It’s important to cultivate a professional reputation online, regardless of whether you’re new to freelancing, or have spent years in this profession. Social media profiles that are dedicated to this purpose can be helpful. However, having an actual .com website that strongly reflects the tone of who you are as a freelancer is, I would argue, the best way to show potential clients that you’re serious about your work.
Let’s assume that you’ve made it past the setup phase of choosing a domain/website host/plan. Maybe you’ve even had a website for some time that’s been sort of stagnant in terms of content and traffic. Whatever the situation is, to find your tone, start anew. Your website is a blank slate; you, as the artist, need to fill it in such a way that leaves your audience inspired.
Of course, you can’t really get anywhere if you don’t know who you’d like to market to. If you’re a freelance artist (photographer, graphic designer, etc.), this can be a bit more generalized – after all, the more customers, the better! Still, though, if you’ve had any experience selling your art prior to setting up your freelancing website, you’ll probably have some idea of who’d be more apt to make purchases.
However, if you freelance in other niches, specificity is key:
- Freelance editors, do you want to edit books, school essays, articles?
- Freelance writers, maybe journalism is your thing; perhaps you’re more interested in academic writing or creating marketing copy.
- Freelance transcribers, do you want to focus on medical transcription as opposed to interviews, lectures, or meetings?
The clearer your intentions, the clearer your website’s tone can be.
Mobilizing the Motivation
So, you’ve identified who your audience is, now you have to figure out how to get that hiring/purchasing thing going.
- No matter the freelancing niche, what’s important is to set a tone that’s based more on emotion, not logic.
- Instead of focusing on the statistics of what you’ve done, appeal to your audience’s emotions by providing succinct, relatable copy that clearly indicates you have a passion and a proficiency for what you do.
You know who your audience is, but do you really know yourself? Hopefully, you do, but you can also talk to those who know you best about any characteristics you might have that would appeal to your website audience.
- Are you known for your humor?
- Do you pepper your conversations with sarcasm?
If you write the content of your website in the same way that you speak, it’ll add a tone of authenticity that your audience will find all the more engaging.
Understanding Your Uniqueness
Take some time to evaluate how you approach your work, and study how others in your niche compare:
- Most likely, you’ll find differences that are to your advantage, like, “Yes, he/she is an expert in our shared niche, but I have better prices, or a much faster turnaround rate.”
- If possible, your website should have a testimonials section. However, instead of the usual written testimonials, try to get video testimonials, or at least audio testimonials. That extra level of personalization will really contribute to the authentic tone you’re going for.
Remember, you have something to bring to the freelancing table that no one else can.
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