Freelance web developers - how did you find clients?


#1

Hi all,

I’m looking to do a little static HTML and CSS website writing however I’m having trouble finding how to find people to work for. For those that are web developers, how did you find your client?

I have a website, with a portfolio and all set up, just wondering how I would go around finding clients. I’ve only done one for a friends family.

Thanks!


(Dan Mullen) #2

Keep your eyes open for vehicles on the road with small business details painted on but no website address. Give them a call or drop them an email - they usually have Hotmail or Yahoo addresses, which is another benefit you can sell to them… a professional-looking email address!


#3

Thanks, that’s a good idea! I’ll definitely keep that in mind.


(Jamie Mill) #4

Could you PM me 3 of your best websites?


#5

You can check out my portfolio here: https://giacomolaw.me/portfolio

I haven’t done much for other people so that’s why I’m trying to find more people.


(Jamie Mill) #6

Ill reply to you at 6:10pm tonight with some information.


#7

Thanks! Just a note, I don’t do anything with a lot of animations etc. However, anything I’ve done on my portfolio of course I can do again. :slight_smile:


((╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻) #8

Very precise. I like it :laughing::wink:


#9

I’ve picked up a lot of contract work via LinkedIn in the past.


(Simon B) #10

I don’t do freelance web work anymore, but I did in the past for a while and it was mostly through word of mouth. Built some stuff for musicians, their manager would recommend me to other acts they knew or worked with etc.

There’s always a network effect somewhere once you’ve got a handful in the bag.


#11

How would you recommend going about it? I haven’t used Linkedin much.

Thanks!


#12

My background is Mechanical Engineering so I’ve built a network of Engineering companies, recruiters and contacts within the field. The rest flowed pretty naturally and headhunters find you if you’re active. Honestly not sure if it translates to your industry.


#13

Please don’t take this personally, as clearly your url is based on your name.

Pro:
More unique than ‘JohnSmith.com’ and therefore better suited to SEO for searches of your name.

Con:
To me, the spelling is less memorable and (maybe it is just me) but on first glance I may assume it to me a law firm.

My recommendation would be that you consider brand identity. As a start, dipperdolphin.com is available for £10/yr here. It doesn’t tell me what you do, but it’s more memorable if you tell a prospective client to find you on dipperdolphin.com. Right or wrong, it could give you more professional credence than mynamehere.com.

To echo @danmullen, you might see @gmail.com small businesses in your local newspaper or online business directory. Whilst not a lot of people are receptive to cold calling, you could take a short term hit by offering to create websites for half a dozen local businesses for free (perhaps with the caveat that all they pay for is the domain), and then relying on them to recommend you to their fellow small business owners at introductory rates before then building yourself up into a reputable local company yourself and charge a ‘normal’ fee structure.

Source: this is basically what a young lad local to us did, offering to make a website for my dad and one other local business as a college project. He carried on to do another few and now has a profitable business off the back of it.


#14

Thanks! I’m going to keep the url the same. DipperDolphin comes of a little unprofessional in my opinion. The domain is a .me as I got it with the students github pack. It’s £15 a year which is more expensive than the .com domains I have which is odd but I don’t mind.

I’m going to do the local business thing.

Thanks for your help!


#15

No worries and best of luck with it.

Don’t completely disregard branding down the line though, once you start to get clients rolling in you might find something as simple as
[your town]itsolutions(.com), or
[yourcounty]design(.co.uk) is suitable/professional.

Don’t forget if you utilise SEO, you will mop up clients looking for ‘web design in oxford’ or ‘website designer in alton’. If your SEO is working, and your domain name clearly spells out what your business does, you are very likely to attract clicks.


#16

Seo is something to work on. Going to add it later today.

Thanks for your help!


#17

Hmmm - that sounds expensive. I have a .com domain through getdotted.com. I think I pay about £50 every five years.


#18

My .com through namecheap (where I get all my domains) is also £10 a year. Don’t mind £15 a year - I’m stuck with the domain so now I guess I have to pay it.

I’m going to look at making a separate site for web development. Not sure on names though - don’t want to use this name as it is very unprofessional.

Thanks!


#19

As simonb has said mine have been through word of mouth even from being part of line gaming community, because of that do hosting for Websites and Teamspeak etc. I can not really class mself as a developer as I use WordPress :wink: however there is a meetup app thats have as you guessed it Meetups for different things, I joined a WordPress meetup been going to each event for the last few months, a “random guy” joined the meetup just to ask a question re wordpress before xmas ased a question now I am creating at least 4 sites with a possibilty of a further 2, I only found out yesterday he has never been to any of the meetups :wink:

2 other sites to post on would be fiverr.com & peopleperhour.com


#20

I’ll look at those two sites. Tried Fiverr but not much success.

Thanks!