The freelance workforce is growing rapidly. Terms like gig economy have entered everyday usage, and digital nomad is now a career path that many aspire to.
Having a successful freelance website is one of the best ways to kickstart and grow your freelancing career.
Not only does a freelance website gives you a chance to prove to your potential client why you’re the right person to hire, but if done right, it can also lead you to get a ton of leads on autopilot.
Before you go out and build just another freelance website following some how-to guide, here are a few things you should keep in mind.
A freelance website isn’t a portfolio
“Why do I need a freelance website? I have a portfolio on Contently/Dribble”
A freelance website is so much more than just a place to display the things you’ve done. While a portfolio page may have it’s place on a freelance website, your freelance website is mainly used to show your expertise in your niche.
Most portfolios don’t have testimonials that allow you to share other great skills that you bring to the table like ease of working, your communication skills etc.
Pick the right niche
One of the biggest mistakes made by most freelancers just starting out is trying to offer too many services and not niching into a specific market.
You want to target a specific market. “The riches are in the niches” as they say.
In my episode of the Six Figure Freelancer Course this was one of my many takeaway quotes
“Don’t be a WordPress developer. Be a WordPress developer that builds WordPress themes for blogger moms. Now you know who your audience is.”
Similarly, as a freelancer you shouldn’t market yourself as a “job title”, instead you should highlight that you do a specific task and your freelance website is your opportunity to highlight how you can solve the problem your customer has.
Elise Dopson does this well, if you go to here website she markets herself as a “Freelance Writer For SaaS and Ecommerce”.
She doesn’t market herself as a “Writer”, instead she writes blog posts and white papers for B2B SaaS and marketing companies.
Not only does this filter the people that contact her, but it shows her clients that she’s focused on one topic and not trying to do everything.
A big plus is that you can rank higher on Google if you target a specific niche. It’s much easier to be on page #1 on Google for “Freelance writer for SaaS” than it is to be page #1 for “Freelance Writer”.
Organic traffic from Google is one of the best ways to generate leads on autopilot to your business website.
However unless you niche down and target a specific audience you won’t be able to rank as the competition is extremely high, and even if you do rank high on Google for a search term like “Freelance writer” you will then have to filter through your leads to find the ones that are actually worth it.
Most companies aren’t looking to hire a jack of all trades, they’re looking to hire specific specialists to solve specific problems.
Sharing your story in the form of narrative essay can be a great way to build an audience on the Internet.
You need to understand your audience and what’s their intent. A cafe doesn’t want a website, it wants more people to visit the cafe.
Highlight how you increased leads for a former client or even to your own business thanks to a website.
Case Studies on your freelance website are one of the best ways to generate leads and close new clients.
Here’s a great case study by Nat Elison on Growth Machine on how they took a site from 0 to 150,000 Monthly Visitors in 8 Months.
Many businesses nowadays share a ton of case studies because they’ve seen the benefits from them. CanIRank for example has over 15+ SEO case studies!
There’s no Perfect
Most people waste too much time perfecting how their website looks. Your website should always be a work in progress, it’s not possible to build the “perfect freelance site”, because there’s no perfect website.
The best freelance website that is one that gets you rolling and gets you clients.
Working on making your website perfect is just another form of procrastination.
How to Set Up Your Freelance Website?
I would always recommend setting up your freelance site on a self hosted WordPress.
Why is that?
Well, for starters you have a proper website and not something like johnthewriter.blogspot.com. Also WordPress (WordPress.org not WordPress.com) is an easy to use platform that can grow with you and your business.
Want to start an ecommerce store alongside your freelance website in the future, or run a blog to increase your audience? WordPress has you covered.
In fact, almost all the websites examples in this article use WordPress.
It’s also the platform with the greatest amount of tools, plugins and documentation available on the internet.
Here are a few other alternatives to WordPress that are pretty great too.
- Carrd is a great choice for aesthetically focused people who want to build a simple one page website. Eg. Graphic design, photographers.
- Webflow is a great choice for people who aren’t very tech savvy and want things to work great out of the box.
Building a website on WordPress doesn’t have to be hard, especially with an easy-to-use drag and drop theme. You don’t need to learn any code to be able to build a website.
Step 1: Pick a good domain name
For many people their domain name is their firstnamelastname.com, like mine at JeremyNoronha.com. Now this is a great option,. However, if there’s a way to include your skill in the name, that’s a great plus.
Step 2: Pick a good host
I would recommend SiteGround for this. They’re one of the top rated host and they also set up your WordPress site for free if you sign up for their plans.
You’ll be able to buy your domain name for an additional cost in the process.
Step 3: Pick a good WordPress theme
They’re many free WordPress themes out there, however I would recommend investing in a premium WordPress theme as they’re well structured and less likely to have errors.
There you have it! That’s all you need.
You don’t need to hire a developer to build a site, it’s something you could do over a weekend for about the monthly cost of a coffee or two.
Getting your freelance website is the easy part of this equation. I would recommend that you first spend time in the right niche and understanding the value you can bring to your clients.
Because at the end of the day, it’s all about the results you can drive for your client.
All the best!