Hello and welcome to our community! Is this your first visit?
Register
Enjoy an ad free experience by logging in. Not a member yet? Register.
Results 1 to 11 of 11

Thread: Freelancing

  1. #1
    Regular Coder Custard7A's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    286
    Thanks
    32
    Thanked 33 Times in 33 Posts

    Freelancing

    Hi everyone,

    I've been a hobbyist web developer for a few years now. I've become quite confident in HTML and CSS, and PHP. My Javascript is managable, as is my ability to use MySQL, although I still have plenty of room to grow with those. Recently I've had thoughts that I might be able to make some money off these skills by taking up some odd jobs. I'm not intending to tackle things over my head.

    Now I am wondering, what is expected from a freelancer, mostly in the field of general formalities.

    Invoicing: Can I expect simple electronic transactions, or will I be suppose to send out something by mail, should signatures be involved, etc? I've heard that some clients can refuse to pay after work is done, and that initial deposits from the client are commonly requested. Is that something I should be concerned with?

    Correspondence: I suppose most smaller-scale clients would be content with an online-only relationship, email or instant messanger? Would many clients want voice chat or phone calls? I like to reserve my phone for friends only. What about giving out address, or other personal details, would many expect that?

    Getting Hired: Obviously I have no experiance with web development jobs, as I'm looking to get started. I'm self-taught, so I have no real-world qualifications either. I've made some projects for my own amusement, and innumerable tests during my learning, but I have very little to offer in the way of a resume. Do I have much of a chance like this?

    Pricing: A rather large question-mark in my mind, I have no idea what sort of pricing system I should be expected to use. Would it be time-based, per-page, maybe complexity-based? Is there a standard sort of pricing table? If someone could give me a referance to prices involved in this sort of thing it would be very helpful to me.

    Those are the pressing questions I had. I've also read some articles about communicating with others when working in web development.

    Thanks! Full or partial answers are most appreciated.

  • #2
    Senior Coder
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    1,297
    Thanks
    10
    Thanked 282 Times in 281 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by Custard7A View Post
    Invoicing: Can I expect simple electronic transactions, or will I be suppose to send out something by mail, should signatures be involved, etc? I've heard that some clients can refuse to pay after work is done, and that initial deposits from the client are commonly requested. Is that something I should be concerned with?
    Depends on the client. If you're doing a small site for a person's hobby, sending them an email "hey, drop me the $50 for that last update" is going to work. If you're doing a business site for a company, they will often want a paper invoice in the mail against which they can write you a check. Always do a portion of the payment before, with final payment after the site is delivered, regardless of the client.

    Correspondence: I suppose most smaller-scale clients would be content with an online-only relationship, email or instant messanger? Would many clients want voice chat or phone calls? I like to reserve my phone for friends only. What about giving out address, or other personal details, would many expect that?
    Again, tailor it to the customer. I can't frankly imagine an online-only customer, for me it was typically phone meetings to get the major components hashed out, then emails back and forth over details. If you run a business, yes you should expect to give out a phone number, a physical address, etc. I don't know about Aus, but here in the USA stuff like business licenses, etc, is all expected for such things.

    Getting Hired: Obviously I have no experiance with web development jobs, as I'm looking to get started. I'm self-taught, so I have no real-world qualifications either. I've made some projects for my own amusement, and innumerable tests during my learning, but I have very little to offer in the way of a resume. Do I have much of a chance like this?
    Yes, a good chance if you are the type to "network". Small web site needs are all over the place, with folks looking for them. Connect with friends, "networking groups", and let folks know you're doing web sites, and I bet work will come your way.

    Pricing: A rather large question-mark in my mind, I have no idea what sort of pricing system I should be expected to use. Would it be time-based, per-page, maybe complexity-based? Is there a standard sort of pricing table? If someone could give me a referance to prices involved in this sort of thing it would be very helpful to me.
    See what compares in your area. Folks want a fixed price, so they know the bottom line. So "$XX for the original site as agreed, and $YY/hour for changes or ongoing support" is typical.

    Two items you didn't mention:

    A Scope of Work is a document that you write, that describes what you are (and aren't) going to do for the money. It is your way to get something on paper that says "for $XX I will do this". Stuff like who's going to generate the graphics, who pays for ancillary purchased software, will form data be validated, who pays for and owns the domain name, the list can go on and on.

    A contract is a document you both sign that says "I will implement this job according to the attached Scope of Work, for $XX. Payment will be rendered as follows" (and any other contractual stuff either party deems important, like delivery dates, etc).

    Dave

  • Users who have thanked tracknut for this post:

    Custard7A (12-08-2012)

  • #3
    Regular Coder Custard7A's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    286
    Thanks
    32
    Thanked 33 Times in 33 Posts
    Thanks, great reply.

    Huh, there is a business license for this? I wasn't even thinking of it as starting a business. The kind of jobs I was considering were smaller than a site, like when someone wants a page or two, or something fixed up. I was thinking along these lines not because I don't think I couldn't make websites, but because I thought I might be able to do it without becoming business-like.

    I don't know anyone who does this personally, so I am not sure how I would check for pricing in my area. As well, the jobs could span the globe, so I don't know why my area matters.. There got to be somewhere where people are broadcasting prices, so I'll just have to look around I suppose.

    A contract, hm? That seems ironic. For small tasks in web development (unless I am way off the mark on pricing), I don't see any way it would be benificial to persue legal action against a non-payer. The legal costs would immediately dwarf the payment! If the client didn't have a fax machine, the time waiting for the contract to traverse the post would be a great times longer than the actual job takes as well. For the scale of the jobs I was intending to undertake I was hoping that avoiding fishy clients, asking for a down-payment, and other wise using an honor-agreement would be enough.

    Thanks again tracknut, appreciate it.

  • #4
    Senior Coder
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    1,297
    Thanks
    10
    Thanked 282 Times in 281 Posts
    As I say, I'm not familiar with the rules in Aus. Here in the USA, you're doing business, or your not. If you're doing work for someone and asking for payment, that's a business, and along with it comes such things as licenses and paying taxes. That's the routine. Not that people don't do it without paying their taxes, that's called "tax evasion"

    A contract is so that you *don't* end up talking to the lawyers. It sets down the agreement between you on paper (or electronic paper) that seals the agreement. It doesn't require a fax, if you have email. If I may say, it's naive for either to go into this with an assumption that there won't be a contract and that everyone will just be happy with the deliverable and the associated fee.

    Dave

  • Users who have thanked tracknut for this post:

    Custard7A (12-08-2012)

  • #5
    Regular Coder Custard7A's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    286
    Thanks
    32
    Thanked 33 Times in 33 Posts
    Now that you put it that way, I think I would be suppose to register as a business if I am making any income privately. Something traditionally viewed as not a fun process with the system we have. Damn complications; I like to write code, not manage a business.

    I do understand what you mean. It's better safe than sorry, and I guess I was just hopeful about keeping it simple. What about writing a series of general terms on a webpage, and ask the client read and agree to the terms before hiring? It could relate to what defines the job as being finished, and such things about terms of payment. I'm not sure what entails a legally binding document though.

  • #6
    Senior Coder
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    1,297
    Thanks
    10
    Thanked 282 Times in 281 Posts
    You can simplify the contract part as much as you like, the idea is to get you and the customer on the same page. If you had the main part on a web page, then copied that page into an email and added "...I'll do all this for $500, ok?" and got the client to respond with "yes, sounds good to me", then you're golden. Sticking it in an email is better than a web page, because then he can't argue that you changed the web page after he agreed to it.

    Dave

  • Users who have thanked tracknut for this post:

    Custard7A (12-08-2012)

  • #7
    Regular Coder Custard7A's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    286
    Thanks
    32
    Thanked 33 Times in 33 Posts
    That sounds pretty painless, I didn't know it was that easy.

    Considering your advice, I think the best thing I can do for myself now is to find out about my obligations for getting income online in my country. As well, I could create an informative page on my personal website to give potential clients insight, and hopefully score some interest.

    Thanks for the help Dave.

  • #8
    New Coder
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    13
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
    It will be hour base or fixed cost base?

  • #9
    New to the CF scene
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    1
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    You have learned so many nice things. These are very useful for freelancing. By doing freelancing job no doubt you can earn thousand of dollar. Just stick to this kind of job.

  • #10
    New to the CF scene
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    5
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    if you are a freelancer i suggest you to work in oDesk. it is one of the best places you can be, i am also a web developer working as a freelancer. and oDesk is the best for me

  • #11
    New Coder
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    21
    Thanks
    2
    Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
    In my opinion freelancing is a good source of income especially when you have lots of clients to work with. However, unlike the real job where you work on the same building with your BOSS, it is not stable. Here are some ideas and advices when freelancing.

    Invoicing – Most of the most common way to get paid as a freelancer is thru PAYPAL. There are also legit freelancing sites that automatically handles invoicing. Time tracking tools are also a great tool to invoice clients for hours of work on tasks. Time Doctor is one of the tools that you could use which tracks time accurately in real time. Another tool is Toggl, which automatically syncs with Freshbooks and Quickbooks (accounting tools). Sometime it depends on your clients on how you’ll get paid.

    Correspondence – It depends on your clients on what to use but most of the time email and instant messenger using Skype and other VOIP tools. There are also collaboration tools like basecamp that clients required to use. There are also clients that do voice chats or even on video. Personal information will be used for emergency only or other company related concerns.

    Getting hired – The best way to get hire is to expand your search on different sites. You could look for clients on different freelancing sites (Elance.com, Staff.com, Guru.com and etc.), job boards (Monster.com,Indeed.com and etc.) and even on social media (Twitter, LinkedIn). Avoid sites that asking for registration fee up front and look for clients on legit sites that already has establish their online reputation.

    Pricing – there are lots of thing you need to consider when figuring your rate as a freelancer. One of it is your skills and experiences. Another is your location or country from. You also need to consider the difficulty of tasks and time frame.


  •  

    Posting Permissions

    • You may not post new threads
    • You may not post replies
    • You may not post attachments
    • You may not edit your posts
    •