This week, I’m going to be starting parental leave. I’ll be leaving my full-time retail job of 7+ years. While I’m off, I’m going to make a serious stab at obtaining part-time work as a web developer. Starting off in the freelance world is hard. I’ve had my fair share of work but primarily through friends, family, friends of friends, friends of family, and a few extended contacts. But, once that well is dry, it may dry up for well. That’s the issue I’ve currently run into.
After doing some research online on how to find freelance work, I’ve started looking heavily into obtaining new jobs.
I’ve been a member of Upwork for about three years. I’ve successfully nabbed one job on it. The person hired me to design a landing page for them for $20 with the promise of the contract for developing the site. After the design work was complete, my prototype was taken and the client hired someone else to do it. I was paid the $20 but I still felt cheated.
Upwork is a lot of grossly underpaid contracts with a few properly funded ones, if you dig enough. Perhaps I’m not doing it right but I’m at the point where I close out a project proposal if I see that the bid is ridiculously low, or the client has a history of paying < $15/hr.
This is an area I haven’t ventured into too seriously yet but is my next foray. I’ve heard of people having a great deal of success just cold calling local businesses and offering to re-build their websites. My biggest personal problem I have here is selling the client on my services for a reasonable rate. I feel like smaller businesses often don’t see the value in paying someone $30+ /hr to build them a website when they feel that they could manage it themselves with Wordpress, Squarespace, or Wix.
If you’ve successfully built a freelance business from the ground up, please leave any parting advice in the comments.