Freelancing - Worth the risks? And how to get started

Aug 12, 2018

I have been asked this many times. How do I get into freelance?

Honestly, it’s not that easy. Freelancing comes with downtimes where you won’t get a client for a period of time which can be quite nerving if you are just starting out (and don’t have any savings).

But all in all, freelancing is quite a good career option in the long run. Why?

Many reasons -

  • Ability to choose your work
  • Location independence - work from anywhere, including your home
  • Higher relative pays if you reside in a third world country (like India)

But you can really enjoy all these benefits once you have set your foot in the freelancing world. And it does take some time.

So how does one get started?

  1. First, make some projects. Open source them on GitHub or make them live.
  2. Then, with your portfolio, apply to freelance gigs on Upwork or Freelancer.

These two steps are absolute absolutes. You can’t skip or half-ass them.

You might have to work for cheap earlier on, but it’s part of the process. You need to build your reputation before you can get good clients.

Once you do the initial 4-5 freelance gigs, you will start getting good clients and that’s when you will start to enjoy freelancing.

Btw, note that these steps are for beginner developers who have near zero development experience.

If you have already set your foot in the developer world, you can try applying to a freelancing firm like Toptal or X-Team directly.

Working through them will give you much better clients to work with, and more importantly, much less hassle.

Ping me on Twitter (no DM) if you need any help with this.

Best,
Avi