We all know that having an active presence online is important for any business. This is especially true if you’re a freelancer or you don’t operate from a brick and mortar shop.
Even if you have social media accounts or a dedicated page in an online directory, you’re going to need more in order to attract clients. What makes the difference between an average business and a powerful success story is a freelance website that draws in customers and spreads the word about your brand.
For that reason, you’ll need to create a website that shows your work at its best. With the right set of tools, you can shatter any creative boundary and build a stunning online portfolio of your own.
How to create a freelance website
To make life easier for you, we’ve compiled a step-by-step guide that will explain everything you need. Here are 10 steps you’ll need to create a freelance website:
01. Choose a freelance website template
Just like you wouldn’t start driving somewhere without directions, you should think about your ideal website layout before beginning to build it. Ask yourself the following questions: Which elements do you want to stand out? What will be the first and last things people see when they land on your site? How do you envision the user’s flow from one page to another?
You can start from a blank canvas or choose among the free website templates available for all types of freelancing projects. These templates are 100% customizable, so you can personalize them to fit your brand. If you’re still searching for inspiration, take a look at these portfolio websites to see how professionals have organized their work.
02. Create a domain
Once you’ve chosen your freelancer website template, give your site a name. Come up with a few different options and check which ones have an available domain name. Ideally, your domain name should include the name of your biz and a taste of what you do.
You should also check Google, social media platforms and the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (USTPO) to make sure the name you’ve selected isn’t already in use by another business.
03. Develop your brand
After sealing a domain name, it’s time to create additional aspects of your branding. Start by creating a logo, which you can do using a free logo maker. This will help you pinpoint the look and feel you want for your brand.
Next, select your fonts, colors and slogan. Your goal should be to maintain a consistent brand identity that encompasses what you stand for. These attributes will ultimately set you apart from your competitors and entice new customers to try your product or service, so it’s important that they stand out.
Even after you’ve checked off the branding basics, keep in mind that any type of content you create, whether it be on your website or social media accounts, should align with your branding. A unified marketing strategy is the key to developing consumer trust, which eventually will lead to repeat customers.
04. Include relevant pages
Think about all the information you want your freelance website to include, and strategically organize it into separate pages. You can add as many pages or sections as you want, but here are some of the most important:
Think of this as the entrance to your site. This is the very first thing site visitors will see. In addition to including a beautiful background image, you’ll also want to add some descriptive text. Clients should be able to determine who you are and what you do immediately upon entering your site. Choose your words wisely and make sure that every bit of text, photo and video are the best fit to secure a great first impression.
Products or services
Create a clear and detailed section explaining what kind of products and services you offer. If you’d like customers to place orders or schedule a call, add an order form or bookings calendar that invites them to do so.
Highlight your professionalism and quality of work by showcasing your projects and the list of clients you’ve worked with. If you’re an artist or designer, the Wix Pro Gallery is a great way to add examples of your work to your site.
A freelance website is an effective way to make money online. In addition to including an order form on your product page, you should create a separate page for your online store. Depending on your field, you may want to sell digital copies of your work using the Wix Art Store, a 100% commission-free solution for freelance graphic designers, photographers and artists.
Satisfied customers are one of your most important marketing assets, since they can recommend your products and services to friends and social media followers. Ask them for testimonials, and include their positive reviews on your site. Testimonials boost your credibility and help create trust between you and potential customers.
After you’ve stunned them with your site, visitors should be able to contact you easily. While you may want to include your contact details throughout your site—in the footer, for instance—it’s also good practice to create a dedicated contact page. Add a contact form with Wix Forms, your email, phone numbers and social media handles.
05. Add sophisticated design elements
Your freelance website is more than just a means to an end. It’s also an outlet for you to express your talent and creativity and show that you’re on top of your visual game. Make a list of the design features that will enhance your site, and start exploring which ones you can effortlessly integrate.
There’s no need to add every design element you come across, but incorporate the ones that fit in well. Ideas to consider include: hover effects, customized grids, parallax scrolling and animation. For each effect, think about how it will look to a first-time visitor and consider the purpose that it will serve. If you want some expert tips, you can also check out the Wix Marketplace to hire a Wix designer to help you build your perfect site.
06. Incorporate the right business tools
From talking with customers to marketing your product, there are many aspects of your business to stay on top of. This can be particularly challenging if you’re working alone, or if you’re a digital nomad without a fixed office space.
To make your life easier, take advantage of business tools that can help reduce your workload and streamline processes. For example, you can use Wix Chat to easily communicate with potential clients and answer their questions in real-time. This feature displays a chatbox on your website that lets people message you immediately.
You can also take advantage of online scheduling software to efficiently take online bookings, accept secure payments and send automatic email reminders without any hassle.
Other tools, such as Wix Analytics, help you measure the traffic to your site. This gives you a view into where your website is performing well and where it could be improved, letting you adapt to fit your clients’ needs.
07. Create a blog
You can also consider creating a blog that appeals to your audience. This is a strategic way to incorporate additional content for SEO purposes, encourage people to spend more time on your site and establish yourself as a leader in your industry. A blog is also a helpful way to attract new visitors to your site because it provides valuable content without asking for anything in return.
It’s also an effective strategy to convert traffic into customers. Your blog articles allow people to get to know you and become acquainted with your work. Blogs are an effective way to create personal relationships with your audience, which ultimately, allows them to feel connected to your brand. You can even include a comments section so you can communicate with your readers directly.
08. Optimize for SEO
What good is an online presence if no one gets to see it? This is exactly why you should invest some time and effort into your SEO capabilities. In order for your clients to easily find you and book your services, you need to make sure that your website appears in Google search results.
Optimizing your website with SEO features is an ongoing task that requires you to update your content regularly. You’ll want to do some keyword research to determine which words and phrases to incorporate throughout your site. Take advantage of tools like Wix SEO, Ahrefs and SEMrush to help you determine which relevant keywords people are searching for. Then, incorporate them throughout your website content. You might also want to engage an SEO services agency or professional to help you.
If you’re a freelancer who works in a specific location, you’ll also want to invest some time incorporating local SEO. To start, include your location on your website and register with Google My Business. Another helpful tip is to form relationships with other local businesses who can vouch for your credibility and link from their own website to yours. This type of local link building is a worthwhile tactic that will ensure your freelance website is found by anyone searching in your area.
09. Make it mobile-friendly
Did you know that mobile internet use accounts for 50% of all web traffic? This means you’ll want your website to look just as beautiful on a small smartphone screen as it does on a desktop computer.
Pay attention to the fonts and colors you use and make sure they’re readable. Declutteer the mobile version of your site and consider adding a search bar to ease navigation. If you’re a Wix user, your site will automatically generate a mobile-friendly version with an adaptive gallery for your images.
10. Promote your site
After you’ve published your site, you’ll need to promote it to obtain clients and spread the word about your brand. Share it on your social media channels, and include a link in the bio of each of your accounts. You’ll also want to get business cards printed with your website on it. Furthermore, send out an email to your existing customers and share your website that way.
Once you’ve gotten the word out, remember that running a successful freelance website requires maintenance and upkeep. Keep your content updated, implement fresh features, improve the user experience and stay up-to-date with current design trends.
Oh, and brace yourself—the business offers are about to come pouring in.