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I'm a WordPress Developer living in the Middle East, I have a strong portfolio and experience. I want to expand my clients base to the US. Because I'm living far from USA, I can't have personal meetings with them. I tried Freelancing websites, I got few jobs, but it's not financially feasible.

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Skype

It doesn't matter if you can't have personal meetings with them, clients love to be able to do Skype meetings if you don't mind using it. You simply need to make it very clear that you're opened to chat with them about their projects. If you don't like being on video mode, they're usually alright with a voice chat as well.

Currency Value

There is another thing that could make you a good candidate for them: the value of the currency of your country. Instead of adjusting your prices all in US dollars, you should really calculate what is good value for you in your own currency and offer it this way to your client, with the US dollar value at the same time. When you adjust your prices already in US dollars, and at the same value as the other american developers, there's absolutely no advantages for them to select you.

Targeting the right market

If you want to attract more american clients, you need to show them what they want to buy. If your portfolio contains too much "regional" designs and not enough "international" designs, they might not be as attracted because clients often think what you show them is all you can do! For this reason, it's good to show them some work with more "americanized" flavor.

Go where clients are

Don't wait for them to find you, go where they hang. There's Facebook groups, forums, LinkedIn, and even reach them directly when you see a company is in need of a nice website.

Blog + Website

Be active online. Have a decent blog, show that you know what you're talking about, share useful tricks with THEM, not with the community of coders/dev! You need to target your content for your target market, not only what you know technically. Be opened to share the knowledge that could be useful for them as buyers. You know they won't build their own websites, but they might want tricks on how to find a good dev, what hosting to choose, what should they expect as process for the creation of a website, etc.

Since you develop Wordpress websites, you should have a nice elegant Wordpress website yourself (which I guess you have already.) Remember that the style you'll use for your own design will also influence which kind of clientele you'll attract. So on this, it's not a question of ego and showing your personality; it's a question of showing you can do nice business and corporative design.... and most of the time, less is better! So keep it simple. You will show your personality in your about page, your posts, your interaction with them, and that's enough for them to judge your character.

Freelance website... (arghh...)

Yeah, very hard to be respected as a skilled professional and get good work there, but with the tricks above, this might increase your chances on being selected or at least invited for some projects. Don't be too greedy, if you're just starting, or don't have a big portfolio, you might benefit from doing a few jobs that pay less but that can be used as reference for future work. The truth is that as designers and dev, we're "practicing" our skills all the time with the projects of our clients ;)

Unfortunately, if you're not very pro-active and if you don't have much initiative, you will have hard time finding freelance work out of freelance websites. It's often a starting point for a lot of freelancers but that doesn't mean you'll get your work there for the rest of your life!

Be honest

Always be honest when selling your services. It's hard for oversea buyers to fully trust services coming from countries where they cannot legally have any reach. So you need to always be an honest service provider, and negotiate clearly. Communication is very important, don't make them waste time. If you can also have a contract to show your terms clearly, it's a good thing. It will show them you have some method and how they can expect the projects to be managed by you. And respect the deadline and timeframe. One client who appreciates working with you will refer you to his friend, accountant, boss, etc.

Most of the time, clients will prefer to work with someone who is crystal clear when communicating, who doesn't let them confused or anxious, doesn't make them wait than working with a difficult provider with more skills! You need to make their life easier, not harder. They'll really appreciate this!

Since you're targeting americans... you need to get used to their "straight to the point" and very direct approach! They might not exchange a lot of emails before asking you what they want and how much they're willing to pay! If you are not responding well to this or try to make the negotiation process too long, that might not work well for you!

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Welcome to the real world! This was the reason why odesk and similar sites were made and are so successful. You will eventually find good clients on those websites, but it usually takes years. Only few I heard of managed to do it within 1 year or less.

You have other choices like social media Facebook and Linkedin, maintaining some open source project, making your own plugins, etc. Check out one of my latest questions on "how to survive outside of odesk, elance and similar websites" - there is a good reply there.

  • the question link would work wonders – shridatt Jul 4 '17 at 18:05
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Have a strong presence on social media regarding your work. Be a bit friendly in communication & yes just as the first answer use video call when having a meeting with clients.

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