How I Landed My First Client

For those looking to become freelance designers and developers, I bring you motivation and hope!

A little over two years ago, I started my journey to change careers, and today I landed my first (paying) client!


This was done with no marketing—I don’t even have my own website up and running yet. (I’m waiting to polish a few things off) It’s important to recognize how important word of mouth is! I was talking to a friend and mentioned that I was going to start creating websites, and she mentioned that she had a friend whose business was looking to update their website. I took that lead, pursued it, and got a meeting scheduled.

How did I market myself at the meeting if I didn’t have a business site or portfolio to show?

Knowledge. I researched the company, checked out their current website, looked at their competitors, and came prepared. Do you know how excited I was when I looked at their website and felt like I was transported to the 90s? Non-responsive, out-of-date, behind standards, with a table layout. I explained how poorly designed and structured websites negatively impact users and how those websites also negatively impact SEO. Without showing any of my previous work—I did create a few quick sketches as examples—I was able to give my client the confidence that I would create a responsive, accessible, and visually appealing website that would increase conversion.

3 Tips as a Beginner:

  1. Don’t wait. A business website or portfolio are important; you should absolutely have one. But don’t let not having one stop you from talking about your work. If I didn’t mention I was trying to start my own business because my website wasn’t ready, I never would have landed this client.
  2. Be prepared. With or without a website or portfolio, have as much information available to you as possible. Even if you’re not actively seeking clients and waiting for them to contact you, once initial contact is made, pursue knowledge. Who are they? What kind of brand do they give off? What do you see that could be better? You will receive information from prospective clients about what they want, who they are, and where they want to be, but if you’re there first, it gives you an edge. The president of this company challenged me with questions, and I was prepared to answer them.
  3. Be confident. Own yourself. You know what you’re talking about. Make the client see that confidence.

For anyone in a slump, looking for advice, or wondering if it’s worth it, I hope that this gives you the boost you’ve been looking for!

Happy coding!~


Congratulations!!! Excellent advice. You know your stuff, and it sounds like your confidence was a big boost!


Thank you!

I feel like I have a pretty firm foundation, but I’m still learning a lot. But this definitely feels like a big step forward and I’m excited for what’s next!


Congratulations on landing your first paid client!

This post was definitely inspirational for me because I just made the career switch that you made over two years ago, today. My goal is to become an AI-focused business consultant, and found that the Natural Language Processing career path on here (and the Google Project Management Certification on Coursera) was perfect to help me build the fundamental knowledge and skillsets necessary.

I know that it’s going to be a long road ahead for me, but reading your post was the confirmation I needed to know that it’ll all be worth it! By the way, this is my first forum post so I’m SUPER new, and I’m excited to see your growth over the months to come! Cheers!


Welcome to the forums!

The interactions you have on the forums can be very rewarding; be sure to check out Discord as well! Switching careers can be a long road full of nerve-wracking bumps and curves, but having a community to support you along the way is a plus.


Thanks, and will do! See you on Discord and best wishes on your journey!


That’s amazing! Congrats on the first client.

Here’s to many, many more clients in your future! :raised_hands:


Amazing topic @kirativewd. I loved the idea that you went ahead and checked different companies and approached them it a fix. I’ve started doing the same with different open source orgs out there. I try to improve there apps and this also help me gain experience in development and UI/UX field. Reading this motivated me to start freelancing too! Thank you.

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Congratulations!! Your article very informative and valuable!

congratulations! I really needed to hear this today :wave: :star_struck:

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