It is always the hardest at the beginning. Especially when you have no portfolio that you can show and no real world contacts that my help you to be promoted. No one really cares that your are good in this what are you doing and that you have awesome knowledge on subject.
Who is it for?
I was a person like this and it was really hard to get my first few projects. As some of you may know I am web developer and I have been searching jobs in programming (mostly PHP). But I believe that this little guide is really universal and may be used by all unexperienced freelancers. This solution is really working as I have tested in on myself and can guarantee that if you follow my way you will soon earn your first bucks as a freelancer.
Where to start?
If you are in similar situation as I was you need to look for your first job in the Internet. My favorite job trading portal that supports most kinds of work that may be done by freelancers was "GetAFreeLancer" (they have changed their name to "Freelancer" some time ago as they have bought a domain freelancer.com). It is free to register and to bid for your jobs (you can go for paid Gold status for some extra features and better positioning of your bids).
But nobody want to choose my offer...
At the beginning nobody have been choosing my offers either. You need to hack these guys to make them choosing your bids! It is not enough to tell them that you are great, experienced in some other places etc! For most of them most important are reviews received from previous service buyers. But you have just registered and have no reviews...
Hack them to choose you!
If you don't have a huge portfolio there is one way to really hack them. You have to make them think that you are the best choice for this job! You need to hack their minds. I did it... But it takes a lot of work on the start. Here is my recipe:
- Find jobs that are really well described,
- If you have any doubts about job you have chosen ask so many question to service buyer until you will know what he really wants. Do not bid for this job yet!
- Make the work before making a bid! (I have been choosing smaller jobs at the beginning to be able to do as many as possible)
- Make a bid with ZERO days deadline (keep price average or lower than others)
- Send direct message to service provider telling him you did it (show him if you can - I have been sending URL to working script copy and no any sources) and tell them you can still customize it if something is wrong.
In about 90% of jobs I did this way I have been chosen as a service provider. Usually after some small customization and sending/installing them scripts I got paid. Very ofter I got more than I bid for express work - as it was ready much faster than they have expected.
There is even more!
After getting a few projects this way you will be able to bid for real jobs. Bigger and not as well described as you will have more reviews than most of people. And another bonus is that you get great contacts for future. I still get requests for new projects from people that I have been working before! Hack them at the beginning and satisfy them with your work and they will come for more!
That was my way... You need to judge it for yourself if it is right. But it really worked for me. So it should work for most of you as well! And what is your way for freelancing?