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Ask HN: How to become a freelancer?
16 points by rukshn 67 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 9 comments
I know that there are many freelancers out there in HN.

I'm a total noob when it comes to freelancing and how and where to get started.

I'm doing a pretty good 9-5 job but intrested in staring a 5-9 freelancing.

Any ideas on how to to get started?

Thanks




What are your skills?

Freelancing is generally quite hard if you are not in cheap countries.

If you are in Pakistan you can enjoy an income multiple times higher than what you could earn locally with basic HTML/CSS/JS/PHP work. A modest $30 an hour goes a looong way in those locations.

If you are in London ... it's a different story.

In expensive countries it can work if you have skills that are not low barrier and flooded like Wordpress work, or location-dependent work like photography and shooting video.

Or if you are senior and have a large existing network and reputation and so on.

Otherwise it turns into a bit of a never ending losing battle.


im in new york. been freelancing for 23 years. demand has never been greater.

differentiate. brand yourself. and learn to tell your story aka “sell” yourself.

how can you help? what problem can you solve?

as long as there are consulting services companies there will forever be work.

keep learning!


1. Create a few open source products/apps: This will teach you a lot about your gaps.

2. Start a blog and have a post per week on a consistent schedule: This will get you some visibility.

3. Bid on jobs on Upwork and other freelancing websites with a low rate: This will get you your first experience with freelancing. Having an initial lower rate will make you more favorable for a job. Also, this is the hardest. You may have to do a 100 bids before you get your first offer. Also, keep tuning your bids, the wording and the content of your messages matter. Think about the person reading your bid and why they would select you over the 100 other bidders.

4. After a few gigs, increase your rate to a proper doable rate.

Also, look out for people asking for resources on twitter, slack channels etc, those tend to have a higher probability of converting. You should look at online communities where people who are working on your stack loiter.


been a freelance for 7 years now. here are a few tips :

first, get yourself a skill that's "hot" in the industry . Looking how hard people in your company have it trying to recruit for some job might give you a clue.

try to do week end missions by helping friends out or people you know ( try to have people pay for it, even if it's symbolic, to get the feel of what it's like to have customer yourself) that'll help you grow your network.

save some cash (enough to live for 6 months), because you may need it when you begin.

never be in bad term with previous employer. it may become your client one day.

spread the word that you're considering becoming a freelance. people may come back at you with their projects and this way you'll start with something to do immediately.


Here's how I got started with zero connections: I started writing on a few web dev blogs on using different frameworks, tools etc. Not all of them were popular, but a few became "evergreen" posts and they brought quite a few inbound queries/questions which eventually turned into small consulting gigs, which eventually grew in size and volume.


Learn how to sell your services.

As a technician, this is going to be completely different than what you are used to. Sales is a fuzzy, messy, asymmetric process that requires a great deal more EQ than IQ to get right. Focus on establishing relationships and the clients will follow.


Please see my previous comments on this matter and the additional links provided in those comments: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=15910781


article the software won't let me submit:Science and feet: I am doing to tell all you medical people,the most neglected part of the body,by the AMA and doctors,is the foot.Podiatrists are phonies for the most part,and often do not fix serious feet problems.Often some one with medical problems of the foot have to go to orthopedists to get any help.The most common problems of plantar faciitis and other problems that seriously can discontinue walking,and cause great pain,are ignored by many podiatrists. Strangely, often sports medicine doctors know the most about foot problems because they treat runners.Considering that few medical people really treat serious problems of the foot,patients with painful and injured feet cannot find any real help,until the foot injuries are so bad the person cannot walk,or is in too great pain to walk.By that time, the problems have gotten so advanced, often it will take years to get any relief.Shoe companies,until athletic shoes came out,made a whole generation of women limp,hurt,and have serious feet problems because of women's shoes.--high heels,pumps,flats,and tight shoes(sharp toes)and stiletto boots caused a whole range of feet deformities.High heels alone caused back trouble,Achilles tendon problems,and injuries to all the bones and tendons,muscles,and other tissue in the feet,including heel and ankle problems.Yet so few orthopedists specialize in problems of the feet, that there are a tiny percentage of them available--often requiring a lot of money, or the very best insurance.Try and find a orthopedist specializing in feet--during my life time,I was only aware of one doctor--and he refused to accept my insurance because it was not good enough.This situation is very common.Older people often acquire such bad feet,even serious foot arthritis, that they can no longer walk normally.--And very good doctors refuse their Medicare. Norses and waiters often get bad feet inflamatuon, but can't quit their jobgs.Today the only treatment is 30 or 40 years old:"Put ice on it,and also soak them in hot water with Epsom salts."The over used treatment "Put ice on it, and put it up"has not advanced in so many years, there is nothing else.Some times the patient insists on paying for injections of a material that fills up the very fleshless old feet,but it is expensive and keeps wearing off.Insurance won't pay for it.For a while the person with very bony feet has some cushioning.Most people can not afford the thousands of dollars over and over.The extreme absence of any advance discoveries in the science of medicine for the foot, is inexcusable,but there is a good reason; there is no money in treating feet.Sports medicine is booming, there's plenty of money in sports.


(I am a member but the submit links won't take any article or comment:I am stuck posting it here, sorry.)




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