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 been forgotten? Perhaps your website needs refreshing.
#TallTartanTalks 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 won’t take a moment for you to check and are easy to fix.
Go on, have a look … Open up a new tab, find the admin section of your website, and work through my list.
- Contact email address
- Contact form
- Spelling, punctuation and grammar
- Correct copyright date in the footer
- ‘I’ rather than ‘we’
- A photo of the business owner.
How to fix
1. Contact email address
If you have a website, it appears more professional if your email address is linked to your domain name. For example, my website is proofnow.co.uk. My business email is [email protected]. However, make sure the spelling of your email address is correct on your website. An error means that potential clients can’t reach you. 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 will be linked to the Call To Action (CTA) button. Being contacted by WhatsApp is the worst, in my opinion (not very professional)! Others don’t want to be disturbed by phone at any time of day, but would rather be contacted by email. Whatever your preferred form of communication, make sure it is correct on your website.
2. Contact form
A contact form on your website is effective for reducing spam. But make sure 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 an edi-buddy 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 the website page? There is usually a date at the bottom – the copyright date. It should show the current year. You’d be surprised 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 there is a team involved in 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? Which 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. Most folk are able to upload a selfie. If it is an up-to-date photo, even better. If you can afford to get a professional headshot, by a professional who can show your personality … fantastic! Some freelancers use a logo instead. It’s a personal choice. Whatever visual you use, make sure it is the same on your website as in any networking groups or 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. They may even be convinced to ask for your services.
There are other features I haven’t mentioned, but the ones mentioned here will point you in the right direction.
Websites are never finished – they always need tweaking. If you add content, for example, a new testimonial, it will keep your website fresh and up to date.
Why websites are important
If you keep these six points in mind, you will give the impression that you are an honest, trustworthy and confident professional.
Remember, your website is your shop window.
You may just rely on a profile on LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook to get you business. But you own your website. It belongs to you.
It needs to work for you and represent who you are. Be proud of it!