As a freelancer, your website is one of your most important marketing tools. A well-planned website can help you attract your target market and fill your inbox with inquiries from ideal clients.
The truth is, a good website helps you stand out from the crowd of freelancers out there. Your website will make you look like you’re taking your business seriously, and it immediately makes you seem more professional and legit.
And as a bonus, it can also save you time. If you set up your website well, it will do your marketing and sales for you!
But you’re probably wondering… What does your website need to be effective at attracting and converting potential clients?
You don’t need anything super elaborate or fancy for your website to be effective. What you do need is a strategically thought-out site that answers alllll your ideal clients questions about you. Here’s how to do it.
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The 7 Essential Elements of Your Freelance Website To Attract Your Ideal Clients
#1 – Professional hosting & domain name
Ok – what does ‘hosting & domain name’ mean?
Hosting is essentially what you need to hold all of your files that make up your website. Professional hosting companies ‘host’ your files (aka store them on huge computer servers) and serve them up whenever a visitor lands on your site.
A domain name is the address people type in to find your site. Thefreelancehustle.com is our domain name.
If you’ve never set up a website before, this sounds technical and complicated, but don’t worry. It’s very easy to set up.
(Check this blog post for a complete guide to setting up your freelance website with a custom domain name and professional hosting.)
Of course, there are options to get free hosting and a free domain name. But you’ll have a domain name like “thefreelancehustle.squarespace.com” or “kayli.blogspot.com”. When you take the cheap route, it signals to potential clients that you aren’t a real business… and they immediately lose trust in you.
You have to invest in your business and show up as a professional if you want to attract clients and grow your business.
The investment isn’t really all that much, anyway.
We recommend a hosting & domain name provider called BlueHost. All you need to get started is the basic plan for $3.95/month.
Click this link and have your discount automatically applied.
#2 – A value proposition
A value proposition tells potential clients why they should work with you instead of other freelancers. It highlights who you are, who you work with, and the benefits of working with you.
Your value proposition should be the first thing someone sees when they land on your website.
Website visitors decide in about 2 seconds if they want to stick around and learn more about you. Your value proposition should make your potential clients realize they’re in the right place.
The value prop formula:
Who you are + who you work with + the benefits of working with you
To write your value prop, start by identifying your benefits or unique value. Maybe you have a unique 2-week design process. Or maybe you are a writer with social media experience so you can get your clients articles seen by more people. Figure out why your clients love working with you and use that as a starting point.
Writing a value prop can be tricky, but here are a few guidelines to keep in mind. A value prop:
- isn’t a tagline
- shouldn’t have buzzwords
- can be a headline with a few supporting sentences or bullets, so don’t worry about trying to squeeze it into one sentence
- shouldn’t be a meaningless slogan
#3 – Your services
If you want to get hired by clients through your website, it makes sense that you should tell them exactly what they can hire you for!
Your services page is a chance to sell your potential clients on working with you. They’ve come to your site, seen your value proposition, and now they want the details.
This section of your website can outline exactly what you do, how you work, and what a client can expect. If you can also show some results or benefits, even better.
Paint the picture of what they can expect and get them excited about the possibilities.
When you’re writing your services page, remember to ask yourself “what’s in it for them?” because it’s about the value you give to clients.
#4 – A contact form
If you want your inbox to be full of inquiries from your ideal clients, you probably don’t want to make them hunt for your email address. Make it as easy as possible for those clients to get in touch with you!
Put a link to your contact page in your main navigation so it’s easy to find from every page of your website. You can even put a contact form in your website footer so it’s on every page.
What should your contact form include? You can keep it simple with fields for name, email, and a message.
Your contact form can also be used to ask a few key clarifying questions up front which help you to determine if a client is right for you – like when are you ready to start, or something about budget. Including a question like “how did you find me” will help you know which marketing channels are working for you.
If you’re using a theme like Divi for your website, you’ll be able to easily create contact forms in any style you like without needing extra plugins or code.
If you don’t have a good contact form in your website theme, you can try building and embedding forms on your site using typeform.
#5 – A portfolio
Your potential clients want to see the kind of work you’ve created in the past to determine if you’ll be a good fit to work with them. This is why you need a portfolio on your site to show off your best work – yes, even if you’re not a designer!
Your portfolio style will depend on the type of work you do. You can add images, videos, text, case studies or links. Here are a few ideas:
- Link to guest posts or blog posts you’ve written
- Display websites you’ve designed
- If you’ve worked on social media campaigns, share screenshots and designs you used
- Create a case study to share your process and the results of a marketing strategy you created
And if you can, add in some results – for example, this campaign increased reach by x% or got x% clickthrough rating. Or the new web design increased email signups by x%. Adding metrics can show that your work not only looks good but gets results.
#6 – Testimonials
A good testimonial can help to take a client from a ‘maybe’ to a ‘yes’.
Testimonials create trust with potential clients who’ve never worked with you before. Reading about a positive experience will…
Add rave reviews from anyone you’ve worked with.
Think you don’t have any testimonials? You can use:
- Reviews from freelancing sites like UpWork
- LinkedIn recommendations
- Praise you’ve gotten for work on social media posts
- Nice emails from clients thanking you for your work
Always ask your clients for a testimonial and get permission to post it on your website. Bonus points if they let you use a headshot – people like to see human faces when they’re reading a testimonial. It lets them put a visual to the story they’re reading.
#7 – About you
Your About page is a chance to get a little more personal and give clients a glimpse into the person behind the business. It should help your client feel more of a human connection with you.
Your about page should include:
- A photo of you
- A bit of your backstory and how you got to where you are today
- Education and awards (feel free to brag a little)
- Some interesting or quirky facts about yourself that your ideal client could relate to (like your love of corgis or how you brew your own craft beer at home)
But remember, your website is really about THEM, not you. So even when writing this page keep asking yourself “what’s in it for my ideal client?” This will help keep all of your content engaging and relevant to your audience.
Create your freelance website with these 7 elements to convert more visitors into clients.
So tell us… does your website have all 7 of these elements? Let us know in the comments.
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