Elements of a Great Freelancer's Website
When starting a freelance design business, one of the very first things you have to do is create a website. Your website should tell people who you are, what you do, and why they should hire you. But how exactly should that information be presented?
Who are you?
Your website should show people your credentials, your background, and your personality. Potential clients want to know that you can not only get the job done, but that you will do good work, complete it on time, and be a pleasant person to work with. That means they have to like you. No, you shouldn’t bare your soul on your freelance website, but having a small blog section, a link to your twitter account, or a few witty remarks on your “about me” page can help them feel like they know you a little bit more than a strictly professional site. Including your past work, some of your interests, and favorite design elements can also help them feel like they know you. In addition, you’re a designer right? Make sure your design and the samples you choose to showcase really embody your personal style and design philosophy. While people want to hire someone who’s pleasant to work with, they’re ultimately hiring you to do a job.
What do you do?
Yes, clients obviously will want to see samples of your past work, but the finished project is only part of your work. They’ll also want to know about your process. How long will it take? What will you need from the client? How does your pricing work? What is involved in your design process? You should give potential clients an idea of all these things so they will have a clearer idea of how you work before they hire you. You can present this information in an FAQ section, a projected timeline, or just lay it all out in paragraph format. Of course they will want to see some completed works as well, so make sure you have all of this information available to them.
Why should they hire you?
It’s your website – brag about yourself. Are you a great WordPress developer? Is your pricing unbeatable? Do you get the job done faster than anyone else? Have an angle and give examples. Anyone can claim that they’re the world’s best designer, but if everyone makes that claim, it loses its meaning. Bragging about your work can sometimes be a strange idea for some people. Solution: have other people brag for you. Create a testimonial section where past clients can rave about your work. Your future clients can get a feel for your process and your work by hearing about it from someone who was once in their shoes. And you won’t have to feel weird about telling people how awesome you are.
Make it easy to use
Your job is to get people to hire you, so you want to make it easy for them to do so, right? Just like you had to be specific with how you work once you’re hired, you have to be specific with how people should go about hiring you. Make your contact information very visible and tell them exactly how the hiring process works. If you want people to send certain information in their inquiry email, tell them. If you require half of their payment up front, tell them. If it will take 24 hours, 3 days, or a week for you to get back to them, tell them. Make all the information they need very visible and easy to read. Don’t make them click around to find the information they’re looking for. Your tabs or sections should be organized, simple, and easy to understand.
Make it stand out
Your website should be different from everyone else’s. You should add something that’s unique to you, whether it’s a design element or a tidbit of information about yourself or your business. I can’t really give you examples, because then they wouldn’t be unique to you, would they? Does anyone have unique ideas you’ve used for your site?