5 essential tips on how to become a tech freelancer
What if you took your money, career and future into your own hands and chose to work freelance? This blog will give you 5 essential tips for how to start your freelance tech career.
The graduate job market is ultra-competitive right now – many tech companies are facing losses and aren’t advertising for as many entry level roles – so securing your first job might be harder than normal.
But tech freelancers can boast lots of benefits: they decide their own hours, clients, holidays and job security. They get to become their own boss and work in the field that they love.
In the beginning, you might be better off starting your freelance career as more of a side hustle. Money will be tight because you will probably have no contacts or experience. Once you get the ball rolling you can dedicate more time and money to your freelance career.
It’s best to start off by learning the basics. So familiarise yourself with the industry in a quick free course before the crucial next step…
1 – Decide your niche
The first, and most important tip for how to become a tech freelancer is picking your niche.
Working as a freelancer in tech is an incredibly broad idea – so narrow it down. Do your skills lie in design, programming or consulting? Do you already have portfolio projects and experience in a specific field?
By choosing your niche, your clients can find you easier on websites like Bark, UpWork and Freelancer.
It is so important to build your skills with digital courses, especially if you didn’t take a degree in your field. DigitalGrads has a range of learning programmes that will help you gain vital skills for your first freelance job.
2 – Build your portfolio
For people to trust you with their businesses and their money, you need to be able to demonstrate your skills from the get-go.
Unfortunately, in the beginning, taking on underpaid work is a necessity for this reason. But, if you can find a friend or family member that needs some help with their website, you might find the process of building a portfolio more enjoyable.
You might have to do lots of networking in the beginning. This will involve reaching out to local businesses and organisations to see if you can lend a helping digital hand. This might be awkward, but it is an important step for building your list of clients.
3 – Get those reviews
People aren’t going to trust you with their business without hearing about how dependable, innovative and fast-working you are. Be sure to ask all of your clients for reviews and testimonials – these are the most persuasive way to prove your skills and get more jobs.
4 – Get paid
Now, the fun part: getting paid.
This is a conversation that you must have with every one of your clients. Although you might have to shoot for a lower sum in the beginning, freelancers can end up making crazy amounts of money.
Be sure to negotiate your salary and set up payment methods before you put in all the work. Some people can be shady, and as a young freelancer, you have to try to protect yourself from scammers.
Once you’ve got some experience, up your rate. You have to be sure of your worth and be prepared to convince your clients of it. They will always try to get you to work for less money, so be ready to negotiate and prove your skills.
5 – Keep Learning
There is always going to be someone more qualified than you – so you have to try and keep up. Keep taking courses all the time – learn coding, marketing, website design, app building and always be expanding your skills.
DigitalGrads is an amazing platform where you can find valuable tech courses for free. By signing up to the academy, you will also be able to apply for jobs and begin building your tech freelancer portfolio.