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But chek this book if you are freelancing or thinking about it.
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Hi, my name is Luke Sicilian and I’m a self-employed web developer. I’ve done a few articles and videos for free code camp that relate to working for oneself as a freelancer. I’ve decided to expand on those a little bit in this video and the article that’s going along with it by really discussing what it even means to be a freelance developer in the first place. And I’m also going to talk about how you can get business. The first of those topics, I think is really important to address, because a lot of people aren’t really even close to what it means to quote on, quote unquote, be a freelance developer.
So we’re going to really discuss what that looks like and kind of what a more of an actual definition for it is. And then over, like I said, we’re also going to look into how you can get customers in your business and we’re going to look at two routes for that. The first one being how you can get customers online through your own website. And we’re also going to look at how you can get customers locally in your city. One thing I want to do a little differently in this video is I don’t want to throw out a lot of the general advice that you’ll hear from a lot of resources as to how to get business.
There are a lot of ways to get business where you can make a few bucks. But the approach I’m going to be taking and suggesting in this video and again, the article that’s going along with it is really meant for those that kind of want to take their business to the next level. In other words, they don’t want to just make a few bucks. They want to be really profitable and they want to do really well for themselves. So we’ll be discussing those tips as we go along.
But as I said, in order in this video, we’re going to talk about what is freelancing. We’re going to talk about a list of items that you need to complete before you even think about reaching out to customers once you’ve decided to go to the freelance route, we’re going to talk about how you can get customers online. And we’re going to talk about where to get customers locally and how to get customers locally in your own city. So all that said, let’s get to it.
OK, so before we talk about how to get customers into your development business, I think it’s important to first kind of talk about what it even means to be a freelancer in the first place. I think this is important because the word freelance has kind of become a buzzword that gets thrown around a lot in today’s society. Right. You’ll hear people say, I’m a freelance developer, I’m a freelance freelance writer, I’m a freelance journalist, I’m are freelance this or that or blah, blah, blah.
In other words, because it’s almost become kind of a buzzword, it can tend to mean different things to different people. You might a person want in person to and a person says, I’m a freelancer and they mean it one way in this person, essentially, here’s something else. And they never really are on the same page as to what the person does. So I’m going to lay out a couple of actual definitions of what it means to be a freelance developer to answer that question of what is freelancing in the first place.
And the really comes down to two definitions. The first one being the individual who is truly self-employed, the second one being the individual who’s doing it as a side hustle. Let’s look at the first of these two that I just mentioned. If you’re going to freelance out, it can mean that you are truly self-employed. And with that, you are a one person operation. It’s your first of all as your sole job. You don’t have any other jobs that you work.
You know, you don’t have a full time job and develop software on the side or anything like that. You are a developer and you work for yourself and that’s it. You have no other income outside of your business and you are truly a one person operation. You know, not only do you do all the marketing and I should say not only do you do all the dev work, you do all your own marketing, you do all your own bookkeeping, you do all your own, you know, regulatory filings and things of that nature.
So you are a one person operation. You are the administrative side of things. You are the business development side of things. You are the actual dev work side of things. You know, that is you going this route can result in much higher income than you tend to receive in a job for somebody. If you really you know, you know, if you really decide to get behind your business and keep get it going. In my experience, you can really make a lot more working for yourself than you can working for somebody else because you’re keeping one hundred percent of what you bill out.
Right. Instead of somebody else billing out your labor and then taking a percentage of it, you’re keeping one hundred percent of your you know, what’s billed for your own labor. So, you know, if you really put your nose to the grindstone, you can make a lot more money going the self-employed route, self-employed freelance route than you can working for somebody else. The one thing to understand about this, though, is that going that self employment route is going to result in a less stable income.
When you’re working a job for somebody, you have the security of a paycheck, whereas, you know, when you’re working for yourself, you might have a big month, you might have a bad month, you might have a mediocre month. Your incomes is going to be all over the place. You know, you have to worry about clients paying you on time. You have to worry about getting clients. You have to worry about how slow is your business, how busy is your business or things of that nature.
So your income is really going to go up and down and, you know, like a really big way. So you’ve really got to think about the fact that if you’re going to go to self employment route, that you’re going to have less stable income than you would working a job, even though you have the potential to in aggregate make more money, you know, like at the end of every year. The other things I give me and the other thing about, you know, going to truly independent route is that you’re going to be putting in a lot of hours because, again, you’ve got to do all the work.
You’ve got to do all the marketing, you’ve got to do all the bookkeeping, and you’ve got to do all of the name. Ten other things that I haven’t listed yet. So, you know, it’s easy to work full time as a dev without having to do all that stuff. So if you’re going to be doing all that stuff as well, it means you’re going to be working a lot of hours now, even though you’re working a lot of hours.
One of the upsides of this is you tend to get a lot of flexibility where you work, right? You know, you can take a vacation and get work done while you’re on vacation. You can travel and, you know, like work while you’re traveling a few, you know, you know, if you kind of want to just become a traveling nomad and code all over the place, you can potentially even do that. So it really gives a lot of flexibility in how you live your personal lifestyle.
The reason I keep talking about this in the context of self employment and you doing everything, is that going this individual route does not involve you having any employees. OK, once you start hiring employees, you’re not a freelancer. You’re a business owner at that point. So, you know, I really define being a freelancer as a self and. Avoid one person operation, and again, once you start hiring employees, you’re not a freelancer anymore, you’re a business owner, you’re responsible for people and you know things of that nature.
You know, you you know, you have to work more because you have to make sure the revenues coming in to pay people like et cetera, et cetera. So that kind of spells out what it is to be kind of that one person self-employed operation and calling yourself a freelancer. You know, another option, though, where people can probably call them fairly, call themselves a freelancer, is when it’s more your side hustle. Right. In other words, you have a full time job somewhere or some kind of full time business or career somewhere.
And you’re doing development work on the side. Just could be, for example, you know, like you’re working a desk job somewhere and you start building websites for people on the side, just as one example. But you keep your full time job or, you know, maybe you’ve got a full time job that’s completely unrelated to software development. And, you know, you’re finishing up free code camp and you want to just do some work on the site as a part time project.
Again, you keep your full time job, but you’re doing your dev work, you know, like on the side. That would be another definition that I would assigned to the word like freelance developer. So the one thing about this approach is you’re you’re working two jobs, right, because you’re working your full time job and then you have your business on the side. And that means you are working a lot of hours, I mean, a lot because you have a full time job and now you’ve got a business that, you know, you’ve got to run a part time business that you’ve got to run, you know, like on the side of that.
So it means a lot of times you’re going to be working on client projects at night. You’re going to be working like on client projects on the weekends. It really tends to mean that Friday is only two more working days until Monday. So if, you know, if you’re going to go that route of making it a part time business when you have a full time job, I understand you are going to be working a lot of hours. Upsides and downsides of this approach are that it can result in more stable income for you because, you know, like as I said a minute ago, people who truly work for themselves only have good months and bad months and their income can be all over the place.
Well, if you have a job somewhere, then that means you have a steady paycheck. Right. So, you know, you’ve got the steadiness of the paycheck, but you also have a lot less upside potential because again, you can make more working for yourself and you’re choosing to devote a lot of time to working for somebody else. So the amount of money your business can bring in is going to be limited again, because you’re just doing this as you know, like a side hustle.
So, you know which ones. Right. You know, go going the whole self employment route or go in the side hustle route.
That really depends on you. It depends on your you know, your personal choices, your personal preferences, your personal situation and just kind of what it is you want out of life more than anything else. So there’s nothing right or wrong with either of those approaches. You just got to pick which one’s right for you. But if you are going to think of yourself as a quote unquote freelance developer, you my suggestion would be either a say, I’m self-employed and I’m going to make this a full time thing and I am going to work really hard at it.
I’m really going to try and grow it. And the second approach would be, hey, this is a side hustle and I’m going to keep my main job and whichever one of those is right for you. Hey, rock on, man. So again, with all that said, that’s kind of how I define freelancing in one of those two terms.
You know? You know, you can pick which ones. Right. For you.
So with all that said, in a minute, we’re going to talk about how to get customers online and how to get customers in your own locale. But before we do that, I think it’s really important that we lay out some things you need to get done in your business before you even try to get a customer at all. In other words, before you start proactively marketing yourself to anyone.
So let’s take a look at that. OK, before we talk about how you’re going to go out and get new customers for your business, we need to talk about a few things that you need to nail down inside your business before you even start marketing yourself to new people that haven’t found you yet. And the reason I say you need to nail these things down from the get go is because it’s all about getting your business off on the right foot. Correct.
If you start off on the wrong foot, then as you start getting busy, it’s only going to get harder to go back and correct these things. So the time to make sure you’ve got all your ducks in a row is from the beginning, not something you do later on. So two things you need to nail down before you even go out and try to market yourself to someone who hasn’t heard of you yet. Is one setting up your company around the idea that you’re going to exist or you’re going to service your existing customers first and try to get new customers second?
And I’ll explain why this isn’t a minute. The second thing you’re going to do is get all your branding set up by your website, review profiles, things of that nature. And I’m going to give you an action item list for those in just a minute. So let’s talk about each of these.
In turn, the most important part of how you’re going to get customers in the future is to focus on your existing customers first. In other words, focus on your existing customers first and market second. And like I said before, you even try to meet anybody else, you’ve got to make sure your business is set up around this concept. So. Why do I say it is crucial to set up your business around the idea of focusing on existing customers first and servicing existing customers first?
Well, let me explain this a little indirectly. If you talk to not just not just developers, we’ve talked to business owners in general and you ask them, hey, what do you need to do to grow your business? The first thing they they’ll almost always universally say is they need to market more. They need to advertise more. They need to do more things to get people who have never heard of them calling. And that usually involves some kind of paid advertising going to networking events and, you know, and all that kind of stuff.
Well, think of it like this. Every dollar or every you know, every bit of time you put into dealing with advertising, every bit of time you put into going to networking events, that’s money and time you’re not putting into existing customers that you already have working for you. That means those existing customers are going to wait a little longer to get the product that you’re supposed to be working on. For them, it means those existing customers aren’t having as good an experience as they would otherwise have, and then they become less likely to refer somebody to you in the future.
They become less likely to give you a review, be someone who gives you a review.
I should say. This puts you in a position of having to reach a new customer every time you want to get new business. So in other words, you know, if you want to have four new customers, your marketing would need to reach four people, four separate people who have never heard of you at all. Think of how resource intensive this is, you know, go out and reach for people. You’ve got to do enough advertising to reach four separate people.
If you’re doing it through networking events, you’ve got to go to enough networking events to meet, you know, like four separate potential clients. It is incredibly resource intensive to run a business that is entirely reliant on customers who have otherwise never heard of you, as opposed to customers who are referred to you by somebody who has already heard of you. OK, so I have this is something I’ve gone around around with businesses for about four years and a lot of people, just to be frank, don’t get it.
And they wonder why they struggle, you know, if you focus on those existing customers first. What you could do instead of that resource intensive approach I just described is you can get one lead and in turn that lead into several new clients and several jobs without putting any more resources into getting leads. So I have several personal examples of this.
I’ll just share one with you in twenty thirteen. I, I built a website for a lawyer. That lawyer was, you know, I focused on it, you know, got it out the door. That lawyer was really happy with my services. A relatively short amount of time later doesn’t matter. Relatively short amount of time later, that lawyer called me, had me build a second website for her law firm on a new kind of about noonish area of law that she was going to be practicing.
So she was going to have two websites so that one phone call became two jobs because she was happy with my services and became a repeat customer. She has since then referred me to more people and one of those people have hired me. And and so in addition to that one phone call turning into three different products I’ve built, I am also performing. I also have a performing ah a contract for performing an ongoing maintenance with the lawyer. And I have a contract for performing ongoing maintenance with the person that the lawyer referred to me.
So one phone call turned into three separate jobs and two ongoing maintenance contracts. OK, think of that versus you know, if you want to do three projects, you got to go out and get three separate leads. It is much, much better to service your existing customers first and let those existing customers turn into resources whenever you see a developer who makes twice as much as somebody else. In other words, if developer one makes twice as much money as developer two, it’s not because developer one is getting twice as many phone calls from people that wouldn’t have otherwise heard of them.
They’re getting more phone calls, but they’re also getting a lot of referrals, are getting a lot of repeat business and things of that nature. You cannot grow your business any kind of decent rate without referrals and without repeat business. You cannot do it. And you get those referrals in that repeat business by focusing on your existing customers first. So what focusing on your existing customers first means is if there is something that you could be doing for an existing customer, do it OK?
And if you have time left over at the end, then that time goes into marketing. So let’s say, for example, you’ve dedicated yourself to saying, hey, I’m going to work 45 hours a week at my business, OK? And then your dev work for the week and customer service for the week takes up thirty hours. OK, and so you’ve worked 30 hours. You have fifteen more to work, but you don’t really have anything else you can be doing for clients right now.
Then you devote that other fifteen hours into going out and trying to get new customers. But focus on your existing customers first and you will actually find yourself working smarter, not harder, and your business will grow exponentially as a result of that. So thing no one to do when getting ready to start up your freelance business before even trying to get a customer understand that you need to service existing customers first. The second thing you need to do before even attempting to go out and get customers is establish your branding, OK?
And by your branding, I mean things like your website, your portfolio of work and things of that nature. The reason why you need to have your branding set up before you even try to get customers. It’s pretty simple, right? Put yourself in the shoes of someone that you’re hoping will hire you.
Like let’s say you’re talking to, you know, a local local auto shop asking, you know, and you’re hoping that you can, you know, build a website or an app for them or something. And, you know, you don’t have a website of your own.
You don’t have a portfolio work. Show them you don’t have any online reviews or anything of that nature. What are the chances are going to take you seriously? Slim to none. Right. So what you’ll wind up doing is spending a lot of time trying to get that first lead, even though, you know, even though you could have gotten that first lead with a lot less effort if you had done like all those things in advance. So first part of branding yourself is to get a portfolio website up.
And when I say a portfolio website, I mean a website that shows what you do and, you know, some stuff you’ve built, you can build out your own or if you’re looking for inspiration or really good resource for to go to your website would be HTML5 up. We’re going to link to them in the description below. You know, if you use a free template from HTML5 up, just make. Sure that, you know, you’re following their licensing requirements and giving attribution, you know, like we’re required and things like that, they have paid templates like you can use as well.
But so getting your website up is number one, including a portfolio in that website is really crucial. If you have not done a lot of things yet or haven’t done a lot of projects yet, you can still include a portfolio that targets your market on your website. So let’s just say, for example and again, I’m using simple examples, let’s say your niche is going to be, hey, I want to build, you know, websites and apps for small local businesses.
OK. So what you can do is put together essentially mock up websites that would fit local businesses. So like, let’s say, for example, you know, you want go around and introduce yourself to local restaurants. Well, you know, put together a restaurant website for a mythical restaurant and put it in your portfolio, you know, put together something for professional services, businesses like law firms, psychologists, things like that. And again, a fictional mockup and put that in your portfolio.
You can put five or six projects in your portfolio. That would be examples of the types of local businesses you’re going to be going out like and targeting. So you can have a portfolio saying, for example, if you walked into a psychologist office and you had a psychology website on your you know, on your portfolio, you could walk into a psychologist office and explain, here’s what your website could look like. I have a mock up of this.
So putting together a portfolio into your website is crucial because, again, no one’s going to take you seriously if you have a website of your own and you don’t have a body of work to show. And it may sound like when I say you have to have a website, but you would be surprised at what a lot of other people do. The other thing, after you’ve put together your website, your portfolio is you need to set up your online review profiles.
So, for example, go to Google my business and set up a profile for your new for your new company. Go to Facebook and set up a Facebook page for your new company. Those would be the two big ones that I would suggest. And whenever a customer is happy with you, make sure you’re asking the customer to, like, leave your review. As you get more reviews online, more people will be willing to hire you. You want to get those review profiles set up, you know, like like from day one.
So you’re in a position to ask people for reviews. It’s kind of hard to call somebody and say, hey, would you mind leaving me review online when you don’t even have the profiles to send them to yet? Right. So get those set up. You know, like from day one, the last thing you need to do before even attempting to go out and get a new customer is get a business card for yourself and get a business phone number.
So people aren’t just calling your personal cell phone. Business cards can be gotten pretty cheaply from a service like Vistaprint. And I mean, I would just do kind of a basic option. And then in terms of a business phone number, you could use a free service like Google Voice. It’ll just go straight to your cell phone. But then you have a dedicated line like for your business phone. So those are the things I would really do in terms of setting up your branding.
So, you know, just again, to quickly recap, before you even attempt to go out and get a get a customer, meaning someone who hasn’t heard of you yet, no one understand and structure your business in a way that is focused on I’m going to service existing customers first. Number two is establish your branding. And branding is things like website portfolio, online review profiles, business cards and business phone number. OK, so once you get all those things out of the way, you are then in a position to go out and start trying to get customers and start establishing a customer base in terms of getting customers online and getting customers locally in your city.
So with all that said, let’s you know, let’s talk about how to get customers online, especially since you will have now created your own website as part of your branding. OK, so let’s talk about how you can get customers online as a as a freelance developer. Now, if you go back to the start of this video, you remember I said that I was going to be focusing on concepts that are really meant to take your business to like kind of like that next level.
So in this video, I’m not going to talk about places where you can get customers online, you know, essentially through like third party hiring sites. Instead, what I’m going to talk about is how to build up your Web presence in a way that is going it’s going to bring you customers on a regular basis, building up your Web presence in a way that is profitable for your business revolves around a couple of concepts. No one is going to be investing in your Web presence.
Don’t spend on it. This is really crucial. I’ll explain what this is in a minute. Number two is optimizing your website for a few niche areas in your local market. OK, and I’ll explain why this is in a minute. But before we get to optimizing your website, let’s go back to the first one, which is investing in your Web presence instead of spending on it. Here is the difference. When you invest in something, you own it.
When you spend money on something, you’re renting it. So an example of spending would be you build a website for your business, you put your portfolio in. It looks really nice. And to get customers in your market to see your website, you like do paid ads through Google, paid ads through Facebook, things like that. You’re renting ad space from a third party. You’re spending money on ads because you don’t own anything at the end of the day.
Well, you can make money doing that. So let’s say you spend a thousand bucks on ads this month. Let’s say it brings 10000 bucks and business into your bank account. It’s easy to look at that and go score. The problem with that is that thousand dollars is gone. It’s never going to bring you another dime. OK, it’s been a thousand. Got ten, but that’s it. And next month, if you don’t spend money again, your revenue goes from 10000 to zero.
So you get locked into spending, you know, essentially spending money on ads on just a perpetual basis. And it can get really hard to get out of that trap. Now, if you invest in your business, you can put some time and resources into something once, but then it keeps paying you a dividend forever because you own it. So investing is when you own something. An example of owning something would be creating a blog post for your website that is meant to reach your target audience in organic search.
It could mean doing YouTube videos that your target audience may see organically, like things of that nature, and that can have a much better result for your business when you go that ownership route and investment route versus spending and renting. OK, so just to give you a personal example, my previous brand was was acquired earlier this year in twenty twenty, something I’m quite happy about obviously. So over the years I had written roughly 400 articles on that for that brand, you know, again, reaching out to like my target market.
And a lot of those articles got a lot of traffic. People called me because of them. When I wrote an article, it was on my blog forever. I never had to do anything else with that article. Right. So as opposed to an ad where the ad goes, I pay for an ad, it goes up, but once it gets clicked on, it’s gone. Unless I pay again. If I put time into writing an article, it’s there forever and it can keep on giving a return.
It doesn’t have an expiration date on it.
OK, so there was one article, the top there. A lot of my articles performed well, but the top performing article on that blog got roughly, call it 10000 clicks over a several year period. So, you know, clicks an organic search without paid ads. If I had been doing paid advertising, I probably would have spent somewhere in the area of, let’s say, ten bucks click. OK, so to get 10000 clicks from potential customers, would it cost me one hundred thousand dollars?
It’s a lot of money, right. That article that got the 10000 clicks between researching and writing, it took me less than I want to say, less than 10 hours to do it. So I got the equivalent of one hundred thousand dollars worth of advertising for less than 10 hours of work. Now, obviously, that post was a home run. They’re not all going to be like that. But you can see as you keep building up posts on your blog, as you keep building up videos, think of how that compounds over time.
So if you invest in things like blog post videos and other content. That you’re going to own as opposed to renting ad space, you can really increase your profitability real fast and more people will find you without you having to spend a lot of time and money to do it. My my prior brand that was just acquired the I started it in 2013.
I sold it in 2020. I spent zero dollars in advertising the entire time, you know, like I had that brand. It was all just investment and video. It was mostly a blog writing, but also, you know, like scores of videos I did on YouTube, interviews I gave, you know, like and some other things. But I did not spend any money marketing that business at all. So build up your business and your Web presence in a way where you’re investing in it.
And again, investment means you own it. If you put a blog post on your website, you own it. No one can take it from you. You put a video up on YouTube, you own it, OK? No one can take it from you do that as opposed to spending, which means essentially renting out space from third party. So rule number one, invest in your Web presence. Don’t spend on it. Once you’re doing that, it comes to, well, what’s my Web presence going to look like?
And you really want to optimize your Web presence for a few services in your local market. OK, so in other words, your website may not even really hold out everything you do, and it may not just talk about all the geographies you service and that’s fine. OK, the reason I say that’s fine is best explained by looking at what other developers do, or I should say a lot of developers do, which I consider to be quite wrong.
OK, you’ll find a lot of freelance developers that have, you know, like a general website for themselves that says, hey, you know, I build stuff for the Web or I’m a web developer and kind of like a broad term, they’ll list a bunch of languages and frameworks that, you know, they’re familiar with. They might say where they’re located, but they don’t really say I service these areas. In other words, you know, they’re not targeting a particular geography.
So, you know, if you’re a consumer of services and you look at their website, it’s not really clear what niche they serve, if any, what services they offer. It’s kind of broad. You’re not sure if they work with people in your area or not. And so you might be might be less likely to call that person as a consumer. The other thing is think of that. Think of the competition. If you’re a freelance developer and you’ve got a website that just says, you know, I can build pretty much anything for anyone, anywhere, then you are potentially or essentially, I should say, competing against every other developer out there.
Good luck doing well in search results with that, number one. And number two, even if you can get your site doing well and search on that on that broad of a level, you are really, you know, like I said, competing with the whole world, you know, like essentially.
So it is much better to reach a large number of people advertising some of what you do than it is to reach no people, advertising all of what you do. Right.
So in other words in other words, what I would suggest doing is focus your website on your local market and really just narrow down and, you know, make your website really emphasize a few of your services. So like, for example, I live in Ohio.
My website really focuses on, you know, Ohio and all the cities, you know, like they’re in it. And it really only discusses a few of the services I can provide to people. I can provide things other than those services, but I just don’t really get to know them that much like on my website. And as a result of that, if you, for example, go to Google and Google, you know, do a search for Ohio website design, my site actually comes up first in the organic results.
And that is really important because you would be surprised at just how many people are looking for a developer that’s close to them. A lot of my clients and I do mean a lot of my clients, you know, again, that you could call a developer in another state, but I’d get a lot of customers that want someone in Ohio. So, you know, like they’re calling me. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I do stuff for people all over the country, you know, and I mean, I build stuff for people and literally all over the country on a regular basis.
But again, in terms of what comes in through my website, I really focus on, you know, like my local market because a lot of people are looking for someone in their local market and it’s not as much competition. I’m not trying to compete against every single web developer in the country. I am. Voting against the Web developers who are specifically holding themselves out to my state, so clearly spell out, you know, like what geographies you service, and the reason I say to clearly limit it to a few services is you want customers who land on your website to clearly understand what it is you do and you don’t want them to go sifting through.
You know, let’s say you’ve got like 20 of making up a ridiculous number to prove the point. Let’s say you’ve got a list of like 20 things listed on your website that you know, you can handle. Again, they don’t want to sift through all that. All right. So I really just narrow it down to just a few things and focus on your local market. That’s really what optimizing your website for your local market looks like in terms of geography and content.
And it’s also important to optimize your site in general for those kinds of things. Spoiler alert, I’ll be doing an SEO guide for Frico camp and relatively near future. But for now, we’re going to put a link to an echo starter guide from Google down in the description to this video. So when you’re building out your website to get clients online, really think of it from the standpoint of a few services. You really want to target a specific geography, you know, like you really want to target, make sure the geography is big enough to actually support your business like, you know, a large city or or even an entire state.
But again, you know, narrow down your services, narrow down your geography, let that be the focus of your website. And again, it’s not everything you do. It’s not everyone your service. But that’s fine. It’s much better to get a lot of traffic for a few things than no traffic for a lot of things. OK, the former equals you making money. The latter like does not so. Once you’ve got your website up after that, it’s all about adding blog posts, adding, you know, adding video to YouTube, things like that, do things that you’re going to own and that are going to be relevant to your potential customers.
And that’s how you’re going to get clients online for your website. And the beauty of it is, again, you do a blog post today, you do a video today, something like that. It keeps paying dividends for years and years and years and years, like with the example I gave about my previous brand that was acquired. If you just rely on spending money to bring in business, like through ads and things of that, it gets pretty hard to make some money.
So invest in your Web presence, don’t spend money on it and optimize for your local market. And that is how you get customers online and that’s how you get people calling you on a recurring basis in terms of new business coming in. So while what we just talked about is going to bring in a lot of local business, optimizing a website for your local market, let’s talk about some other ways you can get business locally that don’t involve your website.
OK, now let’s talk about how to get business in your local market as you gathered in our last segment when I talked about optimizing your website, I said optimize your website for your local market. So that Web presence, I suggest, is actually going to do a lot of tapping into your local market for you. But with that being said, there are ways to go about getting business locally that don’t involve your website. So let’s look at each of those.
So in terms of getting customers locally, offline, there are three things I would really suggest. Number one is to do contract work for other developers. This is a situation where other developers maybe have a little too much to do. And, you know, they’re looking to outsource some work. And you would be surprised because there will be developers who want to outsource to potentially, I should say, outsource to you on a regular basis. Another one would be contacting potential customers directly.
And this would mean going out and introducing yourself to, you know, like B2B type things. So, for example, you going to like the local restaurant, a local bakery to local whatever, and offering to build them a website, let’s say. And then a third option would be to go to networking events. So let’s go ahead and talk about each of these in turn.
In terms of doing contract work for other developers, you would be surprised at how many dev shops are interested in outsourcing work because they find themselves in a place where they have too much to do for the amount of staff they have, but they don’t have enough to do to justify hiring somebody else full time. And there it is not uncommon for dev shops to outsource stuff on a regular basis. And if you have somebody if you’re a developer and you want to outsource and you have somebody that’s worked out well for you in the past, it’s, you know, likely it’s going to keep sending something to that same person.
So other developers who want to outsource can be a good, good source of local work. When you’re trying to get these kinds of opportunities, it’s important that you don’t just, you know, call them up and say, hey, are you interested in outsourcing and then leave it at that or something like that. Instead, what I would do is actually pick up the phone, reach out to the dev shop and asked to speak to whoever it is that would be, you know, in charge or whoever is making this kind of a decision before you make that call.
Actually research the company, know a little bit about the company then after the call or when you get them on the phone, I should say, you know, explain who you are, explain that you’re available for outsource work, tell it the decision maker that you would love to send them a copy of your portfolio along with your CV, get their email address, email them over a copy of your portfolio in your CV now and.
The important thing I should say is going to be don’t just leave it at that. So in other words, what of does do in this situation is they email something to somebody saying, hey, I’m available to outsource, and then, you know, they never follow up. You know, again, the shop you’re contacting really doesn’t have they don’t know you. They don’t really have any reason to call you. So, you know, over somebody else.
So what you want to do is consistently follow up. I would suggest following up, you know, once a month or so for nothing else, a good, solid year until they tell, you know, until they know or until they hire you tell you know, or it’s been about a year. I mean, you got to follow up regularly, you know, like for things like this. So don’t be shy on following up. And again, like I said, when you reach out, do it in a way where you’re intelligent about you’re intelligent and informed about what it is they do explain how you can provide value and then just follow up regularly after that.
And you would be surprised at how much work you could get from other dev shops.
A second option is to go out and contact potential customers directly. Again, it’s like a B2B thing like this is going to local businesses offering to build a website, offering to build them an app, you know, just offering to provide services of some sort. It’s the same thing when you go into a local business. Don’t just, you know, go door to door and go walking on in and say, this is who you are and this is what you do, actually make a list of businesses that you want to go out and talk to and then take some time, do some research when you go in and talk to a business, make sure you actually know something about them, make sure you know about what they do, maybe know a little bit about their history, you know, and whatnot.
And just like with local developers, do not be shy about following up until somebody specifically tells, you know, again, you’d be surprised at just persistence and face to face contact can go a long way. So do not be shy about following up. The third thing is something I have talked about a lot in my prior Frico camp videos, and that is going to networking events. BNC, which stands for Business Networking International, is a good source of local networking and, you know, just other networking events in general.
So that’s something I’ve talked about before. I do think it’s always best to go out and try to meet your potential customers face to face, which is why I recommend just going straight into businesses or going to straight to developers. But know if nothing else, networking has been around for hundreds of years for a reason. So attending networking groups such as being I could be another great source of getting business locally.
So that is really it in terms of this guide for what is freelancing and how to get clients online and in your city. I know there are a lot of things I’ve discussed in other videos I didn’t really raise here. And again, these tips are meant really to not just make some money through your freelance business, but to take things to the next level. If you have any questions, feel free to connect with me through LinkedIn, don’t you know?
Don’t be shy about contacting me directly. I respond to people all the time, you know, inquire to me for free up. So best of luck with everything. And I hope this has been helpful.