As a freelancer, you don’t have the luxury of a sales team to close on deals for you. What you do have is a portfolio website — and it can be just as effective.
With the following pages — and the right content on them — your website can lead to new clients and new projects. Here’s the information you absolutely must display on your site.
1. About Page
Almost every business has an About page, but few are done well. The secret? It’s not really about you, and it’s not about your customer, either…
It’s about your working relationship: You and them, together.
Give prospective clients the information they need to imagine working with you personally versus merely listing the services you provide and hoping they match the client’s needs.
In addition to introducing yourself, here are some things to consider mentioning:
- What makes you stand out (read: your personality)
- What experiences brought your career to where it is today
- How you establish working relationships
If you think in terms of the traditional hiring process, your About page represents the first phone call or interview. This is where you and the client get to know each other, and look to see if you “click.” A few non-work related details, like hobbies and interests, will make you seem more real and approachable. Since you can’t interact real-time, your About page should function as an engaging stand-in.
2. Services Page
Once you’ve introduced yourself, it’s time to dive into the real pitch. Your Services page is where you lay out what you do, how you do it, and who you do it for.
But how can you present all that to make it easy for prospective clients?
It can be tempting to write a few paragraphs about the services you provide, put up a generic contact form, and call it a day. While that’s pretty convenient for you, it’s not for potential clients.
Instead, it’s all about the details. Show your prospects exactly what benefits they receive from your work. Consider creating packages or tiers of your services instead of listing your skills and having them pick and choose. Offering too many choices can be overwhelming for a potential client — bundling your services makes it easier for them to decide, and it also helps you project the scope of the work you’ll be doing.
And don’t forget price! If your services don’t mesh with flat rates or prices, you can give a starting rate or ballpark figure to help answer price questions upfront.
Finally, use a strong call-to-action to convert people from prospects to clients. This could mean a contact button, or, for a softer sell, a newsletter signup.
Once you’ve gotten a potential client interested in what you do, it’s time to go into “show, not tell” mode.
You’ve just told a prospect that you’re awesome at whatever you do. But that’s not enough — you need to back it up with examples.
Depending on what services you provide, offer screenshots, photos, or links to your work. Give your work specific and transparent titles, and include a brief description of the project, the role you played in it, and the results it garnered.
Keep this section of your website unadorned and easy to navigate. While the design of your website does communicate aspects of your work and personality, your past work should speak for itself.
4. Client List and Testimonials
After prospects have been wowed by the work you produce, give them a little insight into what it’s like to work with you. It’s one thing to create awesome work — it’s another to build awesome relationships while doing it.
Start with a page that lists all the clients you’ve worked with. If prospectors see that high-profile clients have taken a gamble on you, they won’t need to see much else of your website before they make a decision to hire you. Even if you don’t have the most recognizable past clients, you can still impress with glowing testimonials. Quotes from actual clients can give insight into your process or what makes you stand out. It’s your time to prove that you’re smart, you complete work on time, and that you go above and beyond.
To build a great testimonials page, Freelancers Union has some great advice:
- Choose the right time to ask for a testimonial, like right after wrapping up a great project.
- Identify prospects’ most common questions about your services, so your testimonials can answer them.
- Ask your clients specific questions to ensure you get the answers you need.
5. Contact Form
Once your other website pages have convinced a prospect you’re the real deal, make it as easy as possible for them to contact you.
Try to avoid a general “email me” call-to-action. A “Contact Me” page with a well-built form with detailed questions can make it easier to prequalify clients and ensure you’re working with people worth your time and effort. It also helps make sure the client gives you the info you need in the initial email.
With just these five pages, you can build a virtual sales team for your freelance business. You have the whole sales funnel covered, and your prospects get all the information they need to make the decision to hire you.
Building out a great website is one of the first steps to a successful freelance career. Once you’ve gotten a few clients, you’ll want to create lasting relationships with them. Learn how to make the most of new client relationships.