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Is a Personal Website Worth It for Freelancers in 2021?

Dec 16, 2020
(updated: Feb 14, 2023)
Max 5 min read

Starting your own personal and professional website might seem daunting. There’s plenty of online platforms that help digital creators connect with clients. With the ability for creating a profile on other sites with just a few clicks, some may think a personal website is a lot of work to capture the audience they need. We’ll explore marketing options for your digital business and whether a personal website is the right choice for you. Here’s the best way of building your business online and control your online presence. 

Let’s Understand Digital Attention 

Most people make their first impressions of a site, profile or resume in the first 50 milliseconds. This means every potential customer makes a judgment about the quality of your potential work about as fast as they can blink. When you are one professional among hundreds or thousands on more generic business platforms, it can be hard to make any kind of a first impression - let alone a great first impression. 

Building or reinventing your personal website in 2021 is more foundational to business success than ever before. More business and business networking has moved entirely online. When you have an outstanding personal website, it can act as the modern stand-in for both a business card and work portfolio all in one place. Here’s why that can boost your business today:

Control Brand Through Content

Have fun with a personal website that represents a language and style that you use in the real world. In a digital space, a personal website is your way to really ‘look the part’ for your profession, but it’s a good place to ‘talk the talk’ as well. You can build out content strategies around the topics that your audience values and needs, helping voices to be heard through your website’s platform. Click here if you’re interested in learning how to build your brand.

Control Online Engagement

Control who, when, and why people can contact you. Is this a site that you are building purely to host examples of your work for potential clients to enjoy? Make examples of your most recent work available on the front page. Are you actively looking for new clients now, and want to give them a way to reach out fast? Add a pop-up or static sign alerting for a new customer deal or package. Is this a page where you want your audience to have fun, or to get the job done? You can make your design as interactive and funky as your personal brand. 

Create a FAQ

You can help people to understand not only what value you offer, but what type of availability you offer from the look and use of your site. Some best practices to save you time and emails is to offer a Frequently Asked Questions page - if and when new questions about your goods and services come up, you can list those responses on the site for easy access for other curious minds. This can help you to understand where your online brand can be more clearly expressed through your site, and save time on individual answers to quick questions, while still letting you provide a personalized response.

Automate Calendar Engagements 

A strong recommendation is automating any client meetings using calendar and google calendars, or any other automated calendar service. Ensure that before making a link to your calendar live, you’ve blocked out all non-working hours including weekends. If your personal website is a success, you’ll have the opportunity for international clients, and it can be important to build work/life boundaries into your website’s design.

Follow the Three Click Rule

Think about the way that you want your website to be experienced from the second they open up the page. As you design it, a user should be able to accidentally drop onto your webpage and still be able to understand what it is about in less than three clicks. If they can read that you are a photographer or software extraordinaire from the landing page, even better. This is because we can’t always control when and why we get traffic to our site, but we can always do our best to capture the organic engagement of our webpages.

Track Passive Engagement 

It’s first-time users to your site that are the most likely to be new clients, so you want to make sure they enjoy the experience enough to convert. This is where having a personal website can be a huge asset over platform profiles for two main reasons:

  1. When potential clients return to your webpage, it ensures that they are not getting competing offers or messages on screen from other professionals. You have their focused attention when they are viewing your site
  2. You can use Google Analytics and understand who, when, and why people are looking for your webpage. This will show you which pages they are most likely to click on sequentially as well, letting you understand where people are going for value on your site

Get Creative with the Platform

If you are choosing a personal website platform, there’s plenty to choose from that can help you to express your personal brand, but don’t worry about keeping it simple, either. The goal is to keep getting work in front of clients in that first 50 milliseconds with a ‘wow’ experience. If you are a digital creative, this might mean a splash of your visual work on a website like Weebly or Cargo, if you are a developer, you might want to host your personal website right on Github. 

A personal website can bring a lot of clarity to a personal brand and help to bring the clients who love the online experience you offer and are looking for more. Start building your website today, and see what happens in a year! 

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