Finding new web development clients is not always an easy task. Even the best web developers that are freelancers have a hard time finding new clients most of the time. This is usually due to the fact that just because you are a web developer, does not make you a salesperson for web development services.
If you really want to land new clients you will eventually have to contact them, or you will have to hire someone else to contact them. So first you need to decide if you can afford to hire out the sales parts or do them yourself. But, before you can even consider selling your services, you first need to find them.
So here are some good places to locate new web development clients that are willing to pay you what you are worth. This list does not include some of the large freelance sites, because they pay very little and there is just way too much competition. Yes you can make money on a freelancer site, but you are going to work your ass off for it and you will probably not make as much as you would if you focused on the methods shown below.
Methods of Finding Leads and Clients
Build an Amazing Website
No matter which method of advertising, or prospecting you choose, you will always need a website. You will need a website to show off your portfolio, skills, testimonials and to collect leads or allow the visitors to contact you.
Not only should you have a website, but it should be very well designed, easy to navigate and mobile friendly. Make sure you site uses Google Analytics to track the progress of any advertising you do, and make sure you use Google Webmaster tools to check if there are any errors with your site.
Keep your site updated and connect all your social profiles to it. You should at least have a Twitter, Linkedin, Google Plus and Facebook account. Also, make sure that each account is well designed and has lots of activity. This is because a potential employer will usually checkout your profiles and make sure you are who you say you are, and that you have an active profile. Especially on Linkedin.
Most web developers are already familiar with SEO and how to run a server, but if you are not then you should at least learn the basics of SEO and the correct methods of building traffic to your website. A good, healthy website, with quality links, content and social media marketing can bring in enough leads organically and save you thousands of dollars.
Get Local Listings
Also make sure you list your site is all local regions, with as many local directories as possible, such as Google Local, Yelp, Super Pages, Yahoo Directory, your local chamber of commerce and so on. You want to make it as easy as possible for your local customers to find you. Most leads that close are within a 50 mile radious, so keep that in mind.
Even if you are focusing on the entire world, you should first focus locally, then branch out as your business grows. Your website will let you know when it’s time to grow, as it will start to get leads from other states, countries and so on. Your keyword list will grow and then you can focus your marketing on a wider radius. It is far easier to build a localized business than a national or worldwide one.
On Page SEO
Just in case you are wondering, SEO is not dead, and I doubt it ever will be. The reason is that it’s part of the Internet, so unless the Internet dies, SEO won’t either. However, it has changed greatly and I have been doing SEO since 1998, so I’ve see it all. The most recent changed with the Google Panda and Penguin updates as well as all the other updates, have made it pretty risking to do SEO. But if you stick to the rules you will be fine.
Just make sure you keep up to date with whatever Matt Cutts is saying, as he gives lots of hints on what is good and what is bad in the SEO industry. In my experience, if you create high quality, original content and know how to promote it well, then there is no need to spam the search engines. Good content will obtain quality links and comments and that is what matters most, which brings me to the next part, blogging.
Blogging for Leads
You might be a web developer, but that does not mean you like to write, however you should try spending a few thousands on advertising and see how many leads you get, then you might consider it, as it’s the best way to build traffic to your site and traffic that is highly targeted can turn into a gold mine of leads.
Just make sure your blog is highly focused on your customers, not on web development in general. You need to put yourself into the mindset of your target client, what would they be looking for? How can you help them? Why would they want to work with you? Then write around these ideas to draw in this type of reader. Make sure you always use a call to action at the end of your post, and in the side banner you can have a newsletter to ask them to sign up for something, such as an ebook.
Remember, you want to focus on clients, so your ebook should be something like, “How to hire a web developer” or “5 Things to ask your web designer”, something along those lines, and not “How to learn web development” as this would not focus on the customer, you would draw in other web developers and that would not increase leads.
So always focus on the leads, when you are writing. It will take a while and you should not expect to get anything for the first year, but you should post a 700-1000 word article on your blog once per day in the beginning. I know this seems hard, but so is having to get a job in McDonalds, if you write down all the possible headlines once per week, then every day choose the one that seems easiest and before you write it, add some more headlines for the next day.
Once you have your blog running at about 500, high quality articles you will get lots of traffic coming in. The key is quality, problem solving and making sure it’s promoted.
I hope this information helped some of you, if you have any comments please post them below.
Thanks for reading.