How to Become a Freelance Salesforce Consultant

How to Become a Freelance Salesforce ConsultantFreelancing is not for everyone, but for those looking to make some extra money or perhaps even quit your day  job and work for yourself, freelancing is an excellent option. In this post, I’ll share some of my experiences and give you my thoughts on how to get started.

Before we get started, this post is intended for those that already have a background in Salesforce. If you are just getting started with Salesforce, review my post 5 Steps to Jump-Start Your Salesforce Career first.

I started freelancing in 2012 while working full-time (also called moonlighting). The intention was to have some extra spending money and pay off personal debt faster. After a few years, though, I have worked on several projects and have fallen in love with the work.

I decided to start a Limited Liability Company (LLC) to make this a formal side-business that will allow me to scale quickly in the future should I decide to step out on my own. Now all of the groundwork is laid and my personal property is now also protected.

So, how do you become a freelancer? Let’s take a look at what is needed.

Determine Your Availability

Before soliciting for jobs, it’s important to understand how much time you can dedicate to a freelance project. You need to be honest with yourself and set a firm boundary because it is very easy to get consumed in a single project or multiple projects.

Between family time, vacations and your typical work schedule, you may have between 4 and 8 hours a week to comfortably commit to contract work. If that is the case, don’t over commit. If a deal comes across your desk that requires 10 hours a week, you may need to decline the job.

Aside from the number of hours, you should also determine how many contracts you can handle. For me personally, two active contracts provides me plenty of work. Sometimes, it is too much depending on what is going on in my personal and professional life. I have turned down several offers because I just don’t have the bandwidth to manage any more than two.

Determine your availability and stick to it when talking with prospective clients. It will keep you sane.

Determine Your Value

This is perhaps one of the hardest parts for the freelance beginner. Without working as a consultant in the past, I had to try and determine what a fair rate would be for work that will be done on the nights and weekends. In my eagerness to land a job, I charged only $35 per hour on my first contract. Big mistake.

Realizing this, I reached out to the Twitter community and asked what others are charging. Per hour rates ranged anywhere from $50 to $120 per hour (or even higher). Having this information helped me negotiate a higher rate on my next contract. The problem was that the rate was still not at a place that the market can support. I short changed myself again.

Freelance

As I was talking this through with a friend, he argued that my time was perhaps even more valuable as a moonlight consultant because the opportunity cost was so high. Spending time with my family in the evenings is crucial and is worth much more than $35 per hour.

There is fear in negotiating a rate with a client. We tell ourselves that quoting a high rate may scare customers away and that is exactly what you don’t want to do. Fast Company had a great article some time back which talked through this process of determining your value and I thought that it addressed this and similar fears perfectly. Take a moment and read it here.

Remember – you can always negotiate your rate down. I have never been able to negotiate the price up.

Make it Legal

Generally, if money is to exchange hands, I like to get everything in writing. All of the clients I have engaged with have had a contract and a Statement of Work (SOW). Fortunately, my dad writes and negotiates contracts for a living so he was able to create a consulting services agreement with me which includes a bunch of legal jargon, but you don’t need a complex legal document. The key is to create a document that both parties will agree upon and sign.

Your contract should include language around the following:

  • What your agreed hourly rate will be and what you will be paid for (such as time and materials, travel expenses, etc.).
  • Invoice frequency and due dates and late fees (i.e.: invoice monthly with payment remitted 14 days after invoice date with a 2% per day late fee for every day the payment is late).
  • Termination language (who can terminate the contract, when and how).

A SOW is the what and when of the project. It should include a short description of the work that is going to be done and some general timelines (either number of hours or a particular date).

There are several tools to create a formal legal document online including one called RocketLawyer which asks you a series of questions and populates your answers into the legal template. While there is a fee to create these documents, the can be reused for future engagements.

NOTE: I am not a lawyer and am not providing legal advice. You should consult with experts to create a document that has the appropriate legal protections.

Get the Proper Tools

There are only a handful of tools that a beginner freelancer needs and they fall into the category of hours and expense tracking and invoicing. Several tools exist for freelancers – most of them have a free version with limited or restricted functionality that is perfect for those just getting started.

Time Tracking & Invoicing

I use a tool called Harvest to track time and invoice clients. Harvest offers a free version of their app which allows for two active projects. Tracking time against a project is really easy and can be categorized into any type of service or task you may be providing. It also allows for a detailed description of the time spent which can be included on invoices.

Speaking of invoices, Harvest also allows users at all levels to create professional looking invoices for services. The invoices can be sent electronically or downloaded as a PDF and sent to your client. There is also an option to receive payment online via PayPal.

harvest time tracking

Harvest

Timely is another great tool that I started using for various other time tracking activities but it is very capable of working for the freelancer as well. It too has a free version for up to three projects. One unique feature is that it allows you to schedule work in advance in order to create an estimate. With a calendar integration, users can block off this time from their personal calendars as well to ensure that the work gets done.

Right now, Timely doesn’t have the ability to generate or send invoices. The data needs to be reported out of the system and into an invoice generation application. Not a deal breaker, but I prefer the all-inclusive option of Harvest.

Client & Deals Tracking

With so many emails going back and forth between clients in multiple locations, it can be hard to recall who you have talked to and where a particular project status lies. That is why I created a free Salesforce Developer org to track my clients and prospect details.

When I have a client sign a contract, and I obtain credentials, I even store the username, password and security token in a custom object related to the Account for easy recall anywhere.

Now that Salesforce1 allows for multiple accounts accessing this information from any location is now SUPER easy.

Initially, I saved this information in a Google Spreadsheet, but after having trouble keeping everything in one place, I decided a developer org was the way to go. Now I store contracts and important communications in Salesforce for easy recall.

Communication Tools

Starting out, it probably isn’t important to have some of these communication tools but if you may decide that having some communication tools makes working with the client easier.

Google Voice is a great way to separate your personal phone number with a “business” phone number if this is something that you are concerned with. I have used Google Voice in the past to help create some delineation between my personal and professional life and found that it worked well. However, being an iPhone user, I don’t think it works as well as if I was using Android.

uber-compressor

Uber Conference

 

Screen sharing and web/audio conference tools may also be necessary depending on the needs of the client. I found myself wanting to share my screen to vet configuration, but without a screen sharing tool, this is hard to do. Research your options ahead of time and have an account set up prior to any meeting where there may be a need to share screens.

UberConference is a great free option (built by ex-Googler’s) and now includes free United States domestic calls. Other free tools include FreeConferenceCall.com and Join.me.

Find a Job

Now that you have everything to do the job, it’s time to find a job to work. There are several great options for finding positions but I have found that LinkedIn works the best. Post a status update to your profile letting your network know that you are looking for a position and more than likely several people will respond.

After doing this a few times, people in your network will notice that you do freelance work, and referrals will begin to come in as well.

If LinkedIn isn’t working for you, there are a few other sites to solicit your expertise:

CRM Market is a new tool created by a friend of mine which aims to help connect consultants with projects. But more than that, it includes some really cool features such as public consultant profiles, automatic Salesforce verification, robust project search, simplified project management and streamlined and secure payment management.

Remember to follow-up with all possible gigs with a response – even if you don’t have the bandwidth to take on a new position. This will ensure that you don’t lose out on future work for these potential clients.

Make it Happen’ Cap’n!

With all of these tools, you are ready to go. You can totally do this! Don’t be intimidated or let that little voice of doubt tell you that you can’t. You already know how to do a lot with Salesforce. Let this experience challenge you – get you to think outside of the box. There is nothing more rewarding.

Want to discuss this topic more? Head over to the Success Community and join the Salesforce Freelancer group!

Do you have questions about becoming a freelance consultant? Perhaps you have some suggestions. Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below!

 

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78 Comments


  1. Grant Grigoran

    December 8, 2014 at 10:54 am

    Great post Brent! When are you coming over to the freelance side fulltime?!

    This post seems targeted to people who are still working full-time and want to freelance on the side. In that case, the only other thing I would add is that you have to be careful and mindful of IP. Your current employment contract may or may not specifically state that not only are you no allowed to freelance on the side, but that whatever intellectual property you create during your employment with with the co, especially when it’s related to your role, is owned by the employer.

    This is likely a lot of an issue if your current job is not related to SFDC admin and you’re freelancing on the side simply looking pick up skills/clients.

    But I’m not a lawyer – just wanted raise an issue that all of you full-timing, two-timers need to be aware of.

    Reply

    • Brent Downey

      December 8, 2014 at 11:56 am

      That’s a great point Grant. If folks are looking to moonlight, they should be aware of any contract language with their current organization that may prevent them from doing this.

      Reply

  2. Rebecca

    December 8, 2014 at 5:18 pm

    Great post Brent. Where do you find your clients?

    Reply

    • Brent Downey

      December 9, 2014 at 7:24 am

      Thank you Rebecca! I find my clients by “advertising” on LinkedIn with a post in my status or in specific groups and word of mouth. The problem with using LinkedIn is that you may get several requests but have capacity to work only one or two jobs. That is where I then use my Salesforce org to track these individuals and follow-up with them when I have availability in my schedule.

      Reply

      • Jose Maria Claramunt

        December 9, 2014 at 9:01 am

        Your right Brent.

        Too many offers and bad planning can make your head spin.

        Oh, you gave me an excellent idea: Freelance app for SF 🙂

        Thank you once again for another excellent post!

        Reply

        • Brent Downey

          December 10, 2014 at 9:23 am

          Awesome! Let me know when you come up with something and I’ll update the post to include the Salesforce app!

          Reply

      • Zawar Sheikh

        August 18, 2015 at 7:11 pm

        Hi Brent and others. I may sound a bit dense, but how do you advertise on linkedin?

        Reply

        • Brent Downey

          August 23, 2015 at 5:13 pm

          Hello Zawar! I think about advertisement on LinkedIn in a few ways. First off, make sure that you have an updated profile (including a profile picture and a personal greeting on your summary). Get engaged with groups, post to your profile and connect with others. Post to your profile that you are looking for some freelance work and folks will start to reach out. Good luck!

          Reply

  3. Sly

    December 10, 2014 at 5:45 pm

    Brent,

    Great article! I will admit, however, that this whole freelance thing intimidates me. I am abut to transition from working at Salesforce developer (doing admin stuff not dev) to a totally different industry, but I’ll have a period of unemployment in between. Somebody recommended freelancing, but I have no idea of what you described is for a more seasoned person or not (I have a little less thn a year of Salesforce experience and Admin cert).

    Help?!?!?

    Reply

    • Brent Downey

      December 10, 2014 at 7:20 pm

      SLY, thanks for your comment! I totally understand how you feel. When I started out, I felt inadaquate and unqualified for what I thought was going to be major projects. Because I work full time and moonlight on the side, I am very cautious on what I take on. That being said, many of the potential projects that have come into my inbox are from organizations trying to get started with Salesforce – super basic stuff. These are the folks who don’t want to pay full-price for a fancy consulting agency. Instead, they just want the basics. If you are familiar with the Sales Cloud, I would imagine that you can successfully complete any number of projects. The tricky part will be determining your value and not selling yourself short. If you are going to do this full-time for a stint, you need to charge more in order to cover costs and put food on the table. Re-read that article from FastCompany which I linked to in the “Determine Your Value” section of the post. Be encouraged and don’t undermine your knowledge or ability. YOU CAN DO IT! Keep me updated. I would love to know how this turned out for you.

      Reply

    • Jose Maria Claramunt

      December 12, 2014 at 6:32 am

      I second what Brent says: there are TONNES of companies that want to implement Salesforce (any Edition) that are sheet scared and dont have the know-how.

      Well, start off by charging less.

      Why? Cause you NEED the EXPERIENCE.
      After 2 or 3 projects, you will be a battle hardened SF consultant.

      Oh, and work LinkedIn and other SF partner firms.
      They also need SF freelancers.

      Ride the wave! This is the only time SF professionals are scares and demand is huge for people that are familiar with all things SF.

      Get R done!

      Reply

  4. Shahid Ray

    December 14, 2014 at 1:26 am

    I wanna be a Salesforce consultant in implementation. But I dont know where to start and how to start. Can anyone please suggest me the steps and the courses and other information that i need to start off. I am sure once i have the start i can get on.

    Also can anyone tell me, which one is better? SF developer or SF implementation for a beginner who is trying to have a career in SF.

    Thanks,

    Reply

    • Brent Downey

      December 14, 2014 at 7:49 am

      Hello Shahid, thank you for your comment! Are you referring to Salesforce Developer in the sense of a coder or declarative development? Personally, I think that any hands-on experience you can learn before becoming an implementation consultant would be ideal. Jumping right into implementation consulting may be a little hard, but it never hurts to see what agencies are hiring for and applying to those positions. Some may even train and pay for the certification. If you don’t have any Salesforce experience and you want to jump right into consulting, do take time to learn the system. Good luck!

      Reply

  5. Ankur

    December 16, 2014 at 11:08 pm

    Hi Brent, Great post !!!

    I am salesforce developer having 4+ yrs of experience. I am thinking to start freelancing but I am not aware how to start(any legal procedure?), how to find projects?
    If you can guide me then it would be helpful for me. appreciated.
    Thanks.

    Reply

    • Brent Downey

      December 17, 2014 at 8:33 am

      Hello Ankur. I would encourage you to make sure that all legal precautions are taken when freelancing – especially if this will be your full-time job. I can’t speak to the specific legal requirements for you specifically, but I personally decided to create a contract for all services and have created a LLC to safeguard my personal assets. You will need to determine what works best for you. In terms of finding projects, I have found quite a bit through LinkedIn and word of mouth. Good luck!

      Reply

  6. Ankur

    December 18, 2014 at 10:34 am

    Thanks Brent !!!

    Reply

  7. David Redding

    January 3, 2015 at 10:10 pm

    Brent,
    Is an IT or computer science degree required to become a competent SF admin or developer ? Considering starting a second career. What type of training would you recommend to learn SF admin and or developer ?

    Reply

    • Brent Downey

      January 4, 2015 at 9:22 am

      Hi David. No, you do not need to have a specific degree to become a Salesforce Admin or Developer. I know several folks who have degrees in the Liberal Arts who have become Salesforce Admins! If you’re just getting started with Salesforce, I recommend reading another post titled 5 Steps to Jump-Start Your Salesforce Career (https://adminhero.com/5-steps-to-jump-start-your-salesforce-career/). Good luck!

      Reply

  8. Greg Bradshaw

    January 13, 2015 at 10:17 am

    So Brent, what is your rate? 🙂

    Reply

  9. bigscreen

    January 22, 2015 at 6:13 pm

    Brent, awesome post! Need your opinion. To give you some background on myself, I am a certified admin and have been working on SFDC for about 5 years. My role with my current company has evolved due to be a split between admin/care lead/test lead.

    Today a former colleague (we both used to work together but both of us have moved on to other companies) reached out to me and asked me to help him (moonlight) build out reports/dashboards/implement some new functionality in his current company’s SF org. I am interested but have no idea what to charge, if I need to setup a LLC, should have a SOW. I know you are not a Lawyer, but would like to hear your opinion. Considering that this would be my first moonlighting gig and that I know him, I’m not sure where to begin.

    Thank you in advance!

    Reply

    • Brent Downey

      January 23, 2015 at 7:39 am

      Hi Bigscreen – thanks for your comment. I have worked with some friends on projects in the past and I think that part of the answer to your questions depends on your relationship with your friend. I would get some sort of formal or informal agreement on rate and the exact work expected of you. This could be done in an email or a more formal agreement. I don’t think that you would need an LLC to work on this project. However, I would suggest an LLC if you feel this is something that you want to do more of. The rate discussion is a little bit tougher because there is no pay scale to reference. Have a conversation with your friend to find a rate that will work for both of you. Don’t feel pressured to work with your friend if you can’t get the rate you want or don’t feel that it would be beneficial for both of you. Good luck!

      Reply

  10. SalesforceAddict

    January 27, 2015 at 7:47 am

    Hi Brent,

    I started learning the basics of Salesforce few days back and now addicted to this cloud computing technology & now wants to change my career from a developer in Java into Saleforce.
    Please help me how to do the switch. How to gain experience in Salesforce and How I will get a job in Salesforce without havinh anu experience.

    Reply

    • Brent Downey

      January 27, 2015 at 8:14 am

      Hello SalesforceAddicts – congratulations on perusing a career in Salesforce! The best place to start is at the beginning. It sounds like you are already learning some of the basics. I would encourage you to review this post . It has all of the content and documentation you need to get started. Also, read through the comments on the post. Many folks have asked similar questions on how to find a job and get started without Salesforce experience. Good luck to you! Thanks for reading!

      Reply

  11. Shailesh

    April 6, 2015 at 3:04 pm

    Dear Brent

    First and foremost I want to very sincerely and from bottom of my heart thank not just from me and my friend but all those that must have benefited from your efforts. Obviously the folks like us visiting this are most in need of some or the other work advise and your whole site and blog attempts help them in most simple way sort of and that without any cost.
    So a big THANKS.

    We are a team of 2 experienced IT folks. Mostly old technologies like visual C++ and project management experience.
    I am in US and my friend is in India. We also have our site ArdentITSolutions.com
    I am trying to get my Admin certification done and both of us are working on a small product that will help us on SF data de duplication efforts.

    Very briefly what is does for any Object lets say like “Contacts”
    1- data de duplication c# exe that can read Excel csv files for objects like account, contact, leads
    2- show users duplicate records by some preconfigured column names like “contact email” etc
    3- user should be able to select check boxes to remove those rows from csv after user confirming
    4-we can also make a report in salesforce that shows what duplication was removed in sales force reports

    Initially we quoted really low for projects but your blog opened my eyes and we should correct us on that for sure.
    As of now trying on Indeed but we are not getting any responses. We figured out one thing very well, small and medium businesses DO NOT need all the flashy and colorful service. (For that matter our site is also very simple sort of) They have their own struggle on costs and we can fit in there perfectly well.

    Any advise for us ? Does that product make any sense? We don’t want to sell product but want to use for free so that the data de duplication efforts reduce and we pass on that benefit to our potential clients sort of.

    We are very small, nothing glorious at all but honest and we know we have hard work lying ahead of us.

    With warm regards,
    Shailesh

    Reply

    • Brent Downey

      April 7, 2015 at 8:16 am

      Hello Shailesh, thank you for reading and for your comment. I am not very well versed in the pricing of applications for Salesforce. Some companies have been quite successful using an aggressive pricing model and other’s haven’t. I believe it comes down to what you are providing and how the value is perceived. Are you providing a solution that I as a Salesforce Administrator would pay “x” for? That is the question that should be asked. If the answer is no, then perhaps the price needs to come down a little bit. I hope that helps!

      Reply

  12. p d singh

    April 22, 2015 at 4:06 am

    I have just started developing project in salesforce and i am new in this field
    so can you suggest how i can get simple project as a freelancer.

    Reply

    • Brent Downey

      April 22, 2015 at 2:30 pm

      Hello! Please check the bottom of the post and the other comments. I’ve included some resources in the post that may be helpful in finding a gig. Thanks for reading!

      Reply

  13. lc

    April 26, 2015 at 10:27 am

    Hi Brent,
    This was a very helpful post so thank you. I am planning to take my Dev401 cert test this week. Once obtained, I am looking to gain real world experience through freelancing. For my initial projects, I’d probably have to take on something fairly basic. (I’ve been a SF end user for 2+ years but never dev/admin.) I’d like to be honest with the client about my lack of experience, but I feel this is will hurt my chances of landing projects. Any thoughts and how transparent were you in your initial freelance projects?
    Thanks for your insight and thanks for what you do!

    Reply

    • Brent Downey

      April 27, 2015 at 8:11 am

      Honesty is the best policy. I’ve been up front with all of my clients. The key here is to have a discovery type call to confirm the work they want to have done. Based on your understanding of the project, you can provide a general timeline and express any concerns you have with your knowledge. While some potential customers may decide to go with someone more experienced, they will appreciate your honesty and you’ll build a reputation of honesty and transparency. It’s a win-win.

      Reply

  14. Bobby Dornbos

    April 30, 2015 at 8:08 am

    Hi Brent,

    Obviously, thanks for this post…there really isn’t anything out there as helpful as this. I’m currently a full time CRM and SFDC solutions manager at my company, which really consists of 50% basic admin tasks and 50% solutions engineering & thought leading. For a few reasons (other offers & market conditions), I may be needing to scale this role back to part-time as I consider moving on to a different role.

    If at all possible, I’d like to hear more about setting up your own LLC: How did you go about this (there seem to be many sites that can help), how much did it cost to start, and what has been the ultimate benefit? I hear that it’s an absolute necessity for legal reasons. I’m very very new to the freelance world, so I can’t stress enough how fantastic this post, and your blog in general, has been for me. Thanks again.

    Reply

    • Brent Downey

      April 30, 2015 at 8:48 am

      Hi Bobby! I decided to create the LLC primarily to protect my personal assets. With sponsorships on the blog and SOWs being written between me personally and the company, I decided that it would be best to protect myself by creating the LLC. I used several resources to learn about the process. Nolo was the site I used to read and learn about creating an LLC. The process and cost varies by state so you’ll need to research that through your own state. I live in Colorado and they charge a $50 fee to file the paperwork. I was also able to setup a free business account at a local bank that includes a line of credit and credit card. You’ll probably also want to talk to a CPA to help understand how to manage your books so that tax time is a breeze. I hope that helps. Let me know if you have any other questions.

      Reply

      • Bobby

        May 1, 2015 at 8:57 am

        Thanks for the comment, very helpful. Last one: did you build in a ~20% increase to your ultimate rate to account for FICA and other taxes?

        Reply

        • Brent Downey

          May 1, 2015 at 10:08 am

          I generally save a percentage of the income in a savings account but since I do this on the side, it isn’t a significant portion of my income which means that generally, at the end of the year, I am able to keep what was saved due to deductions and a tax refund which ends up coming down in size once 1099s are entered. You should account for this when thinking about rates – especially if this will be your full-time gig. This is where a CPA or Accountant would come in handy!

          Reply

  15. dinesh

    May 5, 2015 at 12:56 pm

    Hi Brent,
    What a detailed and easy to understand article you have posted! Thanks! I am an SF end user since 5 years now and find a career as SF consultant either free lance or as an employee really appealing. Your article has shown me light now! Thanks. Any particular advice you might want to give me, please do so.

    Reply

    • Brent Downey

      May 6, 2015 at 8:04 am

      I’m glad the article was helpful. The one thing I would reiterate is don’t undervalue your time when quoting potential clients. If they don’t like the rate, someone else will pay a fair price for your time! Good luck.

      Reply

  16. Joe

    May 14, 2015 at 10:15 pm

    Brent, for an admin gig, you charge 120 or more an hour, if you were to do a 3 or 6 months contract what would your rate be?

    I’ve been looking for mainly developer gig, but all I find is folks are looking for an all in one guy, such as admin, developer, business analyst and when I request 90k/yr, they all gasp as if I ask for 900k/yr.

    I even found a SF consultant company are looking for mid-level developer but I think are budgeting 70k! WTH, it seems like its more lucrative to be an Admin and developer.

    Reply

    • Brent Downey

      May 19, 2015 at 1:28 pm

      Hi Joe! Great question. I personally don’t charge $120 per hour, but I know that some folks probably do. My rate wouldn’t change change (or at least, not too much) based on a 3-6 month engagement. What I would probably do for a longer engagement is negotiate a flat rate. That way I don’t have to worry about managing every single hour (which becomes tedious). I would document the general happenings of the day, but not track specific hours. In terms of Developer vs Admin, it really depends on location and type of work. If you are looking for a full-time gig, I would say that $90k is probably on the lower end for a developer. Really, developer would be more in the $120k range. If you are contracting full time, I don’t think $120/hour is unreasonable at all.

      Reply

  17. Shannon

    June 8, 2015 at 11:13 am

    Hi Brent,

    Great article. One question about freelancing that has perplexed me for some time: What do SF freelancers do about their own Salesforce license? The tiny bit of freelance SF work that I’ve done, that’s been an issue as the client doesn’t want to purchase a seat.

    Thanks for your blog. I really enjoy it.

    Shannon

    Reply

    • Brent Downey

      June 8, 2015 at 8:40 pm

      I assume you are referring to the license needed to do the work in your customer’s org? In this situation, I’ve always told my clients at the beginning, as we are discussing the details, that I do require a separate Salesforce license for myself while I am under contract. I believe that my contract even states this. For me, it’s a liability issue, and I communicate this to my customers. I want to take full responsibility for my work (good or bad) and part of that is having a separate license. This also reduces the liability on the company. Phrase it that way and I am sure they’ll try to free up a license while you’re working on the project.

      Reply

  18. Chad

    June 23, 2015 at 12:15 pm

    hey Brent,
    enjoyed the article! I have the dev401. In your experience have you seen jobs for declarative developer? I have been using salesforce for over 3 years and earlier this year i passed dev401. just wondering if you have seen not only admin jobs but jobs for the point and click gurus! 🙂

    Reply

    • Brent Downey

      June 23, 2015 at 2:22 pm

      Hi Chad! Congratulations on passing 401. Yes, there are jobs out there for us click-wizards! I am not a developer (code developer that is). All of my clients know that ahead of time and I am sure to outline for them what may require coding so that they know what to expect. In these cases, most of the customers I’ve found need to contract with an admin for a certain amount of time, or they need help deploying Salesforce or a piece of it. This is a great job for admins as most of us know how to run projects to some degree and are familiar with how to build an effective business process. These are the jobs that are just right for the click gurus! Good luck!

      Reply

  19. Farzana Movie

    July 9, 2015 at 2:27 am

    This is an excellent article. Brent, I have changed my career in 2011 from a full-time office worker (in United Nations – World Food Program, CO) in to a full-time freelancer. I have implemented more than 150 projects in database and a tiny CRM in Cloud platform. I have stated Learning Salesforce for last 2 years. Implemented Salesforce for two different clients. Your article will help me in my freelance journey.
    Many Thanks!

    Reply

    • Brent Downey

      July 12, 2015 at 7:38 pm

      Excellent! I’m glad you found the post beneficial.

      Reply

  20. Tracy Anthony

    September 15, 2015 at 3:04 am

    Gidday Brent,

    Shout out from Australia. Whilst I’m not specifically into salesforce, I found your blog via a wordpress salesforce search. Your style and energy is to be applauded. It is lovely to read your post and your refreshingly authentic approach to responding to all the comments.

    I will subscribe to keep in the loop.

    As a freelancer, is Salesforce too big ?

    Reply

    • Brent Downey

      September 15, 2015 at 7:42 am

      Wow Tracy! I’m glad that you found Admin Hero and found it enjoyable! You are too kind. Salesforce is an amazing platform and for freelancers are finding plenty of work. I technically moonlight as I have a full-time day job, and I find that it’s quite easy to find work. There are several Salesforce MVPs in Australia, and nearly all of them run their own consulting agencies. However, more to your point, Salesforce is now almost too big for any one person to do everything. Most freelancers are becoming experts in a particular area (Service Cloud for example) and either focusing on work in that area, or they are partnering with other freelancers in their network to complete other projects that includes work outside of their specific area of expertise.

      Reply

  21. Imran

    September 23, 2015 at 1:02 pm

    Hi guys,

    I am salesforce admin+developer having 4 years experience in salesforce platform, I have done 4 end to end projects, If you have any work please let me know.

    Thanks
    Imran

    Reply

  22. Chris

    November 2, 2015 at 4:27 pm

    Hi Brent, your post inspired me to take the leap and post on guru today and land my first freelance job. Surprisingly I got a response in just a few hours! How do you recommend accessing the client’s org? Should I have them create a user profile for me or is there a better way to go about it?

    Reply

    • Brent Downey

      November 3, 2015 at 8:16 am

      Awesome Chris! I always prefer that the company create a license for me specifically. This way they can track all of the changes I’ve made through audits. Plus, when I leave the company, the account can be deactivated without any adverse effects to their org (compared to a shared login) resulting in better overall security.

      Reply

      • Chris

        November 4, 2015 at 9:58 am

        Thanks for the reply Brent. It looks like this consulting deal is going to go through. When I am complete with the project how do you recommend billing the customer? Do you have them mail a check to your home address or is there another form of payment that would work better for me as a first timer?

        Reply

        • Brent Downey

          November 9, 2015 at 7:25 am

          I’ve actually had a combination. Some customers have paid me via check. You could use an invoicing tool that accepts online payments but there is usually a processing fee if you go that route. You could have them pay via PayPal if that is something they are willing to do as well. Congrats on the job! Good luck!

          Reply

  23. karl

    November 17, 2015 at 11:00 pm

    Hi Brent, Just wondering how much it costs to duplicate a salesforce account application to a new enterprise salesforce account? The original app is great, but, for a new business we need to duplicate it to then implement modifications to go in a different direction.

    Reply

  24. Pabby

    November 22, 2015 at 2:07 am

    Hi Brent,

    Great article and useful for all of those looking to expand their career in freelancing.

    I have completed my 401 and 501 multiple choice test and waiting for assignment to get certification for 501. Do you think market is good for salesforce core developers who build VF pages and Apex code? Do you think there is enough opportunities for developers as most of the work is usually done using clicks and not code? In your experience do you think there is enough demand for such core developers? Do you think there is enough supply for such developers as per your experience?

    I am putting lots of efforts in it and wanted to make sure if I switch my career in this field…I will be valuable. ..

    Thanks for you time to read it and appreciate if you can reply to it.

    Reply

    • Brent Downey

      November 23, 2015 at 1:04 pm

      Absolutely! While a lot can be done with declarative development, Developers still play a pivotal role in the customization of Salesforce. Organizations still need code (including triggers) to make Salesforce work for them. It’s a valuable skill for sure.

      Reply

  25. Leonardo

    January 5, 2016 at 9:00 pm

    Hi Brent:

    First of all i really appreciate your comments in your blog, it really inspire, at least for me !
    I have a question and is related to the projection for the salesforce platform, it means, it is for the next 5 year?, 10 Years ?? or it seems to be something that came to stay ??

    Best Regards
    Leonardo.

    Reply

    • Brent Downey

      January 8, 2016 at 12:51 pm

      Hey Leonardo! Salesforce is projected to be the 4th largest Software company in the world in 2016. I don’t think they are going anywhere for quite a while. They have staying power and I would be surprised if they aren’t around in the next 10 years. I think they are here to stay!

      Reply

  26. p nana

    April 4, 2016 at 6:37 am

    Hello,

    I am an financial accountant and I recently pass my salesforce admin 201 certification form you post and trailhead. however, I do not know what to do next, everyone is asking for experience and I do not have that or a good resume for salesforce. can you help? where can I get good sample resume, how to find part-time or contract to gain some experience.

    thank you for you post!

    Reply

    • Brent Downey

      April 4, 2016 at 5:19 pm

      Congratulations on passing your certification exam! That’s a great first step! I would suggest reading through some of the comments on this post as many people have been in a similar situation as you. It’s all about finding and leveraging opportunities! Network, network, network and try to get your foot into every door regardless of how small the opening! Good luck!

      Reply

      • p nana

        April 7, 2016 at 8:10 am

        Thank you!!!

        Reply

  27. Kaustubh

    April 28, 2016 at 9:37 am

    This is a great post and very precise. I have been in Salesforce for 3 years now, certified and all and working for a multinational. I am looking for some NGO work, basically to enhance my on-hand experience and to give it back to the community a bit. I am not looking for any monetary benefits as of now.
    I live in Ireland and the market is a bit small, ye know. But I am trying to make contacts, reach newer SF clans.
    Thanks for writing this article and sharing your insights.

    Thanks
    KL

    Reply

  28. A.W.

    May 12, 2016 at 5:57 pm

    Brent,

    Just reading through this article for the 2nd or 3rd time. I am a 3+ year end user, with 2 of those years being as one of a few admins in the organization, and handling automation and increased efficiency for my own team of users. i passed the 201 exam last week, and on a whim, made a Craigslist posting that got a bite. I feel pretty comfortable with the scope of work, but I have no idea how to estimate how long the project will take. Do you have any suggestions on how to go about estimating the project, or how to effectively communicate the uncertainty to the client? Thanks for the great work!

    Reply

    • Brent Downey

      June 9, 2016 at 7:49 am

      Sorry for the delayed reply. My comment notifications weren’t working for a few weeks! Hopefully, you found an answer, but if not, here is my response. It’s all trial and error. Use your own experience as a guideline and be honest with the client. During your first few projects, your initial timeline will fluctuate, and you’ll probably be off a bit. Once you get a few projects under your belt, you’ll start to identify trends and can more easily provide an accurate estimate.

      Reply

  29. diana moynihan

    May 28, 2016 at 9:44 am

    … la la la… Did you every know that you’re my hero… la la la.. Seriously – in 3 Web Pages on your site you hit all my buttons! Wanted to know where to start with SF, wanted to know how to get started, and wanted to know how to ‘Free’ (Charge)Lance… unbelievable…. I am now your #1 Groupie!… Let me know how to connect!!!!!

    Reply

  30. Justin

    June 12, 2016 at 4:07 pm

    When freelancing, do clients typically want you to be local (for training, ease of communication, etc)? Do you think it would be viable to live somewhere with a low cost of living (say, SE Asia) and work as a freelance consultant for firms in the US?

    Reply

    • Brent Downey

      June 13, 2016 at 3:19 pm

      It really depends on the client. Smaller customers are perfectly happy to do everything virtual which reduces overall project costs.

      Reply

  31. Rahiko

    July 8, 2016 at 4:15 am

    Hello Brent,

    Major problem I face when hunting for some outsourced development work is the title ‘Consultant’.

    Salesforce Consultant on the LinkedIn profile most of the time do development themselves. Whereas I am in search of a middlemen who would provide me work. How to go about solving this problem to get work for my firm.

    Thanks in advance!

    Reply

    • Brent Downey

      July 19, 2016 at 11:27 am

      You’ll probably want to look for a Salesforce Consulting Partner. Check out this page on the AppExchange which lists all of the registered consulting partners Salesforce works with. This is not a full list as self-employed individuals don’t show up on this list. https://appexchange.salesforce.com/consulting

      Reply

  32. Rowalim Technologies

    July 8, 2016 at 5:15 am

    I am also associated withSalesforce Support, Salesforce Specialist, Salesforce Developer, Salesforce Support Specialist, and love to enjoy the stuff on the same as its rarely found on internet. Thanks again for writing such a good post.

    Salesforce Consultant in Bangalore

    Reply

  33. Nalini

    August 5, 2016 at 4:16 am

    I am from testing background and have functionally tested SFDC as a CRM Application and also as HRMS.
    I want to get into freelancing and be an SFDC administrator. How do I start?

    Reply

    • Brent Downey

      August 5, 2016 at 11:41 am

      Hi Nalini! I would start the same way everyone else does: get your hands dirty learning Salesforce! Check out Salesforce Trailhead for hands-on learning, and my Zero to Hero series here on Admin Hero. To be a successful freelancer, you’ll need to learn more than just the functional elements of Salesforce and that should help!

      Reply

  34. Nalini

    August 7, 2016 at 11:22 pm

    Hey Thanks Brent for a quick response!!

    Reply

  35. kimleonard

    October 25, 2016 at 6:45 am

    Become a freelance salesforce consultant is such a challenging for people who are looking to build their career. I hope that your tips help them to make their career as a freelance salesforce constant..

    Reply

  36. Josh

    December 1, 2016 at 10:00 pm

    I am a relatively new SFDC admin with my company. I’m interested in opportunities in freelancing in the future, but how long might that take before my skills could be considered valuable for those looking to hire a freelancer? How much do I really need to know?

    Reply

    • Brent Downey

      January 3, 2017 at 2:49 pm

      Hi Josh! It depends a bit on your comfort level with the application, being able to manage customer expectations, and deliver in a timely fashion. You’ll know when you’re ready! Start by moonlighting if possible and learn the ropes. Otherwise, you can learn trial by fire! There’s a good book called “The Trusted Advisor” that I would suggest you read as well. That may help out!

      Reply

  37. Manisha

    February 5, 2017 at 8:31 am

    Hey Brent,

    This is a tremendously helpful post! I’ve been working in Salesforce for over three years as a BSA and hold five Salesforce certifications. I truly love working in Salesforce and for some time now have been seriously mulling over setting up a company but would like to get my feet wet first by moonlighting. You’ve provided some excellent pointers especially in terms of how to get the gigs!!! 🙂 Most important part of freelancing. You’ve recommended LinkedIn and a few freelancing sites. Any particular groups you would recommend to spread the word? Also, when starting out did you LinkedIn more helpful or any of the sites? Plus, I know you’re not a lawyer, but in your opinion would it better to set up an LLC from the get go for separation of assets?

    Thank you so much for taking the time to read my comment!

    Reply

    • Brent Downey

      February 7, 2017 at 9:18 pm

      Hi Manisha! I honestly don’t recall if there were any groups in particular that I was a part of. I leveraged my existing network to help me find some work. I’m not sure that you need a separate LLC. You may be able to get away with a general checking account setup as a DBA (doing business as). I would talk with a tax professional about how to setup an account and the impact on taxes.

      Reply

  38. Natallia

    February 16, 2017 at 10:26 pm

    Hello, Brent!
    Your article is very helpful, thank you for sharing it!
    However, I think that you could mention another freelance job board where it’s possibe to make a lot of money online. I’ve recently registered as a admin support freelancer there and can’t complain! There are high hourly rates, a multitude of freelance job opportunities in different areas, and this website doesn’t charge a commission from freelancers!

    Reply

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