How I started getting clients right till the point where they now reach out to me!
I post on my story when I’m working on projects and I get asked quite often how I get clients, so here’s my story from the start till where I am currently 🙂
As I mentioned in this article I got my first client before I even started coding, yes I was lucky but it was quite difficult & stressful!
Let me start from the beginning:
So it was in the era of Blackberry’s 🙂 BBM was the thing back then. I used BBM as a business tool as I would advertise for others.
One day someone on BBM had a sale on jewelry she was selling, so I asked her to send me the details so she started sending me individual pictures and prices it annoyed me as there was over 30 styles, so I asked her why she doesn’t have a website for her business she said she doesn’t know how to get one.
So I began searching and found webs.com I made an account and created my first “website” there by dragging and dropping elements.
I wasn’t happy that you had to have a sub domain, the only way to get your own domain was to register one through the website which I found out later after contacting a host and so on..
Anyways the host I contacted gave me a price. I then contacted the lady and we agreed on a price and she paid directly into my hosts account which was use to pay for the domain and hosting!
As you probably guessed it wasn’t a huge amount and my host was ripping me off (which I didn’t know at that time)
I bought a domain and signed up for a hosting package,he provided me with a cPanel and I was shocked as I didn’t know what was going on! There was no tool for me to create a website (I still didn’t know what coding was) so I contacted him and asked him he said you need to code it and I said I don’t know so he said use Joomla I installed it but I was lost and didn’t know how to use the interface, eventually he added one of those web builders (I forgot the name).
So I created her website using the builder, but I wasn’t impressed as it wasn’t customizable.
So I asked my host how can I customize, lucky he was a nice guy only bad thing was he was very expensive.
He helped me out and taught me a lot so I’m very thankful.
He guided me down the path of web design by telling me what to learn etc. The rest of the story is history 🙂
WHILE LEARNING CODING:
While learning I had 3 clients which I built sites for them using the web builder.
Wasn’t a good move and I’m not proud of it. 🙈
HERE’S THE POINT WHERE I START DEVELOPING WEBSITES
Maybe 3 months later not sure
So after playing around with HTML, CSS I developed a few test sites, and I felt comfortable throwing myself out!
Lucky I still had BBM at that time, so I had a way of contacting business owners but it was fading out 🙁
I put out adverts on BBM, contacted a few people and I managed to get a client and I created a website for their business.
BBM then faded out, people moved to Apple and Samsung. I lost most of the people I had contact with.
I started gathering email addresses, phone numbers and trying to get them on Instagram but my list of a few thousands went to a small number.
A lot of the email addresses I had bounced, I had 10-20 on Whatsapp and about 100 on Instagram.
I wasn’t too concerned as my life was quite hectic.
I was still in school and I was also attending extra curriculum’s after school.
Anyways fast forward a few months:
I changed hosts to a huge company that was 70% cheaper!
I was ready once again, so I contacted a few people, posted adverts on Instagram and after a few weeks someone agreed and gave me the job 🙂
I designed their website and then I went back to contacting more people, I then received another client.
I started posting up screenshots of my work onto my instagram feed.
I put up this whole advert about how much easier it is for clients to view products, find you etc.
Maybe another month later: I received another client who was referred to me by a client of mine (WORD OF MOUTH IS VERY IMPORTANT !)
I was not worried about getting more clients or that it was spread out as I was still in school and quite busy!
If I put in more effort I would have gotten more clients.
I then found a circle of home industry businesses which I joined and we would promote each others businesses and give out vouchers.
I collaborated with many businesses, from those collabs I would get people who would follow me on instagram, contact me. Those who were genuinely interested in getting a website would come back after a few weeks or months as they couldn’t find anyone cheaper as my rate was really low.
As I carried on making websites my advertising got less and less as my clients were coming in through word of mouth.
Current point of time:
There is periods of time where I don’t have a new project I’m working on and I am happy for that!
Why? : Because I use the time to work on personal projects, study more, research, improve and work on my skills and take a breather! Also it gives me more time to work on my Instagram content and engage with my followers as well as get some content for this site 🙂
I my article: Am I a Freelancer or Company owner ? What you need to learn besides the actual coding of the website! (I would recommend you read it!)
I mentioned that I make my clients permanent and not offer them just a once off service.
I get in a monthly fee from 70% off my clients.
I offer them hosting, maintenance and other bits which secures me a fee every month as well as keeping my client with me, I also have to deliver the service so even though its not a new client I have work to do for my existing clients.
How I currently get clients: Via word of mouth, Google search and Instagram.
Word of Mouth
Something very important and I believed in it from the start.
Remember when engaging with clients how you interact and treat them can get you more clients or stop you from getting clients.
Obviously your work should be good otherwise your overall service won’t be good.
So if someone see someone else’s website and likes it and they need a website they’ll go to the business owner ask who created the website and obviously ask how their service was and if they are happy with what they hear there’s a good chance of you landing a new client 🙂
At first Google didn’t want to verify me as a business since I didn’t have a physical space and I didn’t want to put my home address on Google,
After 2 years I think Google realized I’m legit and got me verified so if you were to search for a service in my area I would pop up in the results.
So that’s another way I gain clients.
I don’t have a huge following on my business Instagram page but a lot of my business came through it.
I don’t know how that’s possible since I have just over a thousand, I guess most of my followers are clients or potential clients and not people who just felt like following as I don’t post things that would attract a following just content that would attract clients.
As I mentioned that I would collaborate with other businesses, I still do it not as often but once in awhile and it makes a huge difference.
We give out vouchers for each others businesses, have mini giveaways etc.
A lot of you may have the question in your minds about freelance websites!
I can’t really give you much information on it as I didn’t give it much time nor have I tried different networks.
I signed up to one freelance website, take note this was in the early stages of my journey so a lot of the projects I didn’t qualify for and those that I did qualify for were either booked out or I didn’t get accepted.
Now as I mentioned I didn’t give it much time, for networks like this you need to be active on the site and apply to as many as you can. I went on it two days in a row and then like once or twice a week after that.
I then decided I didn’t want to do this. I thought once I have more experience I’ll be able to apply to more projects and I’ll come back then, truth be told I never went back to the site 🙂
I think the approach of contacting local businesses personally is much better.
I found these two of my adverts umm.. This is an advert which I would broadcast to people.
I would also send personal messages but I couldn’t find any of those 🙁
Good Luck !
If you have any questions drop them in the comments below, also share with me your thoughts 🙂
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