Key Tips on Freelancing

RMAG news

I’ve always wanted to start freelancing as a developer for a side business but had questions that needed answering before jumping into it.

I had the opportunity to speak with Brian Jenney, the owner of the bootcamp Parsity and host of the Develop Yourself podcast, who helped me address my concerns before I proceeded down this path.

I’d like to share what I’ve learned. These insights may work for some and not for others, and there may be differing opinions. Please feel free to comment and share your thoughts on any of these points.

Key Takeaways:

Understand Client Goals
Ask the client about the goal of the site.

Set a Minimum Price
Establish a minimum price of $500.

Maintenance Plan
If you build a website from scratch, offer the first month of maintenance for free, and then charge $100 monthly thereafter. If maintenance becomes too demanding, inform the client that you can no longer continue. Also, pitch that you can fix any bugs within 24 hours.

Charge for Extras
Charge extra for tasks outside of coding, such as writing content or gathering images.

Milestone Payments
Typically, you will be paid by milestones. For a website build, milestones cover the entire project from start to finish. For existing codebases, milestones can differ based on the specific tasks.

Client Communication
Avoid discussing technology with the client, as they generally only care about the final product. Use your preferred stack or third-party services, and choose the hosting provider you like.

Seek Help When Needed
If you cannot accomplish a task or complete the job, reach out and hire another developer to help you. If you cannot find help, provide a refund and apologize.

Set Clear Expectations
Set clear expectations with the client about timelines and deliverables to avoid misunderstandings. If they do not already have a website, inform them that they will need to pay for a domain name and monthly hosting. If their requirements include a third-party service with a recurring monthly fee, make sure they are aware of this cost upfront. All of these details should be communicated to the client from the beginning.

Secure Payment Methods
Collect payment through Stripe, Venmo, or any other reliable platform.

Protect Your Work
A written contract or agreement won’t always protect you, as people can still fail to pay. If you build a website for someone and they haven’t paid you, ensure you retain access to everything so you can take it down until payment is made.

Conclusion

I hope these takeaways have been helpful and given you some things to consider if you plan to pursue freelancing as a developer.

Summary of Key Takeaways:

Understand Client Goals
Set a Minimum Price
Maintenance Plan
Charge for Extras
Milestone Payments
Client Communication
Seek Help When Needed
Set Clear Expectations
Secure Payment Methods
Protect Your Work