How to Get New Clients As A New Web Developer
Whether you’re a freelancer beginning your new adventure, or an experienced developer setting out on your own, getting clients as a web developer can be a challenge, which is no surprise given that in London alone between 2015/16 to 2016/17 there was a 45% increase in Web Design and Development professionals. Finding the work, especially before you have a client base and lengthy network, where it seems like there may be none is a skill that all new Web Designers and Developers need to develop.
If you are a Web Designer or Developer looking for a successful launching pad into your new career move, you need to find clients quickly. However, the ‘how’ is often the most difficult part. Let’s talk about how to reach out to new clients as a brand new web developer.
Create Content – Fast!
This may seem like an obvious statement, but it cannot be overstated. Creating content is the single most important way to showcase what you can do and what you know. If you don’t already, you should have a website up that is managed and updated regularly. You should also create a blog where you can showcase your ideas, thoughts, projects, and more. This is a quick way for prospecting clients to see exactly who you are and what you can do for them. Consider it a live, online, adapting portfolio.
Dive Into Social Media
Social media might seem like a chore, especially if you’re an advanced web developer, but it cannot be skipped over – not in today’s digital focused climate. Social media is the single most important tool for connecting to new prospective web clients. Whether it be through LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, or even TikTok. Virtually every budding business wants to grow their digital presence, and social media is one way to meet them. If you don’t already, immediately set out on getting yourself a profile on all of the top platforms, and use them to connect to clients who work within your niche and space. In addition, make sure to keep your social media active, so future clients can tell that you are professional and available for contact there.
Find Your Niche
These days, the market is flooded with fresh faces in the web development scene. Each year more and more young professionals are learning to develop, and are trying to compete for work at all price points. While need is rapidly growing, so also is the talent to fill it. Your most important task is to stand out. Often it is hard to do that if you are branded as a generic, run-of-the-mill ‘web developer’. Find a niche that suits your skillset, and double down in it. Clients like to find developers who are familiar with their space, and can speak the lingo. You can find much more consistent work if you are a specialized developer over a ‘jack of all trades’.
Cold emailing sucks… We all know that. But, being a salesperson is a key part of being an independent developer. You will at some point need to reach out and contact prospective clients. Do this by finding clients who fit your niche, and putting together a small presentation of how you feel you can improve their website. Try to avoid being harsh, but instead act constructive. Then send them this presentation with your proposal. You want to show them that you can add value to their operation, and exactly how you will do it.
Use Tendering Websites
Websites such as bark.com boast a ‘revolutionary way to hire local services’ where clients looking to hire industry professionals can post a detailed job description along with a location for businesses to send through an application for the job. However, services like this are a bit like Marmite, people either love it or hate it. It can be tricky and expensive to tender for jobs as you usually have to pay a certain amount of ‘coins’ purchased through the website to apply for each job. This can slice into your profit margins fast.
It can be daunting to set out as an independent developer. However, the road doesn’t have to be all uphill if you set yourself up for success. Figure out what it is that you do that sets you apart from the others, and find clients who are looking for your skill sets in their industry. With a bit of charm, some hard work, and persistence, you can have a steady stream of clients coming your way in no time!