How to Find Consulting Clients

As you grow in your career as a software developer, a natural next step is to jump into independent consulting.  You have greater control of your time, can make more money, and have the freedom to pick and choose the projects that you work on.  But when I talk to people who are ready to quit their job and start consulting - the number one question I get asked is:

"How do you find consulting clients?"

I wrote about this in the First Client Checklist, but I wanted to give some more real, concrete advice about what to do, and what NOT to do, to find your first clients.

How to Reach Out to Find Consulting Clients

If you've followed the entire First Client Checklist, then the last step is to actually reach out to prospective clients!  

This is (of course!) easier said than done.  The most important part of the all of the first steps in the checklist is to get you to meet people, to help you define your story and to set yourself up as an expert in your field.

Now is when all of that comes together, and you can start to take advantage of all of the work you've put in so far.

How to Find Your Area of Expertise

CONSULTANTS ARE HIRED TO SOLVE PROBLEMS

When looking for a full time hire, a company is usually looking for a certain skillset.  That skillset may including knowledge of a certain programming language, or experience with certain libraries or toolchains; or they may just be looking for smart, ambitious people who can learn on the job.

When looking to hire a consultant however, they want you to come in already knowing your stuff.