Finding freelance work

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by ryanjm27, Mar 4, 2009.

  1. ryanjm27 macrumors newbie

    Mar 4, 2009
    Hi everyone,

    I've been reading these forums for awhile and only recently signed up and started posting. I've found many of the topics and the frequent posters to be quite helpful, so I look forward to participating.

    I currently work as a web producer for a medium sized company. I specialize in front end development (XHMTL/CSS) and have a pretty good grasp with PHP and Javascript.

    Anyhow, a co-worker and I are thinking of doing some freelance work on the side (like everyone else these days, we're looking to make some extra money). Between the two of us we feel like we could offer a great service to potential clients, but we're not really sure how to find them and approach them with a proposal.

    We've obviously checked out Craigslist and most of the major job boards. It seems like most of those jobs are small and people only wish to pay $500 for weeks of work. And I'm sure each of those jobs has LOTS of applicants.

    So I was hoping to get your input on the best ways to both find and approach potential clients with your services. Specifically, what's the best way to get started? We like to think that once we get some clients under our belt, word of mouth will take over, but until then...we're kind of stuck.

  2. lucidmedia macrumors 6502a

    Oct 13, 2008
    Wellington, New Zealand

    Like in all things, good work leads to new work... the key, of course, is getting a few visible projects that allow you to show your skills.

    I am not a huge fan of self-marketing, but I have seen it work for people... and one benefit of the web is that self-marketing is darn-near free!

    Back in the day (15 years ago!) I worked for a guy who had little web knowledge, but -- as a hobby -- started giving out "web awards" to sites he thought were well designed. Within five years he was considered an industry guru with a consulting practice and book deals... oh the good old days of the web.

    In today's web 2.0 landscape, marketing yourslf via a personal portfolio site seems a bit thin, you now need to have a blog and build up an adoring fan-base!

    I had a student a few years back who was tremendously knowledgeable in xHTML/CSS. He created a beautiful site that really leveraged his skills - it had a fluid layout that dynamically repositioned content based upon browser size -- something rarely seen at the time. The site got him recognition on blogs across the web, and he was soon seen as an expert in his field. The freelance work rolled in, and he eventually took a position at large interactive agency.

    In short, you need to make yourself visible, and have a body of work you can show to land new gigs. Those gigs will most likely not come from craig's list, but from word of mouth, with new clients coming to you from old clients.

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