How to get outsourced projects ?
March 29, 2007 10:08 AM   Subscribe

How can I start getting small software development projects outsourced to me in India ?

I am looking for alternate avenues to expand my market reach.

I want to start with small software projects so that work can get over quickly. Initially I dont want to take complex or big projects.

I am capable of executing projects in VB6, VB.NET or C#, Excel VBA programming.

Whats the best way to start getting outsourced projects ?
posted by inquisitive to Computers & Internet (14 answers total)
posted by baggers at 10:14 AM on March 29, 2007

Let me add that I already know about elance and rentacoder websites.

But the problem with elance is that the potential buyer will first look at the profile and the kind of projects that you have successfully executed at elance, whereas I am just starting out on elance.

Also, I want to start out with small 7-10 days projects so that I can get some payment in my hand in a matter of 2 weeks. I am also willing to submit source code.
posted by inquisitive at 10:15 AM on March 29, 2007

Do you already have professional contacts in the markets you are seeking to sell your services? If so, I'd work that angle.

If not you could try checking out and advertising on craigslist in some major cities.

Your initial goal should be establishing your reputation so that in a year or so, you are getting most of your work from past clients and word of mouth. Spending 6-12 months in the market you are trying to enter meeting people face to face as much as possible would help jumpstart things.
posted by Good Brain at 10:17 AM on March 29, 2007

I started a blog that covered my topic (linked in my profile), and became active on forums (like mailing lists for different projects I liked. This started to get me referrals. Now I also get a certain amount of google traffic.

It took about two or three months for traffic to pick up, but by December I was getting a good number of calls per day.

Sure, I'm in the States, but I still get about 20 hours a week in billable hours just by marketing intelligently.
posted by SpecialK at 10:21 AM on March 29, 2007

Meeting people face to face is not much of an option coz I am in India and I want to get projects from aborad like US or UK, etc.

What I am willing to do however, is to do the work without charging any advance payment upfront, in order to build trust and confidence with the client.

Also, I can give the entire source code.

That is why I am looking for only small software projects as of now.

But the big question is how to get the clients ??
posted by inquisitive at 10:21 AM on March 29, 2007

There should've been an "and" before the "mailing lists".
posted by SpecialK at 10:21 AM on March 29, 2007

SpecialK, how did you start promoting your blog ? Can you give me some tips on that ?
posted by inquisitive at 10:24 AM on March 29, 2007

SpecialK, which mailing lists are you talking about ? Can you give some more details ?
posted by inquisitive at 10:25 AM on March 29, 2007

Good Brain, I just checked out craigslist. There is a Services Offered section where I have posted my ad. Isn't there a corresponding Services Wanted section ?
posted by inquisitive at 10:41 AM on March 29, 2007

As for the blog - I simply started writing. :) Got a domain name, started writing about things that interested me. After three months, I started to watch my google traffic to see what people were googling about to get to my page -- I focused more articles on those areas. I also ran google AdWords searches using their advertising tools to see what people were searching for most, and made sure that these keywords were in my meta tags and that I wrote more articles about them. I try to make every article I post helpful, and I try to cover things that other people haven't covered ad nauseum, like CentOS -specific HOWTO's, Symfony information and links, etc. I also worked to get trackbacks or links from any other big sites or blogs -- posting in comments, writing about pertinent articles, etc. After six months of blogging, I have 20 people subscribed to my RSS feed and about 150 unique site visitors a day.

As for promotion - I made sure that my blog link was in my profile here at and on any forums I was a part of. I'm on everything from Symfony mailing lists and IRC channels to Textmate mailing lists -- my sig *always* has my name and domain name in it.

The big thing was that I always paid attention to spelling, grammar, presentation, and being as helpful as possible. This makes you sound smart. Business owners who know nothing about programming aren't paying you to be a good programmer, they're paying you to be smart. I generally (not around Metafilter, but on the more specific mailing lists and forums) stick to the principle that if I don't have anything good to say, I don't say anything. At least ... not under my business name!
posted by SpecialK at 10:53 AM on March 29, 2007 [2 favorites]

As someone who actually buys code from rentacoder, I will say that it REALLY helps when your bid request doesn't look like a form submission, and it clearly looks as if you've examined my bid. At least twice I've refused a run of bids because I haven't felt comfortable with any of the responders. I think you'd easily score work on rentacoder by writing a clear, concise, and personal response to a project you're interested in... it really does make you stand out.
posted by hodyoaten at 11:53 AM on March 29, 2007

clearly looks as if you've examined my bid
Correction -- clearly looks as if you've examined my project.

posted by hodyoaten at 11:54 AM on March 29, 2007

And I will also add that I usually select the bright, go-getter individuals who demonstrate an interest in my project instead of experienced people who post extremely terse bid response. It might be different elsewhere but that's how I select work, and haven't been disappointed.
posted by hodyoaten at 11:57 AM on March 29, 2007

Hodyoaten, can you tell me the link for the project you have posted on rentacoder ? What is your username there ?
posted by inquisitive at 12:26 PM on March 29, 2007

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