You’re your own boss. There’s no one to boss you up. And that’s the biggest advantage of being a freelancer.
Who Is A Freelancer, BTW?
Freelancer is a knowledgeable and experienced professional that offers a business his/her services without actually being a full-time or in-house employee with that business. Freelance professionals can be found in any industry – such as website development, designing, social media, digital marketing, engineering, marketing, management, photography, hospitality, sports, teaching, writing, acting, modeling, arts & crafts, and so on and so on. But, how and why people choose to become a freelancer?
Many reasons can be mentioned here. One of the biggest is – dissatisfaction with full-time job. And the blame is on horrible bosses and unfriendly workplace environment. You have to go to work, no matter how unwell you are today! And that’s the feeling that encourages a large number of working professionals to convert into a freelancer.
Additionally, up-level frustration, unexpectedly poor salary, and exaggerated level of discipline are some of the other reasons why people choose to become a freelancer.
Building Your Freelancer Portfolio Website
Starting out as a freelancer? Make sure you have an impressive online portfolio, which can also be called your freelancer website. Having a website for a professional working as a freelancer is imperative, because it enhances your credibility which increases your chance of getting more work.
The trend of becoming a freelancer is on fire. Your website helps you stand out from the rest. Your website is like your online portfolio, which helps your potential clients decide whether you will be a fit for the work they have. It does branding for you and allows the client to understand why they should have you for an assignment.
Without establishing trust with your customers (clients), you wouldn’t be able to sell your service, would you? You yourself don’t buy brands you haven’t heard of. Your website can play the key factor that can build trust between you and your clients.
Even if you have an active presence on popular freelancing platforms such as Upwork, Freelancer, Truelncer, Guru, etc., having a website will allow to you share your portfolio, profile, contact info, social networks, your past work, and client testimonials with just a link – the link to your freelance website.
Apart from these, having a website makes you appear more professional. Apparently, those who look more professional are able to convince more clients and get more work.
Your freelance website, if you keep updating it routinely with fresh content, gives you enhanced visibility on search engines. That’s how you help your potential clients easily find you.
Essential Elements Your Freelance Website Should Have
So, if you have made up your mind that you will be developing your professional freelancer website, listed below are 5 important elements that should be there on your website –
#1. Strategically Chosen Domain/URL –
Industry-centric URLs are quite popular. Some people choose to build a website that has their name in the URL structure with subpages having their services as keywords. It can also be a good to go option.
However, what you shouldn’t do is to choose a sub-domain for developing your freelancer website. For example: www.YourName.wordpress.com is a WordPress sub-domain.
Most people choose WordPress.com’s free hosting service and website builder tool. However, this way, you are making those platforms popular that are already popular.
Free website builders come with “free” watermarks, badges, and other elements. Doing so leaves a negative impression on your clients that you can’t even spend a few dollars to have a unique URL.
Getting a professional website with your choice of domain name, hosting and website hosting control panel, doesn’t cost more than a $100 these days. So, think about it before you get started.
#2. Work Samples –
Work samples enable a client to quickly analyze and understand your performance competencies. It helps them make a decision whether you will be a fit for task they have. When you’re a freelancer, most of the times getting new work depends on the quality of work you have done in past.
Your work samples speak and convince the client on your behalf. So, as a freelancer, your website should showcase some of the best jobs you have so far.
You should also clearly mention that you are ready to provide free, fresh samples, because some clients wouldn’t hire you until they have checked your suitability for their job.
#3. Show Your Charges –
Despite being a not so very common or popular practice, displaying the price of your services on your website might increase your chances of getting a deal. For businesses and companies, disclosing their price could be an act of unveiling a secret. But for a freelancer like you, it can be a trick to make your potential clients connect with you for negotiations and to get an assignment.
If you do not want to put your exact price on your website, you can put up a price range that works for you. You could should minimum price for per hour availability and explain the exact costing during the negotiations.
#4. Client List and Testimonials
If you have some large companies on your clients’ list, it will be a point of attraction for clients willing to work with you. Listing your clients and their feedback on your website adds to your credibility and increases your chance of getting new work.
Even for large companies, testimonials are an important part of their success strategy. You are a freelancer and you speak directly to your clients. You can request each of your clients to provide reviews and testimonials for your work.
While positive reviews and testimonies certify your work, negative ones give you a chance to move your focus on those aspects and improve the quality of your work, which will be an add-on to your career as a freelancer.
If a client has already made up his mind to hire you, then how will he learn about your work style?
What if a piece of work is rejected by the client? How many times you would rework on a task for a single payment? How many hours you are available for per week? The list of questions and concerns goes a long way down.
You cannot explain everybody everything. You cannot talk to each page visitor. So, for the convenience of your clients, you must have an FAQ page on your website, where you answer all the questions you are asked frequently about. Additionally, keep updating this FAQ section.
In addition to these, you should make every possible effort to maintain your website’s load time. Slow loading websites don’t get visibility on search engine. Fast load time is one of the essential elements for better search engine ranking.
As a freelance professional, you would never want your website to take forever to open, specifically on mobile phones. The speed of your website depends primarily on your hosting plan and the weight of your website. You will need work on both these factors to ensure a faster loading rate.
Another big challenge is to arrange the content in an appealing yet simple to understand way. To make it easier for your clients, do not forget to add payment policy, rework policy, refund policy, contract information, terms and conditions, and other important pieces of information on your website.
Giving link to your social networks on your freelancer website could be a boost to your efforts to build trust with your clients.