How to get new clients as a freelance developer

This is the first worry of every developer who is considering the idea of leaving their job to embrace the freelance life. How will I get customers?

The answer is not simple and everyone has their own story and style. Here I will share what I think is effective. Which is what worked for me.

mary-poppins.webp Freelance nanny looking for clients. Mary Poppins, Robert Stevenson 1964

Word of mouth

This is the most important thing for a freelancer. Work well, be helpful, leave a good memory and you will never have to look for clients in your career.

This doesn’t mean satisfy all customer request and always saying yes, on the contrary. A healthy and honest professional relationship offers a better chance of success than an unbalanced and strained one. Smart people recognize and value this.

If you’re just starting out, you might think you can’t count on word of mouth, but that’s not the case. Even people you have worked with before becoming a freelancer may tell potential clients about you. I even received great help from my former employer for example.


I must confess that I’m not a big fan of LinkedIn. Not those posts that are all the same, not the motivational sentences, the banality, all people trying to appear perfect and professional, the extreme political correctness, the crazy business language and so on BUT a good portion of my clients come from there.

LinkedIn is too important a channel to do without. So I try to take care of it without getting too involved in pointless debates.

Every now and then I find something interesting there too

Personal blog

This is the most laborious and ultimately least effective method, but it is the one I love the most.

Having a blog doesn’t offer many direct advantages, someone finds you via Google but it’s not very frequent. However, having it is an excellent business card for potential customers who are looking for information about you.

Plus it gives you the opportunity to create quality content to share on social media.

Blogging isn’t for everyone, but if you like the idea, I highly recommend it. it’s indirectly useful for acquiring customers and it also has a lot of other benefits which I will talk about in another post


Actively participating in the life of a technical community allows you to specialize in a particular technology. This means that at some point you will be recognized as an authoritative person in that very technology and you will be contacted by potential customers who need a specialist.

Don’t forget, however, that excessive specialization in the long term is a risk because technologies are short-lived. (Specialization is for insects).

Open source

Contributing to an open source project has all the benefits of participating in a technical community. Users of the software you collaborate on may seek you out to develop extensions or provide training.

Plus it’s a great way to meet and learn from other developers.

It’s really worth it.

Other freelancers

It’s essential for a freelancer to have a trusted group of other freelancers to share jobs with. First of all, this allows you to take on larger jobs that you couldn’t handle alone, or that require different skills than yours.

The side benefit is that the customer acquisition work will also be shared and therefore there will be more opportunities for everyone.

There are many reasons for freelancers to connect. If you are also a freelancer and are reading this post, let’s get in touch!


Irene Iaccio

Freelance web developer

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