Welcome to Day 3 of the 31 Days of Marketing Your Freelance Business Series! For the month of October we are going to be covering a ton of different ways you can market your business and get more clients.
A professional looking website for your freelance business is a must-have! Your website will serve as your home base with a space for your portfolio, your profile, your services or packages, and a way for potential clients to contact you. Having a great website allows you to express who you are to your ideal clients and really grow your business.
There are many platforms available that make it fairly easy to build your site. I use WordPress, and I recommend it for a few reasons.
- It’s relatively easy to use – you don’t need to know much about web design to use the platform.
- It’s totally customizable and versatile – you can play around with themes and designs and you can add plugins to get different functionality added to your site.
- It’s popular – a lot of people use the platform so it’s easy to find tips, how-to’s, plugins, and designers.
If you’ve never created a website before, the thought alone can be totally overwhelming, but it’s really not that bad. Here are a few essential steps to get your freelance website up and running:
Step 1 – Choose a Domain Name
First things first, you’ll want to pick a domain name for your website. You can use your name, your company name, or something descriptive (eg kaylibarthdesigns.com). I use NameCheap.com to buy all of my domains. It’s super easy to use – you just search your desired domain and select the one you want.
Step 2 – Select a Hosting Package
Next you need to choose a hosting provider and package. I use HostGator and I’m very happy with their service. It’s cheap, easy to use, and their customer service is fantastic. If you’re only hosting one website, usually the smallest package will suffice.
Step 3 – Setup WordPress
OK, I’m not going to go into detail here because your hosting company will have very detailed instructions on how to go about setting everything up. Follow the instructions and login to WordPress when it’s ready.
Step 4 – Choose a Theme
Your WordPress theme determines the layout and style of your website. There are tons to choose from in the theme gallery. Choose something with the basic layout and elements you are looking for in your design. It can be customized as you go. Also be sure to choose something that is mobile responsive so your website doesn’t look like total garbage on mobile or tablets.
Step 5 – Install a Few Key Plugins
Plugins extend the functionality of the WordPress platform, so you can add functions to your website without needing to know the gibberish behind it. A few of my favourite plugins:
There are so many more plugins you can use to add contact forms, email signups, social icons, or basically anything you can think of. You can add plugins at any time as you discover a need for one.
Step 6 – Add Google Analytics
Adding Google Analytics to your website is surprisingly easy and will be so helpful for tracking how your content and marketing is performing as you build your business. Just go to http://www.google.com/analytics/ and sign in with your Google account to get started.
And there you have it! You now have a website to showcase your ideas, your projects, and your business brilliance. Over the next few days we will get into how to turn your website into a client attracting machine by adding branding and great content to your website.