Glad you enjoyed the post on getting your first freelance web development work. I’ll send you more tips for freelancing as I post them. In the meantime, here are my 3 favorite tips to keep in mind as you’re getting your footing.
1. Don’t Oversell
Fake it ’til you make it!
You’ve probably heard this cliché parroted as justification for lying about what you can do. Don’t lie to people about what you can do for them. Your reputation is far more important than the confidence you project.
You can, however, take this too far in the other direction. Don’t take me to mean you have to have experience in every single aspect of a job before you can take it. It’s alright to do some learning as you go. If someone asks you specifically if you have done X, you have not done X, and you tell them you have done X, that’s not “projecting confidence” or anything of the sort; it’s just lying.
2. Don’t Disqualify Yourself from a Job
If you’re forthcoming to your prospective clients about what you know and are capable of, there’s no need to talk yourself out of a job. Most of the people you apply with will disqualify you from their openings, so you’ll get plenty of that without contributing to it yourself.
If you feel like you know 85 or 90% of what you need to know to complete a job and you’re confident you can pick up the rest along the way, go for it.
3. Follow Up
When you first start pursuing freelance work, you’ll be inclined to talk to everyone just a single time. If they really wanted to hire me, they would have said so, right? That’s not always the case. This is why you need to follow up.
If you met someone new at a meet-up or at a conference, follow up with them to say it was nice to meet them. If you’re in contact with someone who may have work for you, follow up and then continue following up until they say they’ve hired someone else or cancelled the project. If they hired someone else, follow up with them in about 3 months to see how the project is going. You’ll be shocked how much additional work these follow-ups will bring in.