Making the decision to become a freelancer is one of the best you’ll probably ever make. With the internet and platforms like Upwork, you can access thousands of clients, all of whom have lots of work to offer you, meaning there’s lots of money to be made.
But just because there is opportunity, it doesn’t mean that success is automatic. There are lots of freelancers out there, and one of the reasons clients decide to employ them is because the work they provide is better than what they could do on their own. As such, it’s important to make sure you are as professional as possible to help you gain and retain good clients.
One of the ways to do this is to create your own website. There are several reasons why you as a freelancer should have a website:
Your website will make the client’s life easier
Whether you’re new to freelancing or you’re a seasoned pro, you know that clients want to see samples of your previous work before offering you a job.
There are a different ways to showcase your work. The first one is to just send them attachments of your best work, but this can be a pain for clients to have to download, open and read.
If you can simply send a link to your website where you have samples ready for them to look at, things become much easier. This increases your chances of making a good impression. Since not all freelancers have websites, you’ll appear much more professional than many.
What’s more, if your work appears in other places, such as guest posts all over the web, you can include links here so that everything the client might need is in one place. With lots of content in high authority sites, you’ll look like a seasoned expert.
The happier you can make the client from the beginning, the better off you will be in the long run. People don’t have a lot of time, and they want to find the best as fast as they can. Having a website makes it easier for them to decide to choose you over others.
Present yourself more professionally
We’ve all been to a company website, looked at it and said, “Wow! These people know what they are doing!”
Web design can have a tremendous impact on the impression someone gets about you. When you are a freelancer, this is even more true.
If you are communicating with someone through one of the various platforms, they really have no idea what you are all about. They need to trust you somewhat blindly.
However, if you send them to a well-done, squeaky clean website, one that has samples, testimonials, easy-to-understand pricing (or offers to request for a quote) and contact information, you’re giving yourself that extra touch of professionalism that most freelancers lack. This will give you a leg up on the competition when looking for jobs.
Retain more reliable clients
Building on this, the more seriously you take yourself, the more seriously people will take you. Probably one of the bigger downsides to freelancing is having to constantly chase down clients and work. It’s a dream come true when you land a client who gives you consistent work (and also pays for it with the same consistency).
By taking yourself seriously and professionally, you are increasing your chances of attracting more serious clients who may have more work than just an occasional photo touch up or writing job. It obviously isn’t a guarantee, but a website is a great start to making your freelance work something more permanent and reliable.
In short, you’ll have created an avenue to attract amazing clients.
Turn freelancing into a full-time business
Lastly, while freelancing is rewarding and fun, it’s not something you’ll likely want to do forever. It’s far better to have stable clients and a reliable income than to be chasing people down all the time to try and find new work.
After you’ve had some success building up your freelancer profile, you can take this a step further and start your own business. For example, imagine you are doing a lot of freelance web design. Who’s to say you couldn’t start your own web design firm? Or if you do a lot of writing, why don’t you make yourself a marketing consultant?
The goal in doing this is to expand beyond doing just the grunt work and to start assisting clients with higher-level strategic tasks. If you do this well enough, you may be able to bring in your own team of freelancers to help you with the work, setting yourself up with a legitimate business that you could sell down the road if you decide to change careers.
But for you to do this in a digital world, a website is going to be absolutely essential. It’s here you’ll be able to explain to clients who you are and why they should do business with you. Essentially, your website is your virtual storefront.
How to create a website
Wondering how to start get started? Here are the steps:
Leave stunning first impressions with your website
A website is a great way to push your freelancing career to the next level. It adds a level of professionalism to your work and helps you make a good first impression on clients, increasing their chances of giving you quality, well-paying work. And who knows, this website could one day turn into a highly-valuable, highly-profitable business that you started entirely from scratch.
About the author: Jock is an internet entrepreneur who regularly uses freelancers. He is the CEO of DigitalExits.com. His main piece of advice to freelancers is that they should conduct business as professionally as possible, as this boosts trust and helps create a healthier work relationship.