Are you dreaming of becoming a six-figure freelancer? I don’t blame you, it’s pretty great! If this is a goal of yours, then building a website for your freelance business to advertise your skills and attract your dream clients is critical.
Why is your website so important, you ask?
One of the first things I do (and your clients do) when looking for a service provider of any kind, or looking for more information on someone or a company that’s been recommended to me, is look up their website.
If the person or company has no website, my trust is already diminished and I’m very unlikely to keep them in the running for consideration.
Or perhaps they do have a website, but I don’t see the information I need, or there are some aspects about it that again, are diminishing my trust.
Whether you’ve chosen to build your website for free yourself on WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, Shopfiy, or elsewhere, or hire someone else to create it for you, these are the 9 things you need to have on your website as to become a successful freelancer. These key elements build trust with your potential clients and keep their interest in hiring you.
1. A cohesive look and feel
If you haven’t spent any time on the physical branding for your personal brand yet, now’s the time to do it – before you get your website up and running. By physical branding I mean your logo, your font choices, your colours, everything. How you show up visually online communicates who you are to your potential clients. Make sure your brand elements are true to who you are AND also appeal to your target audience.
2. Clear messaging about who you are and what you do
When someone goes to your website, what you do and who you help should be crystal clear. For this reason, it is helpful to develop well-written copy that concisely communicates this to the user. It’s okay to be creative but stay objective and to-the-point, this is not the place to be abstract. For example:
“The vision is yours, the execution is ours. Get in the game, let us handle the rest.”
This might sound intriguing, but people don’t really have time to spend deciphering wording like this these days. Opt for something more along the lines of:
“I help eco-friendly brands create beautiful brand identities that cause their ideal customers to take action.”
Once you have this clear, concise copy written, you can reuse it in your social media bios, and anywhere else you need an intro for yourself. You’ll thank me later!
3. A photo/photos of yourself
Welcome to the world of self-employment — you are now your brand, whether you like it or not! Now is not the time to hide. Your website should make it obvious who you are. Make sure to include at least one photo of yourself, if not many more. And the more you’re smiling in, the better. We’re biologically programmed to be drawn to smiling faces as they signal that someone is “safe”, which on evolutionary terms means they could be good for helping us survive.
But don’t worry – you don’t have to go hiring a photographer just yet. Read about how to take great photos with just your phone on my blog, including my favourite editing apps for realistic touchups.
4. A description of your services
This one’s pretty simple. Tell the people what you do! It will save you a lot of headache to have this information on your freelancer website and not have to have people reach out to you to get it. You don’t need to go into too much detail here, your clients don’t need to know the nitty gritty technical details of how you do what you do. Just a basic overview of your services so your clients will know how you can help them.
5. Case studies
Nothing quite sells a service like results! Having case studies and testimonials available helps to prove what you are capable of. So if you’ve got some experience, document it.
Create a deck or a PDF detailing a project or two. What did you do for the client? What kind of results did you achieve? Include screenshots, links, and make sure it looks nice, professional, and you’ve proofread it a bazillion times before sending it to a prospective client. Having proof of your work and/or results is super important, and it will often sell your work by itself!
Just like case studies, testimonials give clients the social proof they need to hire you.
A great testimonial should address three key questions: What was the client’s problem before seeking your help? Why were they hesitant to work with you? What was achieved by working with you? If you had a client that loved what you did for them, don’t hesitate to ask them for a testimonial. Most clients are more than happy to write something for you.
Case studies and testimonials should also live on your website, on your social media, and anywhere a potential client may see them. This makes selling super easy — because if they like you and they’ve seen your results before even contacting you, chances are that the sale is likely already made, and all you’ll have to do is have them sign on the dotted line.
7. Your rates
Wait, what?! Yep, unless every single project you do is a custom quote, I actually recommend having your rates on your website. And even if your fees do vary quite a bit, I recommend having a starting point on your website. Ie; “Brand Identity projects starting from $1,500”.
I used to get so many enquiries when I first started out, but more than half of these would fall off as soon as they learned my pricing. Since putting my pricing on my freelancer website, I really only hear from those who know I’m within their budget. It’s a beautiful thing and saves so much time.
8. Contact page
I would recommend having a contact form on your website and this page. You want to make it as easy as possible for clients to start working with you, Sometimes, someone having to copy and paste an email address from your website into their email service provider may just be a little bit too much effort. Having a contact form also allows you to gather the information you need about the project right off the bat. You could have form fields for the client’s name, their website, their timeline, their project description, their budget, and whatever else you’d like. I even recently saw one that asked prospective clients what their favourite flavour of ice cream was! This is a great way to infuse personality and create a fun experience, as well as collect vital information about your clients that will help you decide which ones to prioritize reaching out to.
9. Links to your social media
Sometimes your website just isn’t enough. Especially if you’re planning to offer social media, marketing, photography, blogging, or other creative services, I can guarantee your prospective clients will be wanting to check you out on social media as well to see more of your style, work, and personality. However, only include links on your freelancer website to the platforms you actually post on and would be proud for a potential client to see.
Now that you know everything you need to know about building a successful freelancer website, go out there and start building!
If you found this article helpful, please be sure to share it with anyone else you think might find value in it as well. If you’re just starting out on your freelancer or solopreneur journey, I highly recommend you pick up my free PDF guide that goes over 7 key steps to start freelancing.
You’ve got this.