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Starting to work as a freelancer…

It’s been a while working as a freelancer, I’d say 2 months or so.

(this entire thing is based on from working in India)

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Before this

I started this January working as a frontend developer in this product based company and then it was the pandemic. I did work from home, but the salary decreased and though it should happen but why did the work load also increased. (“if you know what I meant”).

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While I was jobless

Later , this July I left my job. Started to enjoy life on my dads money, till the time I had enough (“it was a like a month or so”).

There were these guides from our friendly YouTube which encouraged me to use the machine-gun approach to apply job, which indeed guarantees us enough interviews, but ends up eating time and rewards us with tons of unwanted attention from job recruiters.

And then I’d reached my threshold…

I started learning things like deno js, CD pipelines, finally started working on my personal project, created web components which I could reuse if work ever comes up, bla bla bla bla …., and finally got bored .

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Seeking into freelancing

For a long time seeking into freelancing, I thought of giving it a try. But as time went by there were a few things I realized
1. Didn’t had enough professional experience to prove my worth,
2. Lack on projects with where live into deployment,
3. Contacts,
4. Speed,
5. I’m quite greedy,
6. And was looking for a shortcut on a superhighway

Freelancer.com and Fever was where I starting hunting but a few of the points about always prevented me for getting into the cut.

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My approach

There was a person, whose friend is the brother of my dads’ client. He did freelancing but he had no work for me, plus a lack of projects to prove my worth.

Then this idea came into — ‘OFF-LOADING

He finally offloaded the work on his personal project onto me as he was just too busy. I did it for $2.5 per hour, and I was able to impress him. Then I did the next for $5 was cool.

In the mean while had a bit of luck and did freelancing work from elsewhere as well, finally generating a decent about of work with 2x times the money I earned while I was doing my job.

This had many other advantages as well
1. Everything was on me both the good and the bad,
2. I wrote everything, so bugs were a piece of cake,
3. Sometimes I had to work on an existing project, and helped me improve working on others work,
4. The amount of money,
5. I now have a number of project whose work I could reference from thus improving my speed,
6. Working on the architecture help me realize what’s good to work with and now as I had the entire project structure on my mind , I didn’t had to go through the code, unlike compared to my job,
7. My English proficiency , and a lot more

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The billing

There are 2 approaches to this -
1. Hourly base (my preference)
2. Project base (cost on the number of pages, static or dynamic, feature rich, etc.)

There are 2 scenarios -
1. Working on a new project (‘basic hourly rate’)
2. Working on a existing project (‘ hourly based billing- and keep it higher than usual‘)

While working on a new project, sometimes the client prefer the entire cost at once so be decisive at such scenarios, since issues may arise and you may end up working extra,
Also the clients have a really bad habit of changing their requirements so keep that in mind.

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While I was starting for the first time

For friends and relatives, I priced myself another $2.5-$4 per hour like Rs.160-Rs.300
For others I kept it minimum Rs200 per hour depending on the simplicity of the project (sometimes project are of short duration bit the complexity is a bit too much)

Till date

I am working as a freelancer as it’s working for me for now.

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The cons

  1. they have the right to blame you for anything,
  2. if things start breaking down, get ready for the backlash,
  3. current you are busy, but due to some reason you are forced to do some maintenance work for past clients (which could be pros in itself, if god’s on your side),
  4. You wont always have work (because of which you can charge it 2x times),
  5. No sort of insurance,
  6. Market could go down,
  7. You may come across remote clients, so schedule accordingly,
  8. May the god be with you and every client pay you the entire thing as per the quotation,
  9. Hope the client wont silence themselves,
  10. your account statement might not please the bank for loans or stuff.
Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash

Conclusion

Look for yourselves which is the best.

For me the pros were better than the cons as I could always apply for a job later, as now I have a good experience to back me up.

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