Research and study your prospects.
Every web developer needs clients. That's how we start, grow, and ultimately support ourselves and our businesses. But what do you do when you don't have clients, or all your existing clients are not looking to be repeat customers just yet? I'm not saying they didn't like your work, on the contrary, you've fulfilled every single requirement and they are satisfied with the work - they just don't have any more work for you for a while. If that day comes, as a developer, you might start tapping your network for possible clients, asking your existing customers if they know anyone, or simply cold-contacting websites. It's easy when customers approach you, but when they don't, it takes quite a bit of work to find them.
In this post, I want to show you how the SiteAffirm API can help you prospect for new web development clients. We'll also take a look at how to find good candidates for you to contact, because not every single website that the API returns will fit you and your skillset. You might prefer to work with personal websites or perhaps you are more adapt at revamping e-commerce sites.
First, let's understand the scope of the SiteAffirm API and how it functions. It returns a JSON object containing the website URL and any technologies and tools that our backend detects are used by the website, both on the frontend and backend. A typical response looks like this:
This response provides you with intel on the technologies used on the website without requiring you to perform any additional work.
For example, if you would like to only work on websites that are built with Wordpress, you would simply pass up on this website because it does not appear to use Wordpress under the hood. If you are integrating our API into your workflow, this data allows you to easily add a bool check to see if this website uses Wordpress. If not, simply ignore this website and make another call. Flexibility and automation are two things that our API is designed to accommodate and support. That's just one of the many ways that you can use the generated JSON object to filter and segment our responses to find websites that you would like to prospect.
The JSON object shown previously was generated for this outsourcing services website:
My first impression of this website is that it does not look terribly broken or outdated. It just looks like it can use a few prominent and converting features. Maybe a strong header text, a great CTA, and some text structure could really update this website. The website is also missing an SSL certificate, which lowers their Google rating and customers' trust. That's the purpose of SiteAffirm - not only to return outdated or broken websites, but also return websites that need just a little help or update, in order to make them stand out better and convert visitors in clients.
Now that we've covered how to use the API to prospect for that perfect website, you need to create a report. Research the JSON data on the background of the website and develop a solid remediation or optimization plan. What benefits or improvements will you offer the website owners? Why should they open your cold-email and ultimately work with you?
We'll cover all of that in our next blog post. Stay tuned.
Pavel Sazonov - Founder of SiteAffirm