The Unconventional Guide to Succeeding as a Tech Freelancer

Tech Freelancer
Photo via Envato Elements

Freelancing has in the past drawn negative feedback from various other sectors. However, with the job market shrinking every day for tech professionals, many people have opted for this work-at-home business. When everyone caught the freelance wave, the writing was the in thing, but does that mean that it’s the only freelance business available?

The answer is no. Technology has taken over every industry, and the demand for technical skills is on the rise. So, if you consider yourself tech-savvy, with strong analytical and problem-solving skills, then these skills could be your gold mine.

Nevertheless, possessing the above skills and marketing them on various freelance platforms is only the start of a successful freelancing career. Employers primarily consider freelancers with stellar feedback on the site and years of experience in the area of specialization.

How to Build a Stunning Portfolio

One way to create an impressive portfolio is by accepting low-paying jobs. As a newbie, it is difficult to get high-paying jobs. So, by accepting lower-paying jobs, you build a client base while also collecting positive feedback from them.

As time goes by, you’ll be able to build a solid reputation that will enable you to apply for the most lucrative jobs. Keep in mind that tech freelancers undergo more scrutiny than any other freelancer. Therefore, it is important that you get positive feedback from your initial clients.

Also, while sharing your previous projects with prospective clients, ensure that you have permission to do so. Some employers restrict such actions. Others will require you to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDA) to hold you accountable, so, be cautious when signing one.

Ask for Stellar Recommendations

Recommendations work magic. With a recommendation or testimonial, prospective clients get a sense of trustworthiness as they go through your portfolio. You can ask your clients to leave testimonials in either written or video form.

Remember when you struggled with low-paying jobs? Well, always keep that in mind because after you have acquired a spectacular performance record because you’ll need to settle on a base rate.

A base rate is the lowest rate you’ll accept for any project moving forward because you’ve grown in the business. You know what needs to be done with any project, but the client doesn’t. This is where your negotiation skills will be put to the test. Explain to the client what you’ll do for them and justify your rates.

It’s not always rosy in the freelance world, as you’re bound to meet clients who’ll try and dupe you by offering cheap pay. Other clients will promise to increase your pay as time goes by. Most of the time this is a scam. It’s probably best to stay away.

Grow Your Client Base

This cannot be emphasized more strongly. As a freelancer, you don’t have the luxury of a monthly paycheck, so, you have to constantly seek new projects because you cannot afford to rely on a single client. What will happen when he or she terminates the existing project?

If your intention is to be a long-term freelancer, then it is vital that you always seek new opportunities to maintain a steady income.

You might ask, “How will I manage such huge amounts of work?” Well, what a pleasant problem to have! Form a team of freelancers that will help you out when you have a number of projects with tight deadlines to meet.

Always Update Your Skills

Technology is ever-evolving, and while the work might occupy most of your time, it is important to take some time off to update certain skill. It could be a new software or the need to learn a new programing language that’ll help you deliver quality work.

Moreover, you need to stay informed about the latest trends and tech news to make sure that you have credible answers to the client’s questions.

Updating your skills is like an investment that will bring future returns. If certain professional courses will give you an edge over your competitors, then consider taking them. Udemy, for example, is a great place to learn new skills at a low cost.

Grow Your Professional Network

Networking is a powerful marketing tool if used well. Today, many people seek the services of a freelancer—with a strong network, you could land a gig. By networking with people, your prospects list grows, which in turn improves your chances of getting hired.

Numerous opportunities to network exist beyond computer life. Take, for example, local business conferences. Take advantage of such events to put out your name and services.

Furthermore, you get to talk with business owners on a one-on-one basis. This is a rare opportunity to find yourself online with so many other freelancers competing for the same job. Such talks offer a chance for you to understand their business needs and what type of services they need. With such talks, you’ll be in a better position to craft a precise solution for their business.

Create a Professional Image

It’s often said that first impressions matter. The same applies to a tech freelancer. When presenting yourself to a client, you need to make them feel comfortable. You need to have a professional business presence. Here’s how to do it:

  • Business cards
  • Website
  • Skype or phone line or both
  • Business e-mail
  • Business checking account

These will give your business a professional look, and clients will be more than glad to engage with you.

In Conclusion

Now, you know the basics of propelling your tech freelance business. You also understand that doing a little bit of extra work while building your portfolio, you’ll be rewarded in the long-term with high-paying jobs.

If you’re a tech freelancer, you need to consider these tips before you dive into the market. You’ll have a better chance at landing gigs.