A reader question.
If I had to start from scratch and as an Android developer how will I go about getting my first client.
Quite interesting question because it not only asks about starting from scratch but also focuses on Android where I am not even a newbie.
Let me share with you the roadmap to get the first client as an Android developer. There are a couple of options available and so I will share both.
The first step is to make a choice of the best freelancing marketplace for android developers. The criteria to select the marketplace is the one that has a maximum number of android projects with as low as possible competition among freelancer.
Upwork has a good set of Android projects being posted on a regular basis. So let us target Upwork for projects.
The next step is to complete freelancer profile on Upwork. Here is how I will structure my Upwork profile. We complete the profile early and much before we try to find a potential client because Upwork needs time to get your profile to rising talent status.
The tagline in Upwork is the most important part of your profile because it is visible even if the client does not open your proposal.
My preferred tagline for the Android developer will be “Experienced eCommerce Android Developer”.
Most of the new freelancer use multiple technologies like “Android, iOS and Windows App Developer” but I narrowed my expertise to eCommerce app developer even on Android.
Ohh wait, I told I am a newbie and don’t have any experience in Android but my tagline says I am an experienced Android developer. We make sure we don’t lie and work towards making our tagline true.
1. Build An Android App
Freelancers, always have an opportunity to work for free and get an exposure. This is the best part of being a freelancer.
Select an eCommerce site that does not have an Android App create and Android App for them.
If you select a custom coded eCommerce site, it will not be completely feasible to get the fully functional app done for the site because some functionality needs web services on the server side.
Still a front end to list the products and admin able to send notifications about offers is good enough for a demo.
Once the app is ready, email the webmaster. Do not send the APK file but just a very short email like this.
I really like your e-commerce website but wasn’t able to locate an Android app for it. I am an Android developer and has developed a sample app for your website. As I don’t have access to your site’s backend, the functionality of the app is limited but still, it is good for a demo. You can see the attached screenshots and let me know if you want to see a demo of what I have created for your site xyz.com
I am an experienced Android developer working for ABC and recently has become a freelancer and is looking for exposure and samples to showcase my talent.
Note: You aren’t sending the complete source code and copyright of the code to the webmaster but only the APK file for the app. You own the code and you are only allowing the use of the app to the webmaster.
Take the free services to the next level. If a webmaster is not tech savvy, which is often the case, ask the client to add you as an app developer in their Google play account so you can submit the app to their Google play account.
Often, you may not even need to work for free and webmaster will be more than happy to take your sample work as their full-fledged app and hire you to customize it further or if they are already working on something similar and you have better version than what they may have achieved, it is a big positive in your favor.
2. Build Your Android App
Creating an e-commerce site is not tough and you can create your own e-commerce site with few clicks. Once you have set up your own e-commerce site, you can create an Android app for your own site and submit the app to Google play to reference as a sample and demo.
If you create your site in Magento, you can narrow the tagline even further as “Experienced Magento Android App Developer” or if it is any other CMS, you know how to change it. 😀
Building an e-commerce site for a sample app may not be a feasible solution for an Android developer but it may be true for Android game developer or any utility app developer where you can create your own game or a utility app.
Make sure your app is available for download in Google play instead of sending an apk file to clients as a sample. It doesn’t look professional and your freelancing career as an Android developer can bear the expense of $25 that Google developer account charges to submit the app.
Your own Android app to showcase your talent as an Android developer is sure to the confidence of clients to hire you.
Over to Upwork
Once the sample is approved in Google play, I will start applying to projects that I can do but more importantly, I will choose only those projects where my sample matches closely to client’s requirement.
This way my proposal becomes really hard for clients to reject.
We are still trying to get our first client on Upwork as Android developer and so don’t expect top dollars for it even if the app has most of the functionality to what client needs.
We are still building our reputation on Upwork. First 3 projects will be the work towards getting those positive reviews and building the Upwork profile as an Android developer. The quality of work and the willingness to be helpful will decide how you many clients you get in the future.