Salesforce consulting has been one of the most sought-after in-demand skills since 2017.
It’s 2023, yet the demand for expertise in the Salesforce consulting field surges as more and more businesses realize the business value of Salesforce.
While many Salesforce roles are available, there’s no denying that becoming a Salesforce freelancer grants different opportunities compared to a permanent or contract role.
In addition to work-life balance, Salesforce freelancing can potentially make you more money and offer you more exposure in the field.
Becoming a Salesforce freelancer might not be a bad idea if you have a higher risk tolerance, already have mastery of the platform, and can quickly adapt to change.
This blog post outlines the step-by-step process to become a successful freelancer in the Salesforce ecosystem.
Read through to catch all the tips!
This first step is for people just starting a career in Salesforce. If you are already a Salesforce expert but only seeking to become a freelancer, you may skip some steps to suit your current skill set.
Salesforce professionals know that choosing a career path in the Salesforce ecosystem is crucial because each path requires different skills. You should focus on one Salesforce skill at a time and learn the ins and outs before moving to the next progression.
As a beginner Salesforce user without prior experience in the industry, it is important to choose a career path. This will give you direction, helping you to develop the depth of skills required for your chosen position.
Some of the expertise in high demand include;
Starting as a Salesforce Administrator may be the best decision that you make in your career. This is because it is a foundation for exploring other careers in the Salesforce ecosystem. In fact, the majority of architects and developers started as admins.
As a Salesforce Administrator, your duty is to solve business problems by using the resources on the platform. You will work with stakeholders to customize the Salesforce platform and create technology solutions to deliver business value.
Salesforce Admin jobs come with great salaries. You will be paid around $30,000 annually as a junior and up to $150,000 as a senior.
Salesforce consultants implement and leverage Salesforce tools to add value to businesses.
Independent Salesforce consultants may start a consulting company to help clients leverage the Salesforce ecosystem. They know their way around the platform and can suggest the appropriate solutions to clients and analyze how decisions may affect the organization.
As a Salesforce consultant, you must have CRM, analytics, and presentation skills. You must be able to communicate solutions smoothly to stakeholders such that they understand your views.
The average amount you can earn as a junior Salesforce consultant is $130,000 annually and up to $180,000 as a senior.
Freelance Salesforce developers are among the highest-demand talent in the industry.
As a Salesforce developer, you will use code to extend the platform’s software based on client needs. Before choosing the developer career path, you must have technical skills, such as object-oriented programming, algorithms, and web development.
It also helps to have a background in IT since you will be solving technical problems that require such skills.
As a junior Salesforce developer, you may be paid up to $99,000 annually and $180,000 as a senior annually.
Besides the three career paths above, you may also choose Salesforce architecture, strategy, or provide services for a specific Salesforce product.
The first step to becoming a freelance Salesforce consultant, developer, analyst, or administrator is understanding how Salesforce works and building your experiences around related tools.
Salesforce is broad, meaning you will encounter varied cases while freelancing. Your understanding of the CRM will help you relate with clients better, understand their use cases, and suggest or provide the right solution to their problems.
So, before you label yourself a Salesforce Administrator, Salesforce Consultant, or Salesforce Developer, generally, you need to increase your understanding of the platform and gather the right skills.
If you don’t already have these skills, it’s not too late to learn them before starting your Salesforce freelance work.
For instance, if you don’t have a technical background, you can easily take courses to build your skills. You just have to invest time and some bucks into gathering knowledge, and in a few months, you will have the required skills.
To develop your Salesforce skills, you can also take courses offered on reputable platforms, like;
- SalesforceBen free ultimate Salesforce career course
- Salesforce Development Training For Beginners – Udemy
- The complete Salesforce development course -Udemy
- Salesforce Certified Platform Developer 1 (LWC & AURA also)– Udemy
The above courses will help you begin your career as a Salesforce freelancer, especially if you are transitioning from a non-coding career.
After learning, you can take on Salesforce projects from nonprofit organizations or intern in companies to build your experience with different use cases.
Generally, gaining some experience by working with an organization before starting as a freelance Salesforce consultant is advisable. While at it, you can keep learning, upgrading your knowledge, and keeping up with new Salesforce releases.
This will make the job easier when you start and help you build a portfolio to present to clients while selling yourself to them.
While having a Salesforce certificate isn’t a prerequisite to start freelancing in the field, it is recommended.
It helps to have some Salesforce certifications, not just to show your prospective clients proof of your expertise. But it also helps you gauge your current knowledge and skills.
Because cloud computing is broad and ever-changing, it is crucial to keep upgrading your knowledge as you go so your skills don’t become obsolete. Getting certified can help you to discover new Salesforce technology you may not have exposure to.
Salesforce certification training will equip you with more experience by introducing different industry-relevant projects to help you learn. They usually consist of live projects and real-life scenarios to help you build your hands-on experience.
Constantly getting more Salesforce certifications has many worthwhile perks. Some of the other benefits of Salesforce certification include,
- Improves your analytics skills by equipping you with a better understanding of trends and use cases.
- Helps you navigate the Salesforce platform more efficiently and handle your clients’ requests appropriately.
- It helps you keep up with the current cloud technology, which offers you an advantage over other freelancers.
- Clients will trust your judgment more when you have advanced Salesforce certifications under your belt.
- Helps you access multiple projects because more clients will seek your expertise.
- Access a higher pay because your clients can recognize your relevance and measure your value with the certifications.
- Helps you to stand out from other Salesforce specialists when bidding for a project.
More than anything, Salesforce certificates validate your expertise, knowledge, and skills of the platform.
Most clients know that certificates come with real-time experience. Clients prefer to hire certified professionals since they have done the training and have experience.
It is important to note that some job postings will come with specific Salesforce certificate requirements. In cases like this, your bid for the contract may be rejected regardless of your years of experience if you don’t have the required certificate.
After learning Salesforce and getting experience and certificates, the next thing you should do is put together a portfolio.
A portfolio gives your potential clients a run-through of your previous accomplishments – how you tackled various problems and how you solved them.
When you apply for freelance jobs, it is advisable to submit your proposal alongside a well-built portfolio. This is because a portfolio outlines your career progression and progress as a Salesforce specialist, showing the clients that you can develop skills and knowledge by learning and keeping up with new Salesforce releases.
Your potential client can easily check your portfolio for your existing skills and determine if you qualify for the Salesforce roles. If clients can measure your capabilities from your portfolio, it may help reduce the screening time for future projects.
Like the certificates, a portfolio is not always a prerequisite for a freelance job. However, it has the following advantages;
- It helps you to stand out from other Salesforce specialists applying for the project.
- It helps you to showcase your expertise and experiences to potential clients.
- A portfolio helps you to organize all the professional accomplishments you may even forget in the long run.
- Makes the interviewing process easier for the clients.
- Your robust portfolio can attract more clients to you. They will usually reach out to you themselves, meaning you won’t need to apply for positions.
- It proves your credibility as a Salesforce specialist.
- A portfolio helps you to create and showcase your unique personal brand.
In addition to your portfolio, you should create a professional profile on freelancing platforms, job boards, and social media sites. Although not all Salesforce freelancers get jobs from freelancing platforms, it opens you up to more opportunities.
Communities are one of the places to hone your skills, access job opportunities, and receive guidance through your freelancing journey. You should join a community at the early stage of your Salesforce freelance career to enjoy all the benefits.
In addition to accessing useful resources, joining a community has the following perks;
- Get in touch with people with similar Salesforce interests from all over the world.
- Experience growth through members’ perspectives and answers to Salesforce user questions.
- Helps you to be more focused on your goals with fixed meetings, resource allocation, real-life case exercises, and more.
- Build trusting relationships with people in the community and exchange useful information.
- Ask questions and get answers from experienced Salesforce users.
- Meet a mentor to guide you through your transitioning and freelance journey.
- Get directions to multiple projects in companies, freelance platforms, and job sites.
- Get useful advice from Salesforce professionals.
Trailblazer community groups have communities specifically for beginners where you can learn from professionals’ experiences.
You will be directed to handy resources that can help you thrive according to your level of Salesforce expertise.
You can find a Trailblazer community near you in different regions, including North America, South America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia Pacific. You may also join the various general virtual communities if you prefer those.
A lot of freelancers forget one of the most important things- Pricing. As such, they get underpaid for projects worth a thousand bucks more!
While setting up your freelancing business, you should also learn what your services are worth. One of the ways to do that is to talk to Salesforce professionals already in the freelance field. Ask about the appropriate hourly rate and charges for different projects.
You can also find the pricing standard from the work profiles of Salesforce freelance specialists on popular platforms like Upwork. Their hourly rate and charges for projects are usually accessible from their profiles. Don’t be afraid to tell your prospects your price.
One of the biggest misconceptions about freelancing is that you have to accept a client’s initial offer, or they choose another candidate. This is not entirely true because a client that recognizes your value will understand why your rate is higher.
Always find out what your services are worth to avoid being underpaid. Joining a Salesforce community helps as there are many experienced Salesforce veterans there to guide you.
Finding clients in your preferred industry is important, especially when you are just starting out as a Salesforce specialist and freelancer.
At this time, you may not have as much experience compared to others who started before you. This means that you may have to market your services to potential clients in order to get noticed.
You can contact client prospects directly or bid for jobs on freelance platforms.
The former requires you to research and find clients needing Salesforce services.
Such a client may not know they need your skills to solve problems in their organization. It is left to you to market yourself, make them see the problem, and how you can help streamline their business processes with your Salesforce expertise.
If you can convince the client, you can propose working on the project as a freelancer. That means you don’t have to become staff at the organization before working with them.
Bidding for a project on job boards or freelance platforms works almost the same way as reaching out directly to a prospective client. The only difference is the client already recognizes the need for your skills and has put out an offer for the project.
Some of the popular platforms to join for freelance jobs include;
As a newbie, you may have difficulty attracting clients with no reviews. So, when you join any of the platforms above, ensure you create an attractive profile and upload your portfolio to increase your hiring chance.
Freelancing if done right can become your regular day job, earning you a substantial income.
Whenever you’re ready, use the 7 steps above to kickstart your Salesforce freelance career.
Remember never to underprice yourself, and keep building your skills because Salesforce will never stop upgrading its capabilities and features.