What actionable steps do you take to land a app/web contract in your local city? What things do you look for in particular that has yielded a consistent client base? I look on craigslist but it's often hit or miss. I end up doing meeting people for free and giving them free consultation and then have them back out at the last minute.

I don't mind following up on leads but it's just so sporadic, wondering what channels I should be looking into besides craigslist to find app/web contracts that I can work on after my day job.

Essentially I will have about 5 hours after work each day and I don't want to charge by the hour and prefer to a project based on deliverables.

Update: The problem with craigslist is that there it's hard or I don't know how to find descent contract jobs. What other sources do you recommend that is NOT odesk,freelancer,guru etc.?

  • This is a very open-ended question. What locale are you in? Why didn't the Craig's List route work? This looks a lot like a Freelancing Websites suggestion, which would be closed as too open ended
    – Canadian Luke
    Mar 3 '14 at 19:49
  • @CanadianLuke I'm in BC
    – KJW
    Mar 3 '14 at 21:19
  • This is still quite the open ended question. Check the rest of my notes above.
    – Canadian Luke
    Mar 3 '14 at 21:41
  • it's more like I don't know what to look for on CL, I have been to a few clients but were usually individuals looking to get a website up for a few hundred bucks etc. looking for more serious clients.
    – KJW
    Mar 3 '14 at 22:55
  • 1
    I'd have to agree with the first answer below, and suggest to steer clear of CL if it's not working for you (it didn't for me), but it still sounds like you're asking website recommendations. edit your question with the info you posted here in the comments, and that should help a lot with the question. And as a side note... Don't you just LOVE BC with all the snow we're getting?
    – Canadian Luke
    Mar 3 '14 at 23:01

To make it easier for potential clients to find me, I:

  • Determine how my target market will find clients.
  • Make sure I am visible in those places.

In my case, my target market will either do a Google search or they will use a referral. In the first case, I will at times use Google ad words localized to my area to make myself more visible. (But in my case this can get a bit pricey.)

Other target markets may do things differently, so that's why understand how your clients will look for you is so important.

I try to keep up with my referral network. I have lunch regularly with people who are good at referring me to their contacts. And I try to expand it by attending events where I will meet potential clients and connectors. My target market is small business owners, so I joined my local chamber of commerce.

I also contact former clients to see how things are going and if there are new opportunities with them.

In my case, Craigslist would be a poor source of leads. People using craigslist tend to be tire kickers and cheap, and those are not clients I'm interested in.

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