There are a number of ways to attract customers that want apps built. My two favorites are through Fiverr and through LinkedIn. I’ll discuss the LinkedIn approach because it is a lot more lucrative on the front end.
LinkedIn Groups and Community
The approach that I like to use in attracting clients through LinkedIn is to leverage the power of different groups. What I will often do is become a member of any local business group within my community.
I like to keep it local so that I can meet business owners if necessary to close the deal. Once I become a member of these local groups, I connect with as many of the group members as possible by adding them to my LinkedIn network. There is a low limit to the number of contacts that you can add each day so this is slow and tedious. It does however pay off.
In addition to connecting personally, I like to share my expertise with the group as an update and group share. Just like Facebook, I update my status on my profile and add the content to my primary group.
Now this is not an overt solicitation for services, but it is as general “Hey, I specialize in building apps if you guys need help. Here is an example of what I can do…” type of statement. I share these updates once per week between the hours of 5:00 am and 8:30 am EST.
Stay Updated with LinkedIn
The reason being that LinkedIn generally pulls updates from those hours and includes them as part of the mass email it sends to group members every day. By placing the update in the morning at those times, my message is more likely to be broadcast to thousands of people.
After I have posted my update to the group, I click the share button below the post and share it with every other group that I am a member of. You can do this simply by typing the first letter of each group and selecting it from the drop down list that appears under the share field. Generally I can share a single update with fifteen other groups, and the update appears at the top of each groups page.
Using this technique, my single post gets in front of thousands of potential clients. In general you can expect a few clients per week using this approach.
Special Offers for LinkedIn Clients
For LinkedIn clients, I would recommend negotiating a custom app build for $100 or more with a monthly hosting fee of $15.00. Obviously these numbers depend on the type of client that you are going for. Small businesses and business professionals often view this as a nominal expense; while individuals my feel that it is too steep. Negotiation is the key once you have an interested client.
Attractive Deals for Fiverr Clients
The second way to that I like to get clients online is through Fiverr.com. Now the amount of money that you can charge for your app as well as hosting is significantly less, but what you lose in up front pricing can easily be made up by volume.
For Fiverr, I would recommend offering to build a simple custom app for just five dollars. Because of the low cost, the customer will need to provide the graphics, web content as well as a certification that they have the rights to use the content. Building the app only takes minutes, and once you have built the app, you can charge the client five dollars per month in hosting to maintain it.
Although the overall dollar volume per gig is low with this approach, you can turn over a lot of apps quickly and the residuals add up over time. You can easily close 100 new Fiverr clients each month and every new client helps your profits grow exponentially.
These are just two of the primary sources that I have found useful in getting clients. You may also explore ads on Craigslist and local classifieds, postings on other freelance sites, or even directly soliciting local businesses and service professionals.
Regardless of where you score your clients, I would recommend that you require that they host with you as part of your service contract. Also, when they request changes, and the will, I would negotiate a price based upon what you feel they are willing to pay. For professional clients, this may be $60-$100 per hour to make a modification. For Fiverr clients, it may be a lot less. Regardless, your time and expertise are worth money. Be sure to use it.