Getting Started With Freelance Work

  1. Pick a niche. What is your skillset? App development? Web design? Automation? You might be able to do all three, but consider what you are most skilled at and what aligns best with your career goals beyond bootcamp.
  2. Pick a platform. If you decide to use a freelancing platform, you have to pick the right one. Some of the most used platforms for developers include Fiverr, UpWork, Freelancer, and Dice. There are also some developer-only freelancing websites such as Toptal. Look into a bunch and see what’s right for you. If you’re not using a platform, consider how you can leverage your personal and online network to find work.
  3. Gather examples for your portfolio. Whether you are finding work through a platform or through referrals, you will need to have a portfolio to show to potential clients. This can be challenging if you’re in the middle of bootcamp and haven’t worked in coding before. If you’re in this situation, I recommend helping out friends and family for free to start building a portfolio — it’s a win-win! Plus, you can put your capstone project on your portfolio once you graduate!
  4. Start with smaller jobs to build your confidence. Even if you’re an incredibly talented programmer, there’s a lot of skills required for freelancing that you’ll still have to develop. On your first project, you might invoice something incorrectly or there may be a lapse in communication with the client. Small mistakes are bound to happen, so taking on smaller jobs in the beginning can help you learn the ropes. Don’t let fear of not knowing everything stop you. Be honest about what you think you can do and don’t take on any jobs that are above your head; there are clients looking for all levels of pricing options and niches so you might be the solution they are looking for.
  5. Stay motivated. Getting started with freelancing is no easy feat, especially for coding work where there is already substantial competition. The hardest part is getting your first client and review. Despite the fees, you might consider doing real work for someone you know through a platform in order to get over that first hurdle.

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Hack Upstate

Advancing Upstate New York's tech community through events and education. http://hackupstate.com/ && https://careersincode.org/