The skills that most developers need to become successful freelancers are the same ones that will help your career even if you never freelance at all. But whether or not you have a 9-to-5 (or 9-to-9) job, these are 15 skills that all developers should have as freelancers.
Good communication skills are critical for a freelancer, as they are often the only way your client can reach you. This is especially true if you’re working remotely and don’t have an office to go to every day. As such, it’s important that your clients can get in touch with you easily and quickly so they can ask questions or provide feedback on their projects.
As a freelancer, I’ve found that good communication skills matter most when it comes to scheduling meetings and setting expectations about deadlines.
If my clients know how busy I am at any given point in time (which is hard enough), then they’ll be able to pick up the phone instead of sending me an email when there’s something urgent going on with their project and I’d prefer that over an inbox full of unanswered messages!
But good communication doesn’t just apply during business hours; keeping in touch throughout any given day will help build trust between yourself and your client base because everyone knows what’s going on at all times without having spent hours chatting away through text or IMs like some sort of millennial robot sent back from 2045 A.D.
Being adaptable is a great skill to have as a freelance developer because it will help you keep up with the ever-changing world of technology. You can do this by reading blogs and other industry literature, attending conferences and meetups, and working on side projects that are outside your comfort zone or domain expertise.
Adaptability also allows you to better communicate with clients who have different goals, needs, and work styles.
This means that if you’re working on an enterprise project where the client isn’t clear on what they want from you at first glance or if they make frequent requests after delivery you won’t panic or think it’s unreasonable for them to ask for more changes once they see how good your work is! It’s also good practice when talking through requirements documents with clients so that both sides understand what’s going on in terms of scope creep (which happens frequently).
Ability To Assess Projects And Proposals
When you’re freelancing, it’s up to you to decide what projects are worth your time and effort. You don’t want to waste your time on a project that isn’t going anywhere or isn’t likely to pay off in the end. You also don’t want to miss out on any opportunities because you didn’t ask the right questions before accepting a job.
For this reason, freelancers need to be able to assess projects and proposals before deciding whether they’re worth their while and this means being able to understand the details of those proposals as well as how they fit into larger overall business goals and strategies.
The following are some the of things that any good freelancer should be able to assess:
Marketing skills are essential for any freelancer, as they’re the only way to get your name out there and gain more clients.
Effective marketing can be divided into two categories: online and offline. Online marketing includes things like blogging, SEO (search engine optimization), social media, and email marketing; offline marketing includes cold calling and networking with other businesses in the industry. Both online and offline strategies will help you find new clients, but which one should you focus on?
If you have limited time available to dedicate to freelance work each week (or month), then I’d recommend working on your online skills first since these techniques take less time than offline methods do. However, if you have no problem focusing on marketing every day even if it means sacrificing some sleep or social life then go ahead and start developing those old-fashioned cold call skills!
Time Management Skills
Time management is one of the most important skills a freelance web developer can have. The ability to manage your time well will help you deliver projects on time, which is important for both you and your clients.
If you don’t have strong time management skills, likely,t some projects won’t get done or will take longer than they should.
This can be frustrating for both you and your clients because they might not be getting their websites finished in a time promptly also likely end up working late into the night countless times in order toothing done on time and this could lead to burnout if it happens too often!
As a freelancer, you must develop good time management skills so that you’re able to effectively manage all aspects of your business without feeling overwhelmed or stressed out by a lack of organization and planning ahead (which are key factors in successful project management).
Negotiation is a skill that’s essential to freelancing. You can practice negotiation on your own as well as with others. Here are some situations where you may need to negotiate:
- Negotiating your salary
- Negotiating your contracts
- Negotiating your terms and conditions of employment (this includes time off, holidays, benefits, and so on)
- Negotiating the work environment (what tools you will have access to)
- Negotiating work hours (how much overtime you are willing/able to do)
Self-discipline is the ability to control one’s behavior in a way that is consistent with one’s values, goals, and standards. Self-discipline is a habit that can be developed over time and it’s also a skill that can be learned and practiced.
Developing your self-discipline will help you stay committed to tasks even when there are obstacles or distractions present. It will also help you push through difficult challenges to reach your goal(s).
Have A Passion For Learning New Technologies And Skills
As a freelancer, you need to be able to learn new technologies and programming languages. You should always be willing to learn more about your field of expertise. The more skills you have, the better your chances of finding work and making money as a developer.
As a freelancer, you are also expected to be able to teach others what they need without being told how it should be done.
This means that if a client asks you to do something in a certain way but doesn’t understand why they need that particular approach, it will fall on your shoulders (and not theirs) to figure out an alternative method that works just as well or better than the one they wanted in the first place.
Be an Excellent Team Player
Being an excellent team player is one of the most important skills a freelancer can have. In almost every case, you’re not going to be working on your own you’ll be part of a team or at least work with other people. The ability to work well in groups is key to effective communication and productivity in this context.
Here are some ways you can demonstrate your ability as an excellent team player:
Communicate with other members of the team about what needs doing, what has been done, and where things stand
Be willing to listen and learn from others on your team (and vice versa)
Build relationships with the rest of the group so that you can feel comfortable asking for help when necessary
Be Creative In Solving Problems
Problem-solving is a big part of being a software developer, and you need to be creative in how you solve these problems. You’ll need to constantly think outside the box to come up with new ideas on how to solve the problem at hand.
Your skills as a developer will help you with this, but you also need good communication skills as well. To be able to communicate well with your team members and clients, you have to have an open mind! That can mean listening more than speaking or having an interest in what other people have to say.
Be Able To Take Criticism And Rejection Well
Just like in any other job, developers will have to deal with criticism and rejection. It’s a part of the game and it’s something that you should be prepared for.
Being able to take criticism means being able to accept someone else’s opinion without getting defensive or taking it personally. A good way to do this is by keeping in mind that you can always learn from the comments made by others even if some of those comments are harsh.
Similarly, being able to take rejection means being able to handle it and move on after something doesn’t go as expected or planned. This skill comes in handy when dealing with clients who might not be satisfied with your work (and believe me: there will be times when this happens).
Ability To Handle Stress
Stress is a normal part of life, but it can become harmful when it gets out of hand. If you’re getting too stressed out, that’s probably not good for your health or your work.
That said, it’s important to recognize what causes stress before you try to manage it in any way. Stress is caused by external circumstances or internal feelings and there are two types: performance-related stress and nonperformance-related stress (or “eustress”).
Performance-related stress is the kind that comes from putting pressure on yourself to succeed at something, while nonperformance-related stress comes from external sources like traffic jams and meetings with clients who take longer than expected.
When you’re feeling stressed out because of these types of circumstances, try these techniques:
- Breathe deeply…
- Take breaks throughout the day…
You’ll find these techniques helpful whether you have performance-related stresses or nonperformance-related ones!
Consider Working With A Development Agency Or Partnering With Other Developers
If you’re not ready to strike out on your own, consider working with a development agency or partnering with other developers.
Many agencies hire freelancers because they don’t want to invest in full-time employees and can get the job done faster by partnering up. If you partner with someone who’s already established, it will help their portfolio as well as yours (and it may even be easier for both of you).
If you want to be a great freelancer, what you need most is self-discipline, passion for learning new skills, communication skills, and the ability to assess projects and proposals.
If you have those four fundamental qualities then it’s possible that one of your clients will ask you to work on something really important. And if they do and if there are no setbacks or problems then this will be very good for your career as a freelancer.
The most important thing in freelancing is self-discipline because without it nothing else matters much at all!
The list of skills goes on and on, but we hope that by reading through this article you’ll have acquired a better understanding of where your strengths lie and where they can be improved.
You’ll also be able to see what goes into the life of a freelancer and know whether or not it appeals to you. Hopefully, if you’re looking for some new opportunities as an independent developer, we’ve provided enough information here that will help guide your search.
Frequently Asked Questions
“What is a freelancer?” and “How to become a freelancer?” are two questions that you should ask yourself before diving into the world of freelancing. They’re both very important questions, and here’s what you should know:
A freelancer is someone who works for himself or herself rather than an employer.
To become one, you’ll need to decide what your biggest strengths are, then find clients who will pay for those skills.
The advantages include more freedom in how you work and when (you don’t have to follow office hours), as well as being able to choose which projects interest you most (so no dull jobs).
Disadvantages are that being self-employed means taking on all the risks associated with running your own business such as not earning enough money! so it’s not an easy option! You also need skills like marketing yourself on social media platforms if possible; otherwise, no clients will know about your services!
What Are The Best Ways To Earn Money As A Freelancer?
There are many ways to earn money as a freelancer, including hourly or project-based. If you’re looking for a steady income and long-term clients, consider selling your services on sites like Upwork or Fiverr.
If you’re more into building relationships with clients and doing what they want when they need it without any set price in mind, consider finding freelance jobs through your network of contacts or on social media sites like LinkedIn and Facebook.
How Do I Find New Clients?
The best way to find new clients is through networking! Try attending events related to your area of expertise (e.g., user groups) or reaching out via social media channels such as Twitter. You can also look for companies that might be interested in hiring someone like you by searching online job boards like Indeed and Monster Jobs.
How do I keep track of all my tasks as a freelancer? It’s important that as soon as possible after starting work on an assignment (whether large scale or small), write down everything associated with it so that later when asked what needs doing next time around there won’t be any confusion about what steps were taken previously.”
What Is A Freelancer?
A freelancer is someone who works for themselves, rather than a company. They can be hired by different companies and individuals to provide services, such as programming or design.
What Is The Difference Between A Freelancer And An Employee?
In general, you can think of employees as having one contract that includes all aspects of their employment: salary, benefits (if any), insurance requirements, etc. While freelancers may have arrangements with clients that include some or all those things each client has a contract with them regarding the specifics of their work together.
How Do I Become A Freelancer?
There are no formal requirements for becoming a freelance developer except having some basic skills in software development languages like C++ or Java (or Python).
Once you have these skills then there are various ways in which you can become self-employed from home as an independent contractor or consultant working on projects through agencies like Fiverr where people hire other people to complete tasks such as writing blog posts or coding websites for them at very low prices ($5 per hour).