How to Freelance
By Pasan Premaratne from TeamTreeHouse
Are you a web developer looking to launch your freelance career? Look no further. This is not a course on building websites, but on how to get contracts and grow your freelance business.
You’ll learn :
- To find your first clients.
- To handle client meetings.
- To handle bad clients.
- How much you should charge for your services.
- To write contracts.
- To handle taxes with taxes.
- To manage your time effectively.
- Legal measures you can take in order to protect your company from potential lawsuits.
As you may know, switching to a freelance career is, for most people, a pretty difficult path to follow. Being good at your job doesn’t ensure you’ll do well as a freelancer. Freelancers need an additional set of skills.
Being able to create amazing websites does not make you good at managing a web development business, especially when it comes to administrative and legal issues!
Many regretted their choice after they failed at starting on their own, but with the proper training you might avoid a lot of struggle.
This course is good, but it is not for everyone.
Built for web developers
TreeHouse is an eLearning platform tailored for web developers. It thus mainly focuses on what web developers need to succeed in their field.
The main advantage it provides you, is the great precision with which the content reflects your future reality.
If your doing any other freelance job (graphic artist, web marketer, copy writter, etc.) you will likely get some value out of it but be aware that it is not specifically tailored to your needs.
Getting your first clients
Does this make you anxious?
Man you should be! Getting clients is the number one, most important skill you must have! You need to get good at prospecting new client as soon as possible. It’s what brings bread on the table! Don’t be mistaken, it’s much more important to prospect and pitch new clients then to make great websites! (And i bet you’re probably already pretty good at building websites anyway.)
There’s a pretty good section on finding clients. It’s not perfect though. I think you’ll need to learn more about it (check out “The important things you will NOT LEARN”). But it will get you started and it contains valuable knowledge from successful web developers. They understand your needs. You won’t find that precision in a general prospecting course.
And that’s one of the reasons it earned a good grade.
WARNING: The important things you will not learn:
Prospecting: Don’t get me wrong! You’ll learn ways to get your first few clients and launch your business. But we think this course won’t bring enough knowledge for most people to thrive. It’s really the hardest task of a freelancer’s career. Most freelancers FAIL because of their lack of knowledge and experience in prospection!
Selling: It may come as a surprise, but it will have a lot more impact on your career than your ability to build great websites. The client is buying you more then any website. Selling is the second most impactful skills you’ll master in your career.
Learn to sell anything by Grant Cardone is a fantastic selling course that also covers prospection, attitude and mindset. Plus, it ridiculously cheap. you can get it around 10 to 25 dollars (It always depend on the sales available on the platform). There’s no other course from Grant Codone at such a price. If you’re serious, give it a try.
Communication : If you know how to sell and prospect, but you’re bad with handling people, you’ll be working a lot harder then you should.
Handling people clumsily as a freelancer, is like a swimmer racing fully clothed. You’ll probably make it to the end if it’s a short distance, but you will never be an elite.
There’s no course we could recommend at the moment but you can always check this book out.
Avoid Legal Troubles
Do you know how to make a proposal ? Do you know if you need to create your own company to legally create websites and contracts? Do you know how you should plan your taxes when you’re a freelancer?
It’s all covered in this course while most other similar courses will not even talk about it.
if you live outside of the US, it may not help you that much. Team Treehouse only covers US laws. If you live in Canada or anywhere else, you might consider talking to a lawyer or an accountant from your country.
Handle Client Meetings The Right Way
Be honest with yourself.
How many precious client meetings will you waste trying to figure out how to run them properly? In order to prevent that from happening, Team Treehouse did a fairly good job covering client meetings.
While this section is solid, it is definitely lacking when it comes to teaching communication skills. Which are a strong part of what will define your long term success. It is your responsibility to get all that knowledge as soon as possible. (check out “The important things you will NOT LEARN”).
Is this course good?
Yes I would recommend it for any web developer with no experience in freelancing. There’s no better choice out there. You’ll get all the tools you need to get started.