Freelance Web Developer Hack: Leveraging Business Communities
This is something that came up in a recent discussion on how to find more leads as a new freelancer.
One “hack” I don’t think enough people take advantage of is hanging around places where businesses are looking for help.
This is where online business communities and local business events become invaluable assets.
Expand Your Network
Every connection you make can potentially lead to a future project or referral. Business communities, both online and local, are teeming with professionals from various sectors. And you can find business communities in your niche if needed (e.g. if you focus on startups, go to startup events and their communities).
These professionals often seek technical assistance for their websites, apps, and other digital projects. Building relationships in these spaces can significantly amplify your client reach.
With a large enough network, you’d be surprised how quickly you can find someone who will be excited to get your help.
If you are still deciding on a niche in particular, being a part of diverse business communities exposes you to a wide range of industries and niches.
This means you're not just confined to a specific project. The opportunities are endless, from e-commerce solutions to portfolio websites and even complex web applications!
Understand Market Needs
You learn firsthand about market trends and needs by mingling with business owners and professionals.
This understanding can guide you in acquiring new skills or honing existing ones to match the demand, positioning you as a sought-after developer.
Mentorship & Learning
As a freelancer, you are now a business owner; there is so much to learn.
Communities often harbor experienced members willing to guide newcomers. You can learn more about running a business and build a broader skillset. So, even if you aren’t getting the direct leads you hoped for, you will learn more about building your business.
Credibility & Trust
Having a known face at local events and being active in online forums adds a layer of trust and credibility to your persona.
Recommendations from community members can greatly enhance your reputation, making it easier for potential clients to trust your skills especially if you are in the early stages of building the portfolio.
Projects may sometimes require skills outside your expertise, like graphic design or content creation.
Being an active member of business communities allows you to collaborate with other freelancers, helping you offer comprehensive solutions to clients and increasing your project’s scope.
As an individual, you will have limitations to the scale of the work, but with a network to call on, you can get even more ambitious.
Feedback & Continuous Improvement
Presenting your work or discussing challenges can offer you constructive feedback.
This helps you refine your work and instills a culture of continuous improvement, which is vital in freelancing.
There are always ways to improve, and learning from your network is one of the easiest ways to get a boost. 🚀
Don’t sell to everyone you meet.
Build your network, and the business will follow.
We all know how annoying it is when we walk into a store and immediately get approached by an overly eager salesperson.
Don’t be that person.
Offer free advice, actively contribute to the communities, and strengthen your relationships, then the business will follow.
For a freelance web developer, the journey is as much about relationships as it is about coding.
Online business communities and local business events offer an unmatched platform to nurture these relationships, paving the way for a successful and fulfilling freelancing career.
So, step out, engage, and let your network be the foundation of your freelancing endeavors.