I have been studying Web Development for about three and a half years now. I believe I have the skills to build decent websites using both front end and back end technologies. I would like to become a freelance web developer, more preferably only a front end developer. I am faced with a major problem though. When I was a teenager I got brain damage, this has given me major memory problems, and difficulties in learning. My question is, how can I get clients, keep clients and take down requirements, with these kinds of problems? I understand this may be a little vauge, as there is not much details about my problems. I can build websites and if I have all the information I need, then I shouldn't have any problems with the implementation. It's just personal contact with clients that I feel I am going to fail at. I'm looking for strategies round these barriers. Any advice or help would be greatly appreciated, thanks.
You could offer your services to creative and web agencies in your area as a freelance or junior and have them get the work and clients and pass it on to you to work on.
Or partner with a sales or project management person?
On the client side if you do do it, just try and see and tell the client. You could also try recording all conversations on audio format so you could listen back. You could also just in a professional way ask them to. Could you email me that. This can be good for all clients as often when they write it down they change their mind or give more detail.
What does it mean learning difficulties? Are you slow at performing tasks? If yes, this may be a major downer. 90% of time clients want a software which has to be done "yesterday" so be prepared to get a lot of rejections.
Are there any parts of programming that you can do as quickly as other programmers? If yes, do those things. Simply do things you can do as same as others and at the same speed.
Lastly, why don't you make a software or a website that can help others like you? It may be a small niche, but the success may come over night because others like you may not have quality services at disposal.
Most times, when programmer want to make some money aside and they cannot commit full-time to freelancing, they start making their own product which they can develop at their own pace. I am confident you could do the same.
Note: A friend of mine has a wife who is deaf. Everything else is OK. He opened her a profile on oDesk because he is very successful there. It's been almost 10 months now and dozens of applications, but she could not find job (she openly stated on her profile that she is deaf). Clients simply ignore her because of her deafness, although she applies for email support. It seems that clients and people we see on the TV and all those talk about giving a chance to impaired persons, does not work on services like oDesk. That is why I suspected that you may face the same destiny.