How to make money as a freelance developer – business tips from an expert

0:00 – Should you become a freelance developer?
8:22 – How to stand out from other freelance developers
14:53 – How to sell your services
25:50 – Where to sell your services

Summary of points:

Should you be a freelancer?
– Are you self-motivated or do you need structure provided for you?
– People who can regulate themselves, and require themselves to work set hours from home, are best suited for freelancing.
– People who require someone to provide them with a work schedule and deadlines is better suited to work for someone.
– Can you make money as a freelancer?
– Roughly 30 percent of the 24 million small businesses in the US do not have a website. This equates to 7.2 million businesses.
– If each of these businesses paid $3,000 for a website then that would be a total market of $21,600,000 (7.2m * $3,000).

How you can stand out from other freelancers.
– It’s important to recognize that most developers don’t do a good job of connecting with potential customers.
– There are a plenty of web developers in the US. Despite this, 7.2 million small businesses don’t have a website.
– The fact that there is a high number of developers and a high number of businesses still in need of service indicates a “disconnect” between the development community and the small business community.
– The best way to bridge the “disconnect” is to identify and solve the problems of small businesses.
– Developers must talk to small businesses about their problems and how software will solve those problems.
– Many developers make the mistake of talking about software and code and not about problem solving.
– Taking a “problem solver” approach will help bridge the disconnect between developers and small businesses.

How to sell your services.
– The initial meeting/phone call is your opportunity to connect with the customer.
– Use your initial meeting with a potential customer to identify the customer’s needs and problems.
– Identifying the potential customer’s problems requires in-depth questions and follow up.
– Close the sale by explaining how software will solve the problems you have identified.
– Give specifics as to functions the software will perform and how those functions will solve the problems you have identified. This is more effective than the approach of many other developers
– Your written proposal must be specific as to the services you are providing. This avoids disputes.

Where to sell your services
– Networking events can help generate business.
– DO NOT go to networking events which are mostly made up of developers. It’s better if you’re the only developer in the room.
– BNI ( is a good place to network with small business owners.
– Third party services can help you find customers
– and are good places to find customers.
– Third party services/platforms often include fees for listing your services and you will often perform work for reduced rates.
– Your own website can bring in business.
– This doesn’t require the time of networking and alleviates the problems of third-party services/platforms
– Google Adwords is a way to promote your website. Adwords, however can be expensive.

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This Post Has 32 Comments

  1. Remus Heghedus

    The best freelance web dev advice I found so far!
    0% code talkie, 100% business talkie!
    I want to learn more from you! How/where can I do this? How can we connect Luke Ciciliano?

  2. lalaithan

    Everyone says people are cheap and don't want to shell out the cash, but you can see the ones where businesses have scrimped on web pages from a mile away.

  3. Kate Ye

    I love the emphasis " you can sale".

  4. Nick Fleming

    If you only knew sales, you wouldn't even need to learn to code. You just sell your customer on your service and then sell a coder on making it for you.

  5. GenericGameDev

    lol, "If you need structure, go make money for a capitalist."

  6. Chris Haupt

    I wish I'd found this video sooner. Great stuff, thank you very much.

  7. Roman Landa

    The most helpful video about freelance development I saw. Thank you Luke!

  8. Vanessa Snipe

    What about things like SquareSpace or Wix? That's what I'm afraid of going the freelance route.

  9. Fathah

    hey id appreciate it if somebody could answer my doubt
    i understand getting the clients building the website part but i dont understand what to do after that like should i sned the the files or should i host it on my own etc

  10. Timothy Keith

    If you're good at selling your freelance skills you should became a full time salesperson and earn more. If you're not good at marketing your freelance skills, you can't work alone.

  11. iVuDang

    This guy Luke Ciciliano is really knowledgeable. This is my second video I'm watching from him, and everything he says is fire. Truth bombs.

  12. Mike S.

    This presentation is SO undervalued. Please do this again for freelancers! ❤️❤️❤️

  13. JP

    this is fantastic

  14. NiceThings

    This description section with important points is good…

  15. S. A.

    an awesome presentation, it summs everything very good up.

  16. Elkhan Hamet

    Amazing!!! Thank you very much Luke!!! So much valuable information 👍👍👍. Enjoyed learning from pro

  17. Rifat Hossain

    I want to be freelance developer . I am a cs student . I really can't decide which area I should lean in to. Which skills I should lean to prepare myself. I know c++,java,c# . Anyone reading this comment your opinion is valuable. Please give suggestion . I want to do this for experience and want to lean real world development.

  18. Ztq

    Thanks for the video. Only question I have is when do you talk to them about the proposal?

  19. Academiclibrary

    0:00 – Should you become a freelance developer?
    8:22 – How to stand out from other freelance developers
    14:53 – How to sell your services
    25:50 – Where to sell your services

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