Did you know that a personal website isn’t only just for creatives? You don’t have to be a writer, a photographer, or a graphic artist to benefit from having your piece of internet real estate.
To stand out in today’s highly-competitive freelance market, you need something other than a resume to showcase your skills, experience, and personal brand.
In today’s blog, we’ll be talking about personal websites, how having one can help your business, and how to effectively build one that attracts clients. Let’s get started!
A personal website is a collection of web pages created for personal career marketing, social networking, and personal expression.
As opposed to websites about companies, organizations, or institutions, a personal website is primarily used to highlight your skills and experiences, while also serving as a platform to connect with people in your industry.
It’s that single piece of online real estate where you can display and share information about your past projects and the things you’re currently working on. Apart from being an online portfolio and a tool for expressing yourself, it’s also a place where your potential clients (and even partners) can find more information about you.
Think of it as a super-charged resume that goes beyond timelines and work experiences. It’s a personal marketing tool that you can customize according to your brand.
For freelancers, a personal website should contain these pages:
This is where people can learn about your background as a professional. This is also a great place to highlight your personal branding statement, your approach to your work, and how you help solve your clients’ problems.
This is where you can put your contact information including your email address or your social media profiles You can also include a contact form that visitors can fill out.
Whether you write for a living or not, having a blog is an important part of building your brand online. Your blog is where you can share not only your musings but also valuable information about your niche that leads and current clients will find useful.
This is where you can highlight your past projects. This is especially helpful for creatives like photographers, graphic artists, video editors, and software developers. But it could also work even if you’re in digital marketing, e-commerce, or admin support. The key here is to be creative when it comes to presenting your past work. Make it visually appealing and don’t just list them down the way you would in a resume.
While these four pages are crucial for every personal website, there are other pages you can also add to make yours a little more inviting and informative. Some pages you might also want to include are:
As a freelancer, a personal website is one of the best marketing tools you can have. Regardless of your specialty and niche, you can reap these benefits if you have a place to call your own on the internet:
When was the last time you looked someone up online? Chances are it’s very recent. Today, with the internet being a crucial part of doing business, your potential clients will likely look you up before working with you.
Sure, being on platforms like Facebook or LinkedIn is great but having a personal website where clients can know all there is to know about you and your services is even better.
A killer resume can only get you so far along. With a personal website, you can stand out from your competition because it gives you the chance to amplify your online presence. When you have your website, you can showcase your strengths as a service provider, demonstrate why you’re the best choice for the job, and convince potential clients to hire you.
A personal website is a great place to show everyone what you’re good at—whether it’s creating masterfully-built UX/UI designs, writing microcopy for landing pages, or improving lead conversion rates for your clients.
Furthermore, you can highlight your personal brand on your website. It’s a space that’s dedicated to you and your services alone. So you can highlight your unique solutions that clients will find irresistible.
Your website can speak volumes in terms of differentiating you from the competition. This way, you’ll improve your chances of landing big-ticket clients.
Unlike a resume that you can only spruce up so much before it gets distracting, a personal website is a great place to be creative. Your personality can shine through with how you write your bio, your original articles, the color palette of your website, the layout you’ve chosen, and so much more. It’s your own corner in the vast internet of things and you have the power and freedom to make it stand out from the crowd.
Building a personal website by yourself can be a great way to learn new things. As you start creating your site, you’ll constantly see what works for your brand and what doesn’t. As you tweak and polish your website, you learn to:
It’s an excellent way to transform yourself into a digital maven equipped with marketable skills that your prospective clients will surely love.
Now that you know what a personal website is and what benefits you can get from it, it’s time to move on to the nitty-gritty of building one. And don’t worry because you don’t have to be a web developer to create one.
The first thing you need when building any website is a domain name. It’s your website name and address that visitors use to find your site on their web browser. Domain names can be purchased for as little as $10 but some can also cost up to a few thousand dollars.
In general, the domain name for your personal website should be easy to remember. The best option is to use your name. Not only does this help with SEO and searchability but it’s also easier to tweak if it is already taken.
You can be straightforward with it and just use your first and last name but you can also be creative with it and use wordplay to make it more memorable.
Avoid using numbers and other special characters in your domain name. If you’re going to use dashes, do so if it’s only necessary.
As for domain extensions, .com is still preferable but you can use .me, .bio, or .co. Avoid extensions like .org or .net. While these can be cheaper, they don’t have the same ring of professionalism.
A website hosting provider ensures that your website goes live on the internet so that people can access it. It gives you three main functionalities:
There are several hosting providers out there so you have to do a bit of research based on your needs. A great web host should:
These days, you don’t need to be a web developer to build a functional and aesthetically-pleasing website. There are website builders and content management systems out there that allow you to create a personal website even if you don’t know anything about CSS or HTML. If you know how to drag and drop, you’ll be able to make a website with just a few mouse clicks. Some popular options include WordPress, Wix, SquareSpace, and Weebly.
When picking a website builder, keep these things in mind:
Visuals play a crucial role in keeping you’re your visitors interested. While great content keeps them engaged, how your website looks is what makes them stay.
Using a template from a website builder is a good place to start. But keep in mind that your personal website is a reflection of your brand. So take into account these design elements:
There’s no point in having a personal website if people can’t find you. So be sure to use the right keywords throughout your website including your web copy, blogs, and URL. It’s also important to create titles and descriptions for each page your website has. Furthermore, including alt text in all your images can help your website rank better. These can help drive traffic to your website which you can then convert into paying clients.
A personal website is the ultimate marketing tool for freelancers. It helps you showcase your skills, and work experience while also highlighting your individuality and creativity. With the tips above, you’ll soon have a website that will attract big clients in no time.
Are you looking for more freelancing tips? Don’t forget to check out the FreeUp blog where we publish fresh articles regularly.
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