In this episode Wes and Scott talk about how to find freelance clients — tangible things you can do to position yourself and set yourself up for success.
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1:27 - Question from Andreas Trattner: I am a backend developer with 4+ years experience working on large systems in Europe and am considering moving toward freelancing/contracting. However, I find it difficult to discover quality opportunities. Any tips you can share on how to strategically get projects?
- There isn't a secret trove of work, and there's no one way to do it.
4:50 - Relationships
- Trust and relationships rule all. The best paying gigs are never advertised.
- Who should you know?
- Other developers
- How? Meetups, Conferences, Twitter, Slack rooms, Friends
- Tip: Volunteering is a great way to get in to conferences, plus you often get to know people
- Tip: If you are friends of a friend who gets a lot of work, as for a introduction
- Designers and marketers
- You usually work together
- How? Twitter, Email, Dribbble, Instagram
- Project managers
- How? Cold emails, tweets
- Office managers
- Life blood of the office - they know everyone
- Often move into other roles
- How? Meetups, previous employees
- Lots of connections, often switching gears
- How? Demo camps, Facebook marketing groups
- Venture capitalists
- Have dozens of companies and tons of connections
- How? Demo camps, introductions, cold email
- Other developers
19:08 - Display of expertise
- It certainly is an option to just be really freaking good at what you do
- Speaking at conferences and local meetups
- Working on open source
- Helping in chat rooms
- Posting guides
- Maintaining docs
- Offering reviews / Make things public
- Start a podcast
9:22 - Visibility
- You need to let everyone know what you do. Your mom's uncle's friend's cousin on Facebook might casually ask for recommendations.
- Instagram / Photos. Showing people what you are doing and what you are working on will make a mental note in their head that you do that type of work.
- Facebook / Twitter / Instagram
- This makes the "vetting" process much easier
- YouTube videos
- Slack channels you are involved in
38:02 - Other tactics
- SEO - Locality (Toronto designer), specific technologies (Redux contractor)
- This one sucks, but it can lead to decent work occasionally
- You need to be more vigilant in screening, most clients will suck
- Cold asks - Just ask people what works well
- "Hey, I'm looking to book a few contracts starting June 2019. I love working with ______ and you can see my work here"
- Put a phone number on your website. Seriously.
- Won't make as much money here because of competition
- Local business listings
- Find online and offline biz listings
- Old fashioned — putting your card on bulletin boards
47:29 - Maintaining Relationships
- Check in every few months with non-biz related contact
- But also just straight up ask for work
- Christmas / Thank-you gifts