Website Tips for New Freelancers
Today, everyone knows the importance of using the web and social media platforms to generate business, but a lot of freelancers who are new to the game make really basic errors when starting out online. In this article, we’ll share our top three tips for new freelancers building their internet presence.
Get the Basics Right
First off, there are a couple of choices that budding freelancers need to make. Are you going to opt for a content management system or start from scratch and self-host? If you want to convey a sense of professionalism and the impression that you know what you’re doing, I cannot urge you strongly enough to invest in a good web hosting service with your own domain name. Given the range of providers out there these days, getting set up couldn’t be easier. Web hosting is a great way to professionalise your web presence and ensure that your website looks good. There are a variety of packages available, depending on your needs and ability to pay the overheads, but generally-speaking, it really does pay to make your website look as slick and professional as possible.
Above all, it's best not to use blogging sites like WordPress to advertise your business; it screams unprofessionalism. Of course, a polished looking website is extra crucial for designers, photographers, and marketers. If you can’t market yourself, why would a potential client think you can do the job for them? A personal domain name and a dedicated web hosting service ensure that you’ve got the basics right for your website and by extension, started well with marketing yourself online. From there, things get a little bit more complicated.
Send the Right Messages
A good, professional website can take so much work off
your shoulders and automize a lot of the tedious legwork that goes into
securing work. You should make your website easy for you and your potential
customers to navigate and use. Always think about your site from the user’s
perspective. Let’s say someone comes to your website with a specific job in
mind, what information are they going to want to know? First and foremost, you
need to get your services and prices upfront. Show them what you can do for them,
not what you’ve done for others in the past or what you generally do.
Too often, new freelancers list their skills and abilities without making that all-important connecting link to the potential customer. There are easy ways of rectifying this, from pricing widgets (really just a per hour calculator embedded on the page), to changing the way you describe your skills. Instead of describing yourself as a “copywriter”, why not address your audience and tell them that you can “Engage users with copy that sells” for them. Add to that an easy contact widget or newsletter sign-up and you’ll have a new name in your client list.
Work on Your Site Structure
You need to ensure that you’re putting the right message in the correct places on your site. That is to say, you should think through your site structure and break things up for visitors. Let’s say you offer a range of services and you want to provide details and even a purchasing option on all of those different services. Well, ideally, you should give the user the information that’s relevant to each service on single separate pages, instead of cramming it all together in one indigestible mess.
On average, people spend six to eight seconds on a
website page. That’s not a lot of time to process information, so break it up.
Lead your users down a funnel to the service that they want. Additionally, a
good site structure will help benefit your
ranking on search engines and make your business more easily discoverable. Good