How to Start a Software Dev Agency

Find your first dev agency customer

Finding your first customer is a pivotal step for your software development agency. Here’s a list of options for how you can do this. If you are just getting started, you cannot do all of these things. You will not have enough time. Run experiments to try each of them them and then focus on the channels that give the best results. As your business grows, you might eventually end up using all of these channels to acquire leads.

  • Leverage Your Network: Start by tapping into your existing professional network. Reach out to former colleagues, classmates, and industry contacts. Let them know about your new venture and ask for referrals. Personal recommendations are powerful and can often lead to your first contract.
  • Attend Networking Events: Industry conferences, tech meetups, and local business events are excellent places to meet potential clients. Come prepared with business cards and a clear, concise pitch about what your agency offers. Follow up with any connections you make promptly.
  • Cold Outreach: It might seem daunting, but cold calling or cold emailing can be effective. Research potential clients who could benefit from your services, craft personalized outreach messages, and be persistent. Your first customer could be one call away.
  • Utilize LinkedIn: LinkedIn is a gold mine for networking and B2B lead generation. Optimize your profile to highlight your agency’s expertise, publish relevant content, and use the platform’s search features to connect with potential clients.
  • Content Marketing: Start a blog or contribute articles to industry publications. Sharing your expertise can attract customers looking for knowledgeable developers. Make sure your content is SEO-friendly to increase your visibility in search engines.
  • Google CPC Campaigns: Paid search campaigns can target individuals searching for software development services. Be specific with your keywords to ensure you’re capturing high-intent traffic, and monitor your campaigns closely to adjust bids and messaging for the best ROI.
  • Building a Website: Your agency’s website is often the first impression a potential customer will have of your business. Ensure it is professional, clearly communicates your value proposition, and includes a portfolio of your work and testimonials from any previous clients, even if they were non-commercial projects.
  • Offer Free Workshops or Webinars: Providing free educational content can showcase your expertise to potential clients. It positions you as a thought leader and can attract businesses that are looking for the services you offer.
  • Partner with Other Agencies: Sometimes, other agencies may have overflow work or projects outside their expertise. Building relationships with these agencies can lead to referrals or subcontracting opportunities.
  • Social Media: Create and maintain a strong social media presence. Platforms like Twitter and Facebook can help you connect with clients, while Instagram can be a place to showcase your company culture or the results of your work.
  • Email Marketing: Build an email list and send out regular newsletters with updates about your agency, industry news, and special offers. This keeps you top of mind for potential clients and can drive word-of-mouth referrals.
  • Online Communities and Forums: Engage in online communities where your potential clients might spend their time. This could be forums like Reddit, Stack Overflow, or industry-specific online groups.