You might be a certified web developer. You might even be considering sharpening your skills with some further training. You might be ready to start working freelance as a web developer. Where ever you stand, there are skills outside of web development that can be key to your success. If you’re looking to work for yourself, full time or alongside your employed position, marketing can really help.
You might think you don’t need to market yourself. That’s not strictly true! If you’re incredibly well connected and people know exactly what you do and how well you do it, you’ll certainly have an advantage when it comes to working freelance.
If you’re like the rest of us, you’ll need to work a little harder to get your name out there. That’s where marketing comes in! Not sure where to start? Here are some marketing tips you can use to launch your freelance web dev career!
Any IT professional looking to work for themselves should have a website. As a web developer, you’ll have a distinct advantage here! As part of your learning or previous experience, it’s likely you’ll have built a website – great! You can use this as a starting point for marketing yourself.
Before your set out on your own, make sure your website is as good as it can be. This is your virtual CV where you can show off your skills and give your clients a taste of what you can offer them.
Once your site is up and running, you shouldn’t stop there. Make sure you’re updating it regularly with client feedback, testimonials and examples of your work. It shows prospective clients that you’re in demand and producing quality work.
Updating your content is also good for your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation); consider writing a blog once a week with tips and techniques that relate to the service you’re offering. If you’re not confident in your blog writing skills, ask a copywriter to help you. Producing regular and relevant content will help with your search engine rankings, meaning you’ll have more chance of customers finding you organically on the web.
Face to face
Marketing doesn’t have to be digital! Although it’s essential you have a perfectly looking and functioning website and web presence, traditional forms of marketing should have a spot on your strategy too!
Finding new clients can leave you in a bit of a stalemate – you’re there to be found, but clients aren’t coming your way quickly enough. Hit the source and go out and find your customers directly!
Specialising your skills and understanding the industries you want to work with will help you identify your client base. For example, if your experience lies in building websites for schools you’ll be able to speak to the Business Development team in your local schools to set up meetings or send through a leaflet to advertise your services.
Think about where
your clients go too – going to exhibitions or conferences that are geared to your target industry is a great place to start. If you’ve got a bit of spare budget, you could even set up a stall. If you’re keen to get around a bit more, book your place and start networking! Be sure to take a good supply of business cards so you leave a lasting impression, and a way of being contacted.
It will be no surprise to you that people buy people – by that we mean, if you’ve got a personal touch, people are more likely to bear you in mind when they need what you’re offering. Good PR can help with this.
PR doesn’t just have to be a newspaper article. Of course, it depends on your target audience, but your PR can be via social media, in trade magazines, billboards or adverts. Showing off you and your great feedback can entice others to choose you!
Completed a project on-time, on budget and to brief? Great! Your client is probably thrilled, so make sure you get some feedback from them in writing and get their permission to use it for your marketing strategy.
This feedback can form the basis of a magazine advert or social media post – it may even sway someone to choose your web dev services!
Do you know someone who offers a skill you don’t? Do you often refer clients to them? You should partner up! Combining your skills is great for clients as you’re doing some leg work for them. This will also enable you to partner up your marketing efforts - two heads are definitely better than one when it comes to a solid marketing strategy!
Don’t want to partner your business with someone else? That’s OK too! If you’re struggling with your marketing, you might find it useful to enlist some specialist support. You may have met a marketing or PR professional when you were networking or are aware of an agency who can help. It’s worth investing in getting your name out there – it will all help improve your business and create a name for yourself!
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