Finding Freelance Work

So I’m looking to become a freelance Web Developer and as such need to build a portfolio and resume to show clients.

Does anyone know any places where I can find work to use for my portfolio and get experience? Even if it’s for free, I just want to get my feet wet so I can build up a portfolio and resume that I can show future clients and get better jobs later down the line.


You can always try hitting up non-profits and small business in your area (especially ones with out of date sites or no web presence at all) and offer to make them a site pro-bono. Just make sure to mention you’re a junior developer and still learning the ropes. Ask them if it’s alright if you use their site in your portfolio and it doesn’t hurt to ask them if they wouldn’t mind being a reference for you for future jobs. This way you gain the experience of working with the client, communicating your ideas, listening to their needs and finding the best solution for them.

I want to stress though, you should also look into how to put together contracts for future paid jobs. Look up templates, learn what other developers put in, make sure they are as ironclad as they can be and work for both you and your potential clients. Even if the contract is just a simple one page Work For Hire (WFH) for starters. If you got someone you know who’s a lawyer or works with contracts pretty regularly, ask them if they can look it over for you. A friend of mine did and her advice was invaluable.

I never do a freelance job without a contract in place detailing every aspect of the project from the scope of the job itself to the payment schedule. Actually…I am doing one project without a contract, but it’s for my very first client (going back several years ago) and at this point we know each other so well that we’ve built a huge amount of trust. But anyone else: contract, contract, contract.


Can’t stress this enough. Small to mid-size business in your area. They usually don’t have their own IT/web staff – you become their problem solver, you become their web department, their IT department.

If a new client, don’t even start the work without receiving the 50% upfront.
Then upon delivery, get the 40%.
After acceptance, and last minute bug fixes, get the final 10%.

If you and client trusts each other, and have long relationship – hopefully you’d get to the point of them just calling you to ask to do some work, you do it, and you just send them bill for whatever $$$ at the end of the month.

Also, get away from the thinking that you’re a web developer developing website apps for them — no, you’re solving problems and finding solutions to their problem. If that solution is a WordPress site with some plugins, that’s what you offer. Don’t mumbo jumbo them talking about React, node, git, css, es6, whatever… their eyes will glaze over, they don’t know what you’re talking about, and they’ll go find someone else.