Tips for Freelancer Websites - Making Your Site Awesome
Once you’ve laid the groundwork for your freelancing website, it’s time to make it produce some income! Read on for a few tips on how to make it awesome.
I can’t count the number of times I’ve come across a designer’s site and couldn’t find any information about them. No picture, no bio. Maybe a twitter account with some non descript avatar. Your clients want to know if you’re a real person - even better what you’re actually like. If you hate twinkies but love smooth jazz don’t be afraid to say it. Be yourself and be honest. No client will feel comfortable contacting you for work if they don’t feel like they know you.
Call to Action
Coming from the ol’ print design background, we use to have this thing we referred to as a “Call to Action.” You know - call this number, visit this site. That sort of thing. While it may be fun to add all sorts of Twitter widgets and Facebook Connects to your site, you need to remember that most of your potential clients just want to see your work, get a sense of who you are and contact you.
Remember, every page should lead your user to another page.
The key is to make it super easy to find and accomplish those things. The “call to actions” should have more visual weight than everything else, or be placed in areas that make sense. In our site, for example, there’s a slide out contact form at the end of each portfolio entry. We even ask them if they like what they see and then give a big button to initiate the contact form.
Too many portfolios I’ve seen show off pretty work, but don’t guide the user to do anything about it. Remember, every page should lead your user to another page.
This probably goes without saying, but seriously - only put your best work in your portfolio. Don’t throw in the five versions of that halfway decent school project you did. Show the best one, and only if it’s worthy of getting you more work.
“But Jonathan”, you say. “I haven’t done much good work yet.” Well what’s stopping you? If you really like Twinkies re-design their website or make a poster collection honoring their sugary goodness. Create something to give away like an icon set or a tutorial. Find a non profit in your area that needs a great website.
You have to do great work so you can get hired to make more great work. There are a zillion reasons and ways to do good work. Nothing’s stopping you. Get out and do it!