5 simple ways to start getting freelance work

January 16, 2009 at 12:44 pm Leave a comment

Its been around 5 months since I turned into a full time freelance software developer. Every now and then I meet people who ask me how can they also become freelancer and work independently. My friends and colleagues ping me to ask if I have some freelance work for them. Although I don’t have any work that I can assign to them, I know few ways by which one can find freelance work and projects themselves. The best way is to freelance on the side while keeping a full time job. This can be a very good way to find out if you really are a freelance material or not. I freelanced part time for 2 years while building up the confidence and then gradually became a full time freelancer.

1. Participate in forum discussions

This should be the starting point. Find out couple of popular forums which are related to your domain. Start interacting with the users of the forum by answering their questions or asking some questions that you might have on your mind. Lots of forum have a job section where you can find projects posted very often. If you have a good reputation in the forum there are high chances of getting to work on the projects posted.

2. Get involved in open source projects

This is the second step. Find out some open source projects related to your domain that you would love to work on. Almost every active open source project is in need of  developers. This will give you an experience in working with teams remotely, interacting with people in different geographical locations with different time zones.

3. Start blogging

This is your primary marketing tool. Write about the technologies you use and work on. Infact, you can write about any thing that excites you. You blog will build your image in people’s mind. The more and better you write, more and better people come back to read what you write. Once people start knowing you projects will come in automatically.

4. Build your profile

Resumes will soon be dead. Sites like LinkedIn, VisualCV, Facebook etc… are now being used to find out more about a person. Make sure you have your profile update in these sites. Recommendations from people who know you helps a lot in building your credibility.

5. Start bidding for projects

This should be the last in your list too. Only if you are confident enough to work on a project you should bid for it. The first 4 points will help you in winning the bid. The most famous sites where you can build your profile and start bidding are oDesk, eLance, GetaFreelancer, Guru.

One very important point to keep in mind is that its not very easy to become a freelancer.  Getting to work on project that pays you decent amount of money might take considerable amount of time.

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Entry filed under: Food for thought, Freelancer. Tags: .

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