Ok, you read somewhere that Salesforce jobs are in demand. There is a good freelancing network, and due to the nature of the work, it is quite easy to do the work remotely.
Next, how do you proceed with becoming a Salesforce expert and further on a freelancer/consultant.
I have been working on Salesforce for the last 8 years and freelancing with good success for 3 years. So I have compiled some steps, I hope you find them easy to follow.
The guide to becoming a Salesforce Consultant without work experience
Step I: Trailhead and work experience
Start with trailhead and crack the modules in the natural order from basic to advanced. Needless to say, trailhead documentation has made it very easy to learn for anyone to learn Salesforce quickly.
Which module to start with? I would suggest Administration modules – basic move around, knowing what is where, and understanding the setup page. Slowly move to development and coding, if that is your cup of tea.
The Administrator is also the first certification you should go for. But, I am going ahead of myself. Let’s cover the required certifications later.
Let’s also be very clear, just cracking the modules is not enough. Nothing beats a practical work experience as that is the time you work on real-life problems.
But if you don’t have a job in Salesforce, earning work experience would be a challenge. I would suggest going for collaboration with a consultant or a small-time business owner who might be looking for cheap services.
Optimize your LinkedIn profile. Many consultants with an overflow of work look for admins and developers there. I myself have done that with good success.
Work for 6 months, get your foundation right, and then move to step II.
In this time you should also begin networking, as that is what will give you jobs later.
Step II: Start bidding on freelancing sites.
I am not gonna add the links to these sites, you can very easily google them. In the beginning, it might be difficult to get projects as experience is not on your side. But you have to start somewhere.
Start building any endorsements you can get from step I. They will come handy here.
Consistency is also an important key here, keep bidding and you will keep improving the odds. Experiment and keep improving your proposals and your profile.
Again, there is a lot of content on google to write impressive proposals.
Don’t get discouraged if you don’t get anything for first few months. Most companies look for experience and good reviews on the profile but some also give chance to newcomers.
Step III – Continue with step II
Continue networking, learning new things in Salesforce, and bidding for jobs. This is important as this will build your client base.
Most of my existing clients are referred by my past clients. Very few are successful ends of my marketing strategy.
Before we move to step IV, let’s consider a few more points:
- Network both virtually through social media and physically by attending Salesforce events and happenings.
- Salesforce Certified Administrator
- Salesforce Certified Advanced Administrator
- Salesforce Certified App Builder
- Sales Cloud Consultant
- Marketing Cloud Consultant
- Platform Developer 1
- Platform Developer 2
While I believe the first three certifications are necessary, the cloud certifications really depend on your core skillset.
Are you into sales, support, or marketing? Or all. Trust me, if you don’t really have any interest in marketing, if you have never worked in marketing, it would be a challenge to excel at being a Marketing Cloud Consultant.
The last 2 certifications are for coders and people with a more technical background.
There are many good websites available for studying for certifications. one of the good resources which I have used is https://focusonforce.com/
Additionally, learn git hub basics or other popular revision control software and learn Agile methodology.
Start answering questions on Salesforce forums and StackExchange. This will build your confidence. I have learned many useful things simply by answering questions.
And finally, after 2-3 years or more of doing this, if you feel ready, take the plunge and go to Step IV. Do analyze your financial situation before you go to the next step.
Step IV: Become an independent Consultant/Start your own business
This is definitely difficult and challenging, let me not lie to you. But the reward is also greater. You get your own clients, you keep the fees without any deductions.
Time to remember your past clients and ask them to refer you. If you parted on good terms, this won’t be too difficult.
Create a kickass website and start marketing. Here we come into the Digital Marketing domain which is not really the scope of this post. I too learned digital marketing to market my website.
I learned LinkedIn marketing, blog posts, SEO, and other things. While I am still an intermediate, I have started reaping the benefits.
You, of course, also have the choice of hiring someone for marketing. That is usually challenging if you are just starting out. Learn the basics of digital marketing and start experimenting. It is not as difficult as it sounds.
And finally, share any other tips you might have experimented with.