7 Marketing Tips for Freelance Web Developers

Linda, author of freelancer web development marketing blog
Linda Ferguson
Writer and editor, who concentrates on pressing issues young professionals and working millennials struggle with.

Successful companies are relying more on technology every day, with web developers and programmers in high demand.

Companies in different areas of business are increasingly using gaming apps, chatbots, interactive websites, as well as other technological advancements. The rise in technology needs has made web developers a critical business asset. As current statistics suggest, web development is expected to grow 13% by 2028 just in the US.

But in this era of the ever-growing need for web developers, how can companies afford a full-time team of programmers on hand? The answer is simple – most of them can't afford such a luxury, but they can afford to hire a freelance web developer for a specific project. Hence, though competition in the space is rapidly rising, modern freelance web developers have many opportunities for success.


The Struggles of Freelance Web Development

Working as a web developer could at times be difficult and stressful, but it becomes even more so for freelancers. This is because freelance web developers work on creating high-quality products, while also simultaneously running their own successful business.

If you are a freelance developer, all responsibilities for marketing, sales, administration, accounting, and invoicing will fall on you. Not to mention all the work that goes into finding clients, building a personal brand, doing your own marketing research, etc.

But, don't worry, freelance web development is worth the struggle and is a very rewarding career. Plus, it offers a host of benefits like greater flexibility, work-life balance, as well as the freedom to work on exciting projects from beautiful locations.

We've created a list of easy-to-follow tips you can follow to successfully market yourself in the world of freelance web development, and get amazing projects.


7 Self-Marketing Tips for Freelance Web Developers


1) Create a project-oriented resume

For a freelance developer, a resume without a good portfolio will be of no use. Use a flexible resume format – add information that reflects the requirements of the exact job/project you aim for. You should put effort into composing a good description of your work experience, skills, qualities, but don't forget to follow this information up with practical examples of your work – a lot of it!

Create a comprehensive, structured online portfolio that includes links to your projects – it is a great way of showcasing your work. Write about each project - both in freelance web development career and your work as a full-time employee, and share the results or benefits that your input provided for your client/employer. After all, actions speak louder than words, and appropriately showcasing your work is an excellent marketing device.

Read our guide on How to Craft a Freelance Resume as a Developer.


2) Identify and play to your strengths

The best way to stand out in the global freelance web development marketplace is to have specialization and in-depth skills in one or two areas. For example, good knowledge and experience with Kotlin, OCaml, JavaScript frameworks for specific scenarios of use increases your competitiveness and visibility to customers. This will help you close clients that are looking for people with specific skills.

On the other hand, more general full-stack programming skills will give you access to a wider range of projects. Startups and clients in the early stages of product development are more likely to look for someone whose skills cover all their expanding needs. This includes front-end knowledge (HTML, CSS, JavaScript), languages, back-end frameworks, server infrastructure, DevOps, etc.

Interestingly, hybrid specialists are becoming increasingly more appreciated and can hope for better job opportunities than niche specialists because they possess multiple skills.


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3) Start a professional blog

Start blogging about what you are good at, answer questions asked by customers, cover pressing topics in your articles, and share knowledge with other developers. Guest-post on other developers' bogs, and share insights on developer communities. Doing so will help you show your passion for web development and showcase your knowledge in the field.

The downside to blogging as a developer is that many tech specialists find creative writing hard, so building up confidence and developing your own writing style takes time and effort. You can check Subjecto for good examples of creative writing. Make sure your articles are not only informative but also engaging. A good practice is also fact-checking everything you write so as not to mislead your readers.


4) Utilize social media

Tweet your articles, retweet other people's work you enjoy. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date. This is often the first place recruiters go to, so be proactive, share your accomplishments there. A good idea would also be to start a YouTube channel, and share your professional knowledge, and tips there in a digestible format.


5) Build professional connections online

If you want to become a full-time freelance web development professional, self-promotion should be your indispensable tool. You should learn how to build connections through networking sites like LinkedIn. Reach out to your fellow developers, colleagues, clients, comment on their articles and posts, participate in discussion groups, share articles, etc - basically engage often.

Even so, the sheer noise in the freelance web development market and high competition make it hard to get a steady stream of freelance projects.

So, you should ideally be creating profiles on online freelance sites and talent networks, which help you find quality freelance web development projects and get hired by top companies. Some great sites for getting freelance coding projects are Flexiple and Toptal.


6) Get “field experience” offline

Participating in developer communities such as hackathons and workshops is essential for networking with other developers, learning about new technologies, and working on cool relevant projects.

Attend meetings, conferences such as Microsoft Build, QCon, DeveloperWeek. Be prepared to discuss your interests, learn, share your insights, and try to direct people to your online channels.

Face-to-face communication is still important and can help you find clients, even in our digital times, so it shouldn't be underrated. Building acquaintances and connections are the foundation of your freelance business and the key to success.


7) Get feedback about your work

Get recommendations from other developers and clients who are happy with your work. Don't be afraid to directly ask clients (the ones you did an excellent job for) to recommend you to friends and colleagues. You can offer them discounts on your future services in exchange for recommendations. Ultimately, positive testimonies will help drive your income.


Ready to Go?

Getting started in freelance web development is no easy task. In addition to working on a project and deepening your technical knowledge, keep up to date with the latest tools and techniques. You must also create an image of yourself online to attract new customers and convince potential clients that you have the necessary skills and abilities to achieve the results they require. It often sounds like an impossible task to freelance novitiates, because even experienced web developers may struggle with switching to freelance work.

Hopefully, this article will help you, regardless of where you are in your freelance web development career, to achieve success and get swarmed with new clients every day!

Author Bio: Linda Ferguson

Linda is a writer and editor, who concentrates on pressing issues young professionals and working millennials struggle with. Her additional experience in research and data analysis helps her compose articles, full to the brim with facts and helpful information her readers can easily use. Linda loves writing and hopes to educate her peers, shedding some light on relevant topics her contemporaries often struggle with. In her free time, Linda enjoys reading, doing yoga, and writing poetry.