15 Tips to Become a Freelance Data Scientist
15 Tips to Become a Freelance Data Scientist
There are two reasons why you could be looking to become a freelance data scientist: either you have heard how attractive a career in data science is and are looking to get in on it, or have been working as an employee and want to venture into freelance work. The gurus over at runrex.com recommend that, although not a must, you should try and first gain working experience in the field of data science, getting the skills, knowledge, experience, training, mentoring, and steady income that comes with being an employee, before you go into freelance work. Starting as an employee first will give you a solid foundation that will increase your chances of success when you do move to the freelance world. Once you have decided to be a freelance data scientist, here are 15 tips that should help you establish yourself.
- Put together a portfolio of work
You must have a portfolio displaying a practical application of your skills as a data scientist if you are to be successful as a freelancer. As explained over at guttulus.com, this should include several types of projects showcasing your ability to do multiple kinds of work from cleaning and analyzing data, to developing and testing different hypotheses and so forth.
- Get experience with a variety of assignments
People want to know that you have done similar work before if they are to hire you for an assignment as a data scientist. Therefore, you should look to gain some experience before going into freelance work, which you can do in school through projects, as an employee at a company, or even through volunteer work. Getting experience with a variety of assignments also gives you options as far as the work opportunities are concerned.
- Showcase your portfolio
As per the gurus over at runrex.com, putting together a portfolio is not enough, you should also find a way to showcase said portfolio. This is because, as a freelance data scientist, you will most likely be finding jobs remotely which means that prospective clients will probably be first getting into contact with you online. One way through which you can showcase your portfolio is by creating a personal website. Just make sure that it is easy for users to navigate to the section that contains your portfolio and that you display your contact information in case one wants to reach out.
- Find appropriate online platforms and freelance directories
To find work as a freelance data scientist, you will most likely have to check out online platforms and freelance directories. There are many such platforms out there where clients post jobs for freelancers to bid on, or where you can register as a freelancer, and clients can reach out to you if they have work for you. Find the right ones for you and create a quality profile, including all your work samples, to ensure you get work.
- Think local
Don’t just limit yourself to online resources when looking for work as a freelance data scientist. As covered over at guttulus.com, you should also take some initiative and look locally for work; checking to see if there are entrepreneurs or start-ups in your area that could benefit from your skills. Many local businesses may be looking for such services but don’t have the finances to hire large agencies, which is where you could come in as a freelance data scientist.
- Have some business acumen
As a freelance data scientist, you will have to handle all administrative tasks and duties since you will be a single entity without any support. This means that other than all the data science stuff, you will also need to be on top of the business stuff such as accounting and preparing your tax returns. You will need t show some business acumen to ensure that your freelance venture doesn’t get handicapped by poor administration.
- Manage your time properly
When working as a freelance data scientist, you will not have the restrictions that come with working as an employee, which means that you will be working at home or in your own time. According to the gurus over at runrex.com, it is, therefore, important that you find the motivation to sometimes work at odd hours and to handle a heavy workload that goes beyond the usual 9-5. To be successful, you must manage your time properly to ensure that you meet client deadlines while still getting time to handle administrative work, get new work, and handle other aspects of your personal life.
- Establish yourself as a leader in your field
You need to establish yourself as a leader in the field of data science if you are to build yourself a name as the freelancer to hire for anyone looking for services like the ones you offer. Some of the ways you can do this are being active in online forums for data scientists, writing blogs, or thought leadership articles for your website, featuring as a guest on established sites, or coming up with a podcast, and so forth.
- Build your brand
Other than writing blogs and articles, you should also consider attending and speaking at conferences, which will also establish you as an expert in data science, helping build your brand as a freelance data scientist. As discussed over at guttulus.com, you should also explore teaching opportunities which will also help give you some street cred, while also allowing you to learn and gain new perspectives which will improve you as a data scientist.
- Leverage social media
Social media is a great way to let prospective clients know that you are available, while also building relationships with your target audience. Try and be active on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and more importantly, LinkedIn where you should join data science-oriented groups to network with and attract prospective clients.
- Check out Quora and Stack Overflow
You should also prioritize helping people with any questions they may have as far as data science is concerned. Helping people, rather than just promoting yourself, will build loyalty with your target audience and increase the chances of them hiring you for freelance work. As covered over at runrex.com, you should frequent platforms like Quora and Stack Overflow and answer questions related to data science.
- Check out meetup groups
It is also important that, as a freelance data scientist, you take the time to attend or organize local meetup groups on data science-related topics. This is not only a great way to network, but it also allows you to make presentations that allow you to shine and attract new clients or strategic partners.
- Find a niche
It is impossible to be an expert on everything as far as data science is concerned, which is why you should find a niche for yourself if you are to be successful as a freelance data scientist. As covered in detail over at guttulus.com, there are various areas you can choose to focus on such as Machine Learning, data analysis, and so forth, and by finding a niche, you will establish yourself as an expert in one particular area and will be more valuable to anyone looking to hire you.
- Get positive reviews and references
Once you get work as a freelance data scientist, you should ensure that you give it your best so that you can get positive reviews from your clients. Treat your clients well and offer excellent customer services, and they will serve as a reference and help bring you more clients.
- Don’t stop learning
Last but not least, to be successful as a data scientist, you should always be open to learning new things about data science. Spare some time for professional development, which is important as data science is a relatively new field and is always developing with new things regularly coming up.
Hopefully, the above tips will help you succeed as a freelance data scientist, with more information on this and other related topics to be found over at the highly-rated runrex.com and guttulus.com.