How to Start Yout Freelance Career in Web & App Development

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How to Be Your Own Boss: Starting Your Freelance Career in Web & App Development

Looking to jumpstart your freelance career? Whether you are looking to start your own business, keep your full-time job, or simply earn some extra money, freelancing can be a great way to practice your skills, build a portfolio, and improve your work-life balance.

How to Cultivate a Freelance Career

Working freelance gives you the opportunity to be your own boss. To help you enjoy the benefits of being a freelance developer, we’ve compiled a few steps to build your freelance career. 

Game Plan

Before you jump straight into freelance work, make an initial game plan. Consider how much time per week you have available, what type of projects interests you, and research the market. You can change your plan once you get started, but this will help frame your workflow. 

Know the Challenges

A critical step in your freelance success is understanding potential logistical challenges. Be sure to research information on taxes, insurance and other benefits, and time management. You can find helpful details here.

Develop Your Niche

Now that you’ve reflected on your capacity, goals, and the market’s needs - continue to develop your technical skills. Stay up-to date on new languages and develop an expertise. Being an “expert” can help you land a project.

Build, Build, Build

While at Udacity, you’ve likely already built a few projects to include in your portfolio. To boost your skills and marketability, keep building! Although paid work may be your goal, to jumpstart your freelance network - contribute on GitHub and volunteer for development projects. Building projects regularly is a great way to improve your skills set and expand your network. 

Share Your Brand

Once you establish your niche and develop your portfolio, be creative in how you market your skills. Rather than using expensive and potentially ineffective advertising, we recommend using free venues to showcase your work. This includes having a great personal website and building both your virtual network (github) and your in-person network (meetups and conferences). Finally, a great way to build your brand is to share your voice. Whether on twitter, quora, youtube or blogging, socializing online and offline will help expand your market. 

Stay Organized

Being a freelance developer is not just about coding. Freelancing is also about doing project management, sales, and customer care. To balance these skills, be organized! We recommend finding a time and project management system to help you always be at your best.

Be Brave and Bold!

With your expert skill, budding portfolio, professional brand and organized calendar, be brave and bold. Start hunting for real-life projects and paid projects. A few great places to search for freelance work include websites like Upwork and Freelancer.com.

Final Thoughts

The journey to becoming a successful freelancer can be full of both challenges and opportunities - but staying organized, resourceful and resilient will give you the tools to take control of your career. Remember, start building, make connections, and be open to opportunity. You’ve got this!

Additional Resources

How to Start Making Money with Code Before You Quit Your Job
Skillcrush

A blog post on 14 businesses you can start with your new tech skills

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How To Become A Freelance Web Developer
Career Foundry

Get tips on starting your freelance web development career

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UpWork

Find a freelancing gig on this job board!

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Freelancer.com

Discover new opportunities on the world's largest freelancing and crowdsourcing marketplace.

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