[7 Steps] How to Start Your Freelancing Business on the Side?

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Do you dream of creating your own coding business online as a web developer, Python freelancer, or programmer? Creating your coding business on the side is one of the best ways to test the waters and build crucial business skills before you fully commit to your new freelancing venture.

Here are the eight steps to build your freelancing business on the side as a programmer:

  • Set goals
  • Know Your Strengths
  • Find Your Profitable Niche
  • Choose Your Freelancing Marketplace
  • Get Clients
  • Tell Your Boss
  • Increase Your Hourly Rate
  • Think Business Not Job

Set goals

Set goals of where you want to be in 1 year, 5 years, 10 years.

3 Signs That You Shouldn't Become a Freelance Developer

Know Your Strengths

Make a list of all your strengths. Management legend Peter Drucker was right, you can only perform from your strengths.

This video will show you how you can benefit from a strength-based approach to freelancing:

Python Freelancing | How to Exploit This Disruptive Mega Trend (as a Coder)

Find Your Profitable Niche

Niche down based on your strengths and interests so that you are sure you can dominate this niche.

Don’t worry if the niche is tiny and there are only 10 clients in the world per month. This is 100% sufficient for you to build a thriving business! In fact, it’s a requirement of a thriving business—you must dominate your niche. Don’t fear small niches—they are where you can compete.

Watch the following video where I give you a full strategy on how to dominate your niche:

Freelance Developers - Dominate Your Niche!

Still have questions how you can become world-class in your niche? Watch the next video!

How to Dominate Your Niche? (A Practical Perspective on the 80/20 Principle)

Choose Your Freelancing Marketplace

Decide for the freelancing platform to start with.

You can watch the following video to help you figure out the best freelancing site for you:

What Are the Best Freelancing Sites for Coders? [Finxter Freelancer Course Lesson]

Freelance Developer Course Link

There are four major freelancing platforms for coders: Upwork, Fiverr, Toptal, and Freelancer.com. If you’re busy and you want to learn about the best freelancing sites right away, check out the following sites.

Upwork places a great focus on quality. This is great for clients because it ensures that their work will get delivered—without compromising quality.

Fiverr initially started out as a platform where you could buy and sell small gigs worth five bucks. However, in the meantime it grew to a full-fledged freelancing platform where people earn six-figure incomes.

If you want to start earning money as a freelance developer with the hot Python programming language, check out my free webinar:

How to build your high-income skill Python [Webinar]

Toptal has a strong market proposition: it’s the platform with the top 3% of freelancers. Hence, it connects high-quality freelancers with high-quality clients.

Freelancer.com is the go-to resource for beginners with very low barrier of entry and opportunities for everyone. This is the recommended starting point to gain experience and finish your first projects. Also, it can help you gain your first testimonials—while getting paid for learning and polishing your skills.

For freelance programmers, I have compiled a list of ten practical freelancing projects to help you get started on this article. These projects are real projects which were completed by real freelancers for real money. So they are as practical as they can get.

Related article: What’s the best freelancing site for coders?

Get Clients

Before you learn to code, you must get clients. You can always figure out how to solve the project later. In fact, this is the best strategy to thrive and develop a practical skill set.

Here’s how you can get clients—and how you will be able to get clients in 10 years:

5 Evergreen Ways to Get Clients as a Freelancer

Tell Your Boss

But first things first: do you have to tell your boss? Let’s have a look at this video:

Do You Have to Tell Your Boss You're Starting Your Freelancing Side-Business on Fiverr or Upwork?

To summarize the video: you shouldn’t shy away from telling it your boss because this is the only way you can build your business while working in your main job. If you don’t tell your boss, you cannot create the business and you cannot build a second income stream. You can quit your dreams of becoming your own boss—but is this really what you want?

Increase Your Hourly Rate

How to Increase Your Hourly Rate on Upwork and Fiverr (as a Freelance Developer)

Now comes the interesting part: increasing your hourly rate. Set a schedule and double it every six months. If you start with $10 per hour, double it soon to $20 per hour. Then double it after six months to $40 per hour, $80 per hour, and $160 per hour. Regularly doubling your hourly rate ensures that you stay sharp and at the top of your game.

How can you do this? Get my new book with 50 expert tips on how to boost your freelancing success as a developer:

Leaving the Rat Race with Python Book

Think Business not Job

One of the main mistakes of many coders going freelancing is that they believe they are still in a job. As a freelance developer, you’re now a business owner. You must build your business before you must build your coding skills. Prioritize business education over technical education!

You can learn 5 tricks to build a sustainable business here:

5 Freelance Developer Tricks to Build a Sustainable Business

When starting a business, it is important to make sure that your business is registered for example, set up a Limited Liability Company.

Where to Go From Here?

Enough theory. Let’s get some practice!

Coders get paid six figures and more because they can solve problems more effectively using machine intelligence and automation.

To become more successful in coding, solve more real problems for real people. That’s how you polish the skills you really need in practice. After all, what’s the use of learning theory that nobody ever needs?

You build high-value coding skills by working on practical coding projects!

Do you want to stop learning with toy projects and focus on practical code projects that earn you money and solve real problems for people?

🚀 If your answer is YES!, consider becoming a Python freelance developer! It’s the best way of approaching the task of improving your Python skills—even if you are a complete beginner.

If you just want to learn about the freelancing opportunity, feel free to watch my free webinar “How to Build Your High-Income Skill Python” and learn how I grew my coding business online and how you can, too—from the comfort of your own home.

Join the free webinar now!