Don’t be Afraid to Eat Ramen

RyanFor Developers2 Comments

If you’re wondering how I’m going to connect the dots with ramen noodles and building websites, read on. And for the record, I’m not referring to the fancy ramen that’s become trendy, I’m talking this kind, man, flavor pack and all:

ramen

Back when I was first getting started in building websites in order to pay my bills, I was eager for work. When speaking with prospects, I would try my best to not reek of desperation, while knowing full well that at the end of the day, I needed their money to survive.

Living in your parent’s basement is not a good look when you’re over the age of 18, so I knew I was going to have to hustle.

In getting those first few clients, you can’t be afraid to work on the cheap. While this philosophy is largely contradicted in many of my other posts, it really does apply here. When you’re a young freelancer, you won’t have too many other options. Beggars can’t be choosers.

An early mockup that I created for the Old North Church in Boston. Showing the client my idea before any money exchanged hands ultimately helped me land the gig.

An early mockup that I created for the Old North Church in Boston. Showing the client my idea before any money exchanged hands ultimately helped me land the gig.

There were several jobs that I landed early on, where I built the client a mockup without them asking me to. I knew their current website looked like a trash heap and I knew that I could build them something beautiful. But as you know, client acquisition is not always easy. You know that you’re perfect for the job, but how do they know that? Show them why you’re the right person for the job.

There’s been times when I spent a half-day building a wireframe, sent it to a prospect with a brief note along the lines of “hey, check out this idea I have for your website.”

Did that approach always work in my favor? Hell no. But it has worked. In fact, one of the success stories reeled in a pretty high profile client – one of the biggest historical sites in Boston.

“But Ryan, you still haven’t made it clear what this post has to do with eating ramen.” Well smartass, this post has everything to do with ramen…

The Bottom Line:

I’m not saying that you should agree to do custom ecommerce builds for the cost of a package of ramen.

I’m saying that when you’re just starting out, and you’re trying to build a business, you can’t be afraid to be in the trenches. You will struggle, and you may need to buy dinners that cost 11 cents, but if you’re tenacious enough, you can use your early projects to help build your portfolio, which will culminate into bigger and better projects.

2 Comments on “Don’t be Afraid to Eat Ramen”

  1. Pingback: "Trust me, it's super easy..." - Website Hell

  2. Pingback: Hey dummy, why are you working for free? - Website Hell

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