Another important issue to discuss is how you handle the projects you do get. You can get hundreds of projects in your career but still be struggling. Here is the breakdown of the number of projects you should have completed in order to be a stable freelance developer:
Large projects (over $10,000): 1-3
Medium projects ($1,000-$10,000): 5-6
Small projects (less than $1,000): 8-10
If you have completed this number of projects in the past, you should be a stable developer right now with too much demand for your services. If not, you are not treating your clients well.
By completing the number of projects above, you should have plenty of clients needing more work from you all the time. I have about a 75% conversion rate.
This means that if I complete a singular project, 75% of the time I will get more work from that client in the future. It’s common to have a 50-75% conversion rate, and if it is any lower, then you may be doing it wrong.
So, back to the above breakdown. If I have completed around 18 projects at various levels, with a 75% conversion rate I would have around 13 clients that would call on me for future work. This would be sustaining enough to form a lasting career.
It’s important to treat your clients well, and there are a few very crucial tips I am going to give you to maximize your relationships. Remember, it is far more difficult to get a new client than it is to maintain a current one.
And remember, on your website, be sure to list the technologies used for each project and your involvement in each project.
With Your Website, Be Available and Respond Quickly
Ever get an email and say to yourself, “I’ll get to that later?” With clients, respond immediately, even if you are not going to complete the task at that moment. Tell them you understand and will get back to them as soon as possible. If you are able to work on the task, respond and let them know you are on it. (If you are in a different time zone than your client, this can mean having to check your email during non-work hours.)
Too often, hirers will ask a developer about something and not get a response for days. That can be very frustrating, and they are likely losing money during that period of non-communication. Don’t be that developer who is always causing problems, and your chances of getting and maintaining clients will go.