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bobocel says

I’m not particularly interested in mentions about freelancing sites, as that’s something most of us should move away from, once the experience and portfolio starts to grow.

I’m actually interested in hearing how you guys get big jobs from direct clients, if that’s something you can share, without any client names, of course.

Do you directly approach them and say – your websites could be improved, or I have this idea where you could earn ten times more if you do this, and that. Or you simply put your portfolio out there and expect to get contacted?

Because the latter does not seem to work. We just launched the brand new Vuzum and so far we received 0 requests from it. We work with old clients, so that hasn’t helped much.

I will obviously connect with agencies and so forth, but all that will do is get them to work with us, and not direct clients. So if you have experience in working with an agency, can you share how did they got their gigs?

I’m sure this will help many, so thanks!

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CodingJack says

How are you getting traffic? And where’s the traffic coming from? SEO is tough for the web design market. But you can have success if you focus on certain regions. I get regular requests from having a top listing in a big city. Not big jobs. But small business websites. Big companies probably hire from word of mouth I think. Just my guess.

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marcfolio says

Big clients bring big headaches. ;)

I used to think a $10,000 site was a lot, and then I started working at a place where $100,000 is the cost of an average website. I recently single handedly completed 2 websites each worth $25K in a month, but when I was freelance worked harder and completed more and never billed $50,000 in a single month. Now I know it can be done.

I think bigger clients and projects have a lot to do with what you can handle. If you have a robust dev team getting larger clients should be possible. I think the key though is going out and getting them.

Pounding the pavement. Emails. Web presence. You want to look professional and bigger than you are. But I think contacting local businesses that are big, but too local to contact a bigger Design company is a good place to start. Not every company across the world can hire Group94, Pentagram, or Firstborn to build or design their stuff. And not all of us can work at places like that. That’s not to say we don’t have the talent or the drive.

Every business needs a website, or they need a new website, or on going web services, and they need stuff designed every month. And most small business or medium sized business have the cash. You just need to present the opportunity to them. Let them know what you do. I don’t think it’s wise chasing after the really big jobs if you don’t have the staff, support or know how to do the work. I once had an employer say that you want to do work that you’re atleast 95% confident you can do. If you venture too far out of your comfort zone you’ll blow the job and deadline.

So that’s my advice. If I was shit canned today that’s what I would do tomorrow. Cold call, ask previous clients for referrals, ask previous clients for bigger projects, monthly retainers…

It’s not easy, but good work begets more good work. You just have to ask for it sometimes.

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mbudm says

For me all new clients that contact me can be traced back to someone I once worked with. So basically all word of mouth. This does sometimes freak me out as I don’t know what will happen if this stops – but it’s been ok for 2 years now so as long as I do good work I assume it should continue. Otherwise I guess I’ll head back to a recruitment agency with my tail between my legs and take a 9to5 gig (shudder).

I’ve also started doing a lot more outsourcing of the html/css dev work in my projects as it’s better value for my clients than charging at my rate. That has put me more in the position of sourcing people and I have found myself veering towards using web developers that blog regularly about what they do – it gives a much clearer idea of what they believe in than can be understood from marketing style copy in a portfolio. Plus of course I tend to reuse the same vendors if I can (and they did a good job the first time ;-).

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CodingJack says

Big clients bring big headaches. ;)

I used to think a $10,000 site was a lot, and then I started working at a place where $100,000 is the cost of an average website.

Do guys offer condos with your websites? :D Biggest job I ever got was 11k, and what I learned from it was to always quote what you think you can get.

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TNL3542 says

wow a condo hmm maybe i should get into becomeing a author lol :) but damn a condo where im from the cheapest one is around 120,000 and thats ocean front if ure lucky

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tsafi says

For big job its …if/or your studio has a big name or you have wide connection on this sector, also taking a big project that can take 2-3 month with deadline can hold you on your other bus` you have, so this need to take under account and its not always fun .i get my major job from the matrix L division place i work with over a decade now. But since its big organization there is no problem to find there talented people in any web sector, but i guess it’s not a measure for the typical fishing major job.

Major job you need :
1. Connection
2. Recommended
3. Portfolio
3. Location (better fly a lot for meeting or have a represent or keep doing small job)
5. Credibility (major issue) those kind of job are been paid in full before you start usually start from the above $30-50,000.

Also I recommend focusing in fishing complete web flash accounts and enter in to the maintenance flash website, steady income + will help with connection/ recommended this what happen to me when i took the InfectedMushroom music band account at this level a new big sector just open to me

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MSFX Volunteer moderator says

just because you’ve launched a portfolio doesn’t mean you’re going to get work. You’ve got to go and drill up the work, which means networking and telling prospective clients their current site / apps stink and you can do better…

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pezflash says

I’ve been many years as a freelance (around 10 now, i think) so maybe my situation is not helpful as an advice, as i don’t look for clients for many years, one project brings another project, one client brings another client. The biggest projects i make are not directly for clients but for agencies, that hire me for design or direct development.

So, i think if you’re trying to reach to big projects (i’m agree with Marc, big clients are normally a headache, good payed, though -i prefer a few small projects than a big one) maybe you can try first to reach intermediary agencies and big studios. About how to reach them, the always useful “friend connection” is what worked for me. The people in agencies moves a lot from one to another, so if they are happy with you they will call you from the new place, for sure.

Try to make the most ad of your already done works, that’s our best weapon. Two months ago i’ve made a corporate identity (that’s my prefered design job, more than web design) for a small shoe shop in the center of Madrid. Since it opened i’ve received 3 requests for new identity projects, one for a big franchise business to run this year. Good works brings more oportunities than commercial movements and advertising expenses.

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bobocel says


Big clients bring big headaches. ;)

I used to think a $10,000 site was a lot, and then I started working at a place where $100,000 is the cost of an average website.

Do guys offer condos with your websites? :D Biggest job I ever got was 11k, and what I learned from it was to always quote what you think you can get.

Same here. Biggest job we got was around 10k EUR .

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