In a competitive and highly dense labor market like tech freelancing, you have to stand out in order to be successful. In their quarterly skills index, Upwork reveals that 17 of the 20 highest paying jobs for freelancers are tech-related. There were around 56.7 million Americans in the gig economy last year and tech freelancers were the fastest growing segment. In order to compete with this market it’s not enough to just have technical skills. Freelance tech talent platform Yoss shows how increasing your visibility to potential employers is also key and this can be done by building up an extensive portfolio. Learning to market yourself, making your brand look professional, and keeping up with the latest trends are the best strategies to become a successful tech freelancer.
Work as an entrepreneur
First off, as a freelancer, you must think of yourself as a business owner and not an employee. And building a business entails managing your own contracts, client communications, accounting, and productivity. Having an entrepreneurial mindset also means: you have to plan and assess your business for it to grow.
Communication is crucial. Actively hone your oral and written communication skills. Typos and grammatical errors in pitches and bids can make a bad first impression and may harm your chances. Also, in many cases, the hiring party wants to know how you will tackle the job, and clearly communicating your process will go a long way to reeling in clients.
Build your clientele with satisfied customers. The quality of your work should ensure you are never out of projects. You should be spending more time working than looking for work. Paypal’s Freelancer Insights Report uncovers that 46% of freelancers say irregular income is the biggest downside of freelancing.
Build your brand
Techworld suggests you should differentiate yourself to get noticed in tech freelancing. Find out what makes you unique among the tens of thousands of similarly skilled freelancers. Are you an expert in a niche area of your skillset? If so, make that your brand.
Make a tech blog. A large part of being a highly paid freelancer is building your own website that showcases your skills and portfolio. The landing page should show a concise biography and a sample of your best work or brands you have worked with. As a tech freelancer, it also helps if your site has a blog that displays your expertise in your specific skillset. Linkto Tech recommends you try writing about your local area if you don’t know where to start as it can add flavor to your content.
Find the right platform. If you’re planning on collaborating with a platform, there are many out there. While the low commission fees and large client base may sound attractive, finding platforms that specifically cater to your niche skillset will increase your chances of getting hired.
Continue to develop your skills
Set aside time to improve your craft. Unlike other industries, skills in tech freelancing are always changing and developing. Keeping up with the new techniques and practices in your field is a form of reinvesting in your business.
Learn new skills. An AND CO report reveals that 61% of freelancers specialize in at least two skills. While it’s not as easy in the tech industry, branching out into new specific skills adjacent to or derivative to your current skills can ensure you’re always on top of your game.