Business, business, business: The art of being a freelance WordPress dev

Garbage code - don't code like this if you code

Why business?

It’s an important question: why go into actual business? Can’t I just freelance the entire time and not worry about anything and get paid tons of money?

It’s true you can freelance for the rest of your life, but I will show you the benefits (and cons) of going into business as a WordPress dev.

Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty

So, you want to be a freelance WordPress dev instead of your awful 9-5. You live near the beach, right? Maybe some small work then you’ll go to the beach. The beach sounds so nice right now… #freelancelife

 

Reality: You’ll work more than 9-5 to start because you’ll take any bone that is thrown your way. The beach is available but if you’re not working, you’re not making money. Every time you’re on Facebook or Twitter, you’re losing money. #freelancelife

What are you selling?

Obviously, you’re selling your services.

But you’re doing more than that.

You are selling yourself and your business to everyone you meet. You are selling a conversation. You are selling like nobody’s business because your life depends on it.

Business Development

It’s important to realize early on (which I hope you have done already) that your freelance life is your business and visa versa. If you’re introducing yourself as a freelancer, you are doing it wrong. Introduce yourself as: “Scott Stewart, owner of Up Up Up Agency” Hand a business card. Start a conversation.

Pitfalls and Things I Learned Along the Way

This is a list of things I learned with detail on each.

1.) The Taxman Giveth and Taketh Away

Hire a CPA. Seriously, they’re not that expensive and it will save your butt 100% of the time. Doing your own taxes is a pain AND you’re probably doing it wrong.

Pay quarterly: 4/18/17, 6/15/17, 9/15/17, 1/16/18

I have it on my bulletin board next to my desk. Pay online and pay 25% of what you made this quarter. I know, it hurts. It hurts bad. But you need to tax yourself or you’re doing it wrong.

Here’s a link for you: https://www.irs.gov/payments/direct-pay Use it wisely.

2.) Have a damn good website

Your website is better than your business card.

The curse of the freelancer is that you never finish your website. Get it done. It’s vital, if not the most important part.

Mobile responsive so you can show anyone your stuff.

3.) Be really, really organized

I learned early on to be incredibly organized.

It’s like this: You can be scattered in your personal life, but if you do that to a client, you’ve already lost that client and his / her referrals.

That means: respond to emails quickly. 0 Box your inbox (no unread emails).

Use some system that works for you to organizing your time and tasks.

I use Google Calendar for meetings and Asana for tasks. It works really well for me, but there are better systems.

Spend less time on time suckers, like Facebook and Twitter (unless you’re posting something relevant). I still struggle with this one, so I will work on it too.

Get good at answering the phone. You’re putting your business card and your business out there.

Also get good at blocking numbers in your phone that are spam numbers.

The 4 Hour Work Week and Its Falsities

You may be thinking now, what about the 4 hour work week and how can I work less and get more money?

I hate to break it to you, but this means outsourcing all your work. I hate outsourcing. Do the work. You are in charge of the quality of your work.

Local SEO

There are many resources through which I learned how to do basic local SEO. Here are some:

Lynda.com

MOZ Local SEO

http://searchengineland.com/local-seo-rank-local-business-218906

Questions?

Feel free to contact me at scott@carlislestewart.com or through my contact form on this website.

 

Categorized in: Business

About the author

Scott Stewart is a freelance WordPress developer. He has developed websites for small businesses, writers, artists, and corporations. He utilizes the flexibility of WordPress to craft beautiful and elegant websites. He hails from a small town in Oregon, but now lives in San Diego, CA. He is available for hire.

One response to “Business, business, business: The art of being a freelance WordPress dev

  1. Great Stuff Scott. I need to revamp my website. It has been over a year since I have put new work on my site, and I’ve easily done the majority of my impressive work this last year. You have made me feed the conviction to get my site updates done. Also, I always find that people go to freelancing because it gives you more time: WRONG. Being a freelancer does give you more control over your time, but 9 times out of 9 you will have less ‘free time,’ especially when starting out. I also agree that you never get to turn work off and tune out in a pure sense. For me, exercise is my escape from work. A few days ago while doing some curls, I hear the phrase, ‘so you build websites right?’ Lol. Apparently, the owner of the gym wanted to know what I thought of his website.

    Also, something I feel about freelancing that many people don’t get: the only difference between freelancing businesses and other businesses is nebulous. The most key difference I can find between the freelance biz and non-freelance biz is size. The second most key difference is how your help is paid. Thus, essentially running a freelance business is the same process of running a larger business, you just do everything yourself.

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