How to work remotely as a freelancer and still be the best in your niche
In the age of globalization, being a freelancer is becoming a more and more common thing for millions of employees. You might be working full-time or part-time, getting hired by big companies or build your own projects, but still, you will surely need to stay competitive in your area.
When it comes to marketing, content creation, user-testing, or other non-technical occupation, everything is clear. You just need to keep in touch with the newest trends in your specific field. However, what about developers, engineers, QA testers, designers, and other IT experts? How can you remain the best in the technical area while being a freelancer? What is the best way to arrange your work? What are the handiest tips for communicating with your customers and colleagues? Our freelance experts know the answers to all these questions!
Best tips to arrange your workplace
Find a quiet place. Working in noisy environments will distract you from your work and might significantly decrease your productivity. You can either work at home or at the co-working center but make sure you can fully concentrate in the chosen place. By the way, in case you need to have business calls from time to time, it is better to make your calls in calm and noise-free environments.
Avoid going invisible. Using invisible modes in messengers and other apps for communication is one of the favorite tricks of many freelancers. Most people use this trick not to be distracted by lots of calls or messages. However, it is better to avoid this practice. First, it can make your customers or your team members feel you are constantly away and are not doing your job. Second, you might seem to be antisocial or unfriendly. It might be a good idea to turn off notifications but still remain online.
Have a stable Internet connection. Although you might not need to have a superfast Internet for design or coding, it is really important for effective communication with your clients. For example, in case you constantly have dropping calls with a certain customer, you might seem unprofessional. According to most employers, being reliable and easy-to-reach is one of the most demanding features of any freelancer.
Check your email regularly. Most technical freelancers are busy people who prefer staying focused on their job. However, you still need to dedicate a few minutes for checking your email, messengers, and missed calls not to miss anything important. This way, you will keep in touch with your customers and can be ready to meet their requirements in case something needs to be changed or updated.
Use innovative tools. Although the tools which you are used to are convenient and reliable, it is always great to try something new from time to time. The latest software might appear a better option to suit your needs, as well as you can gain experience in working on different platforms. However, it is better to try new tools, when you are building small and middle-sized projects to avoid facing serious bugs in big or high-loaded solutions.
Take part in stand-up meetings. It often happens, that one project is built by several developers. To make sure everything goes smoothly, the customer might arrange stand-up meetings from time to time. For example, you might be invited to such a meeting once per week or once per month. It is extremely important to take part in these online meetings to have a clear view of all the stages of creating a final product. By the way, you might specify the requirements to the project, as well as ask for assistance or help someone right on the stand-up meetings.
Build your brand. If you are planning to become one of the influencers in your niche, you need to take care of your self-marketing. You are expected to have an excellent reputation, be reliable and always meet deadlines. Following these simple rules will help you to achieve success easier.
Determine your niche. You can’t be an expert in lots of different areas simultaneously. Therefore, it is better to focus on a certain field and do your best to become one of the industry leaders. By the way, becoming a professional in a special niche requires fewer efforts and energy.
Understand your audience. To become a real pro, you will need not only to keep in touch with all the news and trends in the area but to know your clients well. For these purposes, choose your target audience, try to learn more about the demands and requirements of your real and prospective customers. Try to think as if you were the client of your service. What would you expect to get? What are the key parameters of the success of your service? The questions to these answers will help you to be more productive and meet the needs of your audience.
Collect testimonials. It is always a great idea to collect reviews and testimonials of your customers. This makes you more reliable in the eyes of your prospective clients. Having numerous positive testimonials is a huge benefit for your personal brand promotion.
Use “crowd sourced” type platforms to get business. You can use some popular solutions, such as UpWork, TopTal, Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, or Fiverr, as well as Ubertesters to find your next ‘gig’ job. Such crowd sourced sites allow you to use the ‘wisdom of the crowd’ to find your next freelance job or to connect with a future ‘employer’. The power of crowdsourcing lies in its ability to tap into the existing skills you possess and allows you to monetize those skills to earn on your terms.
One good example can be the Ubertesters crowd sourced platform for professional QA testers or ‘beta testers’.
If you are a professional QA tester, with some experience in testing digital products, and have your own mobile device – you can join the Ubertesters platform. Just signup at http://ubertesters.com (using the “become a tester” link), follow the certification process and in no time – can start testing exciting digital products on your free time and get paid for it.
But what if you have no experience as a professional QA?
No worries, you can still join as a beta-tester and get projects that require ‘user experience’ feedback. As a beta tester you are required to have no special skills. The only thing you need in order to start testing is to have a mobile device, some free time, and to be ready to share feedback on your experience with the tested product (mobile app or website).
By the way, Ubertesters also offers a winning QA management platform that will allow you to easily report all the found bugs, issues and crashes in a very professional way
We do hire both experienced QA testers and beta testers that are not required to have any special skills. If you want to know more about Ubertesters, don’t hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.