How to start with freelancing

Hello everyone!
I’m interested in how does someone start with freelancing. I’ve finished fCC fullstack curriculum (all 6 certificates) a couple months ago and now I’m working as a remote fullstack developer for some firm in Serbia for the past 9 months (although the description role on my mentions only a frontend role for some formal reasons as HR told me).

Is it even possible for someone without any contacts to start with freelancing? :woman_shrugging: My skills include Node, Express, React, Redux, MongoDB, Git, Webpack, npm, REST, JWT,, Selenium, automated testing (unit, functional and e-2-e), Materialize, SASS, HTML5, CSS3, bash, Python (little rusty here).

At this moment it has been over 4 years from the moment I wrote the first line of code. I feel this is the right time for me to start freelancing, so that I can earn some decent money and free up some time for my personal project which is my real passion. I hope I can get some helpfull advices up here.

I am reading all these articles, where people want to switch their careers to programming as a very lucrative job, and in the meantime I’m thinking to quit it as I feel underpaid compared to the skills and the work I put into it (less than $5/hour). I don’t know if this is normal hourly rate for this region, so forgive me if I’m complaining for no reason. Please, don’t get me wrong, I really like coding and I’m not doing it because of money, but I am giving up my time which I could use to work on my app.

Here are my personal pages if someone wants to take a look.

fCC Full Stack certificate

Looking forward to get some advices from you folks. :eyes::vulcan_salute:


For what ive learned, referrals makes up most of a freelancers business. If you have a good portfolio to show a potential client then getting your first few clients should be “easy”.

Someone more or less gave me some good business advice once. Its not about what you can sell, its about how you can help… or something like that. Dont go to people offering to make them websites. Talk to people and use your skills to solve a problem or increase a value.

Similarly, people dont care what language you know or what certifications you have on your resume. They just want someone to solve their problems and to know that you can do what you say you can.

Cheap clients arent worth it. If they arent willing to pay for good work then dont work with them. Be picky about your clients as they are with you. And remember, they will say anything to get the lowest possible price.

If youre good at something never do it for free. If youre not good at something, do it for cheap.

Dont quit your job until you have a good amount of steady work coming in. Its going to suck for a while but you can [maybe] do it


Thanks man for the reply. I really appreciate it. :pray:

Hello there, i wont be able to help you… (‘ok, bye’… but im bumping post… im…)… But yo, i’m from Serbi as well, and i just thought of asking here about what actually react/frontend dev typically do, on daily basics, code wise.
I would appreciate if you have time for sentence or two on what you’re actually code wise doing, i know it differs from company to company, size, product… but yeah.

Hi @ace1122sp :wave:

I think there is this misguided notion that if you aren’t completely in love with programming everyday and if you’re main motivation is to make a better salary that you are somehow beneath other programmers. Don’t let this, or any other, industry fool you – people choose jobs because they want to but they stick around the salary at least in some part.

One of my main motivations for switching careers was because I knew what the pay was compared to my then current job and I wanted to provide a better standard of living for my family and I. So if the money is a motivation for you, latch on to that and run with it :slight_smile:

Now, as far as freelancing goes it’s all about your connections (at least from my limited experience). I’ve completed 4 freelance gigs (working on my 5th currently) and all but one have come by word of mouth.

Some people will tell you to avoid sites like Fiverr and Upwork as they are nothing more than a race to the cheapest price – that’s true to an extent. However, they can help you dip your toe into freelancing with a low barrier of entry just so you can get an idea of what it’s like and complete some client work.

Also, don’t be afraid to blast it out on social media that you are looking for freelance. I regularly like to post something like “Hey everyone, I’m currently in the market for some freelance clients and would love if you could pass along my information to anyone you know who may be looking for help with a website.”

Lean on your family and friends as well. I like to tell anyone who will listen that I do freelance work and I’m actively looking for work. I will guarantee you that a family member or one of their friends is either looking for someone to build them a website or knows someone looking for one. If they don’t need help immediately then by actively talking about it you set yourself up to be remembered as the person that does websites.

I hope these tips help. Best of luck in your freelancing career and please keep us updated :smiley:

Thanks for the tips. Yeah, I assumed that my lack of connections might be a problem in the beginning. I’m also considering to build some SaaS, which is probably more interesting thing to do. I’ve explored Fiverr a little bit, and those prices are really low. I don’t know the quality of provided solutions, but people are asking for too little. Probably the better strategy would be to create your own site where you would sell your services or products and to promote it on social media. But I don’t have any experience in these areas so it’s possible that I’m wrong.

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Well, it does not differ too much from what I was doing while working on some freeCodeCamp projects like Library, IssueTracker or so. Basically we are working on application which is being actively used by the users. You have a bunch of tasks (issues) and you just pick an issue and work on it. Issues can require to add new features, fix bugs, refactor existing solutions and so on. While I was actively working on fCC tasks and projects I always thought that there is some hidden knowledge that I’m not aware of yet and that I wll only find about it when I start to work on some real world projects. But that’s not the case. The freeCodeCamp does a really good job in training us to become coders and using fCC with some other resources definitely can prepare you for the “real world projects”. I hope that this answers your question in some way. :vulcan_salute:


Hi ace1122sp. May I ask you how long did it take you to get your FCC certs?

hi milos :wave:
It took me 2 years to finish all the certificates from fCC. I was workinkg 6 day per week on average and about 8 hours per day. But I didn’t only focus on fCC during this time. I was doing some other courses too and reading about some programming related themes like data structures, design patterns, clean code practices, computer networking, algorithms and so on. So it could be done in less then 2 years for sure.

The lack of connections will make it difficult in the beginning but once you land your first client the others should come easier (at least that was the case in my experience). As far as SaaS goes, I don’t have any experience in that field but I do hear that it’s much like owning your own content (i.e. it’s the way to go if you can).

Fiverr and platforms like it definitely have their downsides, but if you don’t have any client work they can be a source of projects to put on your portfolio to show to other potential clients. Granted, I wouldn’t suggest staying there longer than you need to as you pointed out, the money !== the work you put in.

Hope this helps, best of luck!

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First step: Find your first clients

It can be hard to get the ball rolling!

Starting out is always tough. Here are some tips to attract your first clients:

  1. Consider volunteering for a nonprofit organization. This is a great experience to add to your portfolio.
  2. Look for freelancing websites where you could get your first gig.
  3. If members of your family or friends own a business, ask if you can get some help.

It will get easier with time. The more experience you have, the easier it will be to get new clients. The key is to keep expanding.

Step 2: Find more clients

Now that you have some experience, it’s time to step up your game and attract more clients!

There are a lot of bad programmers. So it’s important to stand out enough to make yourself noticed. Unless you’re a not interested in growing your brand, you need to have a website.

Here is the most important information to display on your website:

  • Details about your services
  • Pricing
  • An online portfolio to showcase your skills
  • A contact page

Don’t forget that it’s not just about selling your services. It’s also about providing valuable information to potential clients.

You can also outreach to find new clients. Whether sending an email or attending industry conferences, it is always a good idea to meet with interested parties.

The source of this piece of content is from this post: from

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Thanks for these useful tips, I appreciate it.

It does, thank you very much!!! :slight_smile:
I have similar feeling that there is something, “hidden” something you can only learn on that very job…
On other hand when i was trying to fix some issues during hacktoberfest it wasn’t all that easy.
Anyway, thanks again, and good luck with freelancing thing :slight_smile:

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