How to get started with freelancing

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  • How to get Started with Freelancing

    For Tech ProfessionalsBy Loc Nguyen,

  • Who am I?

    Loc Nguyen

    Active in the local community

    AngularJS-OC, ReactJS-OC, PeopleSpace

    Consulting on a lot of things *

    AngularJS, ReactJS, Node, Ruby, Cordova, APIs etc

    1st client in 2012 when startup gig didnt work out

  • Agenda

    1. Why you should and shouldnt freelance

    2. Your gameplan

    3. Favorite freelancing resources

    4. AMA

  • Should you freelance?

    Theres a lot of money for you

    There are a lot of people who want your help

    You control your working hours

    Great if you have a family or want to pursue hobbies

    Take a month off if you want

    You are in charge of your own career

    Pick the technology you like to work with. Clients pay for your


  • Congrats on the career change!

    Youre now in sales.

    Youre hunting for all that money from all those people

    You need a pipeline to qualify and close deals

    But wait, youre a marketer too.

    People have to know youre for hire

    Hows your copy writing?

    And youre also in accounting and collections.

    Uncle Sam needs his cut

    Sometimes clients forget to pay invoices

  • Feast and famine


    Drive your career and

    pick your specialties

    Learn a ton of

    entrepreneurial skills

    Steady paycheck &


    Health and retirement


    Narrow and



  • The 5 Things We Want in a Job

    1. Work with great people

    2. Make a lot of money

    3. Solve interesting problems

    4. Short commute

    5. Reasonable hours

  • But we can only have 3 at a time.

    1. Work with great people?

    2. Make a lot of money

    3. Solve interesting problems

    4. Short commute?

    5. Reasonable hours?

  • Very meta.

    But how do I you started?

  • Personal Branding

    Build trust pull prospects to you

    Be visible

    Present at conferences, lead meetups or volunteer as a

    speaker, be a face in the community

    Blogs, social media, e-mail courses on your specialty

    Start immediately ;)

    AngularJS-OC, ReactJS-OC

    Product Managers of OC

    PeopleSpace Community School

  • Positioning Your Brand

    Specialize and be known for something

    less competition, higher rates

    the ideal client will gladly pay for an expert consultant to

    solve their expensive problems

    Position what you do

    Im a UI consultant who fixes interface problems causing

    customer drop off.

    I didnt go to a full-stack doctor for my ACL replacement

    My son was not delivered by a generalist

  • Marketing Your Expertise

    Push your service to prospects

    Tell people youre for hire

    connect with family, friends, past co-workers and bosses

    Learn great copywriting;

    Go to networking events, dont be pushy

    Hear people talk about their problems

    Offer a valuable freebie if they email you lead self-qualifies and takes the first step into your funnel

    dont send lame emails the next day, e.g. Great meeting you, lets talk

    if theres anything I can do.

  • What is valuable freebie?

    Something useful that demonstrates youre legit

    Web page UX teardown

    Copy suggestions

    Page load and rendering time measurements

    Analytics suggestions

    Makes you memorable compared to everyone else at

    the networking event

  • What should your rate be?

    Yearly salary / 2000 hours

    $100,000 / 2,000 hours = $50/hour

    This doesnt account for health and dental, 401k, PTO,

    training and other costs of employment your employer paid

    A decent rule of thumb is to double that to $100/hour

    You are not billing 40 hours a week for the entire year

    But taxes and other costs of self-employment :(

    Decent but probably bad rule of thumb

    Work for free or for a good rate. Discounts devalue.

  • Should you work on fixed bid project?


    Weekly > Hourly > Fixed.

  • Where to find your first clients?

    Did you start branding yet?

    Referrals from updating your friends, family and past

    colleagues that you are solving the problem of

    ________ for customers who are _______.

    Sub-contract to build a portfolio and network

    Are you going to email me about this?

    Job boards, RFPs

    Too much work and hard to qualify the leads

  • Should you jump in?

    Beggars cant be choosers

    Youll start taking on bad clients if your cash flow is bad

    Risk tolerance

    I had to consider mortgage payments, a son on the way,

    health benefits for the family, and wife not working for 6m

    Mitigated the risk with a long runway of savings

    Moonlighting is a low risk way to get your feet wet

    and build that runway

  • Where Im at Now

    Hate bookkeeping and collecting money, cant justify

    outsourcing yet. Definitely the worst.

    Cleared enough to survive a 6 month dry spell before

    touching the runway.

    Subcontractors helping so I can take on longer term

    projects and work on sales and marketing.

    Binging on learning the psychology behind sales and

    copywriting, struggling to apply it myself

  • Picks: Books

    1. Get Clients Now - how to start a sales

    funnel for dummies

    2. Double Your Freelancing Rate - how to

    maximize your earnings

    3. The Brain Audit - the psychology of

    making a sale

  • Picks: Podcasts

    1. The Business of Freelancing

    2. The Freelancers Show

    3. Working without Pants

  • Hello

    E-mail me at

    Tweet me at @locn

    Connect with me on

    Email me your questions and/or market your services ;)