Working on your own should be a natural progression of web developer career … not the path to a career. Someone who has established a network of professional contacts, who has polished their web development skills and who has an entrepreneurial spirit will have the right formula to build a successful business as a freelancer. But deciding to become self-employed ahead of time can hurt your career and make you feel pressured to accept any job you find just to pay your debts. So, how to successfully build a professional web development business as a stand-alone without ending your career?
Find Full-Time Work as a Web Developer
Yes, the job search can be difficult, especially for people with limited or no development experience. But creating a self-employed business means acquiring the skills that companies are looking to hire. For those of you who are self-taught, but you need to perfect a bit, try to contribute to open source projects on GitHub and create a technology portfolio. Take a look at this article: 14 Ways to Contribute to Open Source without Being a Programming Genius or Rock Star.
Getting a full-time job early in your career, even if you finally prefer to be self-employed, exposes you to how a business operates from the inside. A secure job will also offer you the opportunity to build your savings, manage finances in a practical way, and teach you how to deal with difficult clients.
Create a CV Focused on a Project
A web-based portfolio with links to your projects is an excellent way to showcase your work, and your CV adds extras, such as project scope, customer requirements, impact, and so on. Be flexible in the format: prioritize the information to reflect the work requirements of each job you are applying for. For example, put the corresponding certification in your profile if it is crucial for a recruitment company, if not, put it in the education or skills section.
Start with a heading of the type “Professional Experience”, “Representative Projects”, “Project Selection” or simply “Projects”. Under this heading, create a subtitle for each project you want to highlight, such as web content, blogs, web design, graphic design, software development, systems engineering and any other project-based work. Next to each subtitle, write a sentence or two about the project and the results or benefits derived from your work.
Network, Network, Network
Participating in developer communities, such as hack days and meetings or meetings, is useful for making contacts with other developers, finding out about new technologies and potentially finding work. For those of you who are currently working, it is useful to spend some time to get to know your co-workers and clients. Talk to people about more than the immediate projects you are working on. As the level of confidence increases, ask about other aspects of the project or business that you could help.
Networking is the basis for your eventual business as a freelancer and is absolutely necessary for your success. A moderately skilled programmer who is really good at communicating with people is worth at least 3-5 times more for most companies than a brilliant programmer who prefers to be alone all day.
Take advantage of your network to find a job
Intensify your efforts to create networks using professional sites such as LinkedIn. Contact previous employers, co-workers, and clients, and let them know that you are currently looking for a job, and ask them if they know someone who needs help. Brazen self-promotion may not be to your liking, but practice makes perfect. And if you want to be a full-time self-employed professional, self-promotion is an essential tool.
They can be large (initially) in the short term, but over time and as you go about doing work, you will create a strong profile with a lot of feedback from customers, which will help you boost your career and provide new avenues for clients. Are you looking for more markets? Read more: 3 WEBSITES TO FIND WORK IN DIGITAL MARKETING
Increase Your Rates Constantly with Time
As you establish your reputation as a self-employed professional, your time becomes more valuable. In the beginning, assign a fixed number of hours each week to your work as a freelancer for the web developer. Once you’re constantly busy every week, increase your rates for new customers by 20%. Keep doing this until you’re rejecting more than half of the new jobs and then start raising the rates of existing customers. Getting to this point will take several years of hard work and some mistakes in between. For more information on calculating your rate as a freelance professional, check out The Qualities that Every Freelance Web Designer Should Have
Become a full-time Self-Employed
The decision of when to take the leap to be full time self-employed is of a personal nature. It will vary depending on your skill level, the number of debts, family obligations, your ability to take risks and other factors. The secret to being successful as a full-time a freelancer for the web developer is to treat it like a business. You are the CEO of your own company. You are responsible for everything related to it. Plan ahead, adopt the same work ethic as when you worked for other people and everything will be fine.
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