Freelancing is a great way to easily become self-employed in a short period of time. Web developers will find this approach the best option for forking themselves.
Freelancing often pays more than working for someone else. Keep a few points in mind before exploring this option.
Far from being a regular income, the income you get from freelancing is very volatile, and often you will find yourself getting checks mailed to you at any time of the month. Sometimes you don’t receive revenue from some of the customers you serve, or payments are late.
It’s always a good idea to have a backup plan so you can get some income from savings or other sources that provide multiple streams of income.
Difficult customers can make your day frustrating. Usually you come across this situation in your work, in some cases you may have a very good client who is very easy going and never complains. Dealing with difficult customers can be frustrating and stressful, especially if they constantly want revisions or expect products to appear in unreasonable time frames.
Keeping customers happy is part of doing business, and if you have experience in this area from a previous working relationship, you can take advantage of it.
Some of the benefits of being a self-employed web developer are that you charge what you earn, you get to choose the clients you work with, and you can schedule your own hours. However, you still need to keep the above points in mind.
In addition to freelancing, internet marketing is a great source of multiple income streams. You already have business and marketing technology experience, so this income stream fits what you do as a freelance web developer. Also consider this option.
Choose a Freelance Web Developer Rate That is Fair
I worked for a web agency for almost 5 years before switching to a freelance web developer. Maybe you’re going through the transition yourself and you’re trying to figure out what hourly rate you should charge. Like many other professionals (lawyers, accountants, etc.), you want a fair and competitive rate that will help you stay profitable.
Choosing an hourly rate is often difficult because of the competition you face. You’re not just competing with web developers locally, but all over the internet. Customers have the option of finding a web developer by searching the web. They can even choose to outsource to foreign developers.
Not only do you have to come up with a reasonable hourly rate, you also have to demonstrate why you are the best choice. Keep this in mind and don’t set your rates so low to beat your competition. It’s not fair to you. You want to make money. Here are factors to consider when deciding what to charge:
1. How much do you want your annual salary to be?
2. How many hours per year do you want to work?
3. How much overhead do you have (paying contractors, recurring bills, etc.)?
4. How much profit do you want to make?
There are many benefits to being a freelance web developer. On the one hand, you choose your customers. You can also choose your own working hours and the type of work you want to do. You don’t have a boss dictating how projects should be done. There are also downsides to freelancing.
The main downside is that if you’re not careful, you can feel like you’re trading one job for another. This is what happened to me. After a few years I stopped having fun. I’m tired of finding new clients, chasing overdue invoices, and meeting tight deadlines.
I’m starting to feel like I’m in the thick of it again, but this time I’m working longer. As long as your career doesn’t feel like a job, it’s worth being your own boss.