Your website is your calling card as a freelancer – so making sure it’s the best it can be could be the difference between securing a contract and going without…
The freelancer world is a competitive one – and as you’re on your own you won’t have the backing or budget of a big company to help sell your skills to new clients.
What you do have is your imagination and a website. As your website could be the first port of call for potential new clients, it has to be eye catching, easy to use and include the right information.
Here are a few points you might want to consider…
1. Be clear
From the first page, you’ve got to be clear what it is you can provide for your client. You might have lots of cool ideas, loads of fancy graphics and pages of text describing you as a worker, but if your client can’t see within a few seconds what it is you can do for them, then they won’t stick around.
They don’t want to know about your pets, or that time you spent a year in India, unless it directly affects your work.
On your homepage, you should have a simple introductory sentence that gives details on what it is you do specifically and why you stand out from others – be that years of experience, the right qualifications or a competitive price.
2. List your strengths
Saying you’re a graphic designer or a consultant is fine – but there’s so many of them. What makes you stand out from the rest? You’ve got to list your specific strengths – whether it’s working in a particular sector, or a type of training you’ve completed.
One way of getting these strengths across is by providing a portfolio – this is a way of letting your work do the talking for you. This also means you can show how good your work is and where your strengths lie, instead of telling people.
3. Get recommendations
Even if you’re starting off and have only had one of two clients, it’s worth chasing them up for a quote on your work. Social proof – whereby someone else promotes you – is a much more effective way of selling your skills.
If you’ve got a long list of prestigious clients, ask them not only if you can use quotes from them, but also if you could add their logo and details to your website. And maybe include a few case studies showing how you helped solve a client’s problem.
4. Make it eye-catching
Your website needs to stand out from the rest. This doesn’t mean adding lots of flashing gifs and bright colours – it means creating something that sticks in people’s memories, for the right reasons.
A ‘hero image’ is a good way of doing this – a single, large image that conveys what you’re about as a freelancer. Or it could be a simple statement or motto that stays in people’s minds long after they’ve left your page.
5. But avoid clutter
As pointed out earlier, clarity is key. People won’t be spending any more than a few minutes on your website and they’ll want to be able to find what they want quickly.
Keep your homepage clean and have a few simple links – these could be to a short biography/CV, which would list your experience and qualifications, a portfolio page, some recommendations and contact details.
Anything else can be provided on request. You should give people enough information that they are happy you can do the job, but also leave them wanting to know more. Once you get them in a conversation, you’re half way there to securing the work.
One freelancer website I visited recently came to mind as I was writing this article. It is the website of a brand designer, so he should know what he is doing. Check it out here!
Posted by The Secret Businessman