342--Freelancer website: is it necessary?_ref_index

Freelancer website: is it necessary?

Freelancing is a tough job; between chasing leads, pitching ideas and meeting competing deadlines, there’s a lot to keep track of. Those in salaried positioned may not understand how much time and energy is required to freelance, whether that means blogging, video creation, journalism, graphic design and so on. Of course, your main focus should be finding ways to create a steady stream of work to maintain your income. In order to build a client base and reputation, why not consider your own personal website to act as a portfolio?

Some freelancers may not believe that a website is necessary. But, we’re here to offer a list of advantages to building and maintaining your very own website.

4 reasons why every freelancer should have a website

1) Professionalism and trust

Since working online means little to no face-to-face interaction with people you’re working with, gaining a comfortable level of trust with clients can be tricky. Especially in the first few years of freelancing, the amount of contracts you sign will greatly depends on the relationships you build as well as how you build them. If you’re networking, pitching or trying to narrow down a collaborator, a common question asked  is “could I take a look at your website?” It’s important you’re able to answer “yes” to this question, as having a concrete place to host past examples of your work is a huge asset. As a freelancer, a website gives the impression of credibility, professionalism and most importantly, trustworthiness.

Not only this, but it will demonstrate that you’ve taken time and considered how you’re coming across publically. Websites can be especially necessary for freelancers looking for clients abroad, though it will offer a way to network with clients both near and far. Regardless of their timezone, these potential clients are more likely to trust a freelancer with a website over one without.  We’re pretty certain you’ll want to appear professional and a website will guarantee this.

2) Expertise

As you’re trying to attract potential clients, you’ll want them to not only trust you and view you as a professional but further, trust your abilities over others working in your field. The last thing a client wants to do is guess what you do for a living or why you’re the person to choose. Thus, a website will establish that you’re an expert in your industry. This is especially necessary as a freelancer, offering a place for those interested to take stock of your specific, niche skills. A website allows those interested in working with you a way to focus on exactly what you’re bringing to the table.

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With this in mind, consider ways to build your personal brand or web presence around what you have to offer. Craft your site to reflect your knowledge and skills in your area of work. Some things you may include to draw people to you are past and current work samples or links to external projects, testimonials from current clients, examples of credible experience and so on. Make sure your site is engaging while allowing your qualities and skills to shine through.

3) Proof

Years before, clients may have relied on word of mouth referrals. Now, in the days of the internet, getting someone to vouch for your services comes in a completely different package.  As we’ve established, your prospective clients want to know who you are and why they should work with you. As briefly mentioned in the above section, customer testimonials are an excellent way to highlight your skillset. On top of this, it will offer real life proof of your relationships with people. You may be surprised but testimonials go the distance when it comes to gaining and keeping new clients.

If you’ve received great reviews from past employers or collaborators, ask them for permission to aggregate this information and put it onto your website. These testimonials will help you to look reliable and give further assurance to potential clients about the quality of the work you’re offering. Hiring you will be much easier if there’s real world proof you’ll do an outstanding job.

4) Grow your network

Competition in the freelancing game is a challenge. There are plenty of people out there experiencing the exact same hustle as you. Freelancing platforms are saturated with people hunting for contracts and as it’s probably clear, you’re looking to stand out and grow a network. A continued level of success will depend on your ability to stand out from those who are simply in the game to make a quick dollar. Freelance longevity will come down to maintaining the relationships you’ve built through a continued offer of exceptional work. Through your work, find ways to differentiate yourself from those offering similar services.

With a website you no longer have to rely on freelancing platforms to grow your network. In fact, you can now experiment with finding clients by way of advertising, social media campaigns, and email marketing. This avenues can help you to generate new leads and bring in new clients. As a freelancer, a website offer another level of freedom that’s inaccessible without one. Not to mention, it takes a little bit of the pressure off.

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