The challenge of finding consulting projects is not one you should overlook.  However, the first is the hardest.  Once you have a couple of projects under your belt, you will find it easier to win additional work. We will cover the ways to grow existing business in another episode.  For now, let’s look at some ways to find prospects that are the easiest to convert into customers.

Finding Consulting Projects on the Internet

This problem is so common that a large number of sites have been created to solve it.  That is not going to make your task a slam dunk.  Although there are countless project sites out there, they are not all created equal.  Start with the options that have a strong history and a substantial number of users.  They may cost a little more, but the reliability is worth it.  I have used Guru and Upwork (formerly ELance) for well over a decade and found some excellent clients.  It has not been easy as I have responded to over one thousand requests over the years.  Some of those were short, but over half were at least a page or two of proposal content.

These sites are an excellent way to find small and medium-sized projects.  Therefore, you should try them out and get comfortable with them as soon as possible.  You may be able to stay busy without them.  On the other hand, we all hit dry spells where these sites can help you survive them.

Go With Who You Know

The best way to find business is to go with people who know and trust you.  That leads us to past employers and even co-workers.  When you are looking for work, it is easiest to start by reaching out to places you have worked and the people you worked with.  They know you, know how you work, and you will have a level of comfort with them as well.  This is the perfect recipe for a successful project.  That existing trust goes a long way in navigating the obstacles we often come across in IT work.

Do not overlook your current employer.  Sometimes there are projects that are available for a side hustle in your current job or with other departments.  There may be some legal or employment restrictions related to these potential customers.  Thus, you should take a good look at the political climate and your employment contracts before going down this road.

Learn more in the book written for Develpreneurs at any stage in their progress:


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Rob Broadhead

Rob is a founder of, and frequent contributor to, Develpreneur. This includes the Building Better Developers podcast. He is also a longtime student of technology as a developer, designer, and manager of software solutions. Rob is a founder and principle of RB Consulting and has managed to author a book about his family experiences.In his free time, he stays busy raising five children (although a few have grown into adults). When he has a chance to breathe, he is on the ice playing hockey to relax.

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