Now that you’ve started your freelance journey, are you wondering if you should have a personal website or blog? Is it necessary to have a website when you can create a professional profile on well-established sites like UpWork, LinkedIn, Behance, etc.?
To attract clients on freelance sites, professional profiles are a necessity. But to stand out from the large crowd of freelancers who bring in stiff competition, you must have a dedicated website for your freelance business. A personal webpage offers an individual the opportunity to tell their story. Resumes alone do not tell the whole story to establish how competitive a freelancer is.
Having a website is a game-changer. It increases your visibility and that of your business. People will look for you through your blog, social media or online groups and forums. If they go through your website and find the services you offer are what they are looking for, they will reach out to work together. It is important to note that you can work with few clients earning the same amount [if not more] as in freelance websites.
We shall soon discuss how to price and package your services as a freelancer.
1. It shows you are more professional and legitimate
You want your business to be taken seriously after moving from probably creating content as a hobby. A website displays your capabilities and communicates to your target market who you are, what you’ve done, and what you can do.
Therefore take your time to design a modern and stylish website that represents your brand and messaging.
2. To stand out from the crowd like a sore thumb
There are so many stories of freelancers who bailed out of a job without notice, leaving clients stranded and low in trust. They stop responding or do not finish the job they were required to. Having your own website communicates to clients that they can trust you and your work. Clients understand that you mean business through your content, portfolios or testimonials and that you are accessible as well.
3. To display your services and prices
Having a personal website allows for the opportunity to exhibit in further detail, all the services you offer on the services page. This grants access to potential clients who may be coming from referrals and an overview of what it’s like to work with you, how you help other clients and what they should expect moving forward. This, as you can see, almost cuts off all the time you spend pitching to clients on freelance websites.
If you choose to display your pricing or rate card, it gives clients an idea of how much they are willing to invest in you. Standing firm on your offer or renegotiating it is entirely up to you. A Call-To-Action like a “Work with Me” button gives the clients the go-ahead to start working with your right away.
4. It showcases your personality on a personal level
I cannot stress enough the desire to connect with your audience and clients on a human level. This is why it’s essential to put a face to your business. Your website should be a digital representation of your values and who you are.
A potential client will get an idea of who you are from the website design, images, portfolio pieces, colours scheme and the crafted copy in the pages. It helps to connect on a deeper level if clients get to know more about you.
Use the “About Me” page to demonstrate your personal interests beyond all that corporate speak. When your personality shines through, you will attract more clients.
5. To share content
Content is essentially why clients are searching for you. Endeavour to update your site frequently with fresh content. What it says to the client is that you are serious about this business, you work hard and are not a wannabe freelancer.
It also shows the clients the type and quality of content you put out. The more you post, the more you establish yourself as an expert in your field hence gradually building trust. You can then add this content to your portfolio.
While posting content on your site helps answer some of the common questions clients ask, it also helps with SEO and Google rankings eventually. By the way, content is not just blog posts or articles. You can share resources, guides, checklists, your photography content, video clips, ebooks, etc.
6. To build an email list from the ground up
Email lists are one of the most effective ways of converting subscribers into customers. When you have an email list of an audience interested in what you do and want to hear from you, it becomes easier landing a new client.
An email list allows launching promotions of your services, new products, ebooks and even online courses. When work is running low, an email list can help you get in touch with clients who have heard of you and what you offer.
Start building one NOW.
7. To grow your freelance business
A personal website will open more avenues to grow your business. You don’t have to chase for clients on bidding sites. Instead, your website will attract those clients who will help build more clientele and eventually your business.
You can use email marketing, advertising, social media campaigns and promotion to generate leads, drive more traffic and attract clients. The audience you get from your blogs can help you explore other streams of income. It’s not a guarantee all these will happen in a year or less. Be patient and keep learning on how you can leverage your audience and clientele numbers to grow your business.
8. A personal website is a place to send potential clients
When networking, the first place you should send potential clients for your online work is your website. Some directly ask for it since it’s easier to find them and connect with them. You can create business cards that include your website address so clients can find out more about you.
First impressions do matter in this business if you want to be taken seriously as a freelancer. Your friends and family can also make referrals for you, so it’s necessary to have a place clients can land and see all your work in display.
9. To display client testimonials
What better place to show off client testimonials than on a landing page at your site? If you want to build trust, testimonials are a must-have on your website. People want to hear about how great you are from someone else other than yourself.
Such documentation can be sourced from client reviews on freelancing sites such as UpWork, Freelancer etc. You can also get client testimonials from LinkedIn recommendations, Emails from clients appreciating your work or rave reviews from social media.
It’s always best practice to seek permission from your client before you post the testimonial on your personal website.
10. To streamline new clients
A website will help manage new client leads seamlessly.
Embed a form or questionnaire on your contact page for potential clients to get in touch and know exactly what they need from you. Automating client onboarding data has been made easier these days with the use of a website.
11. A great place to host your portfolio
Show off your freelance skills through compelling portfolios. There are so many online portfolios available for different skills. However, adding a portfolio of your past work on your site as a project of your skills gives it that special touch and adds weight to your capabilities. It lets clients see the work you have done and what you are capable of doing.
Portfolios should include images, text, videos, or links in the offering.
Here are a few portfolio ideas
- A freelance writer can link to guest posts or blog posts they’ve written before.
- A web developer can design websites and display them, including their own website.
- An illustrator can build an icon on their site.
- A graphic designer can add a signature style to the website
- An influencer can share screenshots of social media campaigns they’ve worked on.
This way, you let potential clients know more about your style and experience. Add most important elements, including metrics that speak to your excellent work. You can make portfolios as creative as possible.
In conclusion, creating a personal website helps establish an online presence, attracting clients to your work who in turn do business with you. How you brand and position yourself as the go-to person for quality work determines how far you can go in this freelance business. It comes highly recommended.