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Business How to Freelance Finding Your First Project Finding Your First Job

Freelance websites: is it possible to start a career with them?

Hi Pasan heavily implies that the best thing to start is "go local", "work for your relatives", or "look for opportunities in your own town" Target audience of this course lives in USA, where every adult, child and even some pets carry a few gadgets and every little shop has its own website and a bunch of computers. "Go local" may be a legit advice for USA, I understand this But I live in rural Mongolian town and this sounds like a mockery

So, is it possible to start a career with remote jobs? I saw the success stories section. They are nice and inspiring. But most of people there have had degrees and prior work experience already If nobody started online, who have had any related experience? What can be a good place to look for entry level jobs for full-stack Ruby on Rails dev?

Weworkremotely seems to be broken. I got banned from upwork for some reason. At smashingmagazine, the only thing I got was a couple of refusal letters. Freelancer seems to have many small projects, but:

  • Each project attracts a few dozens of people
  • I got ignored so far
  • It has tests. Trying to pass each costs $5. I'm not sure if passing them will help. If passing them will verify that I'm competent and it will lead to hiring, it's good. But what if not? It would be awful to lose time and money to hoax

2 Answers

Jason Curry
Jason Curry
5,915 Points

Yes, it is possible to start a freelance career with freelance websites. It's not that difficult, but it can take time, maybe a year. I've done it myself and I've been involved with hiring probably hundreds of contractors from around the world over the last 15 years. Success factors imo are:

  1. Focus on doing one thing very well. e.g. illustrate icons, be a pro with MailChimp, be a Wordpress Developer, etc. Choose something you love to do. You can make a lot of money doing anything web / mobile / tech related.
  2. Do whatever you can to find a few new clients, even if the work is small at first. Be reliable and professional. Do great work and deliver on time. From my experience the right few clients can keep you busy with repeat work. Especially if they're other freelancers, agency owners or entrepreneurs needing your specific skill set. The #1 issue with hiring remote people is that they flake out. Don't be a flake and do great work and you'll always be in high demand.
  3. Get up on social media, especially as it relates to what you do. If you're a designer get up on Dribbble, Krop and Behance. Put free or cheap items up on the Envato network or Creative Market. If you're a developer get up on GitHub. Use Twitter, FB, G+, etc. Put out a little bit of quality content each week and over time it'll really build up.

Good luck, you can do it.

Marlon Sanchez
Marlon Sanchez
5,269 Points

In a freelance world, you have to gain trust and a good reputation. Don't mind if you start with small projects or low rate as this will be your window to your next project. As your reputation increase employer or client will not hesitate to deal with you. Jason Curry is absolutely right we have to focus on the things we are great.

Good luck on your freelancing career.