In recent years, the trend for companies to outsource work to freelancers has grown exponentially, and today there are more one-person-band freelancers in operation than ever. Working with freelancers has numerous benefits for firms – not least of which is the lower overhead and reduced employee responsibilities that are part and parcel of hiring ad hoc help as and when it’s needed.
Furthermore, with the lockdowns and work from home policies imposed by governments in response to the recent coronavirus pandemic, companies are now better equipped and more au fait with the idea of employees working remotely – either on a full-time, hired staff basis or as freelancers.
The importance of your website for generating work
While it’s undoubtedly true that the demand for freelancers has skyrocketed over the last decade (and, in particular, the last two years), the onus still lies with you to generate work. One of the best ways to stand out, get noticed and advertise yourself is with a professional website.
As a freelancer, your website should be almost like your calling card and online portfolio, a place where you can shout your skills from the rooftops, show examples of your previous work, and invite inquiries. Sure, you’ll likely pick up first contacts from freelance job boards and adverts but, in pretty much all cases, the first thing a prospective employer will want to see is your online portfolio.
Whether you’re just starting out in the wonderful world of freelancing or are already established, below are a few tips from the pros that will help you make the best site possible.
Use a pro or take the DIY approach
These days, it’s easier than ever for anyone to get set up online, regardless of their design or coding experience. Website builder tools like Wix and Squarespace make it very easy to publish a site. However, in almost all cases, these tools tend to look exactly as they are – slightly cheap and amateurish.
When you consider your website is most likely going to end up your greatest sales tool, you would be well-advised to hire the services of a professional company. For the best results, try building a close relationship with a firm so you can consider them our agency.
Feature a photo
Prospective employers want to know they’re dealing with a real person, so don’t be afraid to feature a photo of yourself. It will also have the added bonus of making your site feel more personal.
A quality photograph tells the prospective client that you’re real and gives a face to the name. You can either get it taken professionally or have a friend take one of you.
Resist the temptation to over-embellish
Keep things as simple as possible with short, punchy text and a clear navigation system to link to your work. Remember, a freelancer’s site is more like an online resume proving you can do what you claim.
Keep that purpose in your mind as you drill down quickly into your skills and highlight your portfolio of previous work. Use the website to set yourself up for success as an entrepreneur.
Make sure your site works on mobile
Through the last decade, the web has gone mobile. Mobile device use now accounts for over 50% of all internet traffic (some research suggests that figure might be as high as 50-60%).
To make sure your site can be viewed on the greatest number of gadgets, you need to ensure you use a responsive design (a professional web design firm will be able to advise on this and produce your site so it can be viewed on the maximum number of screen sizes).