Freelancing as a developer is on the rise, and it is certainly one of the more lucrative career paths in the new gig economy. This is especially true due to the 2020 coronavirus pandemic.
More people are interested in becoming freelance app developers than ever before because of the unique benefits of flexibility and income it provides.
But whether you plan to work remotely or in-house, you need to market yourself using modern tools and proven strategies.
In this article, we will cover the core areas of self-marketing you should use to avoid common pitfalls and position yourself for the best projects and clients as a freelance app developer:
Tips For Freelance App Developer
Define Your Ideal Client
If you don’t know what kind of clients you want to have, you will end up wasting a lot of precious time. Knowing exactly who you want to work with will give you a sharper sense of focus when marketing yourself.
To define your client, start with a few basics. What kind of projects do you want to work on? Native mobile apps, web apps, desktop apps, or something more enterprise-focused? From there, take a look at your current skill set. What kind of languages are you comfortable working in?
Perhaps you have worked for a development shop or a similar employer in the industry. Draw on your experience to come up with a “must-have” and a “must-avoid” list.
Then, your search for the right fit will be much faster and more precise, saving you headaches in every part of the marketing process.
There is nothing wrong with the traditional resume. It acts as a useful shorthand for potential clients to understand your core strengths, experience, and basic personal information.
However, in today’s day and age, a blog is potentially more powerful and useful than a resume for marketing yourself to your ideal clients.
It is easier than ever before to start a blog thanks to the numerous free and low-cost website builders at your disposal.
There are several things you can include in your blog to market yourself:
- Insight into your personality – People today value authenticity more. Instead of being a mysterious unknown, show people that you are someone they would love to work with by letting your blog reflect who you are.
- Project examples – Your blog is an excellent place to build credibility. Show off previously completed apps or current projects you’re working on.
- Contact forms – You can collect leads and respond to inquiries from clients interested enough to visit your blog and reach out.
- Payments – Make it easier for clients to pay you by offering a portal right on your website.
- Testimonials – Do you have any testimonials or referrals? Your blog is an excellent place to put them for added credibility.
To sum up, use your blog to connect with potential clients and build credibility.
You might think email is dead, but it is alive and well, with 78% of marketers reporting an increase in engagement from their emails in 2020. This is excellent news when it comes to marketing yourself in the freelance development arena.
Sending cold emails to prospective clients shows initiative. It is also a way to reach clients by doing something that many other developers are unwilling to do. This can set you apart in the market, which is always crucial when the competition is so fierce.
While you should customize each email to that potential client, there is no need to reinvent the wheel. You can create an adjustable template for any client while still allowing you to demonstrate that you didn’t simply send out a mass message.
“Hi [Prospective Client],
My name is [name], and I am a freelance app developer specializing in [x, y, and z]. I came across [your company] when doing market research, and I believe I could help you with [one or two relevant aspects of their business], which would help you [enjoy these benefits].
You can see examples of my previous work here [link to your work]. Let me know if you might be interested, and we can talk more about your specific needs.
Learn What the Market Wants
Marketing yourself as a freelance developer is quite simple in theory — find out what people want and offer it to them. However, some developers find themselves confused about the best ways to get a pulse on the market.
Assuming you have done your homework from the section about defining your ideal clients, this part will be easier. You can now use the information you know and find out where these ideal clients are and what they’re looking for when hiring freelance developers.
Keyword research with Google’s Keyword Planner is one way to see what kind of terms people are looking for, such as “freelance app developer python” or “app developer iOS.”
Furthermore, you can read the same blogs and articles they do to see what kind of information is relevant to that market.
You should include new and emerging technologies in your marketing plan. You could choose to master the basics of one of the top 10 languages in blockchain, for instance, to attract clients in the FinTech and cryptocurrency spaces.
Create Your Own App
Potential clients want to see that you know what you’re doing and that you are proficient in the languages you list on your blog, LinkedIn, or resume. Without an app to show for it, you might not get the kind of work you’re looking for.
Creating your own app is the best way to showcase your knowledge and expertise, building trust with potential clients and employers.
At the end of the day, if you are an app developer, then the test of your skills lies in producing real results in the form of a live, working app.
Your app doesn’t have to be the next Facebook. Clients understand that one developer can only do so much, so focus on quality over quantity. You can even consider hiring a freelance designer to help you with the UX aspects for a more polished look.
Create a Youtube Channel
You now have the ability to show your work in video form for free and reach anyone in the world. You can use Youtube to talk about your work, show creative projects, or anything else you can imagine.
A lack of an online presence might even turn off some potential clients because of the competition that does have it. Remember that you are trying to get noticed in a sea of other developers.
One way to use Youtube without letting it take up all of your time is to post regularly scheduled content about the industry. For instance, you can create a “weekly roundup” that talks about the industry’s state, recent innovations, and more while showing your expertise.
Freelance app development is an excellent way to boost your income, create your own hours, and take part in a rapidly rising industry.
However, without the right approach to self-promotion, you might end up selling yourself short.
Using the tips above, you can create a marketing plan that will show the best side of yourself to potential clients while leveraging existing market demand and helpful tools. That way, you will be able to work on the projects that interest you and meet your goals.