If you crave freedom in your life, then working as a freelancer can be a great way to achieve it. You can set your own hours and work in the best environment to suit you. 71 percent of freelancers report being more satisfied in their careers after making the switch.
But is it that easy to turn self-employed as a software developer or engineer? Are you wondering how to start freelancing?
Read on to learn more.
1. Brush Up on Your Business Skills
You won’t just be writing code all day for clients. As a freelancer, you’re primarily running a business.
So you’ll need to get business systems in place. That includes:
- Having a business bank account
- Marketing your services
- Setting up an invoicing system
- Applying for business insurance you may need
- Tracking expenses
Getting these systems established upfront will make the switch to freelancing much smoother. It’ll also make it much easier to file your taxes.
It’s advisable to work out how much you spend on bills, groceries, and other outgoings every month. Save until you have enough to pay those outgoings for six months. Then go freelance.
2. Line Up Gigs Before You Switch
It’s also a good idea to find clients before you switch to freelancing fulltime. Give freelancing a try with two or three clients alongside your main job first.
This gives you time to iron out your work process without the pressure of needing an income.
If you find you still want to be a freelancer, then start building a roster of clients. This will ease the process of going freelance because you’re not starting from scratch.
You may also be able to reduce hours in your day job, freeing you up to spend more time on your freelance work.
You can also ask these early clients for testimonials. This gives you social proof for your full-time freelancing gig.
3. Start Networking
The best way to find clients is through referrals. 85 percent of jobs are filled through networking.
Ask around in your existing network for leads. Let friends and family know you’re available for work.
Try connecting with former colleagues or employers. As they’re familiar with you and your software engineering work, they’ll be more likely to pass on your name.
Don’t try to network with clients from your full-time day job. That’s a conflict of interest, not to mention bad business practice.
4. Boost Your Online Presence
Having a presence on social media is also a great way to market your services. For software engineers, a profile on LinkedIn is a must. Twitter is also useful for the tech sector, and GitHub can be a powerful way to demonstrate you coding skills.
Use these social media platforms to highlight your website or portfolio. Show up and answer questions or share useful articles.
It all helps to build your authority and get your name in front of potential clients. Driving traffic to your website is how you’ll win new business.
That’s How to Start Freelancing
Now you know how to start freelancing. Due to the size of the technology sector, you’ll find plenty of opportunities for software engineers or developers.
Just make sure you set up the right systems first so you can make the leap with grace and ease.
Why not check out our current opportunities for your first freelance gig?