Working as a freelance web developer has its advantages and disadvantages. Wired published an article in 1998 that is still relevant today and puts the reality of freelancing to the forefront. However, some people are made to freelance. They want to work their own hours and be their own boss. So, for those individuals, the importance of promoting themselves and their business cannot be understated. Here are five ways for freelance web developers to make a name for themselves in the field.
Every freelance web developer needs to have a website; there are no exceptions. Freelancing online means that a website where clients can look at a portfolio or browse through services is vital. Without it, few potential clients will know that the freelance web developer is looking for work. Web developers generally have a great website they built themselves, along with case studies, testimonials, project rates, and a portfolio to show off their work. A website is also great for networking purposes; freelancers who meet potential clients in the real world can hand them a business card with their website on it for contact and business purposes.
Freelance web developers should also be on at least one social media platform. Twitter is a great place for those who are actively searching for work because clients will oftentimes use the platform to indicate that they are looking for freelancers for a contract or ongoing work. Most social media works this way as well, eliminating the need for many freelancers to go to job boards for work. However, web developers need to be active on the platform, engaging with people and making connections. The more active a freelancer is on their platform of choice, the better chance they have they will find a job.
All creative freelancers have personal projects; freelance web developers are no exception. Whether it’s building an app for a charity or working on an interactive website, these personal projects are a great way to attract the attention of clients who may not necessarily need a developer at the moment but will remember that professional for future projects. If a web developer talks about that project online through social media, it will bring more attention to the personal project and increase overall attention in their work.
Brand identity is something that all freelancers think about. Picking a niche and building a brand identity to work in is great for freelance web developers because they will attract clients in the same vein who need roughly the same sort of services. Knowing the niche backward and forwards also means that the web developer will gain expertise in their work in the field, something that will help them earn higher paying jobs in the long run.
Network, Network, Network
Networking is still one of the best ways for freelance web developers to promote their work. By connecting with other freelance creatives, especially those who specialize in online work, they are building a network that can tell them about upcoming jobs from clients they have not worked with yet. Alternatively, a community of freelancers who all offer different services may come together to work on one large project, helping each other earn a job and credibility in the field.
Freelancing is becoming more and more mainstream; Forbes released an article in 2017 that stated that 36 percent of the United States workforce, which is roughly 57.3 million professionals, are freelancers. That number is projected to grow to over 51 percent of all working adults by 2027. Because the number of freelancers is growing, it’s important that professionals, especially web developers, learn how to promote themselves in order to get work. While this quick article doesn’t cover everything that a professional can do to market themselves, it is a great place to start.
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