The following are qualities that I consider core things I look for in freelancers I use when outsourcing work and getting things done. They are also the things that each and every freelancer working on jobs for Rolled At possess.
You may remember the guy who bored you to death on the phone, but you’ll remember the one you related to and laughed with a whole lot more. They’ll also become a pleasure to work with and you’ll use them more often. I can’t tell you how put off I am by the lack of a personality in some freelancers I talk to.
A love for the job
Clients don’t want their leg humping, but they do want someone who wants to do the job they have available. Someone who wants to see the product of their work come alive at the end of everything.
Chances are if you don’t love making websites, the ones you’ll be creating won’t be very good once your finished. The first question I ask anyone when I talk to them the first time when I’m adding a freelancer to my list is ‘do you love what you do?’ and if the answer isn’t yes with a convincing follow up statement then they don’t last passed that first question.
Can you wait for a job or are you going to be asking me every day about it? Are you going to blow off a huge list of insults at a client when they merely suggest a small change? Patience in my mind, is something that every freelancer needs in order to be a freelancer. You need to be patient in order to wait for a client getting back to you, to hear back from a job follow up and patient with your work too. If your forever complaining that something is going wrong instead of simply looking for a solution then your going to be closing doors instead of opening them.
Don’t work with frameworks? Someone else’s code? Pre-built scripts? Other people’s CSS/XHTML? These are all basic examples of lack of flexibility in some areas. Whilst they aren’t vital ingredients of a web development freelancer they do effect your ability to get work if you aren’t a specialist or established.
The freelancer who specialises in one area and becomes a guru is someone that can – providing the speciality is of importance – become a cornerstone of a business. A talent in one area can be what gets you hired over someone else for a particular job, and it can be something that allows you to make more money that someone who generalises over multiple areas of knowledge. They do a better job, they have more experience and in most cases they take less time to get things done.