The software development industry is currently witnessing the Dawn of Web 3.0 and an overwhelming number of businesses adopting large-scale data transformation which is why becoming a software developer can be a very satisfying career. And, if you don’t want to join the 9 to 5 job culture, you can choose to become a freelance developer.
Freelance developers are professionals who work on projects individually. Depending on the choice, they can or cannot be part of a team. Most freelance developers work as a one-person army and handle the project’s requirements independently. Sometimes companies hire freelance developers to collaborate with their in-house teams to benefit from their skill set.
Even the most skilled freelance developers struggle to find clients at times, rest assured that with a few adjustments to your strategy, you will be better positioned to attract more clients.
While developers are good at solving problems and writing code, things can get tricky for them when finding clients.
After researching the subject and interviewing several freelance developers, our experts have put together this guide to help you get more clients.
Create an identity with open source projects
You must ditch the bird’s-eye view (of expecting clients will find you somehow!) and focus on making your skills more demonstrable. Without a doubt, you have talent, but how are clients supposed to know that you possess the expertise they require?
Getting involved in open source projects is one of the best ways to earn a reputation as a quality developer. The approach is quite simple as well. There are hundreds of open-source projects where you can showcase your talent by participating and contributing to the value of the code. Your clients can directly see your work and the quality of the code through open-source code commits on GitHub.
Additionally, you make valuable connections with other freelancers and project leaders by being active in open source projects. This opens up opportunities to get projects in the future without even trying. If you do not know any sources to participate in open source projects, we recommend you start by exploring Github. You can also create a dedicated programming-specific tutorial site like SitePoint to demonstrate your mastery of the language.
Know freelance developer specific job boards
As a freelance developer, you should not waste time exploring the job boards for full-time professionals. While freelance opportunities are available on such job boards, it will be a painful task to comb through hundreds of full-time job postings. Instead, your focus should be on sites explicitly designed for freelance developers.
However, there’s a catch.
Many freelance developer-specific job boards are filled with low-paying job postings and are highly competitive. It is not only challenging to get a gig, but you will probably not get the rates you deserve. This is why most of these sites should be avoided, but not all.
Freelancer is a popular job board for discovering some good freelance developer opportunities, though the competition is fierce here. Talent500 is another great platform for freelance developers to find opportunities with Fortune 500 companies. Join our elite pool of talent and get ready to be discovered easily.
Our recommendation will be to look for job boards with development specialty-focused jobs. As they are much more exclusive, they have more high-quality clients who want skilled freelance developers. Also, these websites pay well.
Here are the websites you should explore:
Produce content with value
For freelance developers, content marketing can be an incredible tool for finding new clients. Blogging can be a great way to share your knowledge while creating awareness about the brand. You will most likely get 82% more positive ROI when you choose content marketing.
That being said, it will not be a straightforward approach as the Internet is saturated with blogs. To stand out, you need to be aware of the sources where your content has the most value. To get the maximum return on your content marketing efforts, you should:
- Do guest posts for relevant blogs and websites
- Create YouTube and Instagram channels to share your expertise
- Answer programming-related questions on Quora
Try to avoid the vicious circle of “more projects, more success”
Do not think that being a successful freelance developer means having a steady stream of projects. It should not be the case; it should be the opposite. Being a freelancer means you are not occupied with work and have time to be creative and try new things.
If you keep chasing projects, you will have little room to learn new skills. This is why you should not assert yourself to work more; instead, spend 30% of your time on personal research to upskill and learn.
Stop looking for projects excessively; focus on learning new technologies and getting better at your work.
As a freelance developer, you must take actions that eventually lead to a steady supply of high-quality clients instead of just waiting for high-value clients to find you. And the best way to start is to bring value to the developer community and share your knowledge through open source projects and blogs.