Why become a freelance frontend developer?

You’ve devoted quite a bit of time to work as an onsite full-time developer and now feel it’s time to try something new? Change your life, add a grain of salt and pepper to a flat routine? Maybe, it’s high time to start navigating the vast waters of the freelance market? If you don’t know anything about freelance and want to learn a bit more about it — you’ve come right. Our article is for you!

Freelance work has its own benefits and bonuses. What are they? For starters:

  • With freelance come autonomy and freedom: you can choose intriguing and useful projects, develop yourself in the desired direction, and decline boring offers;
  • Freelancers are masters of their own time;
  • Freelancers can choose clients and projects themselves.

Well, of course, this list is far from complete! Benefit analysis is one of our favorite types of analysis, so we’ve decided to write some more about it.

The plethora of freelance benefits

Let’s analyze the key bonuses of the freelance work approach in detail. How does it differ from onsite full-time? Are there any downsides to this kind of employment? We’ll answer all the questions one by one. 

  • Being your own boss. Indeed — if you’re a freelancer, no one makes you work from 9 to 5, handle minor and boring projects, or stick to the same position for many years. You have much more self-control compared to the corporate world (where all the laymen are just cogs in the colossal mechanism). However, with great freedom comes great responsibility: no one will back you up, so you’d better be rational and resilient if you’re a freelancer (or going to be the one).
  • Tailored schedule. Closing tasks is your only responsibility. Pick the hours that suit you most — just remember that no one pays freelancers for idleness (contrary to full-time, yes). Don’t forget to perform the reality checks. Consider two key questions. Will you manage to cope with all you’ve taken? Will you get enough money for your jobs this month? Rationality is the key. Don’t take too little or too much; find the golden middle. Overworking weakens your body and spirit, hindering you from meeting future (even modest) deadlines, whereas underworking leaves you penniless. Enjoy your bonus responsibly! 
  • Faster rate increase. You don’t have to wait for the annual or biannual office procedure as a freelancer. Think over your rate and boost it autonomously. However, it’s crucial to evaluate yourself properly so that you wouldn’t lose the competition and potential clients. Do you deserve a pay rise? What extra skills do you have now? What will you sell for your salary? 
  • The easy point of entry. Everyone can be a freelancer. You don’t need infrastructure, just your working tools (i.e. laptop and essential programs), and a fast Internet connection. Of course, full-timers occasionally get their tools for free, whereas freelancers should always remember to include the tools’ cost in the rate. One more from the bright side: the demand for freelance frontend developers is very high, according to the recent report by Robert Half, so finding clients won’t be difficult.

How to become a freelance developer?

Instead of life coaching, we decided to present you with a useful step-by-step guide. Ready, steady, go!

Define your demands. What do you want to achieve by freelance? Is it a stable income, relatively free schedule, diverse projects, multiple interesting clients, or something else? Answer the question to yourself at once, so that you can start moving towards your aim from the starting point. 

  • Choose a niche. Don’t plan to stand out from the freelance market in the IT segment. Consider what you do the best and make it your distinct specialization. Focus on a particular problem and its solving. Build a problem-handling strategy. 
  • Research all the legal information. No one will handle your papers but you. What are the income taxes for freelancers in your country? How often do you need to fill in the tax record? Which country is your country of operation? Already feeling your head burst like a bubble? That’s just the beginning. 
  • Talk to your colleagues — either current or future ones. Explore the taunting world of the IT forums, Quora, and Reddit threads. Quite often, there are a lot of hidden information gems there. Suppose your troubles are unique? Far from it! 
  • Set an income goal. What are your basic needs? What are your extra needs? Make a list, classify your needs and define milestones. 
  • Find your audience. Create a portrait of the ideal clients. Where to find them? How to find them? What is their schedule? Keep in mind that you’ll be competing with many other freelancers, so you’d better catch the most profitable clients ASAP.
  • Decide on prices and explore your market. Will you charge by the hour or by the project? How much per hour? (Don’t race, stop and think.
  • Create a portfolio and a CV. Your CV is a luring storefront of your professional life. No freelancer starts their work without one. Your future clients know the price of time, so they need a concise and comprehensive record of all the interesting things they should know to hire you immediately, fronting from the crowd of competitors. Per CV, there’re quite a lot of manuals and online tutorials. If you can’t structure your bio, learn to do it.
  • Choose a platform. It’s simple — either you look for projects all by yourself (practically impossible), or register on some freelance marketplaces where you can sell your talents to entrepreneurs. Out of the multitude of options, freelancers should choose the one that suits their skills and plans.  

Don’t fret, we’re here to help. See the instructions below.

Bidding and vetting platforms

Bidding platforms

At the bidding marketplaces, entrepreneurs present their projects, and freelancers make bids (offers), proposing the price they will take to complete them. The key working principle is that of a reverse auction (contrary to ordinary auctions, the winner is the person who makes the cheapest bid). Employers come here to get their work done cheap and quickly, and the contractors frequently dump their rates to get the job. Everyone can register on such marketplaces (no vetting mechanism), so this is the primary way for juniors and unconfident middles to grow into seniors. Most probably, you won’t be able to earn a lot of money — but you’ll surely get experience. 

Examples: Upwork, Freelancer, 99Designs

Vetting marketplaces

At the vetting platforms, all the freelancers are pre-checked before getting registered. Almost always, this skill filter doesn’t let any juniors inside. Most often, middles are also unprivileged. The vetting process can be very diverse, just as the approaches to matching, recruiting, interviewing, and customer success/support mechanisms. 

Now, let’s explore the peculiarities on one definite example.

Lemon.io is a freelance programming website connecting European web developers with American startup owners. We accept only strong Middles and Seniors. 

What does our extended vetting procedure look like: 

  • First of all, we check the CV, background, and professional networks;
  • Afterward, it’s time for an English language proficiency and soft skills check (we make both via one video call);
  • Finally, our most talented programmers conduct a hard skills check (sometimes with live coding). They’ve got no interest in pushing the inferior candidates, so we trust them just as we trust ourselves.

After developers pass all the vetting stages, they become our developers. We offer them the best projects for their demands, tailor their CVs and prepare them for job interviews. Last but not least, they don’t pay any commission: it’s paid entirely by the customers. 

Interested? Join us!

Also Read: 5 Strategies For Supercharging Your Freelancing Business