I believe that at two, you have to call it a streak. And so I’d like to celebrate my illustrious streak of reader question Fridays successfully delivered. Today’s topic? Freelance software development.
This actually follows pretty naturally from last Friday’s post. Toward the end of that post, I pleaded with software developers to stop worrying about impressing one another. I did this because software developers are not your buyers — they’re your peers. Just as you don’t see Target’s CEO calling Walmart’s to show him what great deals Target has this week, you shouldn’t market toward your peers. Instead, you should direct your marketing efforts (blog included) at your buyers.
Doesn’t This Make You a Hypocrite, Erik?
If you dig through the archives of this blog, you will find an awful lot of posts directed at software developers. So I’ll just head off the inevitable comment about my hypocrisy with a caveat heading.
First, I treated my blog as half journal, half catharsis for a lot of years. That is, I didn’t set out to speak to my buyers because I didn’t have any when I started, prospective or otherwise. I wouldn’t go off on my own until I’d already been blogging for years and, at that point, I had my own pipeline pretty well stocked. Due to preparation through other means, I never relied on this blog to keep work rolling in. I do get inquiries and business through the site, but usually about developer training and the assumption that I can teach/setup anything I blog about.
The other thing that I’ll say in defense of me speaking to developers through the blog is that developers now are my buyers. You can buy my recent book if you don’t believe me, or check out my other developer-oriented offerings. Over years and years of blogging, I learned that it makes sense to offer your audience things it might value monetarily. (I encourage you prospective bloggers to be less obtuse than me and have this figured out from day one.)
So, yes, I speak to software developers on this blog and always have. But I don’t do it in the hopes that someone will notice it and hire me to do custom app dev.
Onto the Reader Question(s)
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s move on to the reader question(s) that pertain to freelance software development. Usually, I try to do a FIFO scheme, but I actually received more than one variant of the same question after last week’s post. I figure that bumps it to the top of the list. So here’s a composite of that question.
Do you have any tips on how to write for buyers, rather than fellow developers? My interests (and my prospective freelancing) run heavily technical, and that’s what I know how to talk about. So how do you recommend that I speak to buyers through the blog?
Short answer is, sure, I absolutely have tips for that. And I’ll get to topic ideas in a bit. But first, let’s get both a little blunt and a little philosophical, so that you understand what you’re up against.