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Where to get new business
sodani




msg:3086099
 1:46 am on Sep 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

I've been a webmaster for roughly 1 year. I have one client whom I'm making about $300 a month from. Does anyone have any tips on getting new clients? I shmooze and network when it's appropriate, but so far that hasn't gotten me any new projects.

 

axgrindr




msg:3086231
 7:28 am on Sep 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

How about some of the freelancer sites? elance, getafreelancer, rentacoder, etc.

They also have guys on these sites that are acting as consultants or project managers. They bid on projects then farm out the work to their teams. You might be able to hook up with one of these guys so you don't have to constantly bid for projects.

sodani




msg:3086675
 8:41 pm on Sep 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

Have you had any experience on those sites? I'd love to hear some feedback.

axgrindr




msg:3086694
 9:13 pm on Sep 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

Have you had any experience on those sites?

As a buyer yes. Not as a provider (you would be the provider).

Your best bet might be to just keep an eye on the projects you see being posted on these sites. Just read through them and see if any of them fit your skill set. If you find one you are interested in then bid on it.

If it is your first project you might want to try bidding low to win the bid.
Winning bids are usually based on good reviews/feedback but sometimes the buyer will take a chance on a newcomer. I quite often choose the provider that has no feedback but shows a genuine interest in the project. In fact, the three programmers I have hired now as (almost) full-time emplyees were originally providers with no feedback or reviews.

When you place your bid make sure you don't just copy and paste your CV or resume into your bid description. Most buyers ignore providers who do this.

What you should do is really study the project, come up with some ideas, maybe even a mockup, then post this along with your bid. Buyers love this type of initiative.

If you win a bid and do the project just make sure you do everything you can do finish the project on time and in a professional manner. And above all make sure you are contactable via IM or Skype. A daily update of your progress is imperative for the buyer.

When you start getting good reviews and feedback from completed projects people will start to trust you and you can charge more for your service. Or you might find someone like me who will continue to keep you busy every week.

sodani




msg:3087988
 10:58 pm on Sep 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

I use scriptlance a lot as a buyer. However, I think I would make next to nothing on it as a seller because I'd be competing with people globally. Anyone have any experience with this on the selling end?

jtara




msg:3088140
 2:36 am on Sep 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

I quite often choose the provider that has no feedback but shows a genuine interest in the project.

I'm a software engineer, and have been on both sides of the hiring process. (Not online - just locally.) I have to say, on both sides, genuine interest matters a great deal. When I am interviewing, I almost always jump-in and start making design suggestions. This almost always gets me the job. (Caveat - I am a contractor, work through an agency, and employers are well pre-screened. If I do not find the work interesting, I decline to have my resume sent to the employer.)

On the other side, when I have been asked to help evaluate a candidate (interestly, these have most often been for permanent positions, even though I am a contractor) again, what impresses me most is a genuine interest in the project, as well as when they start to solve the problem then and there.

I'm hard to BS, so I don't ask trick questions or ask them to solve puzzles - which seems to be a favorite technique of many.

(My most bizarre interview ever as a prospective employee was one where I was asked if I played a musical intrument. The position had nothing to do with music or audio. The hiring manager was of the opinion that musicians make better programmers. I didn't get the job. For the record, I HAVE done work with digital audio... I'm just not musically inclined. I believe the term is "can't carry a tune in a basket.")

If the knowledge, talent, and interest is there, it will come out in the interview, when they start solving the problem, suggesting the right tools and techniques.

(Oh, I have one other rule. Wearing a suit will get you a polite, 1/2-hour interview. And that's all.)

In fact, the three programmers I have hired now as (almost) full-time emplyees were originally providers with no feedback or reviews.

That's good to hear, as I've considered trying this. I only want to do some small projects to get my feet wet. Was wondering if anybody would hire somebody with zero feedback.

I think I would make next to nothing on it as a seller because I'd be competing with people globally.

I imagine there must be people who are explicitly looking for people in their own country or at least that speak their language natively. Sometimes cultural differences can cause a problem. As well, language and time differences. A cheap programmer overseas doesn't help if the manager refuses to get up in the middle of the night to communicate with them.

I've worked with a couple of Russian programmers. In one case, on-site (he was from Russia, but lives here now - but was originally hired as a telecommute). That one was a bit of a cowboy, difficult to get along with - you could not disagree with him, and unfortunately, he was put in charge of a project. Produced OK but not great code, but a lot of it in a short time. Did not make great design decisions, IMO.

Second one was a telecommute. This time the tables were flipped or perhaps we were peers. He worked for a small specialized stock broker, the CEO was essentially the project manager (and was actually qualified to do this, as he had a technical background). I was the sole technical talent (and partner) for one of the broker's customers. They were developing a new order-entry API, and we were the broker's lead customer who would use the API. Anyway, it worked out very well - he did a great job - a good design, "got" what we were looking for, and was very diligent about fixing bugs.

My one frustration was communication. I am used to being able to pick up the phone and clear things up and work things out interactively. I finally twisted the broker's arm to get the guy's phone number (guess he was afraid we would hire him away), but it was a futile effort. I quickly discovered that all communication had to be in writing so that he could take his time to work out the translation.

My point is - I imagine many customers would prefer not to go through these communication hassles, and would specifically want somebody in their own country.

axgrindr




msg:3088450
 9:50 am on Sep 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

I think I would make next to nothing on it as a seller because I'd be competing with people globally.

You already are competing with people globally. You're in a global business.
Outsourcing is probably the main reason why it is hard for you to find clients.

agbenny




msg:3088763
 3:12 pm on Sep 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

SEO, Cold calls, Email marketing, display at trade fairs and all other 'Good' marketing practices are essential to get business. As a webmaster, strengthen your website for Search Engines, Target local or global customers - Building a market in this global village with a website and search engine is the most cost effective way.

sodani




msg:3089549
 2:39 am on Sep 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

Maybe these freelance sites aren't where I should be looking. My background is in online marketing strategy, client services and project management. I don't do any of the actual coding or designing. My strength is in advising clients how to spend their online dollars and executing on it. As an employee, I've always worked at large ad agencies serving large clients on website development, online media planning and buying, e-mail marketing, display and keyword advertising...

Maybe I should be looking for clients with medium sized pockets instead of trying to compete with operations out of the far east that charge $5/hr?

Frequent




msg:3089573
 2:59 am on Sep 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

My experience is that referalls rule. Offer a great incentive for your current (and future) customers to send you business.

To do this, you really must have very happy clients so make sure you wow them with results. This is especially true if you are targetting a very localized client base.

Freq---

axgrindr




msg:3089613
 4:05 am on Sep 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

website development, online media planning and buying, e-mail marketing, display and keyword advertising...

ah,
maybe you can market yourself as an Adwords Campaign Manager. A friend of mine does really well running Adword campaigns for various companies.

gazraa




msg:3091458
 11:53 am on Sep 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

I've been freelance for a year now and luckily all my work has come from word of mouth of friends, family and existing clients. So I must be doing something right. I know I can't rely on it, but so far it's working out well.

Whatever you do, or whoever you meet (within reason), make them aware of what you do. Obviously don't bore them too much with it and make it look like you are trying to get work a such :) For instance, I belong to a photography club, I run their website, but from that several club photographers have asked me to build them websites.

If you've got a good client, why not see if they know anyone that needs your services? If they keep using you, then they obviously like you and are likely to recommend you to other people, so it might be worth just having a conversation with them and see what comes from it.

Frequent




msg:3094632
 4:07 am on Sep 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

I would argue that good "word of mouth" referrals are the only advertising you CAN rely on.

Happy clients (even friends and family) are like gold. It takes hundreds if not thousands of dollars of traditional advertising to generate equivalent quality leads.

Entire industries are built around the referral system.

Insurance agents are a great example. If an insurance agent works his or her tail off for a few years to build up a client base they are on easy street. Business will literally come to them from customer referrals, and grow exponentially to the point that one agent can't handle the business. This assumes of course that their customers are happy enough with them and the company to make referrals to friends and families.

It was also the original premise of Google's page rank system and it worked very well until the mass manipulation and buying/selling of began.

Freq---

percentages




msg:3094675
 6:17 am on Sep 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

>Where to get new business?

The golf course is a good place to start. $100K per month min comes from playing golf. Sailing another $80K per month.

Wife started painting lessons recently.....at least $50K per month from that crowd:)

Ballroom dancing......yes, the rich hang out there too!.....another $30K per month.

Social affairs...the rotary club....etc....another $100K per month.

Just hang out with those that have money and you will very soon be one of them;)

sharbel




msg:3095274
 10:11 pm on Sep 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

The golf course is a good place to start. $100K per month min comes from playing golf. Sailing another $80K per month.

Wife started painting lessons recently.....at least $50K per month from that crowd:)

Ballroom dancing......yes, the rich hang out there too!.....another $30K per month.

Social affairs...the rotary club....etc....another $100K per month.

A bit off topic, but are you implying you make 360k a month as a web-developer, and all from your golf, sailing, ball room dancing and rotary buddies?

sgg24




msg:3107823
 6:48 am on Oct 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

Word of mouth is certainly the surest method. I've been marketing for about a year and repeat business comes from having relationships. My entire industry is based on this premise - selling to friends and family.

It's called network marketing, or direct selling, and it's about $100 billion a year.

Good luck!

henry0




msg:3109355
 11:42 am on Oct 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

Join your local BNI (Business Network International)

About a year ago a WebmasterWorld member stated "Best move I ever done"
I did it and agree with that fellow poster.

lorax




msg:3109422
 12:56 pm on Oct 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

I actually left BNI about 2 months ago. Not my cup o' tea. My marketplace is nationwide/international. A local marketing group seemed pretty pointless but the experience was good. Practicing that 60 second spot was the best thing I got out of it!

henry0




msg:3112018
 12:39 pm on Oct 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

lorax, Correct! It really gave me a great training in introducing myself to "strangers" last year I was on the membership comity; I still like it but too much admin paperwork, other than that: A great experience.
Because of it (And because I am in the States close by large metropolis) I was able to sign a contract in the high 5 figures with potentially many more to come from the same source.
So it paid for my membership :)

percentages




msg:3129526
 5:15 am on Oct 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

>are you implying you make 360k a month as a web-developer, and all from your golf, sailing, ball room dancing and rotary buddies?

I'm retired, and never imply anything! 360K per month from social contacts is probably an under estimate....but, that is not that important.

Trump will make tens of millions per month from his social circle, I make less, but, we live and learn:)

All I'm advising is that your circle of influence is where your future wealth will be found.....build it, destroy it, the choice is yours!

Fortune Hunter




msg:3132492
 2:17 am on Oct 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

sodani:

First, I would stay away from the freelance sites. I spent a considerable amount of time there when I was first starting and it was really a waste of time. You are in a HUGE bidding market where despite what is said you are simply a commodity that is being shopped for the lowest price. I found that even bidding low I would lose to even lower bidders or I would find a lot of "tire kickers" that didn't have real projects, but would throw fake ones out to see what the going rate was. Unfortunately you don't discover this until after you have written a billion of those little proposals they want you to write.

Second, my background is similar to yours and I have re-positioned myself as a marketing and management consultant that happens to work on Internet projects. It has done wonders for my reputation and business, which has experienced incredible growth for the past two years.

I would highly recommend you read all the books that Alan Weiss writes on consulting. You will appreciate his techniques on consulting and as I said his stuff has done amazing things for me.

Fortune Hunter

Lorel




msg:3143062
 2:50 am on Nov 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

If your website ranks well for a variety of keywords you won't need to advertise anywhere.

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