Toronto Web Development

Tips & Resources For New Web Developers In Toronto

Coming out of webmaster school, my classmates and I were so rosy eyed and eager to take on a world of web design & development. This was before you have people claiming that their nephew or their favorite Indian elance freelancer can do it for a fraction of the price. It is particularly hard to convince them before you’ve developed a proper portfolio. Here are a few tips I’ve gathered from my own experiences and those of coworkers to get your few first clients and becoming the best webmaster you can be.

1. Ask Your Friends And Family

I think most people with family or friends in Toronto can name at least one person they know in charge of a small business. Even lots of gruff old school plumbers and construction workers want a website, despite of not giving a flying flip-wrench about the internet in general.

family business poster

Old uncle Connery needs you to convince people online that his business is %110 legit

Just by having a website you add legitimacy to a business. Since no fly-by-night companies would ever hire a web designer right?! So get your family with restaurants, construction workers, and real estate agents and set them up with a slammin’ website. Also hilarious is when it actually starts bringing in customers, their attitude flips 180 degrees and now its extremely serious and all your web pages must be more CALL TO ACTION. If you really wanna bring in a few customers with a little effort, set them up with a G+ Local Page and submit them to a few web directories. Or if you are willing to spend a few bucks, set them up with a phone.com tracking number to prove where the calls came from, then set up a click to call campaign in Adwords with the spend $25 for $100 that Google Partners offers when you sign up for partners with an Adwords MCC Account.

2. Reach Out Online

Toronto is a city that quite enjoys its internet and its websites, and there are specific sites that you can use to find clients. If you live in Toronto, no doubt that you’ve noticed that for the vast majority of Toronto related searches, Kijiji appears on the first page. For some reason, Kijiji is really big in Canada in general.

kijiji mugger

Kijiji.ca, good for muggers as well as web designers & developers

There are lots of people in the world of web design and SEO looking for people to complete their one off web projects, send em a message. If you really want that first client, you can try messaging other people who post ads on kijiji and offer to make a website. The vast majority of the time they will turn you down, but I’d be surprised if you sent 100 messages without any interest.

While I think Kijiji is really, really good for connecting with potentials clients, the usual suspects are good too. So try also these websites:

  • Craigslist
  • Monster.com
  • Workplous.com
  • LinkedIn

Also try finding companies with really crappy websites or marketing and let them know how you can help them. So head on Yellowpages and 411.ca and check out some company websites. If you think you can help them, shoot a personalized email their way!

3. Get Out There, In The Big Scary World

Toronto is one of the most diverse cities in the world, both in terms of cultures, and of interests. You an find an interest group for pretty much everything. Also, no matter how much of a cheeto-fingered basement dweller you are, you are going to have to interact with people sometime, so think of it as training for your social muscles ;)

3udaxu

This guy… don’t be like this guy

 

I would recommend that you go out to meetups and events both to find clients and to learn from others. Also made sure you have your business cards printed and ready to give out when appropriate.

Meetup.com in Toronto is pretty booming, there is a different meetup group for each one of your needs.

Here are some that I feel are good for webmasters

If you are willing to spend a few bucks, Toronto is also home to a few neat Expos which you might want to be a part of.

 

Annnnddd that is my 2 cents, if you want any other details or think I missed something critical, leave a comment below :)