career goals as well.

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