Hands up if you’re sick of the traditional 9-5 grind and being stuck in an office all day? Thanks to modern-day technology and the boom of the internet, it’s never been easier to break free from the restrictive shackles of life and venture out into the world as your own boss in the form of an IT freelancer.
Freelance workers are nothing new, but more and more businesses are starting to invest in these workers making it the perfect time to enter the industry for yourself. If you’ve got the knowledge and the drive to succeed, this could be one of the best career choices you’ve ever made.
To give you a helping hand, today we’re going to explore all the tips you’ll ever need to know in order to become an IT freelancer and attract clients and work in location from around the world.
Creating a Portfolio
As an IT freelancer, you are facing a fairly competitive industry. According to statistics provided by Econsultancy, 41% of all freelancing hires are dedicated to IT and Programming. So it’s essential that you produce a competitive portfolio in order to showcase your skills, so you can secure jobs with your potential clients. Since you’re freelancing and it’s illogical to send a portfolio to countless clients, the best approach is by launching your own website with a portfolio included.
Appealing and well-designed portfolio will show not only your experience but your skills as well in this case. It is your business card as an IT professional. Also, you may create a visual portfolio using pictures, diagrams, and graphics to get the job from potential clients.
Jeremy Chadwick, a freelancer and web developer working for Paper Fellows, states “A portfolio is the perfect place to highlight what you can achieve as an IT freelancer, as well as detailing your work history, the work you’ve completed with past clients and even personal projects. The website itself will also be a testament to your skills”.
The Importance of Networking
Networking is potentially the most important tool you have when it comes to securing clients. Whether you’re working at home, in a café or the other side of the world, you never know what opportunities are going to open themselves up to you through networking.
Regardless of where you are, attend freelancing events, a popular place to meet businesses, clients and freelancers which are becoming more popular every single year. When you’re going about your daily life, talk to people about what you do, and you’ll be surprised with how far word of mouth can go.
Finally, make sure you utilize social media. This can be your best friend, as well as your best form of traffic. Be sure to sign up and follow freelance specific pages and engage with the content they post, as well as other followers.
Master the Art of Communication
You might decide that you want to start setting up your ‘office’ in some beautiful destination on the other side of the world. However, for this to work effortlessly, you’ll need to brush up on your communication skills.
Since you’re a freelancer, a lot of the chats you’ll have with clients will be via email, Skype or over the phone, so make sure you brush up on your writing skills, so you can communicate effortlessly and minimise the risk of costly error or miscommunication. Be sure to check the grammar and accuracy of your posts using tools like Grammarly or Grammarix.
Darren Thompson, an IT expert for Big Assignments, shares, “English is renowned for being a universal language with many people around the world speaking some degree of it. Improving your English will help you not just communicate with clients, but also the people you bump into in your everyday life. Since freelancing has taken off, we’ve seen a huge spike in our English learning packages which involve tutors helping people to improve their skills.”
Improve Your Language Knowledge
Hand in hand with the consideration above, it’s essential that you re-invest your time in making sure that your overall writing skills are up to date. You could be writing your portfolio, an email to a client, completing a contract or updating your website. Whatever it is your doing, your language and grammar need to be perfect.
Recent studies found that poor grammar has a huge effect on the way potential clients perceive you and you could even be missing out on business due to this fact alone. However, you can use writing guides, such as State of Writing and Via Writing to improve your knowledge easily.
Having a website also makes it incredibly easy to simply show your expertise by blogging on your website. When writing content for your website, don’t forget to check it for plagiarism with Copyscape or Academized. Tons of your potential clients may find you using Google or other Search Engines and plagiarised information and content can damage the SEO ranking of your website and your reputation.
As you can see, there are many things you can take into consideration when it comes to starting your own career as an IT freelancer. Remember to start off small and build up your client base. The better the experience you can give each client, the quicker you’ll grow as a freelancer and the more successful you’ll become over time.