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Being a successful freelancer can be something of a juggling act. Not only do you have to produce high-quality work, but you also have to devote time toward other administrative duties that can keep your business organized. Primary amongst these additional tasks is attracting new clients.
Your website is often the most important item you have in your hustling toolkit. It not only showcases your work, but it can also operate as a passive form of marketing. Potential clients can discover more about who you are and what you do without the need for a personalized outreach pitch each time. That being said, your website should be optimized in ways that encourage visitors to convert to customers for it to be considered effective.
It’s not always easy, but there are a handful of areas that can help. As the freelancing arena is increasingly competitive — recent studies indicate that 35% of Americans freelance full-time — now is a great time to review what elements you should be focusing on to increase your conversions.
It’s only natural that you want to impress potential clients. However, producing a website that includes a lot of features isn’t the way to go about it. Your visitors don’t have time to go trawling around your website. Your approach should include the following:
● Straightforward Navigation
Your user interface (UI) should be easy to understand and utilize the most straightforward menus and layout. This is one of the central tenets of web accessibility; an approach that ensures that all who desire to access information about your services can do so. The first step toward conversion is not alienating visitors with vague page labeling, or untidy structure.
● Minimal Choices
Although information can be powerful, too much of it can become overwhelming. Be concise. Don’t outline too many different types of packages or services you offer. This relates to the theory of analysis paralysis — often if presented with too many choices, customers will postpone their buying decisions.
● Optimal Color and Contrast
Avoid complex color pallets, and apply a simple but impactful use of contrast instead. Choose a scheme of just a few colors that represent your brand's mood. Keep the background color and a contrasting regular text color consistent. This aids ease of reading. However, you can also apply one or two additional high contrasting colors to draw visitor’s attention to exciting or important text headers.
A simplistic freelancing website has an important role to play as part of the customer journey. They’ve already discovered your brand — perhaps through one of your other marketing channels, such as social media or email lead generation — and want to know more. Your task is to now provide elements that guide them through the rest of the journey toward an inquiry or sale. These elements should include:
● Trust Signals
Your trust signals help to alleviate your potential clients’ concerns about engaging with your freelance services. Therefore, these signals should be present immediately on your landing page, and be featured in places where they’ll decide about engaging with you. Reviews and testimonials from other clients tend to be among the most effective options. Certifications and membership of professional organizations are useful too.
● Addressing Pain Points
Pain points are the problems that a potential client has that your services can address. Don’t just note the technical aspects of your services; demonstrate that you have a deep understanding of your client’s challenges. Use the landing page to explicitly acknowledge the common issues in your industry, and why you can solve them.
● Interaction Opportunities
The key to conversion is encouraging visitors to interact with a variety of opportunities. Customer service chatbots are becoming increasingly popular, and web forms are still effective as well. A recent study showed that 50% of marketing experts reported better conversion rates due to forms. However, it’s important to ensure that forms and any other interactive tools remain relevant to the visitors’ interests, and provide opportunities for clients to answer questions about their specific needs.
While your freelancing website should be simplistic for clients to navigate, it shouldn’t be sparse. Rather, you should let the intentions of the website dictate the type of content you include. Usually, websites offering practical products benefit most from an emphasis on information-driven content — strictly limited to product descriptions and its usability. On the other hand, experience-led products require more personality-driven content. As a freelancer, you should aim for a happy medium between the two to convert.
The content on your website needs to demonstrate that you are capable of producing results and you’re capable of developing a potentially positive relationship. Throw in testimonials that note your commitment to client’s needs, your enthusiastic approach, or the quality of your work. Word your landing page in a way that addresses client’s concerns in a way that gives a taste of your personality. Doing this can also demonstrate uniqueness. After all, you need to stand out in a competitive field of skilled freelancers.
A personalized and unique website can serve both the practical and emotional needs of your clients. A blog, in particular, serves to improve conversions and forms part of your marketing efforts. Produce regular posts that discuss the relevant issues of your industry, in a way that highlights your expertise and showcases your approach. Videos that give a glimpse into what you do and how you do it, produced entertainingly, can also help clients engage with you, and build their confidence in your work.
To succeed in a competitive freelance landscape, your website needs to be optimized to convert. The best overall approach capitalizes on simplicity, takes a balanced approach to content, and includes elements that guide visitors through the customer journey. Make it easy and pleasant for clients to engage with you, and they’ll be more likely to keep doing so.