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9 Tips for Applying to Freelance Blockchain Jobs

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With new blockchain projects cropping up every day, it can be intimidating to apply for freelance work. What if the project isn’t a good fit? What if I don’t have the right skills or enough experience? Can they afford my rates? All of these are common questions, but involving yourself in blockchain work is a direct doorway to even more lucrative work in this niche, since it’s the absolute best way to network in blockchain.

These are nine tips you can follow to make sure you’re prepared when applying for your next freelance blockchain job.

Don’t copy, paste, blast.

In the generalist world, some freelancers pick up the habit of creating a blast to send to every potential client on LinkedIn, via email, on whatever platforms they’re a member of. A lot of gurus say, “It’s a numbers game,” and sometimes it works to pick up a new gig.

In blockchain, I don’t suggest it. Part of getting a blockchain job is skill and experience, but a large part of it right now comes down to networking. Involve yourself in projects, in community chats, Facebook groups, at conferences, anywhere you can. If you’re not sure where to start, check out these networking tips for blockchain professionals.

No matter what, keep your offers personal. Know what the project is about and why it’s relevant to your skills. As blockchain expands into every other industry, the ability to provide other pieces of relevant background information can up your chances of getting the job.

Do your research.

If you’re looking for a quick new client, consider your approach. With so many blockchain projects equipped with great funding, there are no shortage of jobs. Spend part of your time diving into projects, reading whitepapers, looking at social media presence, and engaging with a project’s community if they have one.

Familiar faces usually get jobs over strangers in the blockchain niche. If there’s not yet a community and you can do little to feel out a project, at least understand the space it is trying to fill. Then, assess your skills accordingly to determine what you can offer that other candidates may not bring to the table.

Slow down and take time to really learn about a project that interests you as well as the people behind it. If you can get to know them first, even better.

Make a real connection.

Try connecting with relevant folks and having a chat on LinkedIn. In the high-paced, often stressful world of blockchain, personality clashes aren’t unheard of. Two people could have the most expertise in any particular realm, but if they can’t have a constructive conversation, then none of that matters.

When you’re going to be spending many hours with a team, especially if you’re helping to launch a tokensale, making sure that team is a good fit for your personality and work style is vital.

How do you feel about daily meetings? Weekly? Do you work at all hours of the day or do you turn off strictly at 5PM? Will you be expected to answer messages at night or on weekends? Knowing your own preferences in terms of structure and communication can help avoid major headaches when trying to work with teams who operate completely differently.

Be genuine.

While this should be a given, it’s important to restate it in blockchain where timelines are tight and tensions sometimes run high.

Be honest about your skills, experience, what you can bring to the table, and your rates. Don’t agree to things you’ll hate, because those tensions will pervade entire projects. Find projects you can have honest passion about, tell the truth, and stay true to your word.

It can be difficult to secure someone else if your skills aren’t as described, so lay everything out on the table as soon as possible.

Know your strengths (and how to phrase them).

Being genuine doesn’t mean timidly explaining what you do and downplaying your skills. Whether you’re new to the niche or you specialize in something very, very specific, understand the benefits you offer to a project inside and out. Most of this goes back to thoroughly researching projects and teams you might involve yourself with.

If you have a track record of successful projects, then that’s great information to offer. If you don’t, but you’re confident in your skills, discuss your knowledge and ideas for a project to explain what special expertise you can offer and what it can do for the client.

Have samples ready.

Even if your samples are projects you did on your own for the express purpose of having sample work to share, make sure you have something to display your expertise to a client. If your samples are online, one way to make this process easier is to keep all of your links to different samples arranged by category to send to a client.

If you can send samples before a client asks for them, then that could raise your chances of getting the job. When people are busy, they don’t want to take an extra step if they don’t have to. The same goes for any certifications you have in your field.

If all of your projects until now have been under NDA, sharing samples can be a shaky situation. Understand which details you can share. This may mean contacting past and current clients to verify you’re in the clear with your responses. Having this information before contacting clients can really speed up the process to getting hired.

Know which currencies you’re willing to take.

Blockchain projects are notorious for paying freelancers in currencies other than fiat, a special situation in this niche that people coming from other fields don’t often think about.

Do you take bitcoin as payment? What about ether? Other altcoins? One particularly special situation with blockchain projects is that many of those undergoing tokensales offer payment in the token they are creating after the project ends. This incentivizes those working on the project to perform well, because the more that is raised, the higher the payout. Of course, this sometimes means little to no money upfront.

Know your stance on these topics and have wallets ready if you require partial payment before beginning work. Know, too, that many projects that offer tokens may be open to offering partial payment in bitcoin or other cryptocurrency during the project, so don’t be afraid to ask.

Don’t undersell your value.

As mentioned before, there are plenty of blockchain projects that are looking for people, and experts often charge a pretty penny for their services. While it may seem smart to offer an insanely low price to get a job, it hurts everyone in the long run. For one, charging a low rate often gives a client a subconscious message that you are unskilled or not particularly valuable which can lead to issues throughout the project.

Plus, not only are you paid less money, it changes expectations from clients to other professionals as well as their expectations from you in the future. Devaluing work in blockchain will only push other newcomers away, if there is no money to be made here. In order for this niche to thrive, value needs to be clear, workers need to be able to live comfortably and still afford the tools they use to do their jobs.

Also take into consideration the amount of time it takes to market yourself and contact clients. All of this should be factored into your average hourly rate. It is better to wait for a good project that pays well than to spend endless hours on a project you don’t love that pays little to nothing. Wise business people understand the value of being generous with their workers, so migrate towards these people. They are usually the nicest, easiest clients to work with too, in my experience.

Don’t be afraid to say no.

As mentioned before, taking a low-paying job, one that isn’t a good fit for your skills, or that has other unreasonable expectations lowers the entire industry.

If the pay offered for a job is so low as to be insulting, respectfully decline. In this complex and ever-changing terrain, projects crop up, skills change, and expecting a fair pay for fair work is valuable to the individual and the niche alike.

If an opportunity isn’t a fit, simply decline and either negotiate or keep looking for another project. There is someone on a blockchain project who would be happy to pay for the value you bring and have you join the team.

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9 Tips for Applying to Freelance Blockchain Jobs
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