By Russell Smith
Working as a freelance SQL Server developer can be rewarding, but it is also a fairly competitive arena to work in, which means you need to be proactive about boosting your reputation to net the most lucrative contracts from major clients.
There are a few ways to increase your profile and achieve your ambitions, so here are just a few tactics to try out yourself.
Improve your skills through research and training
Even if you are relatively experienced in the field of SQL Server development, there are always things you can learn and skills you can develop and enhance.
Indeed it is nigh on essential to make sure that in terms of understanding its internals, you leave no stone unturned.
From query optimization and memory utilization to performance monitoring and storage planning, a developer needs to be up to speed with all of these aspects and many more. Even if they seem like they do not directly relate to your work, you will be a better developer if you appreciate the finer points of SQL Server’s form and function. In turn, this will allow you to impress existing clients and enjoy word of mouth recommendations to prospective ones, which is of course invaluable to any freelancer.
Tweak your platform presence
As a freelancer you are almost certainly already hawking your SQL Server development services via a number of relevant online platforms so that you are discoverable by clients. Of course as you need to stand out from the crowd in this context, you also need to take time to optimize the way you sell yourself.
Start by making sure that the way you describe yourself is both accurate and concise; do not overload on excessively long explanations of your abilities and history, but instead get to the point quickly and without too much ceremony.
You will also need to make a good first impression with a professionally-shot photo of yourself, if this is something that the platforms that you are using support.
If in doubt, check out what the top-rated freelancers are doing and aim to emulate their approach if you want your profile to also rise to the top of the pile, both literally and figuratively.
Provide evidence of your abilities
Clients will be more likely to take you onboard for your SQL Server skills if you are actually able to demonstrate them unequivocally ahead of time. Whether you have a collection of testimonials from previous clients to hand, or a portfolio of your efforts to showcase what you can do, giving proof that you are reliable and reputable will always bolster your chances when working for yourself.
Finally, remember that it is entirely reasonable to be proactive in asking for feedback and encouraging clients to recommend you to others. In the dog-eat-dog world of freelancing, you need to leverage every small advantage you can get, especially if you want to avoid common mistakes and ultimately thrive as a self-employed SQL Server developer.
Russell Smith is an experienced chartered accountant with over a decade of experience running his own business.