If you are a freelance web developer, you’ve probably noticed there is lots of competition, especially on online job platforms like Upwork. Web development itself is a seemingly complex field of specialization. With so many changes going on every day, web developers are always trying to stay ahead of the race by learning new skills to get high-paying clients.
If you want to have a successful career as a freelance web developer, this blog is for you. Today, I will show you how you can consistently get new clients through Upwork and other similar platforms. As a client hiring freelancers myself, I know what to look for and what not to look for in a web developer. Below are my tips on how you can separate yourself from the competition.
Don’t Be a Generalist
People who will hire you have a specific problem. They are searching for someone who is an expert in completing specific tasks. If you brand yourself as a full-stack web developer, the prospect will not feel confident that you can address his specific concern. Assess your skills and identify what area of web development you specialize in. Focus on your expertise when creating a profile and highlight it when sending out proposals.
Reference Actual Points in the Job Description
Take time to read the job post and write a proposal based on what you read. Don’t copy and paste your bids. Personalize your proposals by showing how your skills fit the job description. Show your interest by asking the client to give you more information about the job. The client feels elated whenever he feels like you took the time to read and understand his post.
Have a Segmented Portfolio
If the job post says the client is looking for someone who can create a WordPress site, have a portfolio showing just that. When you send a link to your portfolio, make sure it shows the type of work the client wants to see. If the client is looking for a web designer for WordPress, don’t send him a link to your portfolio for Shopify. Creating a segmented portfolio will give you the freedom to send out the same project the client has. You can reference your other portfolios that are related to the project, but always use the most relevant project as your main portfolio.
Address the Client’s Most Common Pain Points
The most common problems clients have with web developers is the lack of communication. This issue typically happens because most web developers are introverts– they love working alone with their laptops. There is nothing wrong with being an introvert except when it gets in the way of being an effective communicator. When you send a proposal, highlight that you are a good communicator. If you are not, you need to work on building that skill.
Coders don’t like checking their emails or don’t want to be bothered at all. Address this issue by telling your client that you check your messages daily and you reply within 24 hours, except during days off or holidays.
Many clients don’t know about coding, so words like FTP access, JS note, hosting file sound foreign to them. When talking to clients, use layman’s terms or take some time to explain to them what a technical term means. Clients appreciate freelancers who make them understand the essential facts involved in the project.
Address How You Deal with Data Security
Data Security is a hot button for every client. They always want to know how you are going to deal with keeping usernames and passwords secure. If you are using a tool like LastPass, which protects sensitive data, make the client aware of it. Make the client feel comfortable by letting her know that it’s safe to share confidential information with you.
Give a Clear Timeline and Budget
Make the pricing easy to understand. Present a clear timetable and the cost of the project. If you don’t finish the project on time, how much will you charge the client? How many revisions are included in the budget, and how much is the cost per additional revision? If you create a very transparent presentation in tabular form, the client will appreciate it.
Tell Them You Are Not the Low-Priced Leader
Good clients respect your rate. Many of them do not even look at your hourly rate. They look at the quality of service they will get from you. Clients prefer working with a freelancer who shows expertise and has a clear scope of what and when something needs to be done.
Have a set of standards with the clients you decide to work with. Check out this video about finding more clients outside of Upwork. By finding clients who actually see your value and want to work with you, it will be much easier to charge the rate you want.
When it comes to developing or designing a website, consider charging the client for the entire scope of the project, not on an hourly basis. If you do it this way, you can work as little or as much time as you want, as long as you get the specifications right and you finish the project on time. This article explains the different items to charge your freelance clients.
If the client asks you to make your asking price lower, let them know your true value. If they insist, decline politely. If they want low-priced freelance web developers, they can always go to other sites where they can get less-accomplished web developers at a cheaper rate.