You’ve got the hang of Bubble. Maybe you’ve built an app or two for yourself. Now you’re thinking you might want to turn building apps for others into a side hustle — or maybe even a whole new career.
Good news: If what we’re hearing from existing Bubble agencies — and the ~200% increase in the number of RFPs submitted through our portal — is any indication, professional Bubble Developers are in high demand. Because while Bubble makes it possible for anyone to build a product, it still takes time to learn the ins and outs — of both the Bubble platform and how to approach a build from a developer’s perspective. That’s time and expertise that more and more founders (and companies) are choosing to outsource to a pro.
So much opportunity — especially considering the current state of big tech — makes us incredibly excited for the possibilities that Bubble has the power to create. Not only will more ideas be brought to life; more people will be able to build careers and create financial opportunities for themselves. (Starting with you?)
In this article, we’ll cover the fundamentals of becoming a freelance Bubble Developer. Here’s what to expect, section-by-section:
- Why it makes so much sense, for you and your clients
- The best ways to get started
- How to win your first client
- Tips for growing your business
Let’s get started!
Why should you freelance as a Bubble Developer?
Building apps in no-code makes good sense, for you and for your clients. Here are just a few of the advantages:
- Better economics: Developing on Bubble is faster than writing code, so you can deliver quickly and outcompete traditional developers on price.
- Faster iteration: No-code isn’t just the fastest way to get from idea to prototype; it’s the fastest way to keep iterating on a good idea, too. You can integrate feedback from clients and their customers more quickly, giving clients results they can see sooner.
- Low maintenance: Bubble’s visual development environment makes it easy to maintain an app. So easy, in fact, that some clients will be able to do it without your help after handoff. That means greater cost efficiency for them, and more time to pursue and take on new business for you.
Not to mention the lifestyle benefits — working for yourself, working from anywhere, never getting bored, and working with a wide variety of interesting and exciting companies, from early stage to enterprise level. (What are you waiting for?)
The best ways to get started as a Bubble Developer
Hone your skills
The more you develop your skills, the more business you’ll be able to win. Fortunately, there are a ton of resources to help you level up when it comes to building with Bubble.
Start with the Bubble Academy — it’s your ultimate guide. Whether you prefer to learn by reading, watching, or even working 1-on-1 with a coach, the Academy has resources and tutorials to make you an even better Bubbler.
We also recommend bookmarking the Bubble Manual, which has documentation on all of Bubble’s tools and features. If you ever find yourself stuck, it’s a great place to turn.
And finally, don’t be afraid to explore the resources others have created, too. The Bubble community is vast, smart, and incredibly supportive — there’s a ton to be learned from those who’ve been doing this professionally for years.
Subscribe to an Agency plan
Our Agency plan — made for all professional Bubble Developers, including freelancers — gives you access to tools and features designed with client service in mind. That includes premium features like version control, access to the Bubble API, and some paid plugins. The plan also makes it easy to transfer an app’s ownership to the client once it’s built, and it supports collaboration with as many developers as you want to bring into a project.
The Agency plan is also built to support your growth as a developer by giving you a listing in our agencies directory so potential clients can find you, and access to our RFP portal so you can receive, manage, and match with inbound project proposals from potential clients.
Become Bubble Certified
The #1 best way to position yourself as an expert and launch a freelance Bubble career is to get certified. Earning the Bubble Developer Certification is a great way to prove your skills and qualifications, even if you don’t have prior projects and references to point to, because it officially recognizes you as a professional who’s qualified to build apps for clients. The exam consists of 90 questions and covers seven different skill areas.
It’s worth noting that ours isn’t the only no-code certification out there — some agencies in the Bubble community have their own certification programs with criteria that match the agency’s unique development style. Feel free to get out there and explore their programs!
Freelancing not for you? Join an existing agency!
Why go it alone when you can work with — and learn from — the best? Top Bubble agencies are hiring talented developers. Check out our Agencies directory to explore companies so you can see who’s looking for help.
How to win your first client
You’ve got the skills, and you’ve got the drive. But how do you win your first client? Here are a few tips for landing that first paid gig.
Build a showstopping demo app
As the saying goes: show, don’t tell! Many of the most successful agencies have high-quality, go-to Bubble demo apps that show off their skills and help drive inbound leads.
For example, take NotRealTwitter. No-code agency Airdev built this infamous Twitter clone way back in 2015 to show what Bubble was capable of (and how good they were at their jobs). Then they went and built it again five years later to demonstrate how they’d grown — and how Bubble’s capabilities as a platform had evolved, too. Check out the most recent version here.
If you need some inspiration, check out the How to Build series on the Bubble Blog. We’ve got more than 50 different clone tutorials to help you get set up quickly and easily.
Use the RFP system
Bubble’s request for proposal (RFP) system lets professional Bubble Developers bid on projects for clients around the world. Clients request projects based on their budget, project size, and descriptive scope. You can then submit a proposal, which gets sent to the client along with your website and agency listing in Bubble’s directory. If a client likes what they see, they can “match” with you, and you’ll get their contact details to continue the conversation and get started.
A few quick tips for using the RFP system:
- Be proactive: There are lots of players in the marketplace, and strong RFPs can get dozens of bids in the first 24 hours. Turn on email notification settings in your account and try to respond to new leads quickly.
- Work at volume: Winning business is a numbers game — the more responses you send, the better. Don’t spam potential clients, but do spend the time to send clear, concise messages to RFPs that catch your attention.
Check out more tips in our guide to winning more clients.
Bid on projects on freelance marketplaces
Upwork, Fiverr, and other third-party marketplaces are full of people looking for web app developers. Pro tip: Don’t worry too much about looking specifically for “Bubble Developer wanted” ads. Many people don’t even know that no-code options like Bubble exist — they just want an app! Responding to all types of developer requests can provide an opportunity for you to stand out by pitching not just yourself, but all the benefits of no-code as well.
Tips for growing your freelance Bubble business
Once you’ve got your first paid project under your belt, the name of the game is growth. Here are some tips on going from your first gig to running a thriving freelance business.
Build a portfolio site to market your skills and attract clients
In this day and age, businesses have to have a website to be seen as credible. Use those Bubble skills to build an eye-catching landing page, about us page, and contact page. Then create a portfolio of past projects so potential clients can see your skills in action. Include contact client testimonials if you have them — even a single quote from each happy customer will go far.
Ask your clients for reviews on sites like Clutch and G2
If you want your testimonials to carry more weight, ask your clients to speak to your work on popular freelance review sites. The most common sites we see Bubble Developers reviewed on include Clutch.co, G2.com, and Freelancer.com.
Build a network and leverage social media
Word-of-mouth referrals can lead to the best clients, so it’s worth investing time in building a network, both in-person and across social media. LinkedIn, Twitter, and even Instagram are great platforms for spreading the word about your services. Think about how to leverage what makes each platform unique, and ask people already in your network to amplify and share your posts.
Collaborate with other no-code professionals
Even if you’re not interested in working for an agency, collaborating with other developers is a great way to expand your professional network, build new skills, and (hopefully) pick up more freelance work.
Diversify your skills and services
One of the great things about building with Bubble is how easy it is to connect your app to external services. From plugins to API calls, Bubble integrates seamlessly with everything from payment services to AI tools. Honing your skills on platforms that extend what a Bubble app can do is a great way to offer even more to your clients.
Or maybe: Specialize
Are you really, really good at one aspect of no-code development, or do you see a gap in the market that you could uniquely fill? Maybe you’re A+ with frontend design, or you have a passion for security or database development. Consider leaning in to stand out.
Dive into Bubble’s advanced features
Bubble has a ton of advanced features specifically designed for professional use cases. Analytics, collaboration, integrations, scalability — if your client needs it, you can do it.
Build templates or plugins
Creating community template resources or plugins is another great way for people to discover your services, if you share them for free — or open up a potential new revenue stream for your business, if you decide to monetize. Some of Bubble’s most popular templates were built by agencies, including Rapid Dev and EazyCode.
There’s never been a better time to build software with Bubble
From marketplaces to cutting-edge apps powered by AI, building on Bubble is faster — and less expensive — than traditional software development. Help your clients design a killer user experience, extend their app’s capabilities with plug-ins and integrations, and manage dynamic data.
Sign up for an account and get started building with Bubble today. Your career in no-code development awaits!