How To Start Getting Into Freelancing Without Previous Experience
Who doesn’t love freelancing?
Earning some extra $$ on your own time without interfering with your current job? Sign me up!
However, it is not that simple as learning HTML. You need to have the proper skillset that clients are, more often than not, looking for.
Web development is an amazing area with a lot of clients looking for freelancers to work on projects and whatnot. So, if you are just starting out, I would recommend to familiarize yourself with the modern web dev technologies.
Here are some free resources if you want to stack up on your knowledge:-
1. freecodecamp.org : The best free online resource out their for learning web development (in my opinion).
2. codecademy.com : They have good free courses available that teach you the fundamentals/basics that are required.
3. codewars.com : Test your coding skills and practice algorithms.
Don’t worry if you have already invested yourself in other fields like Software Development, or Mobile Development there are a lot of freelancing opportunities for almost every aspect of the tech industry.
Being a freelancer is really helpful as you will understand a lot about yourself and gain valuable insight about where you stand. Also, there is a lot of growing in freelancing. Not like your regular job at a multi-billion dollar company, you actually climb up ranks and grow. Eventually, if you are good at what you do, you will be making as much as you would be if you had a decent job.
How much can you earn as a freelancer?
It depends. Especially in the tech industry where the earnings depend on a lot of factors like, complexity of the project, client’s budget, your work, etc…
But I can assure you this, it is never the same. Sometimes you get paid a lot, sometimes less, that’s how freelancing is. The way you present and sell yourself to the client also matters a lot when determining the pricing for the project.
Ok, now lets get to the numbers: You can expect to make at least $11-$20/hour when you are getting started and can go all the way up to
$80 -$100/hour. Keep in mind, that these numbers are your rates/hour, most freelancing websites take your performance into account and generate an hourly rate. Professionals can make all the way to $400/hour!
Sometimes you get paid per project. One project with a client, for example, can get you paid $500 but you get paid after your work. These types of projects are getting more and more common recently. For these, the project’s complexity and your smoothness in handling the work determines the amount of money you get paid.
Obviously, let me make this clear, the numbers above are NOT true for everyone. The freelancing market is really flexible. There is no stable income, unless you have returning clients.
How do I get my first client?
Since anyone can freelance (literally all you have to do is learn the basics of a language and make a profile on one of the freelancing websites) it gets really hard to get your first client. Especially when freelancing websites show “Top Rated” freelancers at the top and no one ever scrolls down and pick a person with no reviews, and no experience.
There are a lot of ways people can get their first client. The most effective way is through networking and connections. The more social and connected you are with the people around you, it will be that easier to get your first client.
Just ask around whether anyone needs any project to be worked on or need anyone to create a website for their business or product. Now, if anyone has some work that needs to be done, they will most likely agree for you to work on it as they already know you. That person would be your first client.
After you get a friend or family member that is interested in hiring you, ask them to hire you on the freelancing website you signed up at. This way the website knows you have clients and will start recommending you to others.
This is how I got my first client. I had a family member that needed a website to be developed and maintained. I asked them to hire me through the website I was using. After I finished the project I received a 5 star, obviously because family. This was really helpful as after this, I started seeing clients slowly being interested in me.
Obviously the first few clients will be a little difficult to hunt down, but once you are over that phase you will start earning more and will not have a problem with not being shown to potential clients by the website.
What if I have no network or connections?
If you have no one interested in hiring you, then the next best option would be to just apply and hope someone is going to pick you. This is really ineffective and will just waste your time.
However, there is a rather unethical and possibly against the ToS way of attracting potential clients your way. Here it goes, make fake projects from different client accounts and pay yourself through the website. This way doesn’t work if you can not invest in yourself.
Lets say you have $50 to invest in your freelancing career. Make a different account and post a project where you hire your real account. Then pay off your real account from the project through the website $50. After taxes, and commission for the website you will probably lose around $5. Now you have $45 left. Repeat until you have $0 left. Don’t forget to give yourself 5 stars!