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  1. #1
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    What is the best way to get clientele for a new freelancer?

    Hello All,

    I've decided to enter the exciting world of freelance web design. Im fresh out of University and have a limited portfolio. I was wondering what would be the best aproach for a new freelancer to win over new clientele.

    I've submitted my site http://www.sa-dzine.com to several search engines; Im just not sure this is the best way to go about it because of my limited portfolio. Perhaps cold calls, and probono work would be successful.

    I would love some input, possibly an example as to how all you other freelancers got off the ground.

    thanks.

    Shawn
    www.sa-dzine.com

  2. #2
    Old Folks 127.0.0.1 pacres's Avatar
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    Nice Site Squid.

    If you want some good motivation, read some of the site point articles on the site. Very helpful. You could dish out a bit of cash upfront, and sign on with e-lance.com. Someone with your skills would do well on there I think.

    You could also look at doing local jobs. Take a look at what local businesses have as their current site, and market youself on how you can help them improve their sites, and help them "MAKE MORE MONEY". Just look through the yellow pages to find your new clients.

    Happy hunting.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    Thanks Pacres,

    I'll give that a try, I never thought of using the yellow pages as a source of clientele.

    Do you think it would be hard for me to get jobs through elance becuase of my limited portfolio? I hear there is a lot of competition for jobs.

    thanks again.

  4. #4
    Non-Member Prosubmit's Avatar
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    You can try guru.com, webdevelopersindex.com, and there are a few others i cant remember off hand. You can bid on projects to get a start on portfolio. Also sitepoint market place may have some work for you!

  5. #5
    Non-Member fryman's Avatar
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    There are loads of places for freelancers to get work. Scriptlance.com is a very busy site...

  6. #6
    Thinking! Lord Brar's Avatar
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    I'll give that a try, I never thought of using the yellow pages as a source of clientele.
    IMHO initally you must refrain from advertising purely in long term advertisements channels and brand building ventures. You Might not get as good response from yellow pages as from other marketing techniques and may discourage you. ( since its the big guys in your locality who will look at yellow pages in your region and they wil go with other big guys , thats my experience)

    I would say that you build your portfolio , even if designing for your dog , cat or your girlfriend for that matter

    Limited portfolio can be a handicap but not so big to stop you from making your clients precieve that you are risk free ( read bendon's article step by step guide to your next freelance client on SP ).

    Anyway. Good luck.

  7. #7
    SitePoint Enthusiast metavisia's Avatar
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    Hi, please, try those:

    www.elance.com
    www.scriptlance.com
    www.contractedwork.com
    www.projectspring.com
    www.gofreelancers.com
    www.freelancers.net

    There are many sites like those. Clients post projects, you bid on them, the best bid wins. Warning - you won't buy a Porsche using those sites

  8. #8
    CSS Ninja
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    this won't neccesarily help you find work, but i have a suggestion for your website. i don't mean to be picky, but I just thought this might make your site even more user friendly.

    Click on 'Gallery' > choose a medium > then enlarge one of your samples

    Now, from this view, none of the menu links at the bottom work anymore (though they still change color on hover). I don't know if that is by design or accident, but I found this confusing at first. Which makes me think others might too.

    Otherwise, looks good.

    Best of luck finding freelance work, it is competitive out there.

  9. #9
    SitePoint Addict
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaredHales
    this won't neccesarily help you find work, but i have a suggestion for your website. i don't mean to be picky, but I just thought this might make your site even more user friendly.

    Click on 'Gallery' > choose a medium > then enlarge one of your samples

    Now, from this view, none of the menu links at the bottom work anymore
    Yeah I noticed that as well. A design mistake I am guessing.
    As much as flash is great - it may help you with search engines and prospective clients to have a splash page and optional html site to view.

    The freelancing sites which have been mentioned are good. A lot of those sites have developers quoting insanely low prices though... (exchange rates come into play - an indian developer may handle working for $5USD an hour)

  10. #10
    Non-Member dfeng's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by metavisia
    Hi, please, try those:

    www.elance.com
    www.scriptlance.com
    www.contractedwork.com
    www.projectspring.com
    www.gofreelancers.com
    www.freelancers.net

    There are many sites like those. Clients post projects, you bid on them, the best bid wins. Warning - you won't buy a Porsche using those sites
    I was a member of elance, even you can't live by them,Porsche is a dream

  11. #11
    Non-Member dfeng's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pfitz
    Yeah I noticed that as well. A design mistake I am guessing.
    As much as flash is great - it may help you with search engines and prospective clients to have a splash page and optional html site to view.

    The freelancing sites which have been mentioned are good. A lot of those sites have developers quoting insanely low prices though... (exchange rates come into play - an indian developer may handle working for $5USD an hour)
    yesterday,A buyer posted a project named "partner",he wanted to look for 4 Chinese web developer,he hoped each of their monthly salary is below 180USD(I guess if the salary is 0 USD,he will be happier),I don't think any Chinese developer want to be his pertner based this price,but this price has told us this cruel reality

  12. #12
    _ silver trophy ses5909's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squid
    Perhaps cold calls, and probono work would be successful.
    This is how I got started. There was a local community college that needed a website for its yearly golf tournament. I did their website free, and presented it to their board of directors and was able to sponsor a hole. This brought a few clients, which then, brought on more.

    So, if you do pro bono work, make sure you get some kind of free advertising out of it, then hopefully word of mouth will land you more clients.
    Sara

  13. #13
    SitePoint Zealot mixDev's Avatar
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    Freelancing is good if you are a jack of all games and trades . Or, for better you an go for better stuff like what Wythrol said.

    Still, Iam telling freelancing is a great thing to try. Simply because you are of your own. You have more freedom to express yourself. Just because of this(and for money of course) i pickedup freelancing for sometime eventhough iam not a jack.

    Local contacts are really first path to explore. You have more chance to make your local clients believe that you are worth considering. As far as I know they will be looking for ability to successfully complete the work. The price considerations comes only second. Yes. a novice freelancer will get difficulty there in the first step.

    There is an excellent article about this here.

    PS: I dont do freelancing much these days as I dont have time

    - Arun
    HostAccord - Cheap RAID 10 Webhosting


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