If you're a software developer, you may already be far more partial to the role of an independent contractor than a W2 employee. Indeed, contracting out your services to multiple vendors or merchants can be far more lucrative and personally fulfilling than working to develop a single company's software. However, for those wishing to break into the e-commerce market, marketing your software development services to these savvy entrepreneurs can present a new challenge. Read on to learn more about presenting your software development skills to e-commerce vendors in a way that can ensure you're the one they hire for their next big project:
Show Efficiency With Concrete Numbers
E-commerce vendors value efficiency; after all, they're in an industry that has almost entirely cut out the "middleman" of a brick-and-mortar store. As a result, you can get far if you are able to demonstrate the cost savings of your software program or programs in a concrete way.
For example, if you've written a program that allows a vendor to automatically reorder or replenish out-of-stock inventory, you may want to calculate not only the time savings that can be gained by eliminating the manual inventory process, but the financial savings that can be realized by avoiding duplicate re-orders and other inventory errors that often occur when a person is responsible for tracking and updating inventory. These statistics can be gleaned from various business journals or online repositories like JSTOR or Google Scholar and will add some extra depth to your proposal.
In other cases, you may be able to rely on actual cost savings you've generated for previous clients, although you'll want to ensure you're being appropriately circumspect about sharing financial information your prior client may not want others to know.
Rely On Your Network (And Label Your Work)
For an independent contractor or consultant, word-of-mouth networking can be a boon for business, as long as this "word" is good. E-commerce vendors who aren't in direct competition with each other may work together closely, and at some point, one vendor may ask another a question like "how did you develop your inventory system?" or "what do you use to compute sales tax in all 50 states?" If your prior client is able to point to you, you may gain a new customer without spending a penny on advertising or marketing materials.
Not only will you want to encourage your prior clients to speak highly of your work and recommend your services when appropriate, you'll want to ensure that the work you have performed can be easily tracked back to you. Whether this comes in the form of a watermark or label at the bottom of your program or some other form is up to you, and may vary based on your client's demands or desires.Share
20 September 2017
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