The Golden Middle Path - a blog by Amit K Mathur

How to get started as a freelancer

I often get asked by people for advice about getting started as a freelancer. I have worked as a freelance software developer for several years quite successfully. So, here’s a summary of advice I would give to someone just starting out, especially in software and IT in India. I hope you would find it useful.

Part 1: Preparing yourself

  • Find your specialization – Pick a field based on your education and experience and make sure you are really good at it. Some examples are: mobile application development, web development, graphic design, Logo designing, Python programming etc. Being an expert means you should be able to do that thing end to end on your own. It does not mean you have to know everything about your field. But, you should be able to research and find your way if you get stuck.
  • Build a portfolio – You should have some sample projects to show to a potential client. Either contribute to an existing open source project or do something on your own. You should have 5-10 projects covering a variety of topics.
  • Get a website – simple is better here. Your website should be personal with your real name, a photo, your email address or a contact form and the list of your portfolio projects.
  • Learn to speak and write clear and concise English. If your English skills are rusty, spend some time on it. Communication is as important as your technical skills. Learn to write emails in grammatically correct sentences and not SMS-speak.

You have to starting working on these way before you take the jump, may be a year in advance. In the next part I will discuss legal and accounting work you should do before you start.

Part 2 is here and Part 3 is here.

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