November 18, 2021

Finding freelance web development work is a lot like online dating. You create a profile on several apps or websites and then spend countless hours searching and prospecting potential matches before someone finally swipes right.

Mastering how to find freelance work as a web developer tests the patience of many new freelancers. But with a bit of perseverance and the right research tools, you’ll be an expert in finding local businesses that need websites.

In this post on finding freelance web development work, you’ll learn:

  • How to market yourself.
  • How to find clients who need a website.
  • How to simplify your workflow for building websites.

Marketing Yourself as a Freelance Web Developer

Before you try to get work as a freelance web developer, think about how you’re going to market yourself. Freelancers often get so busy working on client projects that they neglect their own marketing.

How to get work as a freelance web developer with marketing:

  • Build Your Own Website.
    When you’re busy working on paying clients’ websites, you probably don’t want to take the time to work on your own site. But, not having a presentable website could make finding freelance work more difficult. Who will trust you to build their website if you can’t build your own?
  • Showcase Your Best Work.
    Have samples of your best work ready to show prospective clients. You can include screen grabs and links on your website so clients can easily see past projects.
  • Update Your LinkedIn Profile.
    Clearly state you’re a freelance web developer who is open to work on your LinkedIn profile. You never know who in your network might need a website for their business or be willing to introduce you to a prospective client.

Ways to Find Freelance Work as a Web Developer

As a freelance web developer, being your own boss is great until it’s time to find the next paying gig. Once you’re ready to market yourself, you’ll need to find clients who need a website. Here are some tips to help find freelance work.

Set Up Profiles on Freelance Sites

As the gig economy grows, more online marketplaces try to connect freelancers with clients. Each platform is a bit different. Pay attention to the fee structure for each platform. Some sites require clients to pay freelancers through the platform and charge a 10-20% commission.

Popular websites to find freelance web development projects include:

Finding Local Businesses that Need Websites

Freelancers should also prospect for local businesses that need websites. Many small businesses start with a Facebook page and never build a website. When you come across a company that lacks a website or has a website in serious need of a refresh, introduce yourself and your services. This networking is where the hard work you spent preparing your marketing pays off. A link to an impressive portfolio makes an introductory message more effective.

Ask for Referrals

Have a client who loves the work you did? Ask them for a referral. Word-of-mouth marketing often converts at a much higher rate. Since a potential client doesn’t know you, you’re more likely to get hired if an existing client can vouch for your work.

Advertise Your Services

Some freelancers have success with paid search ads. But, the competition in the web development space is fierce, making it more difficult and expensive to get leads from paid ads. To increase your conversion rates on paid ads, consider targeting your local area or niche industry.

For example, if you’ve worked on several websites for bakeries, create a campaign for boutique bakery websites. Similarly, if you’ve worked on several business websites in your area, geofence your ads to your community.

Targeting businesses in your town boosts your credibility as a new freelance web developer because potential clients might recognize the companies or brands you worked on previously.

Managing Freelance Work as a Web Developer

For many freelancers, looking for web development work feels like living in the desert and hoping for rain. When the rain finally comes, it happens all and once and causes a flash flood. In addition to finding work, freelance developers need to master managing their workload to avoid drowning.

Tips for managing freelance web development work:

  • Utilize Quality Managed Hosting.
    Managed hosting makes setting up websites easier. You can have a clean WordPress install down in a couple of minutes with just a few clicks. Don’t waste time setting up databases and uploading system files when you can automate the process with managed hosting.
  • Use the Right Website Building Tools.
    You don’t have to code every website from scratch. Use templates and website builders to get clients’ websites finished in less time. Look for site builders and tools that work with an open-source platform like WordPress instead of proprietary systems.

How Nexcess Helps Freelance Web Developers

Nexcess offers all the tools you need to grow your freelance business. Our Managed WordPress plans provide superior performance and ease of use. If you’re building ecommerce websites, consider using StoreBuilder by Nexcess.

Developers using StoreBuilder can have a new ecommerce site up and running in a matter of minutes. StoreBuilder simplifies the setup process so you can focus on customizing the sites’ design and features for your clients.

Unlike other platforms like Shopify or BigCommerce, StoreBuilder runs on WooCommerce, which means you can build sites with StoreBuilder and transfer them to any WordPress-powered site.

Explore how you can get started with StoreBuilder.

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Lindsey Miller
Lindsey Miller

Lindsey Miller is a WordPress and WooCommerce expert and Chief Executive Officer of Content Journey, a content marketing agency that focuses on increasing organic website traffic for their clients through SEO and blogging. She knows WordPress inside and out and has been working with WordPress since 2010 when she started her first WordPress blog. Since then she has attended WordCamps all over the world and had the honor of speaking at many WordCamps and other WordPress events such as WooSesh and WordFest. Lindsey has a bachelor's degree in history and a master's degree in human relations, clinical mental health from the University of Oklahoma.

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