As a freelancer, targeting your desired clients requires time and effort, and sometimes money.

While spending money to generate leads can be a good thing, in this article I want to focus on the free lead generation tips to get clients as a freelance developer, all in a quick and easy read.

Let’s get started.

Target Your Desired Customer or Clients

Qualifying your leads is the key to landing the right clients, and lead generation is the best way to target the right clients.

Remember, the wrong leads won't see the value of your service no matter how excellent you walk through your process.

Here's how to niche down to make sure you're focusing on the right clients.

Generate Brand Awareness

The truth is most client leads won't convert into paying clients. One way to help convert more leads is to generate brand awareness.

You need to be top of mind when someone thinks of a freelancer or a niched agency.

To do this, you need to get active on social media and post helpful articles/content for your desired client.

Think about purchases you've made in the last year. Chances are, most of them resulted in being aware of a brand or someone letting you know about it, and very few were a result of direct advertising.

The Best Way to Get Free Leads

As a freelancer, you want to make the most of your skills, and spending too much time on lead generation might distract you from doing so.

Here are a few places to generate client leads:

Check Online Directories & Platforms

Directories and freelancing platforms are an excellent way to generate leads.

Here are a few platforms/directories to consider:

A great way to generate leads is through Quora. My brother, who is also a freelancer, generates a lot of leads from Quora each month.

All he does is he responds to relevant business questions, and business owners then reach out to him.

It's simple, but sometimes we just overcomplicate things. Do the same as my brother.

Hubstaff Talent
I've hired a few freelancers from this platform. Highly recommend it.

UpWork has a bad wrap, but it still works for so many freelancers today, so it's worth trying.

It may just be the best web directory that exists today for plenty of great reasons. This is in part because it allows consumers and encourages them to post reviews of local businesses. That means it not only enlists local businesses but is also considered as an online word of mouth service.

Yellow Pages
You can find tons of information such as telephone directories of businesses, organized by category rather than alphabetically by business name.

Being on the market for a decade now, this web directory is ideal for city or industry search.

Best of the Web
Helping businesses to get found online almost two decades now, Best of the Web is notable for providing extensive details per listing.

Improve Your Portfolio Landing Page

Improving your portfolio website is a non negotiable.

Here's an outline of an effective portfolio website:


Looking for portfolio website inspiration?

Read this: 13 Freelance Developer Portfolios to Inspire You

Optimize Your Website for SEO

This strategy is helpful in terms of ranking highly on Google. It can offer you excellent results once you apply the keywords you want to rank for.

Targeting the right keywords requires a regular reevaluation of your website, so you have to update your site consistently.

Here's how to apply SEO for web developers.

Create a Blog

Blogging is an excellent way of generating free leads.

Bottom line: create targeted blog articles and pages.

With more quality content, your website will be more searchable, too. Google can easily identify which website offers quality and updated content and this way, you will maintain traffic on your site and more traffic means more leads.

I receive a few leads each month from having targeted blog articles like:

  • Why Every [insert niche] Needs a Website
  • How [insert niche] Can Get More Clients Online
  • SEO for [insert niche]

Leverage Social Media

Be where your ideal client is.

Post what they want to see, and be consistent.

  • If your ideal client is in tech, focus on Twitter.
  • If your ideal client is in food or beauty, focus on Instagram.
  • If your idea client is in a professional industry, focus on LinkedIn.

Send Compelling Emails

Email outreach is arguably one of the most successful lead generation methods today.

There are ways to automate email outreach like with Mailshake, but if you don't have the money, you can go the manual route.

To get emails, you can use a tool like FindThatLead.

Here's an example of an email:

Hi [name],

I just came across your website after searching for X and I noticed Y.

I’d love to discuss a few ways you can improve your website and generate more clients.

We’ve helped other [insert niche] double their online bookings.

Do you have time for a 5 minute call this week?


Your name

Now you just have to put in the effort and reach out to potential clients :)

Wrapping Up

In an ideal world, attracting leads and selling your freelance services can be a walk in the park, but in reality, it is simply not that easy. Success in your freelancing career depends a lot on being proactive and putting in the work.

Stepping out of your comfort zone can be scary, but the reward is worth it!

Remember, there is no better time to start your lead generation than now.

I hope this article helps you in starting – or improving – your lead generation process.

Until next time,