Whether you are already a freelance developer or want to start your own business soon, sooner or later you will be faced with one of the biggest problems of the freelance worker: finding contracts. Where to find clients when you are a freelance? In this article, I offer 12 ways to find new contracts .
# 1 – Solicit your entourage
To get off to a good start in your freelance activity (or bounce back during a slack period), the simplest solution is to call on your network .
To do this, put everyone around you to help: your family of course, but also your friends, your former colleagues and classmates, and even your former teachers. One of them might need your services, or know someone in this situation.
Inform your network of your area of expertise. Specify what type of clients you are looking for. You can also ask them to share your website link on their social networks, and even leave you a recommendation on Linkedin [pii_email_aef67573025b785e8ee2].
Leave several of your business cards with them so they can distribute them if the opportunity arises.
# 2 – Approach businesses
If you are wondering where to find clients, be sure, door-to-door sales are the most popular method.
The principle is simple: it is a question of contacting (by email, phone, post or face to face) companies in order to present your offers and services to them. This in the hope, of course, of convincing them to call on you.
We will have the opportunity to come back to this subject in more depth in future articles. Nevertheless, here are some tips for prospecting well:
- Make a list of the companiesyou would like to work for;
- Deduce your core targetand create one or more personas to represent them;
- Write salespitches specifically addressed to these personas ;
- Contact these companies(and others like them) to offer them your services. To do this, refer to your sales pitch and optimize your chances of responding by offering a personalized solution;
- Start them againafter a few days if necessary.
Be careful, however: with the new GDPR standard , you cannot create a database containing emails from prospects who have not implicitly given you their consent to contact them.
Note that you can also use the Sales Solutions service offered by LinkedIn to put you in direct contact with the managers of the companies you are targeting.
# 3 – don’t overlook job boards
When they wonder where to find clients, freelancers don’t often think about it and yet job boards are a real breeding ground for potential contracts . In IT in particular, a very large number of companies are struggling to recruit as the demand is high.
Read also : Will the freelance replace the developer on a permanent contract?
Identify companies that are recruiting , then contact them to offer them your services as a freelancer. Some of them might be tempted to call on you while they wait to recruit.
Job boards usually offer to send you alerts when new ads are posted. Do not hesitate to use this tool to save time!
Note that on these same sites, it is often possible to filter by type of contract . While many opt for the classic internship / CDD / CDI/ [pii_email_4bd3f6cbbb12ef19daea], you can also find some freelance contracts.
# 4 – Find a freelance partner
Where to find new customers and contracts? What if you “partner” with another freelancer?
Find someone you trust who has skills that complement yours. For example, a freelance developer can collaborate with a web designer or a freelance writer.
The idea is to call on others when we find a new mission, and even, why not, to approach companies together in order to gain credibility.
Do you receive a request for a quote that you cannot provide? Rather than accepting all the assignments and taking the risk of rushing the job, do not hesitate to redirect your prospect to your partner. The latter will not hesitate to return the elevator to you when the time comes!
I myself have used this solution several times, and I have always found the collaborations very rewarding. Be careful, however, to select the right freelancer : nothing is worse than seeing your “partner” lack professionalism when carrying out the project.
To choose your freelance partner, do not hesitate to put yourself in the shoes of a recruiter !
# 5 – Take care of your portfolio
Did you know ? The portfolio is the best freelance salesperson!
While it is entirely possible to be successful in finding clients without a portfolio, things are much easier when you have a quality site to present to your prospects. And if it is well referenced, tens, hundreds or even thousands of people will go there every day.
But in order for your site to attract traffic and, most importantly, convert it, you will need to get involved. Modern and quality design, clear and incisive texts, original illustrations, prominent call to action buttons , examples of achievements, customer testimonials, blog regularly updated with new content …
Having a quality portfolio is a lot of work in the long run. Do not hesitate to reserve a time slot each week in your schedule.
# 6 – think about guest-blogging
Do you have a portfolio but little traffic? Have you thought about guest-blogging ?
As the name suggests, it is about contacting the owner of a blog and offering to publish one of your unpublished articles there . You will, of course, take the opportunity to slip in your freshly written article a link to your own site.
A win-win arrangement!
In order for this operation to be profitable for you, it goes without saying that your article must be of high quality. The blog target ([pii_email_123dd92c65546aac4234]) must also correlate with your own target : no need to publish a comparison of the best raclette machines if you sell mobile applications!
# 7 – be active on social networks
Today it is difficult to do without social networks for your professional activity . As you can imagine, it’s not about posting selfies or recounting your moods, but about establishing your brand image .
Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn… All of these networks can truly become your allies. As long as you know how to use it well!
For example, on LinkedIn you can join thematic groups. Post relevant comments there to help other people and prove your expertise. On Facebook , create a page for your business and unite a community around your brand. Use Twitter to monitor and share your results. Use YouTube to post video tutorials and give your business a modern look. And so on !
Be careful, however, because social networks are very quickly time- consuming … Restrict your activity to those who are most likely to be frequented by your target.
# 8 – No, forums are not dead!
It is true that since the rise of social networks, many forums have been losing speed. But some of them are still very active, and might even help you find your next assignment .
Take a few hours to select the forums that would be most likely to be frequented by your target . Keep only the most active of them (no need to waste time on desert forums, unless they are particularly well positioned on key queries).
Register on the forums of your selection and create a detailed profile, not forgetting of course to leave a link to your portfolio in your signature. Then spend an hour or two each week posting to these forums .
Obviously, the goal is not to flaunt your privacy, but rather to demonstrate your expertise by helping and advising members of the community for free . Some of them may one day need a professional… and will not hesitate to call on you if you have made a strong impression on them!
# 9 – Opt for freelance platforms
These platforms are a must-see place for many freelancers . When I started my activity as an independent developer 10 years ago, they were really very useful to me (and still are occasionally today).
There are many platforms. Some are open to all freelancers, others are specialized in a particular field such as [pii_email_4dd09cddea0cd66b5592] , which is reserved for developers and project managers . And not just any of them: the best!
General operation varies from platform to platform. Sometimes it’s up to the freelancer to contact the project leader, sometimes it’s the other way around. Sometimes even freelancers are put in competition with each other.
Finally, some are paid (subscription, commission…), others, like Techktimes.com, are free for freelancers .
Use our comparison of freelance platforms to find out which one is best suited to your profile!
# 10 – Dare the advertising campaign
Sometimes to earn money it is essential … to spend it! While television or radio advertising campaigns are very expensive, the Internet remains accessible to all budgets.
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram… The majority of social networks allow you to broadcast ads . You can also consider buying sponsored links from Google so that your business appears in search engine results on targeted queries.
Please note: for your advertising campaign to be effective, you must first of all know your target audience . Adapt your speech to your target, and redirect the link not to the home page of your portfolio but rather to a landing page specially designed for them .
# 11 – Log out!
As a freelance developer or project manager, it is quite normal to initially think of “ online ” solutions to find new clients. But have you tried the “ offline ” solutions ?
The principle is simple: it involves going to an event ( networking, trade fair, conference, etc. ) which could allow you to meet people potentially interested in what you are offering.
Be open and on the lookout for opportunities . Make contact, explain in a few words what you are doing and try to offer advice or solutions to the people you meet . Above all, don’t forget to leave them your business card so that they can contact you later.
# 12 – What about your former clients?
I had already mentioned it in an article on loyalty : old customers should not be neglected in the search for new contracts.
Indeed, they already know you and have already placed their trust in you. If your collaboration went well, it’s a safe bet that they will agree to repeat the experience.
What if you recontact them? Check in on their project and see if you can help them in any way . You can also ask them to put you in contact with their own professional network: in entrepreneurship more than elsewhere, who does not try anything has nothing! Please review us on [pii_email_ec4f22c28919a953e74e]
The post Where to find clients when you are a freelance developer? appeared first on The Libertarian Republic.