Freelance web developers are people who are independent of larger organizations. They usually work for themselves as well as for various agencies and clients. They take on full projects from clients starting from designing the logo, website design, cutup, CMS integration, to finally structuring and launching the content.
Freelance web developers will also do additional work aside from web development such as accounting, managing the projects and sales and marketing. Luckily, there is software available that helps web developers to properly manage their business. Some web developers usually focus on a particular web development skill such as cutup and design and will seek out other freelancers to help them in parts of the project that go past their niche skill set such as programming.
Types of Freelance Web Developers
Freelance web developers are divided into two categories, full time and part time. Full time web developers are those who derive their full income from their freelancing business. They work from an office, from home or from any place with an internet connection. They can even work from coffee shops or cafes for short durations. Most people doing freelance web development don’t rely on work solely from one client or agency, as this can turn out to be a big gamble; they instead rely on many different income streams which are vital to their success.
Part time freelance web developers on the other hand are more common. These freelancers may have a full time job that may be related to the field they freelance in. They may also work part-time from home or from locations similar to those frequented by full time freelance web developers. People who do part time web development usually do their freelancing after normal working hours and outside their work. These freelancers may charge a slightly lower rate than the full time freelancers as they have regular income streams from their jobs and just undertake freelancing to boost their main income.
Average Salaries for Web Developers
While there’s no exact figure that can be given for those working in freelance web development, there are different factors that can help determine a web developer’s salary. The salary for freelance web developers can range between $30,000 to $100,000 per year based on their skills and experience. Those starting out in freelancing can charge between $25 -$50 per hour and depending on their experience, they can charge more. All types of freelancing jobs are not consistent, and so web developers just starting out in freelancing without many clients are bound to make less than those with many clients and more experienced in freelancing.
The great thing about freelancing is that you are in full control of your income. So as a freelance web developer, you can decide on what you want to be earning, and then divide it with a normal 40 hour week schedule and you will come up with the hourly rate you should charge. In order to earn your desired salary, make sure you have enough consistent work each week so as to reach the 40 hour mark.
When trying to figure out what rate you should charge for each project, consider these factors:
- The type of project.
- The pages it will entail.
- The designs and images to be included.
- Whether you have to provide content or it has already been catered for.
- Whether you are required to incorporate multimedia, flash, scripting and programming.
For freelance web developers who are experienced in PHP, graphic designing and flash, they can ask for salaries ranging from $70 to $100 per hour.
How Freelance Web Developers Can Attract Clients and Expand Their Businesses
There are many ways through which freelance web developers can find work and expand their businesses. Some popular ones are:
Word of Mouth
This is the main way that freelance web developers can find more work and expand their client base. Your existing clients can refer new clients to you; hence you should strive to keep them happy. Be known as someone who is professional, gets the job done, and is competent. Also let your existing clients know that you will be happy to get referrals from them. Giving them gentle reminders every once in a while can help you boost your business. Subtle reminders can be integrated into bi-monthly letters, holiday cards or in thank-you notes after completing a project.
When looking to attract new web development clients, it is very important to be professional. Most clients will initially find you through your website so it must appear professional. Create the best website for your freelancing business and do not neglect even the small details. It is also important that you look professional and dress appropriately for meetings with clients.
Ensure that your business cards, logo and even stationery represent your business correctly and also reflect the job you do. Remember that the more professional you are when meeting with clients, the more likely you are to convince them to become your clients.
This is one of the quickest ways freelance web developers can find work. While finding the right job may not be easy, it all depends on your skills and the availability of your portfolio samples. Most job boards have many clients and agencies looking for web developers for either a continuous working relationship, or to work on a specific project.
Freelance web developers can network with other professionals at occasions such as chamber meetings, design conferences, and other similar events. Talk to people and tell them about your business during such events, and it is very likely that they will think of you whenever they need your services or when they hear of someone in need of them.
Social sites have many services that enable you to network with other users and create professional relationships. Sites like Twitter, LinkedIn, Plaxo and Facebook can bring you more clients and help you to expand your business. By also blogging on topics related to the services you offer, you will make people aware of your expertise and make them more willing to invest in you.
While making it as a freelance web developer is not easy, the perks are many if you remain dedicated to your work and manage yourself well. As long as you get enough work and complete your projects on time, you will have much success in freelancing.