How to Get Clients as a Freelance Website Developer

| Updated at February 28, 2023

The ongoing challenge for any freelancer is to find clients. 

In the web development world, there’s a lot of competition, so it’s important that you and your services stand out from the crowd.

But how do you make sure that clients choose you and that you build up a business that’s sustainable and successful?

These tips will help you to land new clients, build up a client base, and ensure that projects keep rolling in:

Make Sure Your Website Showcases Your Skills

Your website is a reflection of your skills and the way you do business. You can bet that any potential client will Google you and take a long, hard look at your website to see what you can offer.

You need to ensure that your website is bug and glitch-free, that every element of it is user-friendly, and that it’s responsive on all size screens. As a developer, this is your chance to shine and showcase what you’re capable of. It’s also a good idea to link to any other projects you’ve worked on to create an online portfolio that’s sure to impress. 

Identify & Leverage Your Niche

Since there is so much competition in the web design and development field, it pays to find a way to differentiate yourself. A great way to do this is to find a niche that you can specialize in and focus the larger portion of your time and energy on that.

So, how do you find your niche? 

Start with what you have experience in. 

If you’re a bit of a car expert or understand the insurance industry, those are both great niches. Advertise your services to businesses in those industries and use your knowledge to connect with clients and sell your skills. For example, if you have a Magento website, you can click here for more information.

Put Together Customer-Friendly Packages

The first question that most potential clients will ask is how much it’ll cost for you to build them a website or to update their existing one. This can be a tricky question as every site is different. 

However, when you have packages stipulating exactly what you’ll provide for the amount the client is paying, you have a great starting place for a quote. Plus, it makes it much easier for clients to visualize how the job will proceed if they hire you.

These packages will also help you to market to potential clients. You can see what price range they’re likely to fall into and know immediately how to sell your services to them. This is when having a range of packages works well. Your starter package is ideal for targeting smaller businesses and individuals, while your more premium packages can get tailored for larger businesses with bigger budgets.

Join Freelancing Platforms

The best place to find clients is to go to where they’re looking for freelancers. There are plenty of freelancing platforms, including Fiverr and Upwork, that allow for a whole range of service providers to advertise on. Additionally, a steady stream of potential clients’ heads to these sites looking for freelancers to work on once-off jobs and to take on ongoing retainer work.

It’s true that these platforms are extremely competitive and you need to be very active on the sites to gain traction. However, they can be very lucrative if you keep at it and make them your primary source of marketing for clients.

It’s worth looking at more niche platforms that maybe service just website development or are for freelancers that are active only in your area. The competition will be less, but the standards for you will be higher—meaning you will need a great portfolio and strong references.

Try Cold Calling Local Businesses

As the saying goes: if you don’t ask, you won’t get. 

Taking the time to research local businesses and see what they have in terms of a website and an online presence can be a great way to drum up clients. 

You can start by targeting businesses that have no website at all and offer them your starter package deal to get a basic site up. It won’t bring in a huge amount of money, but it’ll be a good way to build a reputation in your area.

From there, you can identify businesses that look like they’re in need of an update on their website. These businesses can be trickier to approach because you risk upsetting someone if you tell them their website is looking outdated and they actually love how it looks. Just proceed with a bit of caution and tact.

Team Up with Other Freelancers

Often, you’ll find that a client is looking for a full-service option. They want a website developed, as well as professional copy, premium images and graphics, and full-service search engine optimization

As a website developer, you may not be experienced enough in these areas to offer the client what they need. However, if you have other freelancers you can call upon when the need strikes, you’ll be able to snag clients that you otherwise wouldn’t have been able to.

The most important element to remember is to make sure you have a solid understanding of who will be responsible for what when the project kicks off. 

You don’t want to end up working with freelancers who aren’t pulling their weight or aren’t able to deliver what they’re contracted to do. Plus, you’ll need to ensure that you know how to calculate a profit margin to ensure that you’ll make the necessary revenue for your contribution to the project. You don’t want to end up teaming up with other freelancers to complete a job, only to lose out on money.

You should have a contract with your client and a contract between your team members. Having two separate contracts will ensure that everyone is on the same page, both from a client perspective and for all those involved in completing the project.

Be Your Own Best Advertisement 

When you’re working as a freelancer, the only way to get new clients is to put yourself out there. You have to be able to sell your skills and show off what you can do. Otherwise, none of the tips in this article will help. 

If you can put your best foot forward in the right places, you’ll be able to bring in clients and keep your freelancing business thriving.

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