As a freelancer, one of the biggest difficulties with maintaining a steady workflow (and bank balance!) is that you really need to be marketing yourself and touting for work whilst you’re working on a project, so that one is ready to start as another finished. But while your head is fully immersed in a big project, how can you find the time and head-space to write proposals and network? Well, a website could be one of your most important tools, so you need to make sure it’s doing its job.
A lot of freelancers may see a website as an unnecessary burden, you’ve got to create it, keep it up-to-date, pay for hosting fees and make sure it doesn’t break. But actually, it can be a really powerful tool that in the long run should save you time, which in this game equals money! Essentially it should act as a digital portfolio and marketing tool all in one go, showcasing previous and current work, selling your skills to potential clients and giving people an easy way to find out how to start talking to you. Follow these simple steps to make sure you get your website right:
- Buy a domain name: using a free platform such as .wordpress.com or about.me could make you look unprofessional, domain names really don’t cost much.
- Find a hosting package: there are lots out there, just with a quick Google search, but we do offer a hosting service so get in touch if you want to find out more.
- Build the site: you can go for something bespoke, or use a self-hosting content management system (CMS) such as WordPress. It’s worth paying for WordPress themes as these will have more flexibility in their design and features, and there are lots of clever plug-ins that you can use to help simplify your processes (and life).
- Clean design: make sure your design is clean, clear and modern. 90s-style clutter is so. . . well, 90s.
- High quality examples: make sure you showcase your work in the best light, if you’re a photographer then clearly you need examples of your photos, if you’re a web designer then images showing the websites you’ve created as well as links to them. Whatever it is, there’ll be a great way of showcasing the work and a not-so-great one, you know which one to pick!
- Create the perfect homepage: it takes people 7 seconds to create a first impression, so make sure yours is a good one, whether you like it or not, your website will reflect on you as a professional.
- Create clear call-to-actions: make sure people can clearly see how to get in touch with you so that you can convert their interest quickly, and make sure you reply quickly as well to maintain this interest.
- Spend a bit of time regularly making sure that everything is up-to-date, links are still working and that it still looks fresh.
So, what are you waiting for? Get started, and if you’re not sure where to start then perhaps drop us a message and see if we can help: firstname.lastname@example.org