How To Find Freelance Work as a Web Developer (Plus Tips)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 17 August 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Working as a freelance employee can be a unique and rewarding opportunity, to both work for yourself and gain experience through clients. A freelance web developer position can help improve your software developing skills while also allowing you to work on your own schedule. Understanding how to find freelance work as a web developer can help you progress toward your freelance career. In this article, we discuss how to find freelance work as a web developer and look at additional tips to help you improve your marketing opportunities.

How to find freelance work as a web developer

Understanding how to find freelance work as a web developer can help you build a portfolio, gain clients and continue to expand your career. If you're considering starting a freelance web development business, consider some of the following steps:

1. Create a work contract

Before beginning work as a freelance web developer, consider making a contract for your clients to follow. Your clients, if they are also independent workers, may follow your contract if you have one ready for them. A work contract includes your rate of pay, exchange for work, available hours, terms of contract termination and other regulations you adhere to before beginning work with a client.

If your clients are corporations or large businesses, they may ask that you adhere to their contract instead. Understanding your terms for work before you look for clients can help promote not only fair treatment during your work, but may also help with work satisfaction.

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2. Use web developer freelancing forums

Once you create a contract that you agree with, you can begin looking for clients. One way freelancers may begin looking for people to work with is through freelance boards or forums. Web developer freelancing forums are internet websites where freelancers and clients go to complete projects. Joining many freelance boards to advertise your abilities and web development expertise can be a great way to gain your first clients.

Consider joining many freelancing forums, regardless of their size. Small freelancing forums may not have as much competition and allow you to find clients easily. Large forums may help you reach multiple clients at once and expand your opportunities for jobs. Even websites that aren't exclusively dedicated to web development, such as general freelancing forums, may help you gain new clients.

3. Join business networking groups

Outside the internet, there are other ways you can develop your freelancing business plans. Going to a business networking group can help promote your work and gain new customers from different locations. Business networking groups are group meetings where business owners and freelancers meet together in order to gain connections and compare work. Various meeting websites can help you find one closest to you and build your portfolio. Consider attending business networking group meetings as often as possible, as new members may present unique opportunities for your freelancing success.

4. Attend web development conferences

Web development conferences not only can help you improve your skills as a web developer, but may also help you meet new customers. Web development conferences are group meetings of both professional and new developers where people discuss the profession and make connections. Consider attending development conferences as often as possible, as those you may meet during travel, the meeting and after could help your freelancing opportunities. Additionally, some web development conferences offer courses, lectures and workshops to help you improve your web development abilities.

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5. Build your work portfolio

Once you have gain clients through conferences and forums, continue to build your work portfolio in order to improve the work you receive. A work portfolio is a collection of your past work achievements you collect in a condensed format. If you don't have any clients yet, you can use work such as college assignments or personal projects to comprise your portfolio. In order to build a portfolio, you can either create a custom website or use a media-sharing service to share your work with potential clients.

Tips for freelance web developers

If you want to become a freelance web developer, consider some of the following tips:

Create your own website

To help gain your first clients, in addition to networking and building a portfolio, consider structuring your own custom website. As a web developer, using your talents to network your work can be helpful for gaining new clients. They may see the work you've done in building your website and decide that you'd be a good employee to work with. Additionally, with your own website, you can help advertise your work by using SEO best practices to make your website as searchable as possible.

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Find a niche

While accepting as many clients as possible can help expand your opportunities as a web development freelancer, specialising in a niche for your content can also help you find more long-term clients and opportunities. Consider developing a specialisation in web development, such as social media design, website design, database building or intranet specifications. Choosing a specialisation may equip you with experiences to help you gain clients interested in experts, such as large businesses or clients who require specific work.

Write a blog

Similar to creating your own website, writing a blog about your work not only can advertise your writing skills, but can also serve as another means of marketing your work availability. Including a blog within your website about personal projects or other client work can help show potential clients what you've been working on, and how it might align with their current needs. Additionally, a blog can help spread your marketing efforts if you practice good SEO habits.

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Consider creating a custom portfolio site

While storing your portfolio using a third-party website is an option, creating your own portfolio work storage system can help potential employers understand your work by seeing your website building style. Using your own website also prevents third-party storage fees. Building a portfolio website yourself can also help you organise your work according to your standards and preferences.

Develop your own brand

Another way you can market your freelance web development work to potential customers is by working on your own brand. Brand development can help your business become recognisable, even as an independent freelancer. Consider creating a logo or brand name that you're prepared to advertise for customers. Additionally, social media may be able to help you promote your brand name. Consider creating social media not only to unify your advertising efforts, but to help unify your brand across all platforms, such as your website and blogs.

Accept many client jobs

One way to help improve your client work as a freelance web developer is to accept as many jobs as possible. Becoming flexible with contract agreements may be able to help you find better clients in the future. Every client you receive may help improve your experience until you can gain larger clients, such as large businesses.

Offer multiple work sessions to clients

If you find a client that you enjoy working with, consider offering them additional sessions or services to help improve your relationship with them. Having a long-term relationship with a client may help improve your chances of receiving repeating work, and may offer you opportunities related to them in the future. For example, clients may want to start longer projects with you or recruit you in their own independent business efforts.

Define your workspace

One way you can help your freelance efforts is by defining a clear workspace. Establishing a home office or outside workspace can help you maintain focus, progress in projects and set organised in-person meetings with clients. Additionally, setting a workspace outside your home may help you be able to maintain a proper balance between work and life.

Determine your work hours

Determining what hours you may work as a freelance employee can help improve productivity over time. Setting hours for breaks and personal time can help improve your efficiency and prioritise products. Additionally, setting separate times for working on client work and for marketing efforts may help allocate different priorities based on their importance. For instance, if you have much client work, allocating more time for projects may be more important than finding new clients.

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