There is competition in the mobile applications sector, that is a fact. But how do you start as a freelance programmer and stand out from the crowd? It’s not always easy, but it is possible to succeed as a freelance app programmer if we work at it in the same way that we can find work as a freelance app creator.
The contractual conditions when developing a mobile application – a one-off contract whose duration extends to the time it takes to develop a mobile tool – make the mobile software market an ideal platform to host freelance developers.
However, there are many doubts that can arise when making the leap to self-employment. What requirements must be met? What are the characteristics of self-employment? What are its advantages? And what about paperwork? In short, how do you become a freelance programmer?
In this article, we want to give you some tips that we consider key and essential if you want to be a successful freelance programmer. And we speak with the voice of experience since from Yeeply we have worked with experts who meet these requirements and are climbing the slope of success with perseverance and determination.
1. Seek excellence in your work
To be a freelance programmer you have to work every day on making your jobs excellent. Without excellent results, there is no road to success.
You have to look for perfection in the product or service you offer.
In the case of the freelance programmer, you have to look for perfection in the code you prepare for your client, in the design of the product if we also take care of that part of the mobile application projects.
Not only in the work we do, but in all the management, the ambition for success as a freelance programmer goes hand in hand with excellence in the results and the search for perfection in everything we do.
2. Be part of the platforms of freelance developers
Moving into the environment and becoming a freelance programmer is indispensable if you want to work in it. This kind of online platform allows you to find job offers for mobile application programmers, to make known previous projects, to contact professionals with similar characteristics to yours, etc.
It is essential, on the one hand, that you are part of the social network par excellence: LinkedIn. Having an updated profile and being active on the platform will help you get assignments.
There are other specific platforms for self-employed workers, such as Freelancer or Fiverr. The main disadvantage? A large number of developers on these platforms and the low prices that some are willing to offer can make it difficult for you to find an interesting assignment.
In the field of mobile application developers, Yeeply can give you a hand as the first online platform for outsourcing mobile projects. Here you can find projects to work on or even assign work to other professionals if you need it.
3. Get ambitious projects
When choosing a project, it is clear that we will not always be able to access projects from large companies. It would be unrealistic to aspire to develop a mobile app for Facebook or Google for example. Firstly, because as freelance programmers we will not be able to cover a project of such magnitude; and, secondly, because these big companies have departments that are exclusively dedicated to the development of mobile applications.
In the case of being a freelance application programmer, we will have to be ambitious but at other levels. We can focus on getting projects from large companies that do not have a development department but do have a need for apps. That is, a good customer target is a company that wants to outsource mobile application development.
4. The customer commands
Take care and pamper the people or companies that hire you to carry out specific projects. After all, your salary and, above all, your reputation depends on them. It is not all about doing your job well and getting paid at the end of it.
The good treatment given to clients can help them to hire you again in the future or to recommend you to others, expanding your portfolio to other companies or individuals. It is important that you listen to the client, as their experience in certain areas can help you develop a more complete application.
It is also essential that you communicate with him, talk to him about the progress of the project or share the specific decisions you have made regarding the work he has entrusted to you, but without burdening him with constant chatter.
However, the most important thing in this whole relationship is that you don’t lie to him. Be honest and don’t be afraid to acknowledge the difficulty of some requirement he asks of you, or don’t try to impress him by shortening deadlines when you know you won’t.
5. Your work has a value
It is understandable that, at some point, a mobile project appears that could interest you a lot and you consider the possibility of working for free or at a very low cost. Do you want to earn money as a freelance programmer? Then try to avoid it. Always charge for your work, even if sometimes you have to make a small discount.
If you start to work for free and without the pretense of receiving anything in return, when you want to charge it will be more complicated and some of your customers will leave the boat.
In addition, any freelance programmer work that is not charged does much damage to the profession. Customers should know that just as their business and work activities have value, so do yours.
6. Management is key: don’t waste your time
One of the most important things is the organization and management of time. Time is gold, you know, but being a freelance programmer, it’s even more so.
By becoming a freelancer, you’re your own boss. To work as a home-based programmer, you need to set up a schedule to distribute the different tasks you have in charge. Follow these tips!
- Set a healthy schedule. That is to say, that allows you time for leisure and rest. However, for this to be the case, during the established work periods you must organize yourself well, keep to the schedule strictly, and work with discipline.
- Define the priority tasks very well. If you have been given several tasks, you can divide them equally among the hours you have available for work. If one of them is more important, you can spend more time on it during your working day. Or if one of the tasks has a longer deadline, you can reduce the time you spend on it and increase it as you finish projects that you have to deliver closer to home. This will also depend on the requirements or milestones that each client sets for you.
- Be responsible. No one will check that you are doing your job until the day of delivery, but you are the only one responsible for what you do or don’t do.
In order to manage yourself professionally, you also have to be a freelance programmer with a series of different fiscal characteristics than if you work as an app developer for someone else.
7. Train continuously as a freelance programmer
In fact, we have already discussed this point on more than one occasion. For example, when we talk about the errors that freelance programmers make and which you should avoid at all costs.
One of those errors was not being continuously trained. The reason is very simple. Everything on the internet changes very quickly, what works today, may not work tomorrow. That’s why, even if you have experience in some subjects, even if you are one of the best Android programmers, you have to be trained in the new advances of the operating system.
Our recommendation is that you start with languages, especially given the importance that English has in the mobile world.
Also, learning to program on different platforms or several programming languages can make you a more complete developer within your field of work. Moreover, opening up to other fields within the mobile world can enrich you and open the door to other types of clients.
It is not the same to work with a professional who is only a freelance Android programmer as it is to work with a professional who can offer you a wider variety of services.
8. Turn your smartphone into your office
One of the tricks offered by new technologies, smartphones, tablets, laptops … In short, wifi and mobile devices are that we can work from virtually anywhere. From a plane, from the train, in a cafeteria, while waiting for a colleague in a restaurant, even from your mother-in-law’s house on a Sunday at noon.
That’s why we told you that you can turn your Smartphone into a mobile office with mobile applications. Another advantage is that you will have your work uploaded and stored in the cloud, so you can access it from your Smartphone or any other desktop computer.
9. Communication and PR
Learn how to sell yourself as a professional and sell your services. You must be good PR and a good salesman if you want to get a job as a freelance application developer.
Communication and personal branding will be one of the most important keys to generate confidence in potential customers and get app projects.
At the very least, you must have profiles on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to be able to interact with your acquaintances or with other members who have something to do with the field of mobile technologies.
Having a website, as a portfolio, where you can publish your projects or interesting information related to the field of work is also a good mechanism for visitors to know what your skills are.
Finally, offline techniques can help you. Business cards and word of mouth have always been the cheapest and most effective self-promotion techniques. Also, it is convenient for you to interact with people, regardless of the situation: parties, family events, etc.
You never know when you might meet a potential client or someone who knows them and can recommend you.
10. Roles in order: what do I need to be a freelancer
Another of the doubts that assail those developers who choose to become autonomous is, perhaps, one of the most headaches. The legal steps to become a freelance programmer are unknown to many of us, especially because of the density of the content they deal with, but you will only become a serious professional if you complete this process.
To establish yourself as a freelancer or become a freelance developer legally in Spain, thus contributing to the Social Security and having the right to the coverage that the Special Regime for Self-Employed Workers (RETA) provides, you must meet three fundamental requirements:
- Register for the Tax on Economic Activities (I.A.E)
- Registration with the Tax Authorities
- Affiliation to the Special Scheme for the Self-Employed in the Social Security
Once all these registrations have been processed, the economic activity carried out will be registered and legalized, allowing for the enjoyment of benefits for health care, temporary or permanent disability, maternity, retirement, and death and survival. When it comes to collecting the famous unemployment benefit for the self-employed, approved by law at the end of 2010, the matter is more complicated, due to the somewhat strict peculiarities that have been established in this case.
Even so, it is better not to get complicated on the legal side. To do this, it is advisable to have the services of a legal advisor, for example, to make the tax return, as they can help us to process all the paperwork and to better understand provisions and laws that may be cumbersome and confusing.