How to find clients as a Freelance Web Developer
I am going to keep this article fairly generic so everyone can learn something from it. The more you are aware of the areas of strengths and weaknesses the better advice you’ll be able to get.
I’ve been Freelancing for a very long time now and I know a thing or two that you might find useful. That said, I am far always from perfect and there is a lot that I need to learn.
Why Freelance in the first place?
Freelancing is equal parts positive and negative. It’s your choice to decide if you want to risk the security that the 9 to 5 job gives you, but if you decide to risk your stability you have the opportunity to build a name for yourself, reputation and reach your professional goals.
Here are 5 major benefits when working as a freelancer:
- Flexibility to create a lifestyle you love
- A better work-life balance
- Work on more interesting projects
- You’re the boss
- You keep all the profits
Here are some disadvantages
- Inconsistent income and workload
- Distinguishing between work and personal time
- Sole person responsible
- Not getting paid
- No employer benefits
Now that we’ve listed some of the advantages and disadvantages you are hopefully still motivated to keep going and give it a try.
NO RISK, NO REWARD
What are you actually doing to promote yourself and your services?
There is a lot you can do to promote yourself and your services. As I mentioned in the disadvantages section, it’s all up to you this time. The beautiful thing about this is that you can do it online and offline. I prefer to do 80% of it online and 20% offline. That suits my lifestyle and most of my strengths are tech-based.
1) Join Business Groups (Online and Offline)
Joining online groups is probably the easiest thing you can do even if you are an introvert like me. There are Facebook, Twitter & Instagram groups about pretty much everything. It’s all free, all you have to do it put a few minutes per day helping people by sharing your knowledge.
I personally joined some Web Design groups where people asked all sort of technical questions. I enjoined helping people and I never asked for anything in return. My website statistics then showed a big spike of visitors from Facebook, as people were checking out my profile and my profile was leading them to my website. I am not saying that this will convert to clients, but it’s a good way of getting your name out there and also is unique, impressive and has tons of great resources, people will most likely return for more.
By offline groups I mean local meetups. You can find local meetups on Meetup.com, Facebook and Twitter. I personally use the Meetup app to find local business networking events and also events that I am genuinely interested in attending like Web Development, Design and Programming. You never know who are you going to meet and connections are important.
My story: After a lot of overthinking I managed to pull myself and take a leap of faith to go to one of those business networking events. I didn’t have to do much, I ordered myself some whiskey (as I am just cool like that) everyone was friendly and everyone was happy to share their business up’s and downs. I wasn’t salsey or anything like that, in fact, I didn’t care about finding clients at that point. I just enjoyed the conversations, listened carefully and I tried to give advice in the areas I was comfortable with. The meetup finished and we all went home like it never happened. A few weeks later some of those people called me and converted to friends and clients.
You get what you give
3) Improve Your Website
This could be an article on its own as I am a web developer and I know a thing or two about websites. Your online presence is now more important than ever and there are a million ways of improving your website and online presence. Here are four ways to get you started:
- Improve your website design
- Improve Your Website SEO
- Produce Content that people find useful – Blog, Podcast, Videos
- Speed Up Your Website
4) Create Content That is useful
You don’t have to be on every social media platform like Gary V says. Choose one or two and be good at them. Create high-quality content and stay consistent. I personally use YouTube to create content and then I try to re-purpose that content in other areas like my Blog, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. In fact, this Blogpost was written as part of some YouTube content that I’ve done.
Some ideas of what you can do:
- Create YouTube videos that people find useful
- Blog consistently topics that people find interesting
- Create a Podcast that people can listen on the go
- Instagram your work
- Tweet updates to what are you up to
Make sure you also do the following:
- Post Consistently
- Get ambitious with your social strategies
- Don’t miss out on relevant moments
- Make hither-quality content
- Measure what works, and improve on it
5) Reach Out To Others In The Industry
It’s important to stay connected and up to date with your Industry. There are many ways of doing this and they are obvious at least to me. Subscribe to Newsletters, read relevant news to your business, follow your competition and reach out to others in the industry.
The way I like to keep up to date is by:
- Feedly to subscribe to the RSS feeds of the people I find useful
- Google News to keep up to date with relevant articles and videos
- Twitter to follow people in my industry
- Facebook to join relevant groups
- Instagram to get inspired
6) Make Ads
Creating Ads is not an easy task and it can be expensive especially if you are starting out. You don’t have to do it, but if you have the budget it can defiantly help you to reach more people. There are many methods and platforms that you can use to get started. For example, you can use AdWords to advertise on the Google Platform, Facebook, Instagram and also Twitter. Depending on your business you might even want to look at SnapChat, TikTok and LinkedIn.
It takes time and practice to be successful at paid advertising, but once you unlock the secret hopefully you will be spending less money and getting better results. It’s definitely worth exploring, everybody does it and it’s still relatively cheap. Remember, your business fully depends on you now. Do whatever it takes.
6) Offline Marketing
Marketing has seen a big shift with the rise of all things online and mobile. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, Newsletters are channels that we use to talk to leads and customers every day. While these platforms are remarkably effective, most successful freelancers practice a combination of both, online and offline marketing strategies to generate leads and boost sales.
Here are a few ways of doing offline marketing:
- Go to Networking events
- Visit Conferences and Trade Shows – maybe set up a booth yourself
- Speaking Opportunities – Always good to get your name out there
- Warm Calling – I never do this, but it’s still an effective way of getting clients. It doesn’t heart to call someone and see if they can use some of your services.
- Consultation – Don’t give free consultation. Consultation should be paid and if you do it well, hopefully your clients will tell their friends and that could create the snowball effect.
That’s all. I hope that you enjoyed this article.
Comment below to let me know what are your biggest struggles in running your Freelance Online Business.
Thank you for reading, and if you wish please subscribe to my youtube channel and add my blog to your RSS feed.
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Photo by Sergey Zolkin on Unsplash https://www.opendoodles.com/
Hi! I’m Raddy, a Front-End web developer currently based in Worcester, UK. Having built websites that have reached millions, I also have a passion for business and always try to produce work that is profitable, clean and functional.