How to Get Clients For Web Development: The Basics On How To Land A Project


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So you’ve learned HTML, maybe you’ve even picked up a CSS framework or two. Maybe you can even take care of the UX side of things now. You’re ready to go freelance, quit that soul-sucking day job, and become a web developer! That sounds almost too simple, doesn’t it? Sadly, it’s not quite that simple, as finding your first client can be challenging. When starting out in any new industry as a freelancer, it can seem like there aren’t many clients out there looking for someone with your skill set. The good news is that this isn’t quite true; the bad news is that there are some strategies you need to follow to get those initial projects coming in. How do you get clients for web development? Let’s find out…


Know Your Audience

You can’t expect to get clients if you don’t know who you’re trying to reach out to. Depending on your location, you might find that you have a few different markets you can focus on. You might have a few local businesses that are looking to update their website, as well as some larger companies in your area that are looking to outsource their web development. If you’re planning to go international, you’ll need to adjust your strategy slightly, but the same principles still apply. It may sound cliché, but you need to know your customer. Before you can reach out to companies, you need to know what type of clients you’re after. If you’re just targeting any and all businesses, you’ll likely have trouble finding a steady stream of work. This is because you’re not targeting specific industries. If you’re looking to land a few larger clients, they’ll be more selective over whom they hire. This is why you need to target specific industries that you know well. They’re more likely to be open to hiring someone new, as they understand the difficulty of finding a qualified person.


Networking is Key

Okay, so we’ve already discussed how important it is to know your audience. This is also where networking comes in. If there aren’t many businesses in your area with a need for web development, how do you find clients? In reality, you don’t have to find clients; they’re likely to find you. If you can get your name out in front of the right people, networking will help you land those initial projects. As a freelancer, you’re likely going to have to start off networking with people you know, such as family and friends or your network from school. If you’re using your existing network, make sure your name is out there. Start attending events in your area and make sure to introduce yourself to people. You don’t have to start off by selling yourself; just introduce yourself as someone interested in web development. The majority of people at events like these are also in the industry, so they’ll likely be open to networking with you. If you’re at an event that’s specific to your industry, take advantage of it. Network with as many people as you can. Attend as many events as you can afford, and you’ll be surprised at how quickly your name will start to spread.


Be Prolific and Show Off

Now that you’ve built yourself up as someone in the industry, and you’ve become known as a web developer, it’s time to start showing off your work. Now, this doesn’t mean that you need to start listing and selling your services just yet. But there are some other things you can do to get your name out there. If you’ve been following along and have been networking with people from different industries, you’ll have heard some of these before. If not, they are essential to getting your name out there. If you’re just starting out, you’re likely going to be looking for smaller projects, but you don’t want to limit yourself. It’s important to build your name and brand with as many projects as possible. This doesn’t just apply to small, local work. Build a website and host it on a platform like Squarespace or WIX. Build a social presence on platforms that people in your industry use, like LinkedIn and Instagram, and don’t forget about niche-specific platforms.


Write a Blog

Blogging is one of the single most important things you can do as a freelancer. It’s also one of the easiest. Even if you’re just starting out, you want to start a blog. You don’t have to write a novel; in fact, the shorter and more frequent the posts are, the better. Start blogging about anything to begin with. You can write about web development, programming, maybe a little bit about marketing, or anything else that you have a passion for in the industry. If you’re struggling to find a topic, start by researching a few industries and writing about them. This will help you understand the people in the industry you want to work in and let them know you’re a legitimate source of information. Eventually, you’ll start to notice companies linking to your blog posts, and that’s when you know you’re making an impact.


Produce Video Content

Another great way to get your name out there, and one that’s very accessible for beginners, is video. You don’t necessarily have to invest in a video camera; you can also use a screen recording software like OBS. Start putting out regular videos and you can repurpose them in different ways to get them in front of as many people as possible. You can post your videos on YouTube and make sure they show up in Google searches. You can also post them on other video hosting sites, like Vidyard or LinkedIn, and embed them on your website. This will help you build your brand and get your name out there. You don’t have to make videos about web development either. You can also make videos about your life as a freelancer, or you can make videos that help people in your industry. People would love to hear more about how you work, and they would love to hear more about how they can succeed in their job.


Don’t Forget About Existing Platforms

Finally, don’t forget about the existing platforms that you can use to get your name out there. You’re likely to have heard a few of these before, but it can’t hurt to repeat them. You can use platforms like Upwork and Fivrr to connect with clients and start getting projects. You can use sites like Behance to post your work and make yourself stand out. There are also forums and communities in your specific industry that you can join and participate in. This will help you build your name and learn from other people in the industry.


Bottom Line

Freelance work can be challenging, but in the end, it is definitely worth it. Once you get your first few clients and projects under your belt, finding clients will become easier, and you’ll be well on your way to building a successful business. That being said, it’s important to remember that there are plenty of people in the world who are looking for web development work. The key is standing out from the rest and getting your name out there.

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