Working independently, regardless of the industry, can make a huge difference in your life. Not only will you be your own boss, but you also dictate to yourself how much money you earn, how hard you work, and what decisions you make.
I speak from experience when I say it changes lives. Although I’m not a freelance web developer, I’ve seen hundreds of people turn their web development skills into a successful business because of the pandemic and the way most people now do business (online).
If you’re toying with the idea of becoming a freelance website developer, check out this guide on how to get started.
What does self-employment mean?
First, it is important to understand what an independent profession means. When I started, I made a giant leap. It worked well for me and it can work for you too.
Here is what to expect.
When you are self-employed, you do not have an employer. Instead, you work for yourself and find all the work yourself. That sounds scary, I know. It also means deciding where and when you will work, how much you will be charged, and also when you will take a nice, long vacation.
You have no one to answer to anyone except Uncle Sam. He will want his share of your taxes, which by the way means you will pay both sides of the FICA tax as you are an employer and an employee.
It sounds complicated, but once you get started, you’ll probably wonder why you haven’t done it before.
What are the benefits of becoming a freelance web developer?
Like any job or business, becoming a freelance web developer has many benefits. I’ve already touched on the flexibility of the work and how much more freedom you’ll have, but let’s look at more technical reasons.
Use your abilities as you wish
When you work in a company, you get stuck in that position. You can’t break away and try new things or even make more money. You stay in the same position until the next checkup or until the next opportunity to advance.
When you work for yourself, you can branch out as much as you want. You may have found a niche you like that isn’t supported where you work now, but you’d like to explore it. As a self-employed person, you can make these decisions.
Provide tremendous value to other business owners
When you work for one company, you are stuck with their rules, regulations, and their reach in the world. A self-employed profession could give you this opportunity if you think you can offer more to the world and other companies. You can help other companies start, grow, and achieve goals beyond their wildest dreams.
The earning potential is endless
When you’re not working for someone, you can work as much or as little as you want. However, as you gain experience, you may find that you can increase your rates and earn much more than you have ever done by working in the business world.
You can diversify
When you work for yourself, you can do as many jobs as you want. If you don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket, you can set up a few stand-alone development companies, each serving a different niche.
Are there any disadvantages?
Of course, there are downsides to any business or investment that you need to consider:
It must be organized
Since you don’t have an employer to tell you what you need to do, you need to be organized. You are the owner, accountant, accountant, web developer, marketer and any other position your business requires. You need to be excellent in your time management skills, otherwise you may fail.
Lots of competition
After the pandemic, millions of people went to work on their own instead of relying on an employer. Since millions of people are involved in web development, you need to find a way to stand out from the crowd or differentiate yourself, otherwise you will get lost in a sea of others.
Find the right price through trial and error
You may find it difficult to evaluate your services. There you will find many self-employed workers who sell out briefly and hand out their services. This can lower the value of the offer of freelance web developers and force you to demand less for your services.
It can take a while before you find a sweet spot between charging what customers want and what you think you are worth.
What skills do you need to become a self-employed web designer?
To be a self-employed web designer, you need both web development skills and business skills. It is not enough to be an expert in web development. You need to know how to run a successful business, as at first you will probably run the entire show.
You can always start with the basics and move up and expand your services as you gain more grip.
Remember that you are a master in all areas when you are a self-employed worker. You’ll search for clients, handle liabilities and receivables, issue invoices, market your services, set up your website (this should be easy) and decide how to run your business.
The candle is easy to light at both ends, so don’t bite off more than you can chew. Start slowly, wet your feet, and then slowly expand. Make sure you master the business side of things well, and if not, invite someone who can.
6 steps to becoming a freelance web developer
If you are ready to become a freelance web developer and show the world what you can offer, use these steps.
1. Get the right education
If you do not yet have the skills, certifications or knowledge to work independently in web design, attend courses. Be as familiar as possible with all aspects of the services you want to offer.
2. Select a niche
Do not offer general web development services. Choose a niche. The more you specialize, the easier it is to advertise in your target market. Let people get to know you as an expert in the niche you offer.
It’s like hiring a real estate agent to sell your home. You wouldn’t hire an agent who specializes in homes worth $ 1 million if you were selling a home for $ 250,000, right? Everyone has their own specialty. This way you gain more business and really hone your skills.
3. Create a portfolio
You need something to show potential customers, to give them a reason to hire you. Your own website should represent other work you have done, either free or paid. The goal is to show others what you can do. It may even give them ideas of what they want for their website.
If you have any customer statements, be sure to include them as well. Business owners like to hear from “real people” what they think of your services.
4. Choose your price
This can be one of the hardest parts of becoming a freelance web developer. Prices should be worth your effort, but at the same time stay competitive in the industry.
Explore and see what others charge. Compare it to the services you offer. Do they offer more or less than what you intend to offer customers? Are you happy with their price or do you think there is room for more?
It’s good to have multiple price levels. Offer a basic or optional package, one level up, and then the grandfather of all packages. This leaves room for resale and helps potential customers see value in larger packages.
5. Market yourself
You need a brand to market yourself. Show potential customers what you stand for and what you offer.
Once they see your logo and basic information, it needs to be clear from the start what you are offering. It is best to market both online and offline.
Create a social media profile, log in to LinkedIn, and join local networking groups. As a web developer, you can help businesses around the world, but don’t ignore the value of your local community either.
Become an expert everywhere. Offer free advice on your social media platforms, host seminars and lectures, let everyone know you’re an expert in the industry, and offer value-added services.
6. If necessary, use standalone websites
If you don’t get instant grip on private clients, rely on stand-alone platforms like Upstack or TopTotal. You can take advantage of a large audience of the platform and tell about your services.
As you gain more experience, you’ll find it easier to break away from yourself and find your independent clients.
Consider a freelance web developer company if you are looking for ways to make more money and maybe leave the job from 9 to 5. If you have a passion for web development, have the patience to run your own business and have a desire for unlimited earnings, then this can be great opportunity for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Money Does a Freelance Web Developer Make?
Each self-employed person will earn a different amount of money depending on how hard they work and how much they charge. On average, however, independent web developers earn $ 60 to $ 80 per hour, even if they don’t charge per hour. This is how their accusations turn out.
Is web development good for independent work?
There are a lot of freelancers today. Millions of people jump on board because they know they can make more money than working for someone. As with any business, you get what you put into it. So yes, web development can be good for freelancers if you can handle the business side of things.
How long does it take to learn web development?
If you are not yet proficient in web development, you can learn it in 5 to 6 months. It depends on where you attend the lectures, how much time you dedicate to them, and how quickly you catch them. Today, there are hundreds of online course options that make it easy to get the education you need, even when you work full time.