Finding Your First Job4:35 with Pasan Premaratne
There are many different sources of work out there. In this video we're going to take a look at where to find these sources and the advantages and disadvantages of each.
[How to Freelance - with Pasan Premaratne - Finding Your First Project] 0:00 [Pasan Premaratne] One of the hard parts of starting out in a freelance career is finding that initial project. 0:05 You need projects to show your skill set and gain experience, but people won't hand over their projects 0:10 unless you have the necessary experience already. 0:16 So how do you go about getting it? 0:19 A great place to start is with your family, friends, and personal contacts. 0:22 A lot of freelancers new to the field get their first clients through people they already know. 0:26 Since there's already an established trust factor, these people are more likely to work with a new or inexperienced designer or developer. 0:32 The key to carrying this out successfully is to treat your friend or family member just as you would a client. 0:39 Now this can be very difficult, but it's necessary if you want to protect both your relationship and your project. 0:46 It's quite hard to say no to a friend—demanding as they may unknowingly be— 0:52 or ask a family member to may more if they ask for additional features. 0:57 But you have to establish the same limits you would with a client. 1:01 If the project doesn't work out and you find it hard to work with one another, you don't want to ruin that personal relationship. 1:05 Set up simple contracts right from the start and be clear about your intentions, goals, and workflow. 1:11 If you want to charge, let them know right from the beginning. 1:18 Communication is very important as a freelancer, and this is a great place to confront your fears over these uncomfortable issues. 1:21 If you can ask a friend or family member to pay you on time, you shouldn't have any problems telling your clients that. 1:28 Next if you're involved with any organizations, whether it's a professional or recreational organization, 1:35 these can be great sources of work as well. 1:40 Most organizations have services they would like to implement, but don't have the resources to dedicate to the problem. 1:43 Check around to see if you can provide any solutions for their problems. 1:49 Like working with family or friends, you have this established trust factor, so it's easier to get work without much experience. 1:53 Again, you will have to weigh your relationship, as well as your desired compensation on the project with the situation at hand. 2:00 In addition to organizations you're involved in, there are plenty of other local organizations 2:08 that might be interested in your services if you reach out to them. 2:12 Get in touch with as many as possible to find an interesting project you'd like to work on 2:16 that will bring in adequate experience and a fair bit compensation. 2:20 Now you don't even need to have a physical, local network to get your first project started. 2:24 Social media can be a powerful tool in this aspect. 2:29 If you're on any network, you can reach out to your contacts, mention what you are doing, and that you are looking for work. 2:33 But what if you still can't find work in your network? You have reached out to lots of people and no one got back to you. 2:40 Don't worry, you still have options. You can start by building on your personal projects. 2:46 The idea here isn't to find a client, but to build up the necessary experience that allows you to get those first few clients. 2:51 Maybe you have an idea of a problem you want to solve. 2:59 You can go about building that to learn the necessary skill set to take a project from start to finish. 3:02 Personal projects won't bring in any income in the short term, but they will definitely highlight your skills 3:08 and allow you to prove your experience to any potential client. 3:13 This is also your chance to experiment with any new skills you've learned, make mistakes, and get projects under your belt. 3:17 Now outside of your personal network, you can also check out some of the more common sources. 3:25 There are many different websites where you can search for freelance work. 3:30 Check out the list I've provided for a bunch of websites where you can get started. 3:33 And don't try and spend a lot of time on these websites, though. 3:37 With so much competition out there and you just trying to get your feet wet, you'll be tempted to do things like charge really low 3:40 or even do work for free. 3:47 Your personal connections are always a much better place to get started in my opinion. 3:48 Now whatever you do, though, remember that with your first project the goal isn't making a ton of money. 3:53 That will come in due time. 3:59 Focus on the knowledge that you can gain from the experience of working with your first client. 4:01 Make sure you don't overwork yourself. 4:06 Take on a project that you can comfortably do. 4:08 Remember you will be making an impression on someone and this is just the start of your career, 4:10 so you want to do your job to the best of your abilities. 4:15 Trying to jump in too quickly can lead to bad client experiences and could possibly hurt your chances 4:18 of getting more work down the road. 4:23 So take it easy. The experience is way more important than the money you will gain. 4:25 Once you have those starter projects in your portfolio, then you can focus on money. 4:30
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