Okay, this month we’re going to dig deep into your freelancer website so by the end of it you’ll have a virtual shop front that sells your services without you having to lift a finger.
Sounds nice, right?!
One of the main questions I have freelancers come to me with is: “can you please check my freelancer website and see where I can make improvements?”
And, while I try to answer this question in a personal way for each individual, there are some main issues I see time and time again that are so easily fixed.
Where You’re Going Wrong
I know there are a lot of freelancers getting it right out there, so this section doesn’t necessarily apply to all of you.
That being said, these three elements are often the ones that crop up the most – they’re the ones I constantly find myself telling freelancers they’re failing with.
You make it about you
This is a hugely common mistake in every single industry and in everything in life.
We know ourselves well, so we assume other people do, too. Our website is about us, right? So of course we’re going to make it about… us.
The problem? Clients don’t care what you’re interested in or how you got to where you are today via a long and really winding road.
Instead, they want to know how you can help them. Just like we’re thinking about ourselves, clients are just thinking about themselves. If they can’t instantly see a way you can help them and instead are faced with reams of text about your kids and that one time you cycled around the world, they’re going to disappear quicker than you can say gear change.
We’ll talk more about how you can rectify this later on in the post.
2. You don’t make it easy
Everyone’s a little bit lazy at heart. With so many options for freelancers out there, clients aren’t going to spend hours clicking around your site trying to find exactly what it is they need.
The problem? Way too many freelancers focus on what their website looks like rather than how functional and user friendly it is.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Is my navigation bar clear and easy to find?
- Have I broken down content into easily digestible chunks?
- Is there a clear path that clients can travel down to the “contact me” page?
Again, we’ll discuss how you can figure this out later in the post.
3. You assume the client is in the know
Yes, the vast majority of the time clients know what they want and they’re on the hunt to find it.
But sometimes? They have no idea what exactly they’re looking for beyond “a freelancer”.
The problem? I see too many freelancers who assume the client knows what they want, so they delve straight into the processes without touching on what it is the client is looking for. This is a clear case of hopping to point B without covering point A.
This can be rectified with a simple sentence. Instead of jumping right into, “I’ll create long-form content for your website that’s well researched and written to a high standard”, you can add a pre-question that validates their thoughts: “Do you want more subscribers? I can create long-form content that will increase sign-ups.”
The Pages You Need
Okay, so now we’ve discussed where you might be going wrong (and please note, where you’re going wrong has nothing to do with how your site looks, but with how you present yourself as a freelancer to clients), let’s dive into the pages you need.
In reality, you need very few pages on your freelancer website. Clients are rarely going to navigate to every single page and read every single word. So what pages are they looking for:
1. Your About Page
This is where you introduce yourself as a freelancer, not as a hike-loving, dog-owning person.
Instead of relaying your life story in the hope that you’ll make a connection with at least someone with your love of all things Disney, instead showcase how your past experiences and interests can help clients.
Let’s break it down.
At the top of the page you want to clearly state who you are, what you do, and who you do it for. This should be the FIRST thing clients see when they click on your About Page. Something like:
“I’m Lizzie, I write in-depth marketing posts for start-ups, app companies, and design agencies.”
Simple but to the point. Clients who fit this brief will carry on reading, and those who aren’t a good fit will go off on their merry way, saving us both time and money.
Next, you want to reveal a little about your past experiences and what makes you the ideal freelancer. Touch on any major successes you have and any turning points in your career, but keep things short and to the point.
Finally, you want to include a Call to Action (CTA) – something that should be included on every page of your freelancer website.
This depends on what you want the client to do next. Usually, you’ll want them to check out your portfolio, so include a link through to that and guide them towards it.
2. Your Portfolio
This is where you showcase all your best work – not all of your work. Clients won’t have the time to sift through everything you written or everything you’ve designed. Instead, they’ll want to see a brief overview of what you’re capable of and what you’ve completed in the past.
Even if you’re just starting out, you should include a few key pieces on this page (here’s how you can get some samples before you’ve landed your first client).
3. Your Services
This is where you lay out the kinds of services you offer. You may or may not want to include your prices here (every freelancer is different), but I would recommend at least having a sentence that says “prices start from…” to separate the wheat from the chaff.
We’ll talk more about how you can present your services later in the post.
4. Contact Page
Now, your contact information should be on every single page of your freelancer website, whether it’s in the footer or plastered across the top (the more visible the better, I say!), but you also want to have a dedicated page as it’s something we look for as web-browsers.
It really just needs to include your name, your email address, and your phone number or Skype details (if they’re something you want to include). You might want to add a contact box with a specific set of questions so you can immediately see what a client is looking for when they contact you.
Tips and Tricks for Selling Yourself and Your Services
So now we’ve got the basics out of the way and your website is starting to take shape, let’s take a look at how you can add a little something special to your site.
1. Figure out who you’re speaking to
The first step in creating copy for any site is determining who it is you’re speaking to – that’s your ideal client. Conduct some research to find out what exactly it is they’re looking for and the language they use and be sure to include that on your site.
2. Focus on benefits rather than features
While it might be tempting to talk about how your services come with this feature or that add-on, people don’t buy features, they buy benefits. They want to know what their lives and businesses will look like after they’ve hired you.
On your services page you want to really dig into how each offering will benefit your clients.
For example, instead of saying “well-formatted posts”, you could say, “formatted posts that increase reader retention and get them to stick around.” You see the benefit of the second sentence for your clients?
3. Make it EASY
If there is one single piece of advice I’d give to those just setting up their freelancer website, it’s to make it easy. Easy to navigate, easy to find out what you do, easy to contact you.
You want to make the process as simple as possible so there’s no opportunity for the client to go “oh heck this is hard, I’m outta here.”
So there you have it – a breakdown of what you might be doing wrong with your freelancer website right now and how you can fix it to turn it into a place that sells you and your services without you have to do much work at all.
What do you struggle the most with when it comes to your freelancer website?
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