So many freelance web professionals have a myriad of talents — it’s just a matter of harnessing them to thrive. Such is the case for Rodrigo Leon, a Los Angeles developer, designer, and content creator.
In addition to coding, he also has experience as journalist, photographer and videographer. While Rod works as a front-end developer for his day job, that versatility is invaluable in building his freelance business.
“When I started freelancing,” he remembers, “I had enough time to sit on a computer and learn every day. Nowadays it is quite the challenge with all the responsibilities you get as an adult.”
Managing multiple clients using GoDaddy Pro.
Whether on the job or on his own, Rod looks to GoDaddy Pro to help him manage clients efficiently. “At work,” he says, “we have about five hundred clients on GoDaddy Pro, and I use it for pretty much anything and everything that has to do with domains and setting up WordPress.”
From the GoDaddy Pro dashboard, Rod can easily streamline the management of his clients’ websites. WordPress plugins install faster through GoDaddy Pro regardless of where clients host their sites, and he can apply or deactivate the same plugins across all applicable sites from the dashboard.
Rod uses GoDaddy WordPress Hosting and prefers it to other hosting providers in his side business due to the comprehensive yet easy setup that it provides.
Access to a variety of out-of-the-box functionalities while still being a hosting plan means ease of use — and that means even his non-technical clients can use it when needed. “It’s so easy,” he says. “And it just saves so much time.”
Another example is security. “When SSLs became a thing, we had to buy it, install it, and charge clients a recurring fee for it. Each time. For every client.” He laughs. “Then GoDaddy started offering automatic SSLs, which means that domains come with the certifications already taken care of. Simple for us and it makes clients happy.”
Finding new clients & keeping them.
Rod has a few key ways he builds credibility in the industry and lands new clients. The vast majority of new business comes through word of mouth. He retains clients by making relevant offers such as: trying out a specific service for free; offering upgrades; bundling services; and even passing on savings by reducing fees for clients as technology evolution allows.
In addition, Rod’s building credibility by staying connected with the WordPress community. He answers questions on Stack Overflow, contributes to open source projects on GitHub, and is working on a few WordPress plugins and web apps. He also does pro bono projects when he can — recently, he created an ADA compliant website for a local non-profit.
“I'm lucky to be working at a flexible agency. My days are just packed, but learning is part of the fun and I love what I do.” Given the different skills and interests, Rod’s home work station is pretty darn tricked out, so instead of listing out all his hardware, check out some snaps of his rig on his Instagram.
Advice for up-and-coming freelancers.
To those trying to build their freelance business, Rod has a few thoughts.
- Start now, even if you’re only able to take a few first steps. “Don't doubt yourself. Don't get stuck perfecting something. As the saying goes, good enough and done is better than perfect and pending.”
- Find inspiration in your field and beyond. “Sometimes I'll hear something random and apply it to a design I was working on. For design inspiration I look at places like CodePen, Dribbble, Codrops, and others.” These online communities offer peer driven ideas, support, code snippets, testing sandbox and more.
- Finally, try to keep a balance between work and life. Even if you’re like Rod, working a full-time job and growing your business on the side, it’s important to unwind. “Fridays and Sundays, I try to relax, I'll try to go to meetups, classes, hikes, and whatever adventures I can find! Over the years I’ve learned that balance is really important.”
Editor's note: Do you build websites for clients? Join the GoDaddy Pro program for free.