I have been working on freelance projects along with my fulltime job for a long time.
I started with simple 100-line-code projects 2 years ago and now I run freelance projects with a team for any kind of web projects.
I would like to mention a few outputs of my freelancing know-how for beginners in software business.
Freelancing is a serious business
When you are working freelance, you don’t have an office. There is no manager or coordinator. It might feel like you are studying, not working. This might result in inefficiency and prevent your growth in this sector.
Schedule your time like you are working for an employer. Choose a place which makes you feel like you are in your office. Work with deadlines. Think like a boss.
The key factor for a beginner freelancer is networking. You are not a brand, you don’t have a physical office. People can reach you via reference of other people. There are other channels like social media, your old works. However for a beginner, its only people around him/her and the first customers. This is your first marketing even if you are not aware of it. Try to make this very step as strong as possible.
Customers choose freelancers for a few reasons, most commonly they are cheaper. However this advantage comes with a risk: Low quality.
This is the point where you can go one step further among other freelancers. If you can make your customers feel they are working with a high level company rather than a freelancer, they will be your marketing channels. Even if you are not recommended via networking, this high quality work on its own can bring you customers. Try to leave your signature at your works.
Payment & Pricing
Getting paid is one of the most difficult steps in this work. Along with being designer, developer, manager, sales representative etc you are head of finance department in your small company. In freelance industry, the relationships require mutual trust. Getting a pre-payment might work but for the rest there is always the risk of not getting paid. Be aware of it and choose your customers carefully.
Set your own pricing methods. There are many ways to value your work. You can calculate over the time you spent or the amount of work. Maintaining your methods might not work in the beginning. You have to be flexible to your first customers. Try to apply your methodology for every project without giving up.
If you want to be your own boss and start freelancing, do it like a boss;)