WEB Has anyone here made the leap to freelancing full time?

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by TurkeyChicken, Mar 24, 2008.

  1. TurkeyChicken

    TurkeyChicken New Member

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    I'm hoping to be able to make that jump by this fall. I'm trying to save as much money as I can now so I can take a few months of no or slow growth.

    Right now I have about 10k saved and am looking to get another 5k saved by this fall.

    I figure that should be enough to keep me going if it takes a little while for business to pick up.

    Anyone else tried doing this before and have any advice to share? :x:
     
  2. drpepper

    drpepper Active Member

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    why not get clients while still working your full time job?
    id be scared to do something freelance with no client base.
     
  3. kingtoad

    kingtoad OT Supporter

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    :werd:
     
  4. rwdftw

    rwdftw Guest

    if you are doing freelancing using one of those elance/scriptlance etc site, I wouldn't go for it unless I had a lot of feedback. The average person will get 100 bids if its an expensive enough project($2000-3000). So the person offering the job will narrow his choices down by a) Location: USA>* and b) Feedback rating.

    So if I were you I'd do the following:(for getafreelancer.com)
    a) get the premium account(Its like $20 bucks per month, but then you don't pay a % on winning bids)
    b) Make 5 accounts for average-big projects $500-$1000 and have yourself win the bid. ($90 * 5 in project manager's fees)
    c) bid on some $500-1000 projects, should be simple stuff you can do in 1-2 weekends and with 5 feedback you won't get ignored when you bid
    d) make some more accounts for big projects for $1000-5000($90 * 10 in project manager's fees). Here make the project descriptions similiar to what you want to do(i.e. social network, ecommerce site)
    e) At this point you have 15-20 good feedbacks, with an average of at least a 9/10, a U.S. based location, and "experience" doing big projects. This way when you bid on big projects you'll be a perfect candidate for most people.

    THEN when you finally get a big freelance project on your own merit for $3-5K you can quit your day job, because at that point you'll have the profile.

    Trust me when a person lists a big project the person gets a TON of bids. But the quality of bids is usually crappy, i.e. for me out of 100-150 I got, I'd say 90% were indians/russians/romanians(mix of feedback), 9% were Americans with 0-5 feedback with small projects in their profiles(if I have a large project, why would I give it to someone who has 5 feedback doing $300 small code fixes) . And only a few had the location, experience doing the project type I wanted, and the feedback.

    So if you boost your profile, you'll basically bypass 99.99% of your competition for bidding and will need to underbid only the few true professionals.

    Granted it'll get expensive to do this on many sites, which is why I reccomend the getafreelancer.com because for coders with the premium membership its only a small fee and the $90 project proivder fee is affordable enough to boost your ratings
     
  5. Necromancer

    Necromancer Guest

    :cool:
     
  6. Kevin

    Kevin New Member

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    i could, but why? I can freelance on my own time while still getting a nice paycheck from my employer.

    Reconsider. Just keep saving, but if you have an income, keep it
     
  7. kingtoad

    kingtoad OT Supporter

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    I'm sure it has something to do with the whole "working for yourself" thing, Kevin. I'm sure nobody would mind bringing in extra cash on the side of our real job, as that's probably what most of us do in here anyway.
     
  8. Kevin

    Kevin New Member

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    I was actually gonna mention that in my reply.

    Everytime i've thought about it, the one thing that keeps me at my job is the money. Its the capital that allows me to freelance.
    however, if you've been freelancing for 10 years, have a giant client base, a good rep, and solid portfolio, i'd say go for it. Cut the cord and be your own boss.
     
  9. JesterFX

    JesterFX New Member

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    Like others have said, it really depends on your goals and where you want to be. Sounds like you are pretty decent with managing money and have been able to save some so that is a good sign as that can be the most stressful part of "going it alone".

    The way I decided to drop the "real job" was at the point that I felt I was losing money by not being able to spend all my time doing it. Like I was actually losing money because of the job and the time I had to spend there.

    The other thing is you have to be sure you are motivated enough to really push yourself. Once you make enough to cover your bills and not stress about that it can be very easy to get lazy and just relax way too often. I've gotten more and more lazy over the months and have a hard time keeping busy now lol.

    Other little things that can be important...things like health insurance, if you have it through your employer you could be without it and be screwed if something happens. Anything like that, that your current job provides that you will have to cover on your own can be big expenses if you don't plan ahead for them.

    bottom line though, once you are at that point it is an awesome feeling to be able to do it all on your own and worth any extra stress.
     
  10. TurkeyChicken

    TurkeyChicken New Member

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    I have clients, and that's what I'm doing. It's getting to the point though where I can't have a full time job and complete all the freelance work that's thrown my way.
     
  11. TurkeyChicken

    TurkeyChicken New Member

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    I've never used any of those freelancer sites and have done projects for people worth anywhere between $500-$6,000. Most of my clients come from word of mouth or by seeing other sites I've done in the past and asking me to build theirs.

    I guess it wouldn't hurt to check out some of those freelance sites just to try and find some extra business when needed.

    For now though, I can't really take on any more work than I already have.
     
  12. TurkeyChicken

    TurkeyChicken New Member

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    Yeah, that's pretty much where I am now. I've gotten very good at turning down freelance jobs because I simply don't have the capacity to do them. I figure with the time I spend at work, I could be building my own websites that would bring in money and working for clients and be more happy and have the potential to make even more money than I'm making now.

    I'm giving myself until the Fall also because that'll give me time to try and finish a few other personal sites that have the potential of bringing in a lot of money each month which would help if I hit a slow time for freelance jobs.
     
  13. Ricky

    Ricky █▄ █▄█ █▄ ▀█▄

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    I don't know if you call my work freelancing, but apart from working in the IT at work, they have me designing internal websites for some pretty large companies.

    They give me some ideas and a basic layout, and i work from there.

    It's basically full time, but there are times where i don't get that many requests, but good thing i still have my IT work to fall back on.

    It'd honestly be too risky for me to go into freelancing as a full time job as you'd be fucked if you're low in work / someone doesnt pay... etc
     
  14. Ricky

    Ricky █▄ █▄█ █▄ ▀█▄

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    Turn it into a side business :dunno:

    Get some real good people who you can trust, and start throwing work at them.

    If that works well you can begin expanding.

    Well that's what i'd do atleast
     
  15. Vailripper

    Vailripper Daywalkers have feelings too.

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    http://forums.offtopic.com/showthread.php?t=3733779

    You're designing websites and asking questions like that?
     
  16. kingtoad

    kingtoad OT Supporter

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    Designers at a lot of companies, including the company I work for, do not touch HTML/CSS code. They pass the PSD's to the developers to break down and build out.
     
  17. Ricky

    Ricky █▄ █▄█ █▄ ▀█▄

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  18. Vailripper

    Vailripper Daywalkers have feelings too.

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    Ahhh.

    It seems like it would be hard to design sites without any real experience with the mechanics behind them.
     
  19. kingtoad

    kingtoad OT Supporter

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    Heh.

    No, not really.
     
  20. symptic

    symptic I run companies

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    I freelance to pay all my bills. I hate it.

    I've found most coders are horrible at designing.
     

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