This week I interviewed freelance developer Kyle Prinsloo, who lives and works in South Africa. Here are some highlights from the interview, and some actionable advice he shared.
Kyle knew from a young age that he wanted to pursue a career in business. He launched websites with his brother, worked various jobs, and eventually gained experience in marketing and tech.
Although he had a job he enjoyed working for people he respected, he wanted more from his work and life. He wanted to marry his now wife, and he wanted to be his own boss. So he started doing some freelancing work on the side.
"I realized the answer wasn't working overtime. It was doing more meaningful work...so I would just focus on the long-term and over-deliver to build up client relationships."
Little by little, as he built those relationships with clients and gained more experience, his portfolio grew and he started making more from his side business than from his regular job. So he decided to make a change.
But he didn't rush into anything. Kyle advises that you have at least a couple months' salary saved up and be making 80% of your full-time salary before you become a full-time freelancer.
And when you're ready to take the plunge?
"Focus on one niche, one industry. It can help you get more clients. Based on what I've seen, a niche is more important [than being a generalist]. Why? Because it will determine your pricing, your messaging, your marketing, and your branding. And everything will follow from there."
In this podcast, you'll learn how Kyle launched his business and educational website, how he prices his services, and how he advises others to become successful freelancers as well.
Pricing is something Kyle is particularly passionate about getting right. He explains the difference between value-based pricing and hourly pricing, noting that,
"You charge based on your value, and what you can offer the business. Ask questions about how they currently do things, then make suggestions on how to improve. It's a value-based outcome, and you want to charge at least 10% of that. Ultimately, you want to earn more, work less, and find your niche."
Kyle offers actionable tips on gaining experience, shares anecdotes from his own journey, and discusses how he balances his many responsibilities. For his own business, he prioritizes based on practical concerns.
"Trello is a big help in organizing priorities. We prioritize based on what can make sales and make the business money."
As you can tell, this interview is packed with information that will help you decide whether freelancing is for you. And if it is, how to become your own boss and lead a fulfilling and balanced life.
This interview is a 90 minute listen in your favorite podcast player app - just search for "freecodecamp" and you should find it.
If you have an Amazon Echo, you can just say "Alexa - play the freeCodeCamp podcast."
Or you can listen to it right here in your browser.
You can connect with Kyle on Instagram.
Check out his website here.