One of the biggest pains about being a freelance mobile app developer is finding clients. But you have to do it.
If you want to start freelance work or grow your mobile app freelance business, there’s no definitive list of places to find clients…until now.
I put together a list of about 36 websites where you can find new clients. If you think I forgot a quality site just let me know and I’ll add your suggestion to the list.
P.S. If you need to hire a freelance app developer yourself, feel free to use this list.
TapFame – TapFame isn’t your typical site to find freelance work. You start by building a portfolio of the live apps you’ve worked on. They also let you list the exact technology (frameworks, etc.) you used. My favorite part about TapFame is that they are a high quality resource for mobile app developers. They are more than just a place to list your freelance services, it’s a community.
Toptal – Toptal focuses on connecting top talent with top companies. It’s good for mobile app freelancers that charge higher rates for their development services. The only thing thing is, it may take a month or two to get you from sign up to working on this site. You have to take a lot of tests, do code challenges, and do a few interviews to get accepted. But if you’re willing to jump through their hoops, you’ll get higher quality work from higher quality clients. Plus, you get can choose to work full time or part time.
Ziptask – If you don’t like finding clients or working with them, this may be for you. Ziptask is unique because they act as a project manager between you and “your client”. They do all the hard work the typical freelance mobile app developer hates. They find clients, bill them, and communicate with them. It’s a big win for mobile app freelancers just starting or too overwhelmed to handle the business side of app freelancing.
Crew – This site claims to handpick the developers they work with. They connect you with prospective clients in about 48 hours after a client makes a work request. They review mobile app developer applications by hand, even going so far as to check the Github projects you’ve contributed to. If you make it through the process, I’m sure you’ll find their site provides access to better clients and more consistent short term work.
LinkedIn – There’s plenty of opportunities for freelancer mobile app developers on LinkedIn. Look in Groups. Search for jobs. Just look around and you will find client work. Freelance iOS developers can look here. Freelance Android developers can check this group out. Freelance Windows developers can go here. Any app developer can find clients on LinkedIn.
Smashing Magazine – The Smashing Magazine website has been around for years. One of the best parts of their website is the job section. Just browse here and look for the available mobile freelance positions in the programming category. Since Smashing Magazine charges people $200 to list their job, you may find higher quality clients.
Fiverr – I know what you’re thinking. Why would I want to work with clients that only want to pay $5? Well, I’m definitely not asking you to code anything for $5. But there are ways to market your services to find quality clients that will pay your full rate. I have a few ways to use Fiverr in this article. But please for goodness sake, don’t code anything for $5. I’m begging you.
App Booker - Appbooker is nice because the site lets you add as much detail as you feel it takes to book a client. On Appbooker you can add your entire portfolio, images, video, and contract terms. Adding contract terms alone can help filter out unwanted clients before they even contact you.
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Developer Agents - You can find high quality work on this site through referrals. Developer Agents sends out a newsletter that broadcasts your services to potential clients once you are available for work. The referrals are usually given by fellow developers, typically people you used to work with or did work for. Then your work is broadcasted anonymously to clients looking for help. The site focuses on connecting remote workers, so no geographic constraints here.
Meetup – Meetup.com lists events that like-minded people can attend. And there are events listed here all around the world that connect mobile app freelancers with potential clients. If you can find the right one nearby, go. There’s nothing like a face-to-face meeting to set you apart from others. It’s also the best way to discuss ideas or see if you’re a good match for each other without the formalities of quotes and proposals.
Craigslist – Oh Craigslist! It’s the default for everything. But believe it or not, you can find people looking for mobile app freelancers here too. You can search through listings to find clients. You can also create a listing of your own to attract potential clients. Of course, use the same caution you use doing anything else on Craigslist. Also, try and use a redirecting number or email address. This will help you filter the spammers from the real deal.
Matchist - Matchist focuses on matching U.S. based freelancers with clients. This is for U.S. based mobile app freelancers that find it hard to compete with developers living in lower cost countries. I bet you can also expect to find higher paying clients since they expect higher rates from U.S. based mobile app developers.
Valuecoders - Since Matchist only accepts American freelancers, it’s only fair to list a site for “offshore” devs. Valuecoders helps people find offshore developers. If you’re one, take advantage of your lower cost of living and list here. Now, if don’t like to compete on price (which you shouldn’t), I’d stay away from sites like this. They seem to be targeting a pretty price sensitive bunch.
They Make Apps – I like this site because it features your average project price. This is good for everyone involved to avoid wasting time on quotes and emails just to find out rates. Want to really beat out other mobile app freelancers for the job? You can advertise and get your listing featured. I’d only do this after a few months on the site to see how many clients you can get without paying.
Stack Overflow - Whaaa!? Your go-to site for code help can help you find client work, no way. It’s true! Just mention you’re a freelance app developer in your profile, add contact info, and be active in the community. The results will surprise you. The best part is, most of the clients that find you on this site are fellow developers. It’s companies trying to expand their development teams or looking for short term help. Either way, if you want to find work with more experienced clients, try Stack Overflow. Stack Overflow even has a jobs board, but it rarely has freelance work. Again, rarely doesn’t mean never, so check here every once in a while.
Programmer Meet Designer – I swear it seems like every designer needs to find a developer and vice versa. Well, this site finally brings the two together. I think you could earn even more money if you created a partnership with a designer. Offer the designer a referral fee for each client they bring and do the same for them. This way anytime a client needs someone to design the app (which often happens) you can refer a trusted partner and make money doing it.
Student Freelance - As you may have got from the name, this site features the work of student freelancers. If you’re still in school and want to build your mobile development freelance portfolio, use this site.
We Work Remotely – Rarely do they list freelance work on this site, but some do come up. To save time, you could just subscribe to the “Programming Jobs” RSS feed and search for freelance work as it appears. This way you can avoid checking the site everyday.
Staff.com – Staff.com is all about long term mobile app development projects. These clients have a different mindset from clients on sites that need temporary freelancers. If you’re looking to work long term with just a handful of clients, I’d try this site.
Freelance Dev Leads - This is a small new service by a developer for developers. He scours the web and emails you a list of new freelance jobs daily. The jobs he sends are posted within a 24 period, so you don’t get old jobs. He also never includes jobs from the popular freelance sites. This can be valuable to freelancers that hate looking for clients or don’t have time to do it. The only catch is, there’s a monthly cost. But, if you think you can find just one client here, the $24/month will be more than worth it.
Authentic Jobs – This is a site that connects you with larger companies looking for freelancers. You can filter by contractors, freelancer, moonlighter, and even find remote jobs. If you prefer to freelance for clients like Apple or Sony, look for work here.
Get Apps Done – Get Apps Done is a no frills site. It lists freelance app dev opportunities and that’s it. Even though it’s nothing special about it, I’m sure you can find clients here. While browsing the listings, I noticed the opportunities range in quality. Just go through this site weekly and see what freelance work you can find.
Argura.co - This site is different because it finds work for app development teams, not single developers. If you are part of an awesome mobile app developer duo, sign up for this site to get connected to clients.
Sourcing Line - This site targets mobile app development agencies, but there’s an option for freelancers available. You can add your logo, website, email, and social channels in your listing. Just sign up. You may find clients that prefer freelancers over an agency.
Mobile Developer - This site also targets agencies but allows freelancers. The only difference between this site and Sourcing Line is prospects can request a quote from freelancers.
Yeeply – There’s nothing special about this site. But it does seem to be active and that’s good if you’re looking for clients. You can add your social profiles, websites, and more here.
99hours – This site is different because they offer “job like benefits”. They claim to provide bonuses, life insurance, and gifts. It’s a great site just to find clients, the benefits are a bonus.
Vitamin Talent - This site is for developers looking for long term clients. They match clients and freelancers together based on real-word needs, instead of “portfolio” matches. They also keep a pool of freelance developers available for clients that need to hire fast. Work through their screening process and see how you like them. They seem to focus on quality, which is good for both you and your clients.
Everclients - This site isn’t out yet, but even if you’re curious you can sign up. Fair warning, they are vague about their service. They just say they’ll help you find clients and cut time spent on billing. But hey, it can’t hurt to get in line before everyone else.
ContractIQ - This is another site that let’s you post your portfolio. You can post the apps you’ve made, contact info, and more. Pretty active community and has great resources for developers as well.
Envato Studios – Envato Studio is a bit unique because you can freelance “pre-packaged” services as a mobile app freelancer. For instance, let’s say you only want to handle App Store submissions, you can do that for a set price on Envato Studios. It’s nice because everyone knows the price and what you get for the price beforehand. No quotes, no questions. You just list your services and do the work. Unfortunately, Envato currently works on an invite only basis. So somehow you need to get their attention and hope for an invite.
Odesk , Elance , Guru, Freelancer.com , People Per Hour – Since there isn’t much difference between these websites, I chose to list them together. They all pretty much do the same thing. People list their projects and you bid. They act as the middleman between you and potential clients which helps guarantee you get paid, etc. There are small differences between each, so read up about each one on their website.
Of course, these sites have a reputation for attracting clients that expect amazing apps at bargain prices. But this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t list your services on these sites. First, there ARE developers that charge real rates that get clients and high reviews on this site. Second, it’s a great place to get reviews and testimonials that you can post on your own site. Remember, you have the freedom to charge the rate you want, so do so. As long as you don’t feel compelled to join the race to the bottom, you should be able to find quality clients on these sites too.
You may not won’t find every website helpful. But even listing your freelance app development services on just a few sites could give you more clients than you can handle.