Having a personal website as a freelancer has many advantages. It can be very cheap, makes you easier to find for potential clients and offers almost limitless ways to express yourself and your work. But there are some essential things that you absolutely want to have on your site. This article takes a look at the top 5 key elements of a great freelancer’s website.
1) Clean and to-the-point design
First impressions matter. That’s true for a website as well. Nobody wants to see a cluttered design, like a homepage throwing Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn links at the user straight away. Your web design has to be clear and inviting. Furthermore, people need to see what they are looking for as quickly as possible. That’s why you should include your name, the kind of work you do and possibly your city in the header. Your potential clients won’t want to click themselves through five to six tabs in order to find such essential information.
2) Prominently displayed contact info
As with the information in the header, your contact details should be immediately obvious to the visitors of your site. Not way down by the legal notice, preferably not in a separate tab as well. The best place for your phone and email address is the homepage. Email contact forms are somewhat uninviting and might turn potential clients down. It would be best to include the real email address which you use for business and even a phone number if possible. Some people still prefer calling directly instead of writing emails and you do want to keep all options open for those interested in your work.
3) Be personal (why are you passionate about it, photo etc.)
As a freelancer you are not just trying to advertise some business with your website – you are advertising yourself. This is a powerful marketing tool if used correctly. Unlike big firms, you can allow yourself to be personal. Add a photograph of yourself smiling; it makes people feel secure that you are a real, friendly person. Tell them how you got into writing/design/coding, why you are so passionate about it and what you envision for the future. Getting someone emotionally involved or interested in your work and story will significantly increase your chances at getting a job offer.
4) Samples of your work
As already mentioned in the introduction, a website has a great advantage in comparison to other marketing tools or social networks. It allows for a virtually limitless amount of content, anything that might convince your future clients. Including some samples of your work is probably the best way to show what you can do and just how good you’re at it. Having external links to a page you’ve designed or posting something you’ve written always beats talking about it, but is not always possible depending on what you do. If you can’t post your work or feel that you still don’t have enough content, consider our next tip.
5) References and testimonials
Getting testimonials or references was never as easy as it is today. Professional networks like Xing or LinkedIn actually encourage everyone who has worked with you to assess the business relationship. If you are active on those platforms and already have some good words to show from your clients, good for you! But don’t leave them there, post them on your site as well. Alternatively, you can always ask a client whether they were satisfied with your work after a project is complete. Someone looking at your site for a new hire will feel reassured by testimonials and references.
Do you have a personal website? Are the tips listed above helpful and do you have anything to add to them? Share in the comments below.
Pic: © Dmytro Konstantynov – Fotolia.com