Have you started your freelance business? Do you have a website? Are you concerned that you don’t have much yet to put on a website?
You may feel terrified at the thought of building a website.
Or … have you owned a website for AGES? Have things changed in your business? Perhaps your website needs refreshing.
Tall Tartan Talks here … Whether you are a new or established freelancer, it is vital to give prospective clients who come across your website the impression that your features are correct and up to date.
Fear not. I have made a list of website features that you should check; that won’t take a moment for you to fix.
Go on, have a look … Open up a new tab, find the admin section of your website, and work through my list.
Website features to check
- Contact email address
- Contact form
- Spelling, punctuation and grammar
- Correct copyright date in the footer
- ‘I’ rather than ‘we’
- A photo of you, the business owner.
How to fix
1. Contact email address
Make sure the spelling of your email address is correct on your website. An error means potential clients can’t reach you. Or fellow colleagues. They will give up and try someone else.
It is personal choice if you display your phone number or not. Some freelancers like their customers to book a call, so their number may be linked to a Call To Action (CTA) button.
Being contacted by WhatsApp is the worst, in my opinion. I keep that app for friends and family. Others don’t want to be disturbed by phone, but would rather be contacted by email. Whatever your preferred form of communication, make sure it is apparent and correct on your website.
2. Contact form
A contact form on your website is effective for reducing spam. But ensure it is connected to your email address and messages can get through. It is frustrating for potential clients to send a message for it to be lost in the ether. Check your contact form works by emailing yourself or asking a friend to test it.
3. Spelling, punctuation and grammar
This may seem obvious, but check the spelling, punctuation and grammar. Proofreading the content is vital, especially if you are providing your services as an … editor or proofreader.
It is difficult to proofread your own writing because you see what you think is there, not what is actually there. You may have redrafted a phrase and the sense has gone? Yep! Again, ask a friend to check the content for you.
4. Correct copyright date in the footer
Have you ever scrolled ALL the way down to the bottom of a website page you are browsing? There is usually a date at the bottom – the copyright date. It should show the current year.
You’d be surprised (or maybe you wouldn’t) how many websites look out of date because the footer hasn’t been updated. Even well-known and established brands have overlooked small details like this.
If the date is wrong, how can we trust other content on the website to be correct?
5. ‘I’ rather than ‘we’
This is a style feature. If you are a sole trader, you own your freelance business. It’s just you, not a team. Do you use ‘I’ or ‘we’?
‘I’ is more personal and gives the impression that you are talking directly to me. I can get a sense of you and your business from your website. ‘We’ gives the impression that you are part of a team providing the service.
Be honest with your content. If you use ‘we’, who else are you talking about? What are the names of the people in your team and where are their photos? That brings me on to the next heading.
6. A photo of the website owner
I am aware that not everyone likes to see themselves in a photograph. But a photo of the freelancer brings a personal touch to their website. I can see a face to put to the name of the business.
It’s not hard to upload a selfie. If it is an up-to-date photo, even better. If you can afford to get a professional headshot taken by someone who can show your personality … fantastic!
Some freelancers use a logo instead. It’s a personal choice. Whatever image you use, make sure it is the same on your website as in any networking groups and social media channels you use. If you use a photo, we’ll recognise you quicker. You will become a familiar face. And we’ll remember you.
Keep your website fresh
If these features are in place and appear current, the potential clients looking at your website will know that they can trust you. You will give a good impression. The client may even be convinced to ask for your services.
There are other features I haven’t mentioned, but those mentioned here are a start and will point you in the right direction.
Websites are never finished. Don’t think that once it is built, that’s all you need to do. You need to tweak it monthly, at least.
If you add new content, for example, a fresh testimonial, it will keep your website up to date and fresh.
Why your website is important
If you keep these six points in mind, your website will help you come across as a trustworthy and confident professional.
Remember, your website is your shop window.
You may just prefer to rely on a profile on LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook to help you persuade clients to book your services. But you own your website. It belongs to you and isn’t at the whim of the social media algorithms.
Your website needs to work for you and represent who you are. Be proud of it!
Now updated with: More website features you should check (Part 2)
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