How To Get Started As A Freelance PHP Developer

Jumping into a freelance PHP development career is a smart move. As businesses expand into the digital marketplace, the demand for quality PHP developers is rapidly growing. With a career as a freelance developer, you can make your own schedule, choose who you work with and pick the right projects for your skillset. The hardest part is getting started, but with these useful tips, you’ll be on your way to a successful freelance PHP career in no time! 

Learn and Master Coding Languages. 

Before trying to land a high-ticket gig, it’s important that you have a solid understanding of what your client will need. They need a developer that has put in the time to master the majority of coding languages. With a versatile background and knowledge in coding languages, you’ll be flexible and prepared to work for a variety of companies. Some of the most popular and widely used languages to master include: 

  • Python
  • Javascript
  • HTML
  • Java
  • C++
  • Perl
  • PHP

Each of these coding languages serves a unique purpose and depending on the needs of your client, you may need to understand coding in multiple languages. Knowing the fundamentals of each language is a great starting point. Before trying to learn a new language, focus on the skills you already have and build from there.

Even if you’ve only mastered a few languages, landing a gig is very realistic. Don’t hesitate to apply for your dream job. Stepping outside of your comfort zone and landing that first gig will align you with like-minded individuals that have similar goals. Many companies will help you develop your coding skills as you gradually earn your place among their ranks.  

Develop a Business Plan. 

While coming up with a detailed plan of action may not be an exciting aspect of freelance life, understanding your goals and the direction you plan on heading is important. There are many things to consider when branching out on your own. Considerations include:

  • Business structure: You may need to meet with a CPA (certified public accountant) to decide how you would like to structure your business, as there are different tax implications depending on the structure.
  • Acquire a Federal EIN: Learn when and how often you will need to pay taxes. 
  • Secure liability insurance: Protect yourself in case you have issues with a client, product, or dispute over software rights.
  • Purchase office equipment and software: Consider all of the associated costs like a new computer, office supplies/furniture, and anything else you might need to work from home. Many of these items can be written off in your taxes depending on how you structure your business.
  • Register your business: It’s important that you operate legally.

Create a Website and Social Media Presence. 

To stay competitive in the freelance world, it’s necessary to develop a strong portfolio. You will be competing with skilled and knowledgeable programmers from across the world, so having a website and strong social media presence will stack the odds of success in your favor. Maintaining healthy relationships with your current clients will help you to expand your network to new clients. 

Develop a Routine. 

Without oversight from a boss or time-clock, it can be easy to lose track of time. As a freelancer, you have to be strict with your goals and deadlines. Having a regular work routine will ensure that you stay on target and accomplish your tasks on-time. 

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