A Guide for Freelancers: Structure Your Website | Monika Kanokova | Skillshare

A Guide for Freelancers: Structure Your Website

Monika Kanokova, Community & Content Strategist

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20 Lessons (56m)
    • 1. Introduction

      3:45
    • 2. Class Project

      0:26
    • 3. Determine the purpose of your website

      1:34
    • 4. Showcase your focus, on being multipassionate

      5:15
    • 5. Map your website's ideal menu navigation

      2:52
    • 6. Choose a template and the right hosting service

      4:09
    • 7. Brand yourself

      9:53
    • 8. Pick a URL

      2:22
    • 9. Create your client persona profiles

      2:21
    • 10. Articulate your offer

      4:34
    • 11. Systemize your services

      3:23
    • 12. Show your work

      3:50
    • 13. Win trust

      1:14
    • 14. Write the text for your "About Me" page

      1:20
    • 15. Organize and write all your copy

      3:37
    • 16. Design the look of your website

      0:55
    • 17. Get contacted

      1:03
    • 18. To blog or not to blog?

      1:51
    • 19. SEO-optimize your website

      0:21
    • 20. Final words

      0:54
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About This Class

Are you a freelancer? Do you sometimes wonder how to best represent your business online? Do you feel insecure about what to say on your website?

I’ve created this class because I’ve realised many freelancers create portfolio websites that don’t necessarily help them win new clients.

The reason why I created this class is because I know how hard it is to structure what you want to say about yourself and your freelance business. I’ve previously written an article about this topic for 99U

This class is a practical step by step guide to help you figure out how to conceptualise your website and how to write the text to represent your business in an authentic way.

You might have heard my name from one of the books I’ve written to help creatives start a business. If you have any further questions I haven’t covered in this class please don’t hesitate to reach out through my website.

I really hope this class will help you express the essentials about your business so that potential clients know what to hire you for!

Transcripts

1. Introduction: Hi, I'm Monica. You might have taken my Skillshare class and how to go freelance or you might have heard that one of the books for freelance trade this library and published. I actually have them here. Is this, there'll be different, migrate this side business and relate this one, the last one, workshops and retreats. They are a good resource. If you would like some more information on how to best find new freelance business. I have more certainly learned so much from writing them. It's not my story, it's real stories from real people. It's firsthand experiences. It's filled with interviews and yet that's intrigues the sort of stuff I wanted to read at various times of me being a freelancer, and so that's why I've wrote them. You might wonder why I am publishing this class, why I'm dedicating and whole class is structuring and bedside. It's simply because I've realized that it's not easy to talk about yourself and highlight how you can help a finch client. I have previously written them out that Goffman 99, you bet I explained how many freelancers built the website as they target audience. We're potential employers, maybe recruiters, but not so much potential clients. Many themselves feel more like a CV and not necessarily that like upset that lists one services. So it's more about this is the software I can use and know so much about this is the benefit you'll receive from working with me and don't get the bets. Going right ahead. This class is relevant for you. If you are a freelance consultant, a designer, an illustrator, a developer sees, me if you're someone who works in the creative industries and want to have a website that helps you attract new clients. Just to clarify and before I get into more detail, this class it's not about the visual side of building a website. I'm not going to teach you how to design a website. We won't talk about how to code or what software to use to make things look pretty, that's not my specialty. This is a class that help you define a structure and what to say on your website. If you are a designer, you might be able to design your website yourself. If not, you might still have to hire someone. You might even have to hire a copywriter if you don't enjoy writing. The reason why I decided to create this class is because a lot of the websites of creative freelancers that I've seen, they seem to miss that purpose or what I believe the purpose would be, and so I created this class to guide you through developing a concept for your website and choosing the right structure, and what to say on your website. Just to generally represent your business the way you want to be represented and seeing. It's a class that help you think about your intention and what you want your website to do for you. Sounds good. Whether you want to create your website yourself, or get help from a professional photographer, a designer, a copywriter, this class will help you make informed decisions. Consider this prosecutorial to how you step-by-step to guide you through crafting a briefing or making a website yourself if adopting your decisions. It might be handy to have some posters, a notebook, a pen, and maybe coffee, and your hand's free. 2. Class Project: The project for this class is fairly simple. Introduce yourself, tell us what you want to be hired for, and once you have a URL, please share it with us. The best thing about this is that others are trying to do the same, so enjoy the moment of being in the same boat with people who are trying to position their businesses, right? Comment on other people's posts, look for collaborators, and yeah, just have fun. 3. Determine the purpose of your website: Even before you start choosing colors, fonts or photos to represent your business, you should think about what you would like people who visit your website to think about you. Most importantly, what would you would like them to do when they scroll through your earning page. It might be that you meet the majority of your clients at networking events or someone introduces you and all you want is people to reaffirm that first impression and then send you an email. It might be that you want people to find your website online and send you a request to figure out how you could work together or it might be that you have already thought about this and pretty find your offers, we're going to talk about that. They just might want to have additional information or just ask whether you are available to work with them, or it might also be that you simply want to grow your audience and you want people to subscribe to your newsletter. Whatever it is you want your website to do for you, you need to think about it before you think about anything else. Knowing the purpose of your website will help you choose the right template. It will help you craft the right sitemap. Most of all, it will help you to define the keywords to capture the essence of your business. So please grab a piece of paper, first exercise and a pen of course and write down what you want people to do once they discovered your website. 4. Showcase your focus, on being multipassionate: In today's world, many don't have a career path that's easy to communicate. It's not uncommon to make a living doing multiple things. You might be capable of helping with your clients marketing. You might be great at hand lettering and could design packaging to. You might be a super passionate barista, whose main income comes from graphic design and typographic work. To you it might make a lot of sense to do all these different things, and you might be good at all of them, however, you might wonder whether to cram all your creative outlets into one single website, or, if you should make multiple sides to showcase each and everyone of your income streams on a different platform. As always, there are different approaches to the challenge of showcasing the work of a multi passionate creative, which is how I would call someone who has multiple passions, multiple things they enjoy doing and wouldn't want to miss any of them. When you want to show all your skills and services you offer on one website, I would generally say it might be a safer choice to break your business as a creative solution, or a full-service, or a strategic branding agency. If, however you want to make the main subject of your website your own person, you should either think of a really good compact story that will make it tangible to people what they could hire you for, or you should stick to showcasing related services only and then create the other pages for your other passions, or use third-party services to advertise your services there. To give you an example, I work as a customer experience strategist, and simultaneously, I sell stock images. I would most certainly not call myself a photographer, even though I could offer photography as a service on my website and it is also how I make money on the side. However, I don't do that. I think it's much better not to diffuse my profile as a strategist. So I upload my images to IM, and they monetize my photography, and I just keep taking pictures and uploading them. I don't do anything with the clients, and I just shoot pictures and sent them into the world Internet, and they monetize them for me. I'm not going to talk so much about myself, but just put the focus back to you. If you want your website to help you get clients, you must make it clear to the visitors of your website, they'll find the solution they are looking for immediately, and definitely before they'll have to contact you to assure you are the person they're looking for. Nowadays our attention spans are not the best. It might be misleading if a potential client looking for, let's say a copywriter, Googles your name, clicks through to your website, but then the first thing they see is your typographic work. Complexity. I understand you are a complex, ever evolving human being, it's often too confusing for many clients to be. Of course, if your passions make for a good story, a client might want to work with you because they like all the things you combine. You might have managed to find a comprehensive way to communicate what you do. In other words, a client might simply hire you because they think you're cool. What is cool? To give you some examples. It might be you wants to brand yourself as a biking videographer, such as the guys from Freewheel STORIES, who also offer to take photography jobs. You can check out their website. The link is on the slide. Or it could be, something I can think of is the graphic design studio called, Eriks Designbuss. They're a guy turned an old van into a design studio. It's the way these guys live their lives that makes others aspire to them and want to work with them. It makes very cool story when I tell you I hire the biking photographer, or a guy who works out of a design bus. The point of this video pretty much is, you should think about what your story is and how you'll package what you stand for, and what you offer in a fun and engaging way. Are you going to use one website? What services are you going to showcase on this website, or are you going to use other websites? Are you going to make your person the main focus of your website? Write all these things down. It's like, does it fit on one side? Does it fit on multiple sides? I think you should know best what works for your clients. 5. Map your website's ideal menu navigation: [inaudible] bringing yourself a certain way a little further along in this class. Now, I think we should [inaudible] about hosting services even before we start mapping out the content of your online presence. Once you have figured out how you want to present yourself and your services, it's time to map out your site's menu navigation. In this first step of the process, don't worry too much about the naming of each subside and navigation can become a really good tool to support the story you decide to tell on your website. For now, just really don't worry about the naming. This exercise is here for you to get the right site architecture not the right wording. That will come later on. First of all, you should think about what you want to prioritize on your website. Think of your website as a cabinet withdrawals. You have different messages that are all important to you and that you want to showcase. [inaudible] put them in. This is where are going put your underwear and where are going to put the socks and the t-shirts. It's like what are you using more often? What is more relevant to you? Are you able to combine certain things you want to say on your side? Do you have to separate others for your sites to makes sense? What do you want people to click on? You might have a gentle learning page that introduces the visitor of your website to your person or your brand. They've pictures and slogans and do all of that very briefly and you might want to use the other categories, the other rovers, the other sub-pages for people to learn more about all the things you want to say in great detail. You might want to dedicate a sub-page to each of your services or products. You might want to have all of your messages on one page. You might want to include your pricing next to your services, or rather invite people to request a custom quote by contacting you. A relevant question to ask yourself is whether you can have a simple menu or better your menu options have sub-pages for you to go into more detail about different subjects. An easy exercise for you might be to take a bunch of posted notes and just write down different topics you want to cover. Then group them to figure out a solid site map. Copy those terms into groups you have decided on in a notebook so you won't lose the structure or the posted or something, and once you're finished, let's move on. 6. Choose a template and the right hosting service: Once you have determined what you want your website to do for you and you have figured out your site's ideal menu navigation, it's time to think about where you want your website to be hosted. There are several options. Some of them will make it easier for you to make adaptations whenever something changes with your business, even if you are not the most technically averse person. In that case, Squarespace and Wix might be the right solutions for you. With other options such as WordPress, it helps if you are technically savvy and have someone who can host your website on their server. I don't want to talk you through the advantages and disadvantages of the different hosting services. Once you have decided on a provider you feel most comfortable with, it's time to choose a template. When choosing a template, we tend to choose one that looks pretty and reflects the style we would like to adapt for ourselves. The thing about templates, however, is that the template is there to predetermine the structure of your website and help you achieve your goal. It doesn't determine the final style, and you can usually change all colors, fonts and make a website of your own with the help of the images you decide to use. Before you start looking for a template for your website, take a minute and write down what you want to display on your website and what features you want to have. In other words, determine the wireframes. I have written down some thought starters, as you can already see. I'm just going to read it out loud. Do you want the visitors of your website to see a quote first? Or a large image? Or a short paragraph? Is your website more visual or do you need to have more text on your site? Do you want to have a one-page website or do you want and need sub-pages people can click on? What are the unique topics you want to explain on your website? Do you want to put the spotlight on you as a person or do you want to highlight your products and services? Given you also already know how you want to structure your menu, make sure that the template you choose can accommodate the number of pages you have decided on. If you have a lot of different sub-pages, a vertical menu might be better for you. If you only have a couple of sub-pages, you can go with the horizontal menu. You might also look for a template that has a footer menu, as well as a primer menu somewhere on the top. When choosing a template, you might find it handy that Squarespace organize their templates based on what sort of professionals prefer what templates. Wix, on the other hand, divide their templates based on categories such as fashion or food, or some other categories. WordPress, which is the biggest advantage of WordPress, given its open source, has thousands of fans who create the thousands of templates options for you to choose from. You might want to look for WordPress options by googling something like "Minimalist template WordPress", "Registration template WordPress", or "Themes for freelancers WordPress". Simply google the functionality you're looking for. There are so many templates, it might be really hard to choose one, and because it might take a while for you to find the template you are happy with. Just don't rush yourself. Rather, give yourself the space of a few days before you settle on a template you are happy with. If you struggle choosing just one, you can always call a friend, or you can ask for advice, or post the project here on Skillshare or a discussion, and use the power of the community here. 7. Brand yourself: Once again, there are different approaches to how to brand a business and there are different possibilities to tell the story of a business for your website. There are thousands and thousands of people who offer the very same service as you and so it might make sense to think about how you can distinguish yourself from the mass. I would generally say that you can either brand your business by showing the very true and maybe slightly unexpected you and show something that will make you different and interesting. But you can also tailor your communication and the story you present on your website somehow tailor it to a niche and for a very specific target group. If you don't have the guts to make something special and if you offer your services to anyone and everyone, chances out of leads that will want to talk to you and who will find you for your website won't be the right people that you want to talk to and that you want to work with. With my old website, I at some point had a request for a nail something company and it just wasn't ready what I was about. The danger and footed onto line of having a website that is open to everyone is that if you work with people or if you accept requests from people who you are not excited to work with, it will become an endless barrel of working on projects you don't care about much but that you'll take on anyway because it's hard to say no to money. It's like sometimes you take on projects but even then you should not necessarily show them on your website. I would recommend to be specific about who you want to work with and the type of clients you are excited about. I've already given you the examples of the guy who started free real stories and I also showed you Eric's design bus. I would love to show you Greta Gotlieb site who is a New Zealand based graphic designer. Her website looks and sounds like the website of a digital beautician who deals with branding of businesses to be more specific about what she actually does. As you can imagine, she wanted to become a beautician when she was little and it's also what led her to brand herself the way she did. It's people who connect to that joke are probably your better clients for her. You might also appreciate checking at Adam J. Kurtz's website. It's once again on the screen. He chose to use his handwriting to give his mostly product-focused side a more personal touch. When you go for his website you'll see that he doesn't necessarily talk about himself, he just shows what he makes and creates. Adam's entire business is based on him giving a fun commentary that he puts on products making that another focus of his website. He doesn't show himself but it's still very much himself. Another example is Yana Gilbuena , the founder of Salo Series and she is a traveling pop-up cook. She makes Filipino pop-up dinners and her food is also the main focus of her website. She is not afraid to call herself a gypsy cook even though the word gypsy doesn't have the best connotation. When you come to her website you really get her personal life. What the three have in common is they put their real personalities out there and the visitors of their website can then decide whether they are the right fit for them or not. Then there's the other way to brand your business and that is through the communication of your website by being very specific about who you wants to work with. Do you have a preference who you want to work with? It makes you, and that's of course a danger, it makes you be less open to a wide variety of requests. But on the other hand, by having a niche, a client you are probably more excited about will have all the more reason to contact you. One example I found very good is Jeremy Porter's website. Everything about his website says he only works on political matters and it goes further. He even says he doesn't do everything. He doesn't run after money by taking on every project that comes his way. He clearly says and you can read it on his website, ''I focus on creating communication strategy, narrative and key messages. This means I'm focused on creating communication that draws on persuasion theory, is subjected to intense scrutiny and has been tested.'' While Jeremy keeps a personal note and represents himself as a solopreneur, some solopreneurs prefer to present their practice as a business. They target an industry or advertise at very specific service they accomplish for their clients. A good example that I found for that is Just Think Hospitality. Just Think Hospitality is run by Michelles and I think I'm definitely pronouncing her name wrong, Szmajda Villatoro. While it looks like a regular business website, given she is the only person shown as the founder and it's like, I haven't asked about this but it's likely to be about branded solopreneur business targeted at one industry. A business that sells cars would most likely not contact Michelle. I'm I right? It's like if you're in the hospitality business, you know that this is very much for you. If you aren't, you're not going to reach out. Or take Loyal.S. Loyal.S, a community focused agency. The single value proposition of Loyal is to help businesses build their community. Sarah Judd Welch, the founder, she does everything to provide the client with the expected services. She even connects her clients with other freelance experts to fulfill their needs and deliver the service Loyal promises. When you work with her, you communicate with her. She's the only single touch communication point you have. However, it might be that as a freelancer, she just likes to work with people who know her job and that's how she runs a solopreneur business that is still branded as an agency. As you can see, there are several options to present your business. Now that I'm talking about branding, I feel like I should also talk about geography. Most of the time people work with people they can sit at a table with. Most of the time people look for freelancers they have heard of or who they're introduced to them because they live nearby. The logical consequence is that the less competition one has in an area, the more likely it is one will have enough business from within the same area. With the Internet however and the more location independent one wants to be, the more important it is to brand the business innovated. It becomes clear to a potential client, they are the right client for your business. I have mostly had my business be very location independent. I'm based in Europe in Austria and still I always say about 98 percent of my money comes from the US. That might change at some point but then if people know what you stand for they will come to you. Branding yourself a certain way means you wouldn't get the request you wouldn't be interested in any way. It's like I've already said it, this is really important. Instead you'll get the request you really want to get. The request you are excited about, plus it's also more likely people will find you and your contacts will recommend you because it will be clear to them what you do and how you can help. When I was working with Kickstarter, everyone knew that if someone is planning a crowdfunding campaign, they just gave them my e-mail address and that worked for quite a long time and even now that I said I no longer want to do it, I still have people come to me for that. If no one knows what you're good at and if no one has understood your branding, no one will ever tell their friends to call you. Think about it. Now that I'm myself and that's why I'm teaching this class, rethinking how I'm going to reposition my business online, that's a very relevant thing for me to think about. I notice part of this class will need some time to sicker in and you might want to think about your branding for a few days. Let's just continue going through this class because it's very likely you'll have the best idea tomorrow while you are brushing your teeth or working your dog. 8. Pick a URL: Hosting services offered to sell you a URL as well. You might need to buy your URL from a service such as Go Daddy or some other service. Well, let's talk about the domain name endings. First of all, it depends on your website's purpose and the availability of a dot com domain name. If your business is targeted at a certain location, you should use the city as your domain name ending. It could be that you have Joe cooks in dot Berlin. It might be more fun domain name than Joe Cook's.com. If however you want to keep your location neutral, then dot com, they'll be the best, best choice, at least for now because who knows van VR.com URLs. Then it comes to naming your website. You can either use your name. If your names URL already taken. You might want to use your name and include what you do in the URL as well. It could be John Doe.com or John Doe design.com or even John Doe designs.com. Should you prefer the break your business based on a specific service you offer? You might use your service when choosing your URL. You could use websites designed by Joe.com for example. Whatever it is, you'll type your website a lot and people have to be able to type it as well. So keep it short and simple. When I was choosing my own personal URL domain name, Ivanvivmcancova.com because Monica Cana Cova seemed so long that I didn't want to spell it out. What you shouldn't forget is to make sure there is no competitor using the same or similar URL, however this is most likely you've checked already when you registered your business. Given, I said you should definitely start a project to let others know what you are up to. If you haven't already, you should start a coaching project now, don't forget to share your chosen domain name. Of course, after you've bought it with us in your project here on scale shares then we can check out your website or the progress that you're making. 9. Create your client persona profiles: Given you are already running a business, you already have clients and know what clients you enjoy working with, and how you can contribute to the success of their businesses. It's time to figure out what problems and maybe even fierce your clients and especially your potential clients deal with. They will now create something called user personas, which is an exercise to help you better understand how your clients think. To make the most of this exercise, I would suggest to create 5-10 personas. When you create a persona, it might be helpful to take a picture of someone you know, who might be your potential client. You can always cut out an image from a magazine that portray someone who could be a client of yours. But with limited fantasy, it's always easier to take someone you know that you have an idea of who they are. Now, write down their name, how old they are, their job, their relationships status, how much they earn, what they identify with, which might be anything from loving wine to being a member of some association or a hobby club. Then write down their goals, their challenges, and maybe even think of real sentences that might be typical for them to say. It might also make sense to write down what they've read, what series they watch, what websites they visit, who they look up to. Generally speaking, write down all source of information that when you imagine you are speaking to this person who is your potential client. You know how to evaluate their needs, that you are aware of their problems, and what language they use when they look for your services. Giving your potential client a face and character traits will make it much easier for you to make decisions. Also think about what language to use when thinking of the right boarding to describe your offers and services, something we will discuss in the next video. 10. Articulate your offer: In the next couple of videos, I would recommend to work with Google Docs or some other text editor and maybe a notebook. You might also want to have some post-its on hand. So now did you have user personas to help guide you for the next steps, it's time to start crafting the content for your website. It's taken forever. If you don't like to write, don't worry, you can always hire a copywriter, but you still need to give a copywriter at proper briefing, and so it's essential for you to write something down. Even if you think it's not good, the copyrighter is still can only write good copy if they know what they write about. The way I usually approach copywriting for a website is that I first ask the questions that are relevant to my target audience. I try to make them feel they are in the right place because in their mind, they if for whatever question I've chosen to use to stop my text with. If they don't, on the other hand, they'll at least know much quicker than I'm most likely not the best person to solve their problem, and they all move on. Once you have found a perfect question to start your text with, I would recommend to say what clients you, not to them, you'd like to work with and are also interested in working with in the future. This is important because your website is your future list. It's where you talk about the assignments you want to work on in the future. Sure, you have to be capable of accomplishing a task based on your experiences. But it's important to think about and write down what you want to do tomorrow. Because otherwise, you and your business just simply won't evolve. It's important to make it tangible to people that you see yourself in the future and what projects you would like to work on. Because most of the time, people will only engage you for an assignment when they see you're capable of doing a good job, and when they see you have to write references. That also means that if you have done something but didn't like or wouldn't wants to work on something like this again, this is something that shouldn't be on your website ever. So another thing I always recommend to think and talk about out of benefits for a client and not necessarily to benefits for yourself. So you're texts shouldn't be about you, but about what your client accomplishes by working with you. So that changes the perspective. You don't talk about, I would like to do this and that, you say I would like to achieve something for you to achieve this and that, it simply makes more sense to say your client's business goals are extremely important to you, which is why you make sure to design packaging that will look good on social media or red copy that increases your clients as CEO. These are the worries they have, and these are the worries that they think about. So when you write your copy for your website, these are the worries that you should address. You should always check back with the user persona as you created, better your offer and your wording is something that's relevant to your ideal client, is this a fear they have, is this something that keeps them awake at night? If it's not, start over. What I believe is important to mention at this point is that many solar printer businesses showcase how skilled they are with a particular software. Honestly, and that's always tough to say, adopt your client cares. Your client cares that you're able to solve their problem, make them look better or help them increase their sales. I don't think they care what software, whether it's Photoshop or InDesign or Pixelmator, what do you use to create their designs? That information is relevant to a recruiter, but it's definitely not relevant to someone who's trying to hire someone to solve their problems. So it's like, are you trying to get hired by a company or an agency? Or are you trying to find clients that you can work with? I think clients, they don't want to manage and train you, they simply want to see great results. So in other words, it's about the hole you create, not the drill that you use. 11. Systemize your services: Generally, I would say there are two approaches to how people approach to pricing, or more specifically how they communicate their pricing. Some people offer custom services and their client must request the quote. Others communicate the scope of the projects they've worked on openly and they don't fear to attach a price that publicly either. Those are prices where you can see how much people want for the services they offer. Creating custom quotes has the advantage. One can charge each plan differently, and can deduce how much a client might be willing or able to pay, or it can also increase and decrease the price without much attention. It's also much easier to simply say, I can do that, whenever someone mentions something and you haven't introduced such service or offer on your website. The downside of asking people to request the quote is, leads might fall through or you have to be able and willing to negotiate the pricing each and every time. If on the other side you decide to systematize the offered services by standardizing the project scope and publicly attaching a price like to each and every package, clients will only reach out when they consider an offer worth their money. It usually spares a lot of negotiating and beckon of emailing when you have the prices in a systematized list of the project scope your work on your website. It's likely you'll only receive requests from people who are about, I would say, 80 percent committed to starting a project with the person they approached, which in that case would be you. The downside, of course, is that you cannot create custom cost estimates as easily whenever an opportunity arises where you could potentially charge more money. While the standard practice in Digital Content Creation is to create custom estimates and also only communicate pricing upon requests, having prices out in the open might be a valuable practice for people who dislike negotiating, something you might want to consider based on your personality. Naturally, a very personal decision, how you deal with pricing, and it's an even more personal decision whether you communicate the prices of your services publicly or not. The good thing about this exercise, at least long term, is that it makes solopreneurs disconnect money from the actual work hours. Once I don't know if you've seen it, I have this other class on SkillShare about freelancing, you might consider taking it. If you are a newbie or if you just want to have another person's perspective, which would be mine, or, well, given that the class is based on the book that I've written, where there are 24 interviews, the book is called, This Year Will Be Different, it's not just my opinions, it's other people's opinions too. Once there is a price tag and it's out in the open, the natural reaction to be economically even more viable is to become faster and more efficient. That's what I mean when I say disconnect your pricing from your hours. 12. Show your work: That essential part of the creative freelancers website out of work samples one decides to display. It's not just important to showcase your projects samples, but the showcase the project samples that fit the style of a project you would like to work on in the future. You've heard it before and it's so important that I keep repeating it. It makes literally zero sense to display projects that simply paid the bills, but you would prefer not to work on similar ones in the future. It's also important to review what projects you display about every six months, so that someone doesn't come to you with a project idea that you have moved on from, moved away from the you don't want to do anymore. Your website is sort of like a visualize. What you show to people is not just what you're capable of is what they will think of many look for someone to hire. There's always this sentence, who else has done it or for whom have you done it before or how has it worked? You should be prepared for this even before you talk to someone. If you now think you don't have enough projects to show, or you don't have any projects you would like to show as the reference, then it's time for you to self-initiate projects that you would like to work on in a future. That's extra work. But if you want to get some air of if gets to a certain new branch or something, then you should belt the examples so that people know that you are the right person. I have talked a lot about this in my second book, Microwave Decide Business. It's a book published to help creative freelancers and hence their businesses. Not just to help them build passive income streams, but do just think about how they could monetize their hobbies. If you would like to get further inspiration, how to break your business for your creative work. You might want to pick up the book. Back to your website. Take some time to select the projects you'll want to show to people on your website. Once you have a list, it's time to write the texts to explain your projects in a little more detail. I always see it with graphic designers. It's pretty pictures aren't enough in my opinion to distinguish your work from other people's, especially for consultants. It's important that when selecting work samples to showcase, don't forget to explain how your clients benefit that or how their sales increased after working with you. Remember, showing results is the most powerful tool to help you win new clients. Then you've focused on explaining what a project was about. It's important to explain your clients briefing. What am I trying to achieve? What a better constrains you had to work with? Why did you decide to make certain adjustments? What was your process to get to the final end result? You don't have to write a novel, but a few words about your approach will distinguish you from others. We'll give you extra just, it will just give you extra spaced events, empathy points. It will also make it easier for your mom and your friends to recommend you to others, because by writing short descriptions of your projects, you'll also practice to talk about your work. It's fully up to you how you want to present your project. Big, bold images, mostly work better, of course. Just make sure your images are also pretty and of high-quality. Which might mean that you will need to hire someone to help you produce those, but it will definitely pay off. 13. Win trust: You might have noticed, it's rather useful to read other people's opinion about a product or a service. It's what we do on Airbnb, on Amazon, or even when we go to the doctor. That's also why it makes sense to have some references on your website from people who have previously worked with you. You might already have some references you have received on LinkedIn, which you can copy paste or even shorten a bit to display them on your website. If, however, you have never received a clue about how it is to work with you, I would suggest to email the clients you have had the best connection with, to write you a little paragraph or a sentence, that you could use for your website. Simply explain to them what do you need it for and why. I'm sure it will take no time for you to get some references that will help you gain trust from potential clients. Also from now on, whenever you finish a project, just ask for a reference. When you send the invoice, just say, hey, I'm collecting references about my work, would you mind sharing one on LinkedIn or just leaving a sentence with me that I can use for future needs? 14. Write the text for your "About Me" page: Writing a text about oneself is hard, but it's the one place on your website where people decide whether you are their type of person or not. Your About Me page explain who you are, it's the place for you to explain why you care about your work, why you do what you do. Your About Me text is a possibility for you to communicate the things that give you credibility, but also recognition. It might be easier to start with a simple exercise. Don't try to write whole sentences. Write down words and short things you want people to know about you, and only once you have enough words, try to then turn them into a flowing text. Now, you might ask yourself whether to write your bio in the first-person and use I, me, we, and us or if you should write your about page in a third-person and use your name, he, his, and she, and her. I would personally always say you should use the first-person because it sounds so much more natural than if you would write about yourself from someone else perspective, especially when it's on your website. Also, it goes without saying you need to include a picture in your About Me section, especially if you haven't included somebody else on your website. 15. Organize and write all your copy: By now you should have some texts necessary for you to build your own website. You should have to texts for your above me page, you should have spelled other text to describe your services and what projects you work on. You am should have description about your reference projects. You should also have a number of references to include on your website and that's already quite a lot of text. It might be that you have followed my advice and haven't perfected them yet. You've just written what needed to be written down, and now it's finally the time to go through all your texts and focus on the wording and the form. If you don't want to write the text for your website yourself, you should now be able to brief the person who will write the text for you. If you decide to read text yourself, please don't forget to still hire a copy editor to make sure what you've written is a 100 percent correct. Your website is your digital business card, this needs to be perfect. Make sure that what you have written and that's why a copy of editor is absolutely necessary, that it all makes sense to people who don't live in your hub and who are not within your industry. An editor will help you avoid unnecessary industry slang that you might not even notice, but that just often has no meaning to clients. Now before you continue or hand over to someone else, it's time to figure out what texts are still missing. Depending on the template you have chosen, it might be that you need to figure out a compact title you can use to call yourself. It might be something like Freelance Director, or social media strategies that you'll use as a headline for your website. You might want to have a catchy sentences that captures the essence of your business and it might be that you want to include a short paragraph that showcases what your business is all about, that people will see immediately when they click on your side. Once you know to parts you are missing and have all texts in front of you, it's time to optimize your texts to fit the overall branding. We have already talked about branding and that you should dare to make your website reflect the unique you. Now given you've been working on your website for awhile already, and should be fully immersed in thinking about how you want to present yourself. Business exercise should be easy. Once again, grep [inaudible] of post-its and start reading down to keywords you feel should be on your website. Also right down to words and phrases people would Google. If you have already define how you want to brand yourself, now is the time to review all your texts and think about whether they fit your branding. Now is the time to really look at your texts and make them sound the you want them to sound. I mean, this might be the part where you might need a copy editor or a copyright. The most significant words you have on your post it, that you feel represent your business vowel, you should use when you want to craft a little slogan, or a little paragraph to describe your business. This is why you have all these papers around to you, because it's just easier to write something that makes sense when you know what you'll want to use. This exercise might take up some time for you to accomplish. Even once the closer to creating a powerful website that does the job you wanted to do, we're almost finished. 16. Design the look of your website: If you're a visual person and get to build your website yourself, you probably already have a million ideas how you want to design your site and what images you want to include. If you're not any good with design, this might be another moment when you then wants to hire someone to help you out. Be honest with yourself. If you don't have an eye for aesthetics, get someone to help you with this part of creating a website as well. Even if you could do it yourself, you still need someone to take pictures of you, so you definitely probably at this point needs someone second. As I already said at the beginning, this is not a class about how to design a website, but rather to help you figure out what you want your website to do for you and what content to include. We'll move onto that, and at this point, from my perspective, you should be able to write a good designer briefing. 17. Get contacted: It always astonishes me how many creatives forget to include their full name and also their contact details on their website. Some do have to contact details, but you have to search for them, which is strange. Honestly, if I consider hiring someone, I always want to know who I'm dealing with and so there's no reason for being secretive and making it difficult for potential clients to reach out. I would go as far as to say you should always have a sub page where you give people different possibilities to contact you. If you are only starting out and to this day, if I only had a private email address, I would recommend to create a separate business address that you can use publicly. In some countries, especially in European countries, you must also disclose your VAT number and your full mailing address. That is necessary. You should definitely research what information is required from me to disclose publicly on your website, wherever you are in this world. 18. To blog or not to blog? : Whether you like to write or not, I would recommend to have something on your website you update regularly. Derek Sivers, the founder of CD Baby, for example, has a page he calls now. He updates this page about once a month of what he's currently working on and excited about. Another example, I have a category on my blog that I have called monthly reviews. After each month I share just a short update of what projects I've been working on and what clients I had worked with. I share the links to the articles that someone published about me in the past four weeks. Sometimes, I also include the names of the people I met and just found inspiring. I also link to their website. Why am I saying this? Having a blog is a wonderful tool when you are available for new projects. If you share links to your blog post on Facebook or Twitter regularly, it won't even seem too weird when you write a short note at the end of such a blog post that you are available for Freelance assignments and share it just as you would share any other post you publish on your website. Especially, if you are a little bit shy. A blog is always a good tool to boost your SEO ranking because Google prefers websites that update regularly and that are filled with keywords that fit within a certain topic that date and associate your website with. You don't have to write long-form text, but having a blog on your website might be a helpful tool just to update people on where they can find you or what projects you have recently deployed. You don't even have to call it a blog if it just sounds like too much work, you can always call it now, or like this news, or whatever, just have something that you update. 19. SEO-optimize your website: I have briefly touched upon a SEO when I mentioned you should implement a blog to your website. Also when I told you, you should include important keywords if in your texts. I don't want to repeat the things. Some other wonderful Skillshare we just already covered. So I'd simply recommend to you to look for a SEO classes here on Skillshare. 20. Final words: You made it to the very end of this class. Congratulations. I hope that you are at a stage where you know what to post in your website or can brief at us properly to help you finalize it. Please share a link to your site in your project for us to see what you do and don't forget to let us know what you want to be hired for. There might be someone in this Skillshare community looking for someone with your profile. Also on your website, don't forget your contact details, as we already said, and don't forget to link with your social links. I'm really looking forward to learning more of your businesses and if you want to find out more about me or work with us directly, go to [inaudible]. I would be happy to help. If you're curious about the books I've written, just search my name on Amazon. Thank you so much for watching until this very end. We wish you a lovely end of the day. Bye.