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I am a Web developer with over 4 years experience, and I currently work for a company. Now, I want to start my own company. How can I get work and clients?

I know about few sites, like freelancer.com, odesk.com, elance.com. Here I am like a small fish in the ocean. I bid on projects, but I don't get any. There are other players with paid memberships and past experience on those sites, so they get the job.

How can I land a contract and get one of these jobs?

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  1. Do you have a portfolio of previous projects? How are people going to know if you're any good without previous work being available? When I designed websites (back when I did), I had asked every client, before starting, if I could use it in my portfolio. Every one of them said to go ahead. That's the first thing.
  2. Until your name is well known, you may not get many jobs to start. You need to advertise yourself in every way: online presence, friends/family, Facebook, Twitter, maybe a blog... You need people to realize you are wanting to do web stuff, and you want to take on projects. See this question for more info about finding clients in your local area.
  3. If you're bidding too high, you won't get the job; if you're bidding too low, you won't be satisfied. Determine your ideal rate. See this question for information on determining if it's a price per hour, or per project, that you should be using.

Ultimately, it's how you advertise yourself, and what you can deal with for a job. Don't take a large project for pennies on the dollar, and don't undervalue yourself. I always estimate an extra 50%, because every client will want more and more and more; that's how I prepare for the inevitable.

  • yes i have a portfolio of previous projects. – Sajal Oct 12 '13 at 12:57
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    It's much easier to get work from people that know you or from a personal recommendation so start with family and friends and their friends. Also, try carving out a market niche for yourself. You may have specialist skills that smaller design and development shops need. Attending meetings relevant to your skills via meetup.com and similar can be useful for finding the right people. – Neil Robertson Nov 6 '13 at 7:16

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