In this new episode of Changing lives, we'll meet with Nathan Reimnitz a web developer with 8+ years of experience in everything web related, with a focus on website and mobile game development. He's specialized in CSS, HTML, Javascript, Photoshop, PHP, PSD to HTML, Responsive design, UX.

He'll share with us his insights and thoughts about:

  • freelancing and what's good/bad about it
  • his past working experiences
  • why he decided to apply for Codeable
  • his strategy to get new clients
  • how being a Codeable expert changed his life

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Want more stories from WordPress developers? Check them out here:

Changing lives #1: Spyros Vlachopoulos.
Changing lives #3: Alexandra Spalato.
Changing lives #4: Raleigh Leslie.
Changing lives #5: Alex Belov.
Changing lives #6: Bogdan Dragomir.
Changing lives #7: Ray Flores.
Changing lives #8: Zach Nicodemous.
Changing lives #9: Oliver Efremov.
Changing lives #10: Bruno Kos.
Changing lives #11: Surendra Shrestha.
Changing lives #12: Marius Vetrici.
Changing lives #13: Mitchell Callahan.

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Video Transcription

Matteo: Hi everyone this is Matteo from Codeable. Today we are here with Nathan Reimnitz. He will share with us his experience as a freelancer, giving us his perspective on this business path that many of us have children. He will also share his direct experience as Codeable expert, letting us know how this experience changed his life as a freelancer. Now, Nathan, Thank you for joining us on this episode of Changing Lives.

Nathan: Hi! Yes, Thanks for having me. I'm excited to be here and participate in this segment.

Matteo: Yeah. Thank you. We will appreciate it. I'm really excited to know more about you and your story. So why don't you start by saying which part of the world you are right now, where you are from and, most importantly, how long you have been a freelancer.

Nathan: Yeah. I'm located in the United States. I'm in Scottsdale Arizona, so that's in the southwest US. I was born and raised up in a small town in Minnesota, on the northern end of our country where there is brutal winter, very cold there.

Matteo: Yeah, I heard about this

Nathan: So I moved south to get away from the snow, and it's great here. So, I've been a freelancer, off and on, for the last 8 years or maybe A little bit more than that. What I mean by off and on is that I also had some ‘real jobs’, as my parents would call them.

Matteo: Yeah, the 9-5 jobs

Nathan: Yeah, yeah! Building websites from the desk 9-5! Yup!

Matteo: So you’ve been a freelancer for quite some time. Would you mind telling us what do you like about freelancing?

Nathan: On the top of my list would be the freedom with my time. Knowing that ‘real job ‘, the 9-5 and the getting the lunch hour to run a few errands and then having to scramble to get back in…

Matteo: That is so true

Nathan: Now, being a freelancer, you can manage your time however you like. So, if I need to go get my haircut in the morning (or whatever it is) go pick up some milk from the store, I can just go do that and then I can come back and continue my work. So, I'm not stuck at the desk from 9 to 5. I can work late if I want, I can work early in the morning if I want… So, really, the freedom with my time is invaluable to me.

Matteo: So, Yeah, cool. Pretty understandable. So, even if it’s just the beginning of this talk, I'm going to ask you a million dollar question. Are you ready?

Nathan: Ok. Bring it on!

Matteo: So what do you think it takes to be a good freelancer? Cuz anybody can be one. Off the top of my head I think dealing with clients is a natural for many, so tell us about it. What does it take to be a good freelancer?

Nathan: You've got to be outgoing. I mean, communication is key, you're right. So, if you don't have strong communication skills it's going to be difficult for you to manage the expectations and manage the clients along the way. I think the cornerstone of being a good freelancer is communication and it starts up front. Like I said, setting those expectations for the client, and managing them along the process. Telling them what you're doing and why you're doing that and being able to do this in plain English, and not having to use super technical language that they don't understand. Try to relate your progress, your real world experience, your strategy. Trying to make them understand some concepts that may be a little bit more technical that they find hard to grasp. So yes, communication is key.

Matteo: I figure that, as a freelancer. you are often faced with clients that are not ‘techy’, so English is super powerful, you know.

Nathan: Absolutely!

Matteo: Ok. Let me ask you this thing. What made you look for something new in your life as a freelancer, like Codeable? Is there any specific reason? Like, you didn't like your previous job or you were, in some way, unfulfilled? What else?

Nathan: Yeah. At the time when I started Codeable I had one of those ‘real jobs’ that we talked about. And I found a post on a website called Reddit. It's pretty popular, a lot of people know about that. And it was a story and it was talking about Codeable as an entity, and the success and the growth that Codeable had been experiencing, and a few successes of freelancers, the experts here. And I thought that sounded just like my story, but it didn't include me! So Immediately I reached out and I applied, and then a few weeks I had an interview with Per, the CEO, and he brought me on board and gave me a chance, and I’ve been running with it ever since!

Matteo: Ok, cool. So, how long have you been a Codeable expert?

Nathan: Just over two months now! Two months and a few days. So I'm still pretty new here. I mean, this has gone better than my wildest dreams and…

Matteo: Oooo, that’s powerful!

Nathan: Yeah, it really is! So, when I got involved I thought ‘Hey, maybe this is going to be another side income stream. Maybe I'll pay for my gas to go to work, or for a night out or something’. That's just kind of what I was thinking. But it went so quickly - all the income coming from Codeable and the clients. This platform has really unlimited client. You can do as much work or as little work as you like; and it’s pretty easy to get that work. So, minimal effort and a great return from the expert perspective, and from my perspective - I’m glad to be here, and I’m not pursuing any other platform. This is the one!

Matteo: Oh, that’s powerful stuff you are sharing with us today. Thank you. And we are happy to have you on board, of course.
Let me ask you this also: if you look at your past freelancing life and then you fast forward to today, how have things changed for you? Are they any different?

Nathan: Oh! Absolutely! I mean, like I was just saying this platform makes my life easy. As a freelancer, without Codeable, you wear a lot of hats. You might be the billing guy, the accounts receivable guy, your every part of your organization...You're the one man team. And, on Codeable you can still be the one man team. But you’ve got systems in place to handle that billing, to handle that account receivables and the other pieces that we were just talking about. And we also have a great support system here. If a situation doesn't go perfectly well we can get some team members from Codeable involved to help explain a situation or mediate a dispute if something got that far. So, Codeable is great! I wish that I would have found you guys years ago. Yeah, like I said this is the exclusive platform that I'm working with. I know that this sounds like a little bit of self-promotion for you guys. But i t's true! This is a brilliant thing that you guys have put together, and I hope that many more WordPress experts find out about this…

Matteo: Also, we appreciate your thought on this. Would you mind sharing how many clients did you help out, how many projects did you work on and completed?

Nathan: Sure! With the project first, I've completed 100 and change, maybe a hundred and 20, 125 tasks so far.

Matteo: Interesting numbers. So congratulations!

Nathan: Yeah. Thanks. It’s been going very quick! But that's not all unique or individual clients, because Codeable gets a lot of return business, these clients that return to do 10 businesses with you after the first one goes well. My account is no exception. I've got those repeat clients as well. So, I will say maybe, 70 unique clients at this point that I have helped. And it's going well; I’ve maintained an average 5 star rating on the site. So, I’m producing quality work for these clients, so that’s why they are coming back.

Matteo: Would you mind sharing with us which kind of projects did you work on? Like, I imagine that there are some small tasks and then bigger and larger projects.

Nathan: Yeah, yeah. The projects here run the full spectrum. Anything from an hour to a little under an hour, all the way up to multi week, full development projects, A-Z. And I’ve worked on everything in between here. So, my strategy, when I first got involved… On Codeable the clients can see your ratings and your reviews, kind of like your street cred, and when I became involved I had none, I had no street cred. So, how do I convince you as a client to pay me to do some work for you when I can’t show you any reputation here besides ‘hey, here’s a link to my personal portfolio on some other sites I’ve done’? So my strategy was hey let's estimate on every single project that I possibly can complete, and m any of those where the short one hour or two hour project. So little CSS tweaks, change this logo change this menu, whatever. Small, small tasks.

Matteo: Ok

Nathan: So, I started getting those tasks and completing many of those in a day to start seeing those ratings and reviews come in. And that those ratings and reviews went up I was able to start estimating on larger tasks, and start closing that business as well, until people started paying attention to me or engaging in that conversation now that I had that cred!

Matteo: Yeah. Sure

Nathan: So, fast forward to now where there are a hundred or a hundred plus ratings, the 5 star reviews. I've got clients who’ve said some wonderful things about the work, and that has allowed me to take on much larger projects. Over the weekend I picked up a project for a guy that has a handful of sites and those are five thousand a pop, four sites to start with.
When I first got involved, day one, that’s not a project that I would have been able to take on. That guy wouldn't have taken me seriously. But now, after those ratings and reviews I was able to close that business, so yeah.

Matteo: Good for you!

Nathan: Thanks!

Matteo: So I guess you are super happy about your new freelancing life, right?

Nathan: Oh yes! Thrilled about it! I'll tell anybody who will lend me their ears for 30 seconds about you guys! It’s good to be here. I’m super happy to be a part of the team!

Matteo: So, I have my last question. I would like to know… This is like something, you know, because we have this talk… I know some other experts like you, after working with us for some time would buy a motorcycle, put down a deposit on a new home, do a cool trip to faraway exotic lands. How about you? Did you do anything like that? Are you planning to do anything like this?

Nathan: Yeah, I have not done that yet.

Matteo: Yet. I like the ‘yet’ word.

Nathan: I’d certainly love to. I’ve made some of those mistakes in the past. When I was 18 I had a successful real estate syndication website that I built and it started printing some money, and I spent that on sports and an entry level Porsche. So, I try not to make the same mistake twice. So, this time around I had to hit the reset button with Codeable. I’ve tucked 50% of it away in a savings account that I haven’t touched. I just pretend it doesn’t exist for one of those days when I just have to have it, you know…

Matteo: For future times

Nathan: For a house or whatever. But I have been able to do a few exciting things with the other 50%. And one, a few weeks (probably a month into working with Codeable)... I work on a Mac and my personal MacBook Pro was getting pretty old and it finally crashed on me.

Matteo: Wooaa! That’s hard.

Nathan: Yeah, it was pretty devastating when that happened. I mean, you spend all your time around that computer all day. So when that went down it was devastating. BUT, with that income coming in from Codeable I was able to walk down to the Apple store and pick a new one off the shelf, and that’s what we’re talking on right now. I was able to get a new 15” MacBook Pro and get back to work. So being able to save some of that money, I guess, helped me.
Matteo: Cool…
Well, thank you Nathan. I think that’s enough for today. It was super interesting to hear your story. I thank you for sharing it with us. And once again, I would like to thank you for spending time with us, and have a great day and talk to you soon. Ok. Cheers.

Nathan: Thank you. And I’m pretty excited that you guys call this ‘Changing Lives’, Matteo, because that’s exactly what you’re doing here. You guys have changed mine and I hope someone hears the story and you can change theirs as well.

Matteo: Wow! That’s… I’m about to cry, so…

Nathan: Thank you again. Have a good one.

Matteo: Have a good one.