How to Become a Python Freelancer 2020
Do you want to become a Python freelancer?
Not sure if it's for you?
In this post, I am going to give you my step by step advice on how you can become a successful python freelancer.
But I must warn you there is no quick or super-easy way to make this happen, you must put in the work. The upside is, once you make it, it is an in-demand skill and you will make a lot of money!
This is a post for those who want to build up an online agency, I will specifically focus on how to get started and then scale your business.
What Is Python Used For?
Python is a very versatile programming language that is used in a wide variety of applications. But I recommend you focus on these four uses if you are looking to get started as a freelance python developer.
- Web Development
- Data Analysis
- Machine Learning
There are two processes you can follow to get started as a freelance python developer, I call them the “safe way” and the “entrepreneurial way”.
What is the “Safe Way”?
The “safe way” is to teach yourself how to program in python and to slowly build up the complexity of projects that you can charge clients for. Here are the steps to follow:
Step 1 – Master the Fundamentals
There are so many places online to learn coding and Python fundamentals. Most of these courses are free to use. One of the best online resources is Learnpython.org.
Step 2 – Learn the Fundamentals of Statistics
You will need to know them to become a good developer. They can also be learned online from doing free courses.
Step 3 – Spend a Year Doing Simple Projects on a Platform
Find simple projects on platforms like UpWork.com to build up your portfolio and to gain practical experience.
Step 4 – Start doing More Advanced Projects
Once you have gained some practical experience you can start to take on more advanced projects which will earn you more money. Depending on the skill level required for each project you could be earning anywhere from $25 to $300 per hour. In your first year, you can probably earn $25 to $30 per hour, but once you are experienced you can earn hundreds of dollars per hour.
This method to become a Python developer can take a long time but is worth it in the long run if you keep learning more and more advanced skills.
However, there is another way…
What is the “Entrepreneurial Way”?
If you want to sell Python development services, you can do it by setting up an agency. It will require a different set of skills than the “safe way” but will result in a bigger business and you will earn more money.
There are already lots of skilled Python developers out there who have all the development skills but don’t want to deal with clients and project management. You can leverage their skills to get clients and grow your agency. But you shouldn’t try to do this if you don’t know anything about python development, you need to at least know the basics.
Step 1 – Master the Fundamentals
Just like step 1 in the “safe way” you should learn the fundamentals of python development, even if you won’t be doing a lot of the actual programming yourself, you need to know how it works.
Step 2 – Start Interviewing Developers
You need to start interviewing potential developers to partner up with to find out which ones have the required skills and which ones want to work on a project by project basis. Keep in mind that the more you know yourself about Python development, the less skilled your developers will have to be, so you will make more money. One way to find good developers that are highly skilled, but won't charge as much money is to find them in developing countries such as Ukraine and Serbia.
Step 3 – Determine Which Projects to Target
You need to work out with your developers which projects are worth working on, in terms of how much money you can charge for them as well as making sure your developers have the necessary skills.
Step 4 – Learn How to Sell and Manage Projects
To get the clients you are going to have to learn how to sell. This doesn’t have to be hard; you can learn how to make it easier by learning the “consultative process” of sales. Make sure you know how to speak in plain English to prospective clients even when discussing highly technical topics and issues.
Step 5 – Find Clients
Create an account on Upwork and leverage your team’s skills to get projects from your profile. Aim to spend 10 proposals per day that are highly personalized, and you will find you get more success.
The Bottom Line
Becoming a python freelancer is a highly lucrative career once you have mastered the skills required. You can make a good living working on a project by project basis or if you want to make even more money you can build your own agency. Platforms such as Upwork are a great way to be able to build up a sizable business from anywhere in the world by leveraging online communication tools and working with a remote team.
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