DEV Community

Cover image for How to thrive as a freelance developer in 2020
Gabri Cebria
Gabri Cebria

Posted on • Updated on

How to thrive as a freelance developer in 2020

Hey, folk devs! I recently interviewed Matt Inglot, host of the Freelance Transformation Podcast, and wanted to share some of the tips he gave me on how to kill it as a freelance dev in 2020!

1- Leverage the learning resources available online, and connectivity tools such as Dropbox, Zoom, Calendly.
(These tools make it easier than ever before to succeed as a freelancer developer.)

2- Figure out the skills you have which are most likely to create value for your clients and define your ideal client.

You should do the exercise of relating your current skillset with the potential business value that it can create. Let's say you're into modern frontend frameworks such as Gatsby.JS. Gatsby sites are:

  • Light-speed fast => Lower bounce rates

  • Good SEO => Better organic outreach

From this added business value, you could then define an ideal client. In our example, the ideal client could be business owners with a sluggish WordPress site.

3- Connect and speak with as many business owners as possible (online and offline)

Time to connect! Ideally, these business owners should fit the ideal client you have already defined.

4- Use value-pricing rather than hourly rates.

Business owners usually feel safer talking in terms of the total project budget rather than your hourly rate. Value-pricing is :
a) More lucrative
b) More likely to be accepted by your client.

5- Focus on client relationships and apply the 80/20 principle to your client base.

Rather than focusing on showing off your skills, focus on the value you can add to your clients and being professional with them.

Also, choose high-value clients and make sure you run your work in a way that creates freedom for you rather than taking it away.

6- Don't cut corners. The tried and true way to start takes work and being consistent. At the same time, you don't need to get too fancy (logos, company names, fancy websites) to get started.

The full interview (with many more top insights):

Weekly interviews with top freelancers, and subscribing for updates:

Top comments (3)

gabrilator profile image
Gabri Cebria

Thanks Michael!

Indeed, Stefan was kind enough to do the first interview of the site, and he also gives some pretty good advice :-)

jherzeybruhl profile image

I would like to know if i need to learn ux design to become a freelance front-end web developer

gabrilator profile image
Gabri Cebria

What are your top tips?