Wow it’s been half a year since I started to be a freelancer and it feels like a few years at least.
Although in terms of time sounded short but I did quite a bit mainly by exaggerating hours and working days and inability to say no! To things in my way and interest me.
I’ve already worked with 7 clients on a variety of projects (mobile apps, websites, bots, consulting …) and almost everyone is different from each other and the style of working with him is completely different.
Sounds good? Do not be sure ..
Being independent is not an easy choice, but it sounds very attractive at first and it’s a new world and it’s really cool, but in practice it requires a lot of features that you have or you’ll have to develop very quickly to make progress, succeed and most importantly survive.
Do not get it wrong, I’m a masochist and I love risks so I enjoy myself the more I suffer, but it’s important for me now, after half a year, to stop for a moment, look back and share things I’ve learned and maybe help others who are just starting out.
It’s enough that one person who reads it gets a value from the post, as far as I’m concerned it was worth writing it.
I have a lot to say and it will be difficult to write everything in one post so I’ll start with a post that talks mostly about customers and if it’s successful interest people I’ll write a few more (so tell me what you love or what you want me to write later .. alright?)
- Do not compromise, especially at first.😎
The first steps you take may be what defines the initial DNA of your business. If you choose a customer type that you do not feel comfortable with or technology that you do not like or even people that do not fit you to work with as partners, you may be dragged along with it and this way of thinking of compromise once it is hard, will not go away.
Even if it means not finding a customer and income immediately, be patient, trust me. It will be worth your while to find what you have connected to.
2. Do not put all your eggs in one basket.🐣
The intention is to treat your business as an investment portfolio. You choose what percentage of risk you are prepared to take by which you make up the case. For example, in the types of customers: 50% are established companies with long-term income, 20% are start-ups, 20% are private individuals with an idea and 10% are foreign customers.
If you intend to build a portfolio that is not built on one customer or a particular type of customer, you will not crash when the customer suddenly runs out of budget, decide that the client type is not suitable or for any other reason.
It’s clear to me that from the start it’s not easy to get straight to this building, but if you’re going there, you’ll always have a look at where you are missing in your bag and know where and to whom to aim.
3. Start from close circles to reach your first customers.👨👩👧👧
You have great friends and have a family who loves you, know you and care about you.
Tell them in every way about what you’re doing, your vision, your challenges right now.
It’s like seeds that you plant in all sorts of fields and wait for the tree to grow and produce fruit. There is no doubt that it is not guaranteed but with a little patience, faith and that you are talented in what you do, the opportunities will come and with much more credibility that they are from people you know.
4. Be transparent with the customer from scratch in everything.😇
Each client is a kind of relationship. It may be short term and can be long term but in a healthy relationship both sides are telling each other everything. Something that worries you and may develop into a problem in the future? Share. Do you feel that you lack data and you can not continue without it? Speak now since it may not be pleasant afterwards.
Are you unhappy with any conduct? Share and be honest. No need to go into the charges. You can do everything with a good vibe so long as your intention is the same — to succeed in creating something great together.
5. If you do not have time, say no.⌛
The tendency to please everyone and not miss interesting opportunities is dangerous. You may find yourself doing a lot of projects at the same time but not keeping up with your standards without starting to work now into the night, on weekends and maybe even then you are still not satisfied. Work from the beginning on the ability to know exactly what you want and can and do not be shy from time to time to say no. Otherwise, you might even harm one of your projects unintentionally.
6. It is important to please the customer but at the same time put any boundaries from scratch.📏
When I signed on a founders agreement to establish my startup,I also made sure to note what happens in the case of divorce. This is an example of something that no one wants to talk about because it is negative and not a good vibe but once it is suddenly needed and it is not registered .. believe me you will have some complications.
There is no such thing as friends, there is no such thing as unpleasant. Write together a document that describes everything that matters to you or the client that will happen as much as possible.
Once you start working with the coordination of expectations and honesty that everyone agrees upon, every time a complication is resolved in the document and there is no need to rack your brain.
7. Always give the customer more than he asked for.♥️
You promised only service X and can give service Y without any additional costs? Do it. Both the client will enjoy and you will enjoy the smile on his face since he received something fun and good that he did not expect and gave him an additional value.
8. Take an office or an open space with people who are fun to see on a daily basis.🏢
Think it is too expensive and prefer cafes or at your house? Well it depends on your taste as well. But you’re sitting in a compound where you’re not only inspired by other people (independent like you or startups), you’re also hanging around where your customers are hanging out or their friends will get to know you and even one conversation in the kitchen to make black coffee after hummus lunch and boom, you are references by other to new clients. It does not happen just like that and is not guaranteed, but sitting in the compounds definitely increases the chances.
9. Try to understand the potential of the work ahead.🤔
Sometimes it is enough just to ask directly without being ashamed. Even if the client is super nice and an super interesting, if you do not get jobs from him after the current one and at the same time there is another client with a long continuation potential, you should know this and if you ask more, you will probably know more (and if not? At least you tried)
10. Do not bet lower than you are worth to get the job done for just satisfying the customer.💵
First of all, it is crucial that you are aware to the amount of money freelancer with similar experience earn.
A customer who understands your value, is willing to pay, and there are no such deficiencies. You just need patience and mental strength to get to them (um, and a bit of luck, too).
As in section 1 I wrote, compromising the price at first can be dragged down and create damage later on. It will be possible to get away from it but it is much more difficult if you did not create such a foundation in advance.
There is one case in which I am in favor of low prices. If you have additional benefits from the project other than payment. Suppose? Learn new technology that you are less experienced in, work with someone you really want to work with or maybe someone who is sure to turn other customers to you later on. This is your decision how to do it and there is no exact science here. Mainly intuition.
Hope you had a nice and valuable reading!
Next time I will write about the freelance journey from another angle (:
Feel free to give me some claps here (only in case I deserve it!)
I am Chen Feldman, A Tech Freelancer
Wanna sit for a coffee or chat? www.chenfeldman.com