Don’t be like other developers.
The reputation of a web developer is that they will make something and then disappear.
Most of my work has come from someone getting a website made and then their web developer disappeared and they don’t know how to get in and change their website.
I got a lot of work from just being fast and responsive.
Actually calling somebody back or sending back an email within minutes or showing up in person right away as soon as somebody reached out and said that they needed help with something or wanted to know an answer to some question or whatever.
I took advantage of being local and actually showed up in person, which may be difficult at times, but it’s something that you could still be quick about.
And even if you can’t do something for someone, just hearing them out and then figuring it out later is better than just ignoring them because that’s what people are normally doing in the web world.
Usually they’ll be quoted some multi-thousand dollar project for something that seems small and simple and really they just they wanted something quick and easy or somebody to take care of things.
Something else I’ve noticed is even though people will say, “Can you make something for me that I can edit later?” what they’re really saying is I just don’t want to pay someone a hundred dollars every time I need to make a small change.
If you can offer something where you make the website and also maintain it so they can send over their edits and you charge either a small fee each time or a monthly fee where they don’t have to worry about it.
That’s something else that I have found to be desired.
And when someone knows that you’re local, it gives you a better reputation because you’re trying to maintain a reputation.
If you were somewhere else and dropped the ball on a project, it wouldn’t matter because they couldn’t see you the next day or come and talk to you about it.
The advantages to having a local web service is you can you can stand out from the crowd just by being able to talk to someone in person and not scare them away with big prices because that’s what everybody else is doing.
Not that you have to be cheap.
You can offer a package deal that gives them something affordable for $100 or $500.
Try not to base things on time because that will trap you into thinking that your time is worth something when really it’s not.
People only want your time if it gets them results.
If you can offer them a result for an amount you both agree on, then it doesn’t matter how long it takes.
They’re not paying for the time, they’re paying for the result.
Your time is not worth anything to them.
What they want is whatever will put money in their bank account.
Can you create something that will help them get leads?
Can you create something that will sell for them and educate customers while they’re sleeping?
Something else to think about as you’re searching for clients around town is to look and see if a business has a website.
If they do, then there’s this website you can use called IsItWP.com and it’ll let you know whether or not they’re using WordPress.
If they are, then even if they don’t want you to come in and do anything to their existing website there is this thing where WordPress as a whole, they will pay for you to advertise about a local meetup on Meetup.com.
Then you can approach these businesses with WordPress sites and say, “Hey, I noticed that you had a WordPress site and wanted to know if you knew about the free local WordPress meetup that happens every month.”
Then you could become the WordPress person that is helpful to people at those meetings.
You can’t charge them at the WordPress meetup, but you can offer your services to them outside of the monthly meeting.
And being a part of the monthly meetups is a great way to reach new clients because Meetup.com shows the monthly meeting times inside the dashboard of every local WordPress site and you never know who might show up and need help.
Something else I would do when I was walking around locally in Waco, I would strike up a conversation with someone just by me going in and not necessarily asking whether or not they had a Web site, but just saying, “Hey, I noticed that you have a Google listing, but it says you haven’t claimed it. Would you like help doing that?”
It was a quick and free service that I was able to offer that was just a helpful way to make sure people could find them online and this would strike up a conversation later on where they would ask what else I did and that’s when I could offer that I that I build websites.
That’s one way to warm up somebody who has no idea who you are or what you’re selling.
And you don’t have to sell anything.
You can just go in and be helpful or even just ask who maintains their website and does that person know about the free local meetups?
Really, one of the goals is to get to a point where you’re the first person that comes to mind when somebody has an issue with their website.
If you find ways to be helpful to someone, even for free, when you get them out of a jam, they are going to think about you next time that comes up for themselves or the people they know.
What you want is to be the first name that comes to mind, because then when work comes your way as a referral, it’s more than likely going to turn into a project or a client for you because you don’t approach them as a cold lead.
It’s it’s a warm lead because they already trust the person that referred them to you.
If you can come up with a way to just be helpful to people and even document what you’re doing through a blog, podcast or YouTube channel then you can start getting your name out there and people will find you.