It all began a couple of weeks ago. Like every Mondays, my colleagues and I were holding a meeting to set up the objectives for the week.

When came our CEO’s turn to speak he announced the bad news: our company, Sleekapp.io, went bankrupt.

Obviously there had been warning signs for months (financial’s transparency was one of our core value), so I had the opportunity to think about what I wanted to do and prepare the next step, becoming a freelance developer.

Getting ready:

A little disclaimer before continuing: Everything I will mention in the course of this article has been set and done, but I don’t know yet what will or what will not work. Thus, that will likely be the topic of a later article: “The feedback”. So stay tuned!

The first thing I did to prepare myself to this radical change was to interview two different guys who have been freelancers for years now. They gave me meaningful insights such as what could be a good approach, and some solid tips and tricks which could be useful for my future work.

Secondly, I looked into the French freelancing system called the « auto-entrepreneur » status. This process, although tedious, was an essential step if I wanted to start my own business.

Setting up an efficient watch:

Ever since I was a student, I have had an interest in conducting a daily watch on various topics. As a freelance and tech guy, I personally think that this watch is even more crucial now. Indeed, in my opinion you have to be up-to-date with the technology and the latest trends if you want to keep up with interesting clients and prospects.

Most of this tech watch is accessible via the social networks. However, to reach a high level of productivity and efficiency, I have instead set a couple of triggers:

  • I activated the “multiple inbox feature” in the lab in Gmail. This way, everything I labelled « Freelance » goes to that inbox and is easily accessible.
  • I subscribed to multiple sources of interests: JavaScript weekly, AtoZ css, Producthunt, Frenchweb, Moonbar, Prismatic etc. (each mail marked again, obviously, with the label: « Freelance »).
  • I also created recipes  in IFTTT to automatically receive the tweets of freelancers in my (e-mail)address book on a daily basis.
  • Lastly, the chrome panda extension provides me neat articles when I open a new tab.

The Portfolio:

One important thing which is of vital importance at the start is the portfolio. Indeed, when you launch your freelancer’s business, you will have to find good and reliable clients. To establish the first contact you will have to send emails with PDF attached demonstrating your ability to execute different tasks.

So, concerning my case, I updated my most recent side projects and prepared videos demonstrating the work I did at my past company.

Updating your social network and contacts:

In our hyper-connected world there is one Golden Rule: The more people are aware you are available as a freelancer, the higher your chances are of finding a good opportunity.

Therefore, I started rebuilding my LinkedIn profile (and updating my status accordingly). I did the same thing on Twitter.

After this, it was time to send emails to friends, friends of family, relatives, circle of professional connections etc. in order to let them know that you are available for freelance work. Who knows; maybe they are looking for a profile like yours?

Notify your head-hunter gang:

As a Front-end developer I receive, on average, an offer for a position every week. At the moment I am only interested in freelancing opportunities, but I have listed all these interesting contacts in a spreadsheet and recently send them an e-mail. From my past experience, the change of LinkedIn status will let people know that something is going on. However, it might also be better to have a personal encounter with someone you already have been in contact with in the past.

Conclusion :

As you may have guessed, I have started to actively looking for some freelance opportunities. So if you are in search of an enthusiastic, skilled and creative developer profile, please drop me an e-mail at this address:

adrien.rahier[at]gmail.com