With the world in COVID-19 lock down, web developers and tech professionals have found themselves in an advantageous position: They can easily do their job without physically being near anyone. But with so many businesses closing down, surely business is going to suffer for web developers, right?
Not at all, say many tech industry professionals. In fact, this might be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Here are three tips on how to take advantage of this situation and come out stronger after the lock down is lifted.
#1. Hit up small businesses
Some small web dev agencies do this anyway, so it’s never bad advice. But right now, small and mid-sized businesses have to find a way to serve their clients virtually—and fast! And many don’t have the talent in-house to get this done. That’s when they receive an email from you. Or a Facebook message. Or a phone call. Come to them with money-making ideas.
This is the approach taken by Brian Robben, CEO of Robben Media, a digital marketing agency. And it’s working.
“I’ve seen a 25% increase in business due to COVID. Every retailer and restaurant is scrambling to get products online to maintain some level of cash flow,” he said. “For any web developer looking for employment or a freelance gig, send a custom email to every restaurant in your city offering to build them a website with a purchasable gift card feature, carryout system and even merch. The same goes in reaching out to retailers who don’t have an E-commerce store to sell their apparel. The opportunities are endless for web developers when the world is stuck at home and still shopping online.”
Most small businesses have been neglecting their sites and just don’t have the time or people power to handle any new projects. Those business owners will be happy to hear from you.
#2. Release that back burner project
You know that project that you’ve had on your back burner for three years but haven’t had the time to polish up and launch? Now is the time. People are at home surfing the web all day. You’ve never had such a big potential audience. People have the same idea as you: They want to build a website for their back burner project—and if they choose WordPress, which most people do, they’ll need a theme. They’ll need plugins. And you know how to make them. So get those projects off the shelf, dust them off and get them on the WordPress marketplace.
#3. See if other developers need help
We’ve been talking to a lot of freelance developers since the lock down began, and business has ticked up for them. Their clients are suddenly paying a lot more attention to their websites and realizing they need more work than they’d noticed before. So they’re giving more assignments to their freelance developers. If you’ve done any networking before now, it’s time to leverage that. Call up your acquaintances and ask if they need help. Chances are, they do. If you’ve ever been a part of a coding boot camp (such as our own WP Code Camp), you no doubt have a decent network of developers you’ve worked with in your classes. Now’s the time to get back in touch!
#4. Take some training
A lot of educational programs, boot camps and online courses are offering discounts on their tuition. Take advantage of that! You have the free time, and the price is cheaper than ever. It’s a perfect combination! It might not generate profit for you immediately, but it’ll pay off down the line by making you a more competitive candidate for the next job you go after.