What is a Salesforce Freelancer?
A Salesforce freelancer is an experienced Salesforce professional who provides specialised skills to clients in need of Salesforce expertise. Unlike traditional employment arrangements, freelancers work independently and are hired on a contract basis to assist clients with their Salesforce requirements. These individuals typically operate as one-person consulting businesses, leveraging their skills and knowledge to fulfil specific projects or provide support on an ongoing basis.
The skills they bring to the table can vary greatly. Some may be Salesforce administrators, adept at managing and enhancing the platform, others may be consultants who understand business processes and can customize Salesforce solutions to fit a company’s unique needs. Then there are Salesforce developers, who can build custom apps and automate complex business processes within Salesforce using a combination of configuration and coding using Salesforce’s proprietary programming languages.
As one-man or one-woman businesses, Salesforce freelancers need to wear multiple hats. They act as account managers, business analysts, consultants, developers, administrators, and trainers, adapting to the needs of their clients. They collaborate closely with stakeholders to understand their business processes and objectives, and then design and implement Salesforce solutions that align with those goals.
Salesforce is the leader in customer relationship management (CRM) and with it’s diverse suite of applications designed for sales, service, marketing, and more, combined with its ability to integrate with other technologies, makes it a powerful tool for businesses of all sizes across industries. With Salesforce’s growth, there has been a corresponding increase in the demand for professionals who are well-versed in leveraging this platform to meet business needs. As per a report from IDC, the Salesforce ecosystem is expected to generate over $1.6 trillion in new business revenues and create 9 million new jobs by 2026. This exponential growth translates into a promising market for Salesforce freelancers who can help businesses maximize their Salesforce investment.
Different Types of Salesforce Freelancers
Full-Time Freelancers / Independent Consultants: These professionals run their own one-person business, providing services to various clients. They often juggle several projects simultaneously, making each day different from the last. This path offers great flexibility but also requires efficient time management and the ability to handle multiple priorities simultaneously.
Part-Time Freelancers: These are individuals who have part time jobs but freelance on the side to earn extra income, hone their skills, or maintain variety in their work. They may work the part time job for 3 or 4 days a week at one company and spend the rest of their week freelancing. They might take on smaller projects or offer services during non-office hours or over the weekend. Part-time freelancers must balance their job responsibilities and their freelance work, which can sometimes be challenging.
Moonlighters: Moonlighting is a term often used to describe those who take on freelance work outside of their regular work hours. Similar to part-time freelancers, moonlighters balance their primary job and their freelance work. However, they often do this work after-hours, which is where the term “moonlighting” originates. They might choose to moonlight for the additional income, to gain experience in new areas, or to satisfy a passion that their full-time job doesn’t meet.
One Client Freelancers / Contractors: One Client Freelancers or ‘Contractors’ as they are sometimes known, work for one client full time exclusively on a contract basis for a defined contract period. When I was doing freelancing, I worked for one client on a full time basis. I had a contract through an agency to work as a Salesforce designer for an insurance company. I received a daily rate and the contract was intially for 3 months, then it was renewed every 6 months.
Which Salesforce Freelancing Path is Right for You?
An In-depth Look at Moonlighting, Full-Time Freelancing, and Contracting
Can You Work as a Salesforce Freelancer?
The demand for Salesforce professionals, including freelancers, is growing. In fact, it’s not uncommon for businesses to prefer engaging freelancers for Salesforce projects, as this can offer them greater flexibility and cost savings compared to engaging larger consulting firms. Whether it’s a startup looking for an affordable way to set up their CRM or a large corporation needing a specialized skill for a particular project, there are opportunities for Salesforce freelancers in all sectors of the market.
Jane Isaac, a highly experienced Salesforce Instructor with multiple certifications, forays into Salesforce freelancing was born out of necessity. When her company was acquired, her role was initially deemed surplus. However, the new management soon realized the indispensability of her expertise. When they invited her to return, Jane declined and instead ventured into the world of freelancing consulting. Leveraging a connection at Salesforce, she found her first gig at a Boston machine shop needing help with their Salesforce system.
With a robust skillset and a firm grasp of the Salesforce platform, you can offer your expertise to businesses seeking project-based or short-term assistance with Salesforce. Becoming a Salesforce freelancer can be a rewarding and lucrative career path.
Lydia Sharpin, another experienced freelancer, gives an insider look into the various types of Salesforce freelancing. Her career trajectory—starting as an end-user, transitioning into consultancy, and ultimately freelancing—has given her a well-rounded perspective on the Salesforce landscape. She highlights the importance of gaining diverse experience, solidifying record-keeping skills, and understanding the intricacies of the industry before venturing into freelancing.
Why Choose Salesforce Freelancing?
Choosing to freelance in Salesforce can be an exciting and rewarding career path. It opens up a world of possibilities that are hard to find in a regular 9-to-5 job.
Flexibility: One of the main attractions of freelancing is its flexibility. You can set your own schedule, choose the projects you want to work on, and decide where you want to work from.
Variety: As a Salesforce freelancer, you can work on a wide range of projects from diverse industries. This not only keeps your work interesting but also helps you broaden your skill set and knowledge base.
Diverse Clientele: You have the opportunity to work with clients from different backgrounds, sizes, and sectors. This exposure can lead to a deeper understanding of various business processes and unique industry challenges.
However, Salesforce freelancing also brings its share of challenges, including irregular income, the need for self-promotion, and maintaining a work-life balance. Thankfully, there are strategies to overcome these:
Irregular Income: Mitigate the risk of irregular income by diversifying your client base, maintaining a financial cushion, and setting clear payment terms with your clients.
Self-Promotion: Market your skills effectively by building a portfolio showcasing your work, leveraging social media for networking and demonstrating expertise, and attending networking events to meet potential clients.
Work-Life Balance: Ensure a healthy work-life balance by setting a regular work schedule, creating a dedicated workspace, and taking regular short and long breaks.
Despite these challenges, the growing demand for Salesforce professionals, coupled with the high earning potential, make Salesforce freelancing an attractive career option for many.
How to Get Started as a Salesforce Freelancer?
Embarking on a Salesforce freelancing career can be a rewarding experience, offering flexibility and the opportunity to work on various projects. But getting started can feel daunting. In this section, we’ll break down the initial steps you need to take to start your journey, key skills that will make you successful, and the specific paths for various roles within the Salesforce ecosystem.
Understand Your Skillset: The first step in your journey should be an honest self-assessment. What are your strengths? What areas need improvement? Do you have a background in Salesforce development, consulting, or administration?
Specialize: As Salesforce is a vast ecosystem with many facets, it’s wise to choose a specialization. This could be a specific role (like consultant, administrator, or developer), or a specific Salesforce product (like Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, or Marketing Cloud).
Gain Experience and Certfications: Work experience in Salesforce is crucial. You can gain this experience through a full-time role before venturing into freelancing. Additionally, Salesforce certifications validate your expertise and are often a key deciding factor for potential clients.
Networking: Start making connections within the Salesforce community. This could involve joining online forums, attending Salesforce events, or becoming an active participant in Salesforce’s Trailblazer community.
Start Small: Consider taking on small, manageable projects initially, which can allow you to build your portfolio and client base without becoming overwhelmed gradually.
Bradley Rice, a successful Salesforce freelancer, suggests starting small in your freelancing journey. For instance, take on small, manageable projects requiring only about 20 hours of work. This allows you to gradually build your portfolio and client base without becoming overwhelmed. Additionally, it gives you the chance to understand your weaknesses and establish your work processes.
What Specific Skills or Knowledge Are Necessary to be Successful as a Salesforce Freelancer?
Besides Salesforce technical skills, Bradley Rice emphasizes the importance of gaining sales experience. As a freelancer, you are running a business. So, understanding the value proposition of your services and how to connect this with the pain points of your clients is vital.
He also highlighted the importance of communication skills. Being an effective communicator involves more than just exchanging information; it also includes understanding the emotions and intentions behind the information.
While your Salesforce technical skills are fundamental, other essential skills include:
- Communication: You’ll need to clearly articulate your thoughts to clients, understand their requirements, and regularly update them on project progress.
- Sales & Marketing: As a freelancer, you’re running a business. This means you must know how to sell your services and market yourself effectively.
- Time Management: With multiple clients and projects, effective time management is crucial.
- Problem-Solving: Every client will bring a unique set of challenges. Being able to solve these problems creatively is a major asset.
How to Find Salesforce Freelancing Work?
One of the most essential elements of freelancing is finding work. This can seem daunting initially, but as Bradley Rice highlights, the key lies in nurturing relationships and maintaining a robust network.
Another approach that Bradley recommends is being proactive. You can seek out companies hiring for Salesforce roles and propose a contract-based, part-time arrangement. This method has two-fold benefits: it provides a higher rate due to less competition and the opportunity to maintain a work-life balance.
Here are some insights that will help you in your Salesforce Freelancing:
Leverage Existing Relationships: One of the most effective ways to get freelance work in Salesforce is to leverage your existing relationships. If you’ve worked as a Salesforce professional or consultant, maintain connections with your former co-workers and clients. They can provide referrals or directly offer you projects when they move to other companies or need additional help.
Networking: Networking is a powerful way to find Salesforce freelancing jobs. You can attend Salesforce events like Dreamforce or local Salesforce user group meetings. Online communities, like the Salesforce Trailblazer Community or LinkedIn groups, also provide excellent networking opportunities. You can share your expertise, learn from others, and connect with potential clients.
Proactively Reach Out to Potential Clients: Look for job postings from local companies hiring for Salesforce roles and reach out to them. Offer your services as a part-time contractor, which can be an attractive proposition for companies looking to save on costs associated with full-time employees.
Offer Trial Periods: If a potential client is unsure about hiring a freelancer, offer a paid trial period. This allows the client to assess your skills and fit with their team without a long-term commitment.
Emphasize Your Experience: If you have significant experience in Salesforce, use it to your advantage. Highlight your expertise and how it can provide value to potential clients, particularly those looking for less experienced, full-time employees.
Maintain Work-Life Balance: Freelancing can offer greater flexibility and control over your work hours. Use this to your advantage to maintain a healthy work-life balance, which can contribute to increased productivity and job satisfaction.
Remember, finding the right clients may take time. Be patient, persistent, and open to learning from each experience. Each project, whether big or small, brings you one step closer to building a successful Salesforce freelancing career.
Tips for Finding Clients and Projects
Bradley offers a crucial tip for finding clients – start volunteering. He says, “I utilized volunteering as a way to land clients.” He shares this strategy he used early in his freelancing career: volunteering with nonprofits and then converting these into paid clients. He explained that this approach not only helped him gain experience but also led to further opportunities through the relationships built. He emphasizes the importance of building relationships in all the work that he does.
Another effective strategy is to focus on a specific niche. Specializing can allow you to position yourself as an expert in that area, making you a more attractive choice for businesses that need those specific services. As Bradley puts it, “In the past, being a generalist Salesforce professional was sufficient. However, the current market scenario demands more specialization. This approach allows you to target customers more directly, addressing their specific needs and pain points.”
Consider avoiding overcrowded platforms. While platforms like Upwork and Fiverr can be useful, they can also be highly competitive. Instead, consider differentiating yourself by seeking out work independently. This can allow you to charge higher rates due to less competition.
Finding work as a Salesforce freelancer requires a blend of relationship-building, a proactive approach, strategic use of online platforms, and focused expertise. As Bradley’s experiences show, these strategies can help you land rewarding Salesforce projects and build a successful freelancing career.
In the past, being a generalist Salesforce professional was sufficient. However, the current market scenario demands more specialization. This approach allows you to target customers more directly, addressing their specific needs and pain points.
Managing Salesforce Freelance Work
Managing freelance work, particularly in the field of Salesforce, requires a unique blend of time management, strategic planning, and effective communication.
As a Salesforce freelancer, you may often find yourself juggling multiple clients or projects simultaneously. This can be challenging but also provides a diverse range of work and income sources.
Bradley Rice suggests that the key is to communicate effectively and set clear boundaries with your clients. Remember, you’re not bound by the traditional 40-hour workweek, and even during busy periods, you’re likely to work 20 to 30 hours a week, which is still manageable. As Bradley puts it, “I think once you communicate your boundaries and you have to prove your boundaries too. You can’t communicate one thing and then act in a different way.”
Lydia Sharpin added that being open and honest about your freelancing engagements with your employer and clients is vital. Many employers have policies that allow employees to take on secondary jobs as long as there’s no conflict of interest. Transparency and clear communication help maintain a good relationship with all parties involved.
Key Strategies for Successful Project Management
Successful project management as a Salesforce freelancer is about more than just keeping track of tasks. It also involves guiding the client through the entire process, from initial discussions to final project delivery. As Rice says, you should be the one providing the roadmap and never be in a position where you’re asking the client what the next steps are. Leveraging project management tools and software can also assist in keeping track of project milestones, deadlines, and deliverables. At the end of the day, maintaining a proactive approach to project management can help ensure successful project outcomes and satisfied clients.
How Much Can I Earn as a Salesforce Freelancer?
A major pull for professionals towards freelancing in the Salesforce ecosystem is the potential for high earnings. But how much can one really make?
Potential Income Opportunities for Salesforce Freelancers
According to Bradley Rice, the earning potential is substantial. For someone looking to freelance part-time in Salesforce, the opportunities for a six-figure income are entirely feasible if one manages to bill 40 hours per week. Of course, this depends on various factors including your skills, experience, and the nature of the projects you undertake.
How to Set Competitive Rates
Setting your freelance rates can be a bit of a balancing act. You want to charge enough to make your efforts worthwhile, but not so much that you scare away potential clients. Bradley advises that even for those just starting out in freelancing and feeling like an imposter, the hourly rate should not go below $70.
Salesforce Developer Freelance Rates
For more experienced freelancers, such as Salesforce developers, looking at the rates of big consultancies for comparison can be insightful. Rates for these firms typically range from $200 to $225 per hour. Therefore, as a freelancer, offering your services in the range of $100 to $150 per hour would be attractive to clients.
Salesforce Freelance Rate
Rice mentions that he personally charged around $125 per hour, providing him with a competitive edge and ensuring client retention. This also allowed him to earn a comfortable income. It’s important to note here that managing personal finances effectively is crucial. As Bradley puts it, “By not spending every dollar earned, freelancers can have more flexibility with their rates and choose clients they enjoy working with.”
Salesforce Administrator Freelance Rates
As for more experienced and specialized administrators, the rates could exceed $100 per hour. Bradley advises that anyone with three or more years of experience and specialization should consider setting their rates at a minimum of $100 to $120 per hour. This reflects the valuable expertise they bring to projects.
It’s important to remember that these figures are averages, and rates can vary significantly. When setting your rate, consider factors such as your level of experience, your costs (e.g., taxes, insurance), and the market rate for Salesforce administration services in your specific geographical area or target market.
As always, remember to strike a balance between charging what you’re worth and remaining competitive in the market. It can take some time to find the sweet spot, but once you do, it can lead to a rewarding and successful freelance career.
Decoding Salesforce Salaries in 2023: Are You Earning Enough?
Have you ever wondered if your earnings as a Salesforce freelancer match your worth? You’re not alone. In the fast-paced and competitive field of Salesforce freelancing, determining the right pay can be a complex task. Whether you’re a newcomer or a seasoned pro, knowing your value is essential for both your career growth and personal fulfillment. It’s time to uncover whether your earnings are hitting the mark!
Salesforce Admin Freelancer
A Salesforce Administration Freelancer specializes in managing and customizing Salesforce CRM platforms. They are responsible for user management, security settings, and implementing workflow automation. With a focus on enhancing user experience, they ensure that the platform aligns with business needs and goals.
Salesforce Developer/Programmer Freelancer
A Salesforce Developer/Programmer Freelancer leverages programming languages like Apex and Visualforce to build and customize applications within the Salesforce platform. They create tailored solutions that enhance functionality and integrate with other systems, ensuring seamless operations and alignment with specific business requirements.
Salesforce Consultant Freelancer
A Salesforce Consultant Freelancer acts as a strategic advisor, helping businesses optimize their use of the Salesforce platform. They analyze business processes, identify areas for improvement, and develop strategies to enhance efficiency and effectiveness. By providing expert guidance, they enable organizations to leverage Salesforce to its fullest potential.
Salesforce Technical Architect Freelancer
A Salesforce Technical Architect Freelancer is responsible for designing complex, scalable solutions within the Salesforce ecosystem. They work closely with stakeholders to understand business needs and translate them into technical blueprints. Their expertise in system architecture ensures that the solutions are robust, secure, and aligned with both current and future business objectives.
To help you further navigate this maze, the recently released Careers and Hiring Guide 2022-23. This extensive guide is like a treasure map, built on over 150,000 data points and insights from over 1,100 Salesforce professionals across the globe. The data, gathered between February and June 2022, covers a wide spectrum of industries and roles, painting a vibrant and varied picture of the Salesforce community.
INSIGHT FOR SALESFORCE CONTRACTORS
The freelancers that took part in our survey work an average of 38 hours a week, although this varies between 8 and 70 hours per week.
The average total contract length was eight months, and the longest contract length was five years.
Only 12% of freelancers have worked on projects that have lasted 12 months or more.
W-2 vs 1099: Impact on Salesforce Contractors
For US-based Salesforce contractors, W-2 and 1099 classifications carry crucial implications. Form 1099 is familiar to self-employed professionals for reporting income to the IRS and handling taxes independently.
W-2 employees, on the other hand, are part of the company’s payroll, with taxes managed by the employer via W-2 forms.
Beyond tax differences, contractors must weigh the benefits of each classification. 1099 offers autonomy and flexibility but lacks benefits like insurance. W-2 provides stability but entails more structured roles.
IRS suggests looking at who controls the work to determine classification. Understanding these nuances empowers contractors to make informed career choices and thrive in the Salesforce ecosystem.
Attraction and Retention
What’s the magnetic pull that makes a contractor say “yes” to an offer? It’s more than just a paycheck. It’s a mix of the right project, a sense of purpose, and the perfect working conditions. Let’s uncover the key ingredients that not only attract contractors but keep them on board, turning a simple job offer into a fulfilling engagement.
- Rate/Pay: The compensation package is a significant driving factor for contractors. A competitive salary or hourly rate reflects the value and expertise the contractor brings, making up 78% of the consideration in accepting an offer.
- Ability to Work Remotely: The flexibility to work from anywhere is almost equally important, at 77%. Remote work offers a better work-life balance and appeals to those who prefer or need to work from home or other non-traditional locations.
- Duration of Project: Knowing how long a project will last is crucial for 54% of contractors. The duration gives a clear timeline and helps contractors plan their schedules and future commitments.
- Flexible Hours: Being able to set or negotiate working hours is a priority for 47% of contractors. Flexible hours can increase productivity and satisfaction by accommodating individual work habits and personal needs.
- Technologies Used in the Project: The technologies and tools used can be a deciding factor for 42% of contractors. Working with cutting-edge or relevant technologies can be exciting and contribute to skill development.
- Project Complexity: The challenge and complexity of a project can be an attraction for 35% of contractors. Engaging with complex problems can lead to a satisfying sense of achievement and professional growth.
- Management Philosophy: The approach and values of the project’s leadership matter to 28% of contractors. A management philosophy that aligns with the contractor’s beliefs can foster a more harmonious working relationship.
- Size of Project: The overall scope and size of a project is a consideration for 26% of contractors. Some may prefer larger, high-impact projects, while others might be drawn to smaller, more intimate engagements.
- Industry: The specific industry or sector of the project matters to 23% of contractors. Whether it’s tech, healthcare, or finance, the industry can align with personal interests or expertise.
- Quality Standards: Adherence to quality standards and best practices is a factor for 22% of contractors. High standards can signal a commitment to excellence and professionalism in the project.
- Other: This category includes various other considerations that don’t fall into the above categories, accounting for 5% of the decision-making process. These include work-life balance and the atmosphere of the organization.
What are the Top 5 Attributes Needed to be a Contractor?
In the dynamic world of Salesforce, where innovation meets business, being a contractor requires more than just technical know-how. Success in this field is a blend of skills and qualities that set the best apart from the rest. Seasoned contractors were asked to uncover the most vital attributes that fuel success as a self-employed Salesforce professional. Here are the top five responses:
- Soft Skills: Soft skills encompass interpersonal attributes like communication, teamwork, problem-solving, and conflict management. Valued by 71% of employers, these skills often determine how well a person can work within a team, interact with clients, and adapt to challenges. They’re essential for building relationships and achieving a harmonious working environment.
- Salesforce-specific Experience: With 55% of emphasis, experience with Salesforce’s specific tools and platforms is highly desirable. This experience shows that the candidate is familiar with the Salesforce ecosystem and can leverage its capabilities to meet the business’s needs. This specialized knowledge often translates to quicker onboarding and more effective work within Salesforce environments.
- Adaptability: The ability to adapt to new situations, technologies, or changes in the business landscape is crucial for 32% of employers. Adaptability demonstrates a willingness to learn and evolve, ensuring that the individual can remain effective and relevant as the business and technology landscapes shift.
- Technical Expertise: Technical skills and expertise, also emphasized by 32% of employers, refer to the specialized knowledge and abilities required to perform specific tasks. This could include programming languages, system administration, or other technical competencies that are essential for the role. A strong technical foundation ensures that the individual can perform their duties efficiently and meet the technical requirements of the job.
- Change Management Experience: Experience in change management is vital for 18% of employers. Change management involves guiding and supporting teams and organizations through transformations or transitions. Individuals with this experience are skilled in navigating the challenges that come with change, ensuring that transitions are smooth, and that team members are supported and engaged. This ability is particularly valuable in dynamic environments where change is a constant factor.
Challenges Contractors Face
- Finding new contracts/customers – This refers to the ongoing challenge of securing new clients or projects, a vital aspect of sustaining a contracting business. It’s like fishing in a vast ocean – finding the right opportunities requires skill, persistence, and sometimes a bit of luck.
- Unrealistic expectations of clients – Sometimes clients want the moon on a shoestring budget. Managing and aligning these expectations with reality can be like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole, requiring careful negotiation and clarity.
- Time management – Juggling multiple tasks and clients is a bit like spinning plates. Time management is essential to keep everything moving smoothly without dropping any responsibilities.
- Work-life balance – Finding the right equilibrium between work and personal life is like walking a tightrope. Too much work can lead to burnout, while too little can affect income and professional growth.
- Project Scope Changes – Mid-project changes from clients can feel like changing the destination mid-journey. It requires recalibration and can lead to delays and increased costs.
- Client Communication – Lack of communication from clients . It’s akin to flying blind. Without clear and timely communication from clients, understanding expectations and delivering accordingly becomes a challenge.
- Handling Downtime – These dry spells can feel like waiting for rain in a desert. Planning and diversifying income sources can help navigate these uncertain times.
- Procrastination/Motivation – Staying self-motivated without a boss looking over your shoulder can sometimes be like trying to start a car with a dead battery.
- Late payments and invoicing – Waiting for payments is like watching grass grow – it can be slow and frustrating, affecting cash flow and planning.
- Admin Management – Keeping up to date with admin. The paperwork and administrative tasks of contracting can feel like doing chores – necessary but often tedious and time-consuming.
- Facing Competition – The contracting field can be like a crowded marketplace. Standing out and securing contracts amid the competition requires differentiation and persistent effort.
- Other – Other’ responses include work-life balance and the atmosphere of the organization.
How To Increase Your Contract Rate?
Increasing earning potential is both thrilling and challenging for contractors navigating this volatile landscape. While technical ability is obviously important, it is not the only element in deciding your contract rate. From grasping the complexities of project length to harnessing soft skills and embracing specialization, there is a diverse way to increasing your market value. Whether you’re a seasoned contractor or just starting out, these guidelines will provide you with the skills you need to optimize your earning potential.
- Assess Project Length
- Evaluate the duration of potential projects.
- Consider short-term specialist roles for higher pay.
- Balance the benefits of higher pay with personal preferences, such as social interaction and job stability.
- Highlight Soft Skills
- Emphasize non-technical skills like business acumen and big-picture understanding.
- Show how these skills add value to your role.
- Understand Role Variations and Industry Differences
- Recognize that rates may vary between Salesforce customers and partners.
- Consider the specific requirements of each role, such as customer interaction or multi-client work.
- Evaluate your comfort level with these variations.
- Gain Experience and Specialize
- Focus on building experience within a specific niche of Salesforce.
- Understand that specialization can make you more valuable and in-demand.
- Emphasize Your Marketability
- Position yourself as a specialist with unique expertise.
- Promote your specific experience, such as years working with Salesforce in a particular industry.
- Understand that marketability can lead to a higher contract rate.
Don’t go into freelancing cold. It helps if you’ve already got some solid experience in the industry.
Tips for Success
If you’re considering venturing into Salesforce freelancing, you’re likely to face exciting opportunities and challenges along the way. Here’s some guidance, with insights from seasoned practitioners to set you on the path to success:
Kick-starting Your Salesforce Freelancing Career
Launching as a Salesforce freelancer may seem intimidating at first, but a step-by-step approach, coupled with the right attitude, can turn it into an immensely rewarding experience. Bradley’s primary advice for beginners is to start on a smaller scale. Instead of taking up massive projects that demand hundreds of work hours, kick-off with less daunting, 20-hour tasks. This approach allows you to familiarize yourself with the freelancing process, pinpoint your strengths and areas for improvement, and establish efficient work mechanisms.
Moreover, Bradley puts great emphasis on being a “finisher” in the industry. As a freelancer, you should be leading your client through the entire project, right from preliminary discussions to the final delivery. It’s your responsibility to create the project roadmap, making sure your client is always aware of the next steps.
Finally, it’s crucial to set clear boundaries. Make sure you communicate your work hours and availability to your clients from the get-go. This helps manage their expectations and enables you to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
Choosing Your Freelancing Path
Lydia Sharpin, gives an insider look into the various types of Salesforce freelancing. There are full-time freelancers who work as contractors and go to the same place every day. Then there are those who are moonlighting – they have a full-time job and freelance on the side. Jane herself prefers a middle ground, working four days a week which allows her to enjoy the variety of freelancing.
As a seasoned Salesforce freelancer herself, Lydia Sharpin echoes this sentiment and offers valuable advice to those new to the Salesforce freelancing world.
“Don’t go into freelancing cold. It helps if you’ve already got some solid experience in the industry,” she suggests.
Staying Ahead in the Salesforce Ecosystem
Salesforce is a dynamic platform, constantly updating and evolving. It’s imperative to stay up-to-date with the latest trends, features, and updates in the Salesforce ecosystem.
Becoming a part of the Salesforce community, such as joining Trailblazer Community Group meetups, offers a wealth of networking and knowledge sharing opportunities. Bradley also emphasizes the importance of honing sales skills along with technical knowledge. Understanding your service’s value proposition is key to aligning with your clients’ needs.
Jane Isaac advises those interested in freelancing to leverage their unique skills or industry knowledge. This can help freelancers stand out in a competitive market and provide services that are tailored to a specific industry or niche. This insight underscores the importance of understanding one’s unique value proposition as a freelancer.
Additionally, earning Salesforce certifications is a fantastic way to showcase your commitment to the platform and validate your expertise. In a rapidly specializing Salesforce market, having certifications in your area of expertise can significantly enhance your credibility.
Getting Started: Your Salesforce Freelancing Action Plan
If you’re keen on becoming a Salesforce freelancer, the process might seem overwhelming at first. However, with a strategic approach, you can smoothly navigate this transition. Drawing upon the insights from Bradley’s interview, here are some actionable steps you can take:
Remember, transitioning into freelancing is a process that requires patience, resilience, and commitment. As Bradley states, “You’re not just doing a job, you’re running a business.” Each step you take is part of the journey toward becoming a successful Salesforce freelancer.
It is important to establish a strategic approach so you can smoothly navigate this transition
Before diving into Salesforce freelancing, ensure you understand what it involves and the demand for Salesforce freelancers in the market. This includes being aware of the roles and responsibilities of a Salesforce freelancer, along with the necessary skills and qualifications.
Experience in a professional setting is highly valuable. Prior to freelancing, Bradley suggests gaining work experience, preferably in a role that involves Salesforce. This helps understand the business processes, Salesforce implementation, and customer interaction.
While Salesforce technical knowledge is vital, pay attention to the importance of soft skills. Mastering the art of sales, communication, and relationship building can significantly enhance your chances of success.
With the growing specialization in the Salesforce market, finding your niche can set you apart from the competition. This could be a specific Salesforce product (like CPQ or Marketing Cloud) or a technical area (like data migration or flow automation).
Bradley emphasizes that certifications are increasingly important in today's Salesforce freelance market. Get certified in your area of specialization to validate your skills and enhance your credibility.
Networking plays a significant role in finding freelance opportunities. Start by maintaining connections with your former co-workers and clients. Join local Salesforce user groups, attend Salesforce events, and actively participate in online Salesforce communities.
Begin your freelancing journey with small, manageable projects. This allows you to gain confidence, understand the freelancing process, and establish your working patterns before taking on larger assignments.
Understand the market and set your rates accordingly. Bradley advises against going too low, and instead recommends a competitive rate that reflects your skills and experience.
The Salesforce ecosystem is dynamic and ever-evolving. Hence, continuous learning is vital to keep your skills current and stay ahead of the curve.