How to Find Freelance Work Online as a Web Developer
- The daily mindset of an agency
- How to Find Freelance Work Online as a Web Developer
- 1. I researched a handful of web/marketing agencies in my region
- 2. I sent emails to make connections AND to offer my services in the form of overflow work
- 3. Overflow work is the door to many opportunities
- 4. The Outcome
- The Takeaway for You
It began with the company I had been with for 10 years announcing that it would be laying off our entire department.
I was one of the few that was being kept for other duties, but still, I knew my time was short.
Having the feeling for months that this was inevitable, I had enrolled in a coding bootcamp and starting picking up development work on the side in hopes of one day quitting and freelancing full time.
Getting little gigs here and there wouldn’t cut it. I needed something more stable. Something that would allow me to make the transition with confidence.
And that’s what I’m about to share with you.
Is it Upwork?
No, though I‘ve had good success on Upwork in the past and can recommend that path to anyone willing to do a little research first.
The method I’m talking about is leveraging the success of others with an offer to make them more profitable.
The Daily Mindset of an Agency
Imagine the local Marketing, Design, or Development agency in your region. tra They can’t take every job that comes their way. Sure, they’d like to for financial reasons, but they just can’t keep up the resources to handle it. So they have to set limits. These limits allow them to be successful under certain umbrellas, niches, and price ranges. Anyone outside of these limits will need to look elsewhere.
What I realized at that time is that I could offer my services in a way that would allow them to expand their limits a bit.
Here’s my story.
How I Landed Consistent Freelance Work as a Web Developer
1. I researched a handful of web/marketing agencies in my region
I went straight to Google and looked up 5–10 web/marketing agencies in my area. For each of these, I looked for a “careers” page, “work with us” page, or something related to employment opportunities with the agency.
2. I sent emails to make connections AND to offer my services in the form of overflow work
Here’s a specific example:
I found one web agency that had an “Employment Opportunities” page. After reading this page and noting their need for help in multiple areas, I sent an email.
In this email, I had two goals. First, I wanted to introduce myself mainly to make a connection. I’m a new freelance web developer and this company is looking for web development help.
Second, I aimed to casually say something like, “If you ever have any overflow work that you need help on or you get too busy, I’d love to help out.” That’s all.
It’s largely making a connection, with a little bit of “I’m here to help” mixed in.
3. Overflow work is the door to many opportunities
Continuing this story, the agency I had contacted only took big projects. They turned away any projects under 10K.
It wasn’t that they didn’t want the sub-10K work, but we’re all limited in time and resources and can only take on so many jobs. And to pay the bills and still make a profit, you obviously want to take the projects with higher budgets.
But do you see the opportunity here?
Your role in this is to offer them a way to take on more work by sending the sub-10K budget work to you!
It’s a win-win.
They can take on more work, assign the work to you, and keep a cut of the profit. And you now have a source of not only work … but steady work.
4. The Outcome
So I sent this email offering to help with any overflow work.
The owner replied, checked out my portfolio, and decided to send me a small job to test the waters.
This led to a steady stream of work and income for the months to come. It not only led to web development work, but the owner found out I was a writer and asked me to write weekly blog articles for them.
It was a win-win for both of us. The pay was good. The work was steady. And I was able to avoid the feast and famine that many freelancers face.
The Takeaway For You
My example was specific to web development, but the approach can be used across the board.
I was able to land a writing gig with the same company that I was doing development for.
Many web/marketing agencies have a jack-of-all-trades approach with contractors of all sorts from writers to marketers to designers.
They regularly turn away work that doesn’t fit within their budgets or their capacity.
And that’s your opportunity.
It’s your opportunity to show up as a resource for them to take on more work and for you to add some much-desired consistency to your freelancing career.
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