After the release of the article on freelance writing earlier this week, I thought it’d be fitting to do something similar for you budding freelance programmers.
There are a few reasons why you’re probably going down this avenue; you’ll get a nice variety of work, you can work comfortably from home and you can choose specifically what you do.
- Where to find freelance programming jobs
- How to get your complimentary £15
- Winning programming work on Freelancer
- Bidding on the job you want, and how to win
- Now that you’ve won a job, be professional
- Get the project scope and requirements on paper
- Demonstrate the working software, do not send it without payment
- Close, and get feedback
- Closing thoughts
Where to find freelance programming jobs
Freelancer.com is the single best source of freelance work on the net. It’s the world’s largest marketplace for freelance work for a reason. And the potential is genuinely boundless.
You can find jobs of all sizes, prices and approaches. We all appreciate the variety because it allows us to choose.
- Start by signing up to Freelancer by clicking on a link anywhere on this page.
How to get your complimentary £15
We both know that’s why you’re here. It’s okay, I understand.
Once you click the Freelancer link, you’ll see the invitation to sign-up and the added bonus on behalf of me.
Winning programming work on Freelancer
If you want to win freelance programming work, then you need to do the following things:
- Set up your profile – verify your account, fill in your details, complete your bio. Make your bio snappy.
- Compile your portfolio – prove what you can do, show some examples, upload any certifications you might have
- Build feedback – bid on smaller projects, start with lower prices, aim for quick turnaround projects
- Complete an exam – the exams are formal ways of proving you can do the job, use a language and how good you are
Bidding on the job you want, and how to win
Once you’ve completed your profile and you look like the best freelance programmer you can possibly market yourself as, browse the marketplace.
Search by skills, and find a job that’s fitting.
Once you’ve found a job, with a budget you’re happy to work to, and a clear project description. Place a bid.
- Make sure you check out the competition, look at their bids and factor this into your approach.
The bid proposal should acknowledge their project description. There are so many freelancers that use copy-and-paste bids, and they look so crappy from a buyer perspective. Personalise the bid to their ask, and provide some short examples of your competencies in accordance with the project brief.
Most of all, don’t just rely on one bid. Once you’ve placed your bid, search for another one, and repeat, and repeat. By planting more seeds, and spending a little time to create a quality bid for each, you’ll very quickly find a job; you could potentially be hired within a few minutes.
Now that you’ve won a job, be professional
Make sure you get a good outline of the project, the scope and exactly what is expected of you.
- Time, prioritisation of features and general expectations are of core importance.
If the client is non-technical, they may have to put a certain level of trust in you. This trust can only be built through a professional approach.
Your approach should consist of hard-scoped requirements, regular communication and a realistic time plan for delivery.
Get the project scope and requirements on paper
Without the requirements and scope of the project, you cannot confirm whether you have better the brief, whether you are finished, or whether you have missed something crucially important.
The requirements should be prioritized; the best prioritization framework is the MoSCoW prioritisation system. It’s widely used in Agile project management, and allows for the delivery of a minimal usable subset; any add-on features are great, but not essential.
When you’re a programmer working on freelance work, you need to protect yourself and the client. Yourself, by confirming exactly what is expected of you – so you don’t undercharge and find yourself roped into future maintenance and updates. The client, so that they receive exactly what they’re asking for.
Enforcing the need for project scope and prioritized requirements — of course, project dependant — will come across extremely professional, and make for a far better working relationship than working on a job without these components.
Demonstrate the working software, do not send it without payment
It’s easy to be fooled into sending completed work before getting paid. So the best approach to this is to take screenshots or record yourself using it with a screen recorder like Camtasia.
You should also request milestones; if the project is large, request interval milestones, and a start milestone. That way, if the project turn sour then the client is already invested and you’ve already part-recieved your pay.
Close, and get feedback
Once you’ve finished the programming work, deliver it as expected by the client. The best way is to send it through Freelancer (if possible). That way you’ve got an audit trail to back that you’ve actually completed the work if there are any issues.
Make sure the client is happy with the work. You might have missed something. If they’re 100% happy then ask for feedback.
Leave them feedback too.
Sign up to Freelancer, its the biggest market place for freelance work. Make your profile look good by filling in all the required fields. Build a little feedback by doing small quick-turnaround projects at lower prices. Make sure your bids are attractive and customized as per the project brief. Obtain concrete scope, requirements and expectations. Complete the project.