There are thousands of WordPress developers and designers around the world who decided that freelancing was the best way to cut out a living and express themselves through their job. These people are professionals, experts in their fields who work on a daily basis with other people around the world in need of their experience and knowledge.
At Codeable, we strive to decrease the distance between these two worlds (the client and the developer) by providing a "place" where these two groups can meet and work effectively. A place where you post a project and in less than 10 minutes, an expert who is perfectly able to address it, has already provided you with a quote. A place where experienced, top-notch and handpicked WordPress developers work their magic and turn requests into great projects.
There are currently 200+ WordPress experts working with us.
And today, it's all about them.
Introducing "Changing lives"
All WordPress professionals who decided to work with us and made it through our screening process, aren't just users to us. They're our inner engine that keeps us moving forward, they're our voice when we're not talking, they're our daily co-workers we've been growing beside ever since. And they'll no longer be "just" a portfolio, and a profile page, they'll be sharing their personal stories with the world.
Starting today we're thrilled to launch a new blog post series called "Changing lives". Each month we'll have a talk with our WordPress experts and get to know more about them as WordPress professionals and how working with Codeable has changed their life.
The important aspect here to understand is how natural this idea came to life: it was because many experts regularly expressed their being happy about working with us that we asked if they would be interested in sharing more about their experience. And that's what happened: none of the interviewees has been in anyways told what to say, they just honestly shared their story.
This is the first story, hope you enjoy it!
Changing lives: Spyros Vlachopoulos
In this episode, we'll meet with Spyros Vlachopoulos a web developer with 10+ years of experience in website and web app development, specialized in WordPress, WooCommerce, PHP, mySQL, HTML5, CSS3, jQuery.
He'll share with us his insights and thoughts about:
- freelancing and what's good/bad about it
- his past working experiences
- being a freelancer in a country hit by the financial crisis and the urgency to find a stable income
- why and how he decided to apply for Codeable
- how being a Codeable expert changed his life
Need help with your WordPress tasks and projects?
Want more stories from WordPress developers? Check them out here:
Changing lives #2: Nathan Reimnitz.
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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Matteo: Hi everyone this is Matteo from Codeable, and today we are here with Spyros Vlachopoulos who will share with us his experience as a freelancer, giving us his perspective and insight on this kind of business path that many of us have chosen. He will also share with us his direct experience with Codeable and how this has changed his life as a freelancer.
Okay, I think we're ready, I think we are good to go.
So, thank you Spyros for joining us today in this new episode of Changing Lives. We really appreciate it. I am very excited to know more about your experience, so why don't we start by saying which part of the world you are right now, and maybe, where you're from.
Spyros: Hello Matt, hello everyone! So, I'm from Greece, the north part of Greece, from Thessaloniki. I'm currently living in Thessaloniki in Greece, I’ve not moved from here.
Matteo: So, how long have you been a freelancer?
Spyros: I've been a freelancer the past 4 years. Before, I was working for about 7 years as a normal employee in company and stuff like this. And I decided to quit my job four years ago. I think I gather a lot of experience working for companies for 7 years, and I just felt that I had to move on and to do something that is more exciting and more adventurous. Also, I thought that I would like more freedom in the way I work. I didn't like the 9 to 5… And this is mostly the reason why I became a freelancer.
Matteo: Yeah, because being able to manage your own working schedule and dealing with clients is also the interesting part of turning to a freelancing way of living. I mean because it gives you all the power you need, on a professional level, I mean.
Spyros: Yeah, I get this. But this has two sides. The one thing is that you can work as much as you want and you can get the projects that you like most; you can have a balance between working and free time. The other side is that you are working more than you want to, because projects keep on coming and you don't want to disappoint people, so you have to make time for them.
Matteo: Makes sense. So it's easy to... So, you need to balance these two sides, maybe. What do you do Think Spyros, what does it take to be a good freelancer?
Spyros: There is no recipe for being a good freelancer. What I would say is be yourself, and maybe try a little bit more. What you need, first thing, is to have the experience for the job. So, if you're good and what you're doing you will be a good freelancer. But it’s not only this. You need to have good management of time, be responsive and talk to the clients, be honest with them. For example, if you're going to be late or you are late on something, just tell the client. So Talking with the client and being and being honest... they are going to appreciate, instead of just avoiding answering, or feeling guilty about something.
Matteo: Do you think anyone can be a freelancer?
Spyros: It depends. Because some people want to have the security of a salary, you know. They want to know that every month they will have their wage in the bank account. So, it depends if someone wants to take the risk (because there is a small risk, not a big one). This is true. And also, you need to be good in communicating with people. I feel that I'm really bad in managing my time and communicating with people, but I think that so far I'm doing really great and nobody has complained so maybe yes. A freelancer, if they're not afraid to make the step... even if someone is afraid, in the end he will be really glad that he did. All these Just that I had before was great, in the way that even my bosses were crazier than I was. They were not pressing me or something like this, but working as an employee had, sometimes, some rules or something that you had to follow, you don't get to pick what you're going to do. Alright, so, you have a project, you find it interesting or not interesting. Maybe it's your area that you know best or maybe it’s not. So, being a freelancer you have the choice of picking what you want to do and when you want to do this. So, I like the variety of projects that I can get, the new things that I learn because I can…
Matteo: You keep improving.
Spyros: So, yes. I'm improving a lot. I can say that I’ve made huge improvements since I've been working as a freelancer, even more since 1 year and some days that I've been working on Codeable.
Matteo: So, Tell us a little bit more about you being a Codeable expert. First one is, I mean, how long have you been a Codeable expert?
Spyros: Its one year and 20 days
Matteo: So, you’ve passed a year. So great!
Spyros: in 1 year I think that I've done about 250 tasks
Matteo: Whoa! That's a lot
Spyros: It's at 265 now. And about how many people? I would say about 250 people. There are some people they're coming, they just want something really simple and fast.
Matteo: This is like one shot
Spyros: Yes. This is like a one hour job. And you can do it in like 1 hour, 2 hours, 3 hours... And they don't come back again because the problem is solved and this is what they wanted. Also there are people that come back again and again. They have big projects - they want someone is that they can trust, and someone who knows what is going on with the project, they don't have to explain again and they want someone to continue. There are a few clients like this, and with most of them...No, all the experiences were great. With most of them it's easier, may I say, because you know the guy…
Matteo: You know them. You’ve already worked with them at least once, maybe
Spyros: Yeah, and you can understand easier what they want to achieve, and you have a better communication with them
Matteo: Can you share just to better understand like some examples of the first kind of client, like the one of our jobs. Maybe, like an opt-in for cyber.
Spyros: 1-hour clients… I think what we get most is the thing that ‘I want my website Transferred from the static environment to the production environment’. Or something like editing - ‘I don't like how this button is displayed on my website, I want it displayed a little bit differently’. This is a fast and easy, may I say, task. The other thing is that the clients that have bigger projects, they have something maybe bigger setup but they want to tweak it a bit more, they want to change it a lot more. So, I think that I like both tasks even the fast one and the long one. It’s good.
Matteo: More complex, yeah
Spyros: And something else that I forgot to mention that I like about being in freelancing, and especially in Codeable, is that you don’t compete with your fellow contractors. People that are behind Codeable, they are doing a great job, and they have projects for everyone, so you don’t have to run into the project to be the first and then try to get the project by talking a lot to the client or try to convince someone. You just say that and you don’t have to worry that someone else got the project, if you don’t get this one; you will get a next one, nothing to worry about.
Matteo: Yeah. Yes, Codeable has quoting system, instead of the bidding, so the price war isn’t a thing
Spyros: Yes, it’s not a race between the contractors. It’s more like a family and there are even contractors that may help you in one project that they are better. It’s like Codeable that wants to have a good face, right?
Spyros: Not the contractor, it’s a team
Matteo: If you look at your pass freelancing life before joining Codeable and then you fast forward to today, how have things changed for you? I mean, is there any difference, or it’s more like the same? I don’t know... You live on a yacht…? Just kidding man.
Spyros: I think that...No, I don’t think, I’m sure I’ll never look back.
Spyros: Yeah, I’ll never look back. It is a big, big great change for me and I’m very grateful and I’m really happy that I sent this email to Codeable saying that ‘You need me, I’m your man.’ Just like that. And I heard back from Codeable really fast, just saying that we are full now.
Matteo: So, you never got in the first time?
Spyros: What he said was very reasonable. He said ‘We’re full now. We are not like any other marketplace. We don’t just say ok you can do this. Alright, we take your word for this, so you can join us’. Also, he said that ‘I don’t want to invite you (although you’re so good) and then you have to compete with the other contractors. When I have all the jobs that you can take I’ll invite you’. So, we had to wait like 3 months, and then I was invited to join Codeable.
Spyros: And I really like this! As a new contractor I could not find any tasks. Who would try someone that has like zero tasks done?! It’s not easy and I understand this. So I also tried to go to Codeable and say that it’s really hard to find tasks. Everyone that has like 100 tasks gets all of them, and I don’t get any. And Codeable replied so very specific to say that ‘Don’t worry, do not give up. I’ll find you the first task for you.’
Matteo: Wow, Cool!
Spyros: So he came back like two hours later saying ‘Can you do this?’
‘Yes, of course I can do this!’
‘Ok, the client is waiting for you. He will hire you. Don’t worry.’
So, it’s something that doesn’t have to do with numbers. There are people working on Codeable, and they care about what they are doing. It’s really great. Because of Codeable my whole life has changed. Because of the price increase and financial crisis mostly in the southern part of Europe, it’s like being able to work for whoever I want, but being near by the client. So, I can get my laptop, go to the beach, go somewhere else and maybe work there. It doesn’t matter. It’s really nice; and having all these nice tasks and interesting tasks from there, and tasks that you can choose, that you like best, right. What it has offered me is a really comfortable, a life where I don’t have to struggle to find the next task. And also, I can work on things that I like most. So I can do best.
Matteo: Sure. Makes perfect sense.
Spyros: So, with Codeable my life has changed in many ways. I was able to make some traveling that I would not have been able to do before. I was able to travel to Spain and meet…
Matteo: The Codeable team
Spyros: a lot of Codeable guys; and also, in Spain, were some of the clients that I was always talking with online and I was able to meet them too, face to face. Also, I was able to do a lot of things that I wasn’t able to do. I’m not saying there is a… You’re not going to be rich, but the business is [17:24] here for 5 or 6 years. That was a big relief for me. And also, in the best way, I don’t have to struggle to do something I don’t want to do. I do whatever I want to do and my life is great. I’m really grateful that I sent this mail and I had the patience to wait for the whole thing, and that I didn’t give up when I was getting the first task. And now, I’m getting almost more than I can do and without having to search for the next task. They just keep on coming.
Matteo: Wow. That’s awesome. That’s a really inspiring story, because, you know, with your email and your keeping up your work and your waiting for the tasks to show up on your workflow, you are able to pursue your working dreams as a freelancer within your country, which is living a financial crisis. But you can also be proactive in your daily life… That’s really inspiring to me.
Spyros: Yes, yes. It is a huge change for me. I’m really glad that I’m a part of this team now.
Matteo: Yeah, well, we are happy to have you on board because
Spyros: It’s a win-win situation - for Codeable, for the client and for the developer.
Matteo: Yea. I think so…
Spyros: So, it’s 3 wins!
Matteo: Win, Win, Win.
Matteo: So Spyros, that was great here. I think that’s enough for now and I just want to thank you again for your time, for sharing your story and I just wish you a great day again
Spyros: I thank you too for the opportunity to talk to you today; and we’ll talk soon anyway
Matteo: Ok. Sure man. Have a good one. Bye.
Spyros: Bye for now.