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General Discussion

Making the jump?

I've been with treehouse for a month and I've been learning web design and development for a couple months before that. My goal for now is to start out freelancing. I need to start making $500 a month for my family as soon as possible. Thats why I started. I enjoy this and I need to make extra money. I also have a spine injury so it makes it hard to work so a second job was out of the question. My end goal is to make this a full time thing. I have ideas for mobile apps and web apps. I want to start my own web design/development/mobile apps/ general IT firm.

So here's the question. I feel like I'm ready to go and I'm chomping at the bit! How do I make this jump? How much do I charge? Should I post on craigslist? How do I get freelance work? And how can I be sure I'm ready to do this?

To all the experienced programmers out there, how do I go from just learning a hobby to making this a full time job for myself? I really need to start seeing fruit soon.

PS. I love treehouse and I've learned sooooooo much! This is the only thing that has really prepared me. Treehouse is why I feel like I'm ready.

5 Answers

Jah Chaisang
Jah Chaisang
7,157 Points

I'll stay tuned to this thread, because I think I will get there soon.

Since I'm not there yet and can't really offer advice, I'd just point out to a couple resources that I've been hoarding. Maybe we can keep sharing and learning about the industry together!

I hope you best of luck in your journey.

Thanks! That's awesome! And good luck to you also!=)

Also how do you redeem the free gifts for signing up for the news letter???

Jah Chaisang
Jah Chaisang
7,157 Points

It should be sent to your email a while after you confirm the email. I was confused also.

oh ok lol awesome=) thanks

I loved the audio book and the tools are going to be a great help=) If anyone has any more advice please feel free to chime in!

I, too, am curious as to how one can get started. I'm wondering if there are any actual freelancers here at teamtreehouse.com who could help us out? If there are, how did you make it into the freelancing business? What did you have to do and what was it like for the first few months?

Andy Watkins
Andy Watkins
3,828 Points

The first thing I would do is brand yourself. Get a portfolio online and get a clear image of yourself available on the web.

If you do not have a large portfolio, try and find someone either in your family or a friend that could use some work and offer to do it...for free. You need plenty of examples to show why someone would want to hire you.

Business cards are important. Name, email, phone numbers, and a link to that shiny new portfolio. Give them something to take so that they will not forget about you 5 minutes later.

Another thing is business owners know other business owners. Doing really good work for one will almost always get you contact with another.

Good luck.

Let's say I have a large portfolio, business cards, and a clear image. Where do I go from there? Will I have to make cold calls to make myself known? Should I rely solely on word of mouth? And what about price? Around what numbers would be safe so that people don't think you're too expensive, but so that you can still pay the bills?

Andy Watkins
Andy Watkins
3,828 Points


I really enjoyed this interview with Brian Hoff, a freelance designer who LEFT a job at Apple.

At the bottom is links to some of his best blog posts which should help guide you to answers.

I would try to answer your questions myself, but given this guys success I would take his advice before my own.