When I started out freelancing around 3 years ago, I went for the most straight-forward website option I could find. I chose to use the WordPress platform, partly because I had read that it was one of the best for SEO and partly because the whole package was included. For example, hosting, design, SSL etc; I just had to follow the how-to guides to set it up.
I quite liked the look and feel of the website, but after about 18 months I upgraded to the premium version to unlock more benefits. Like many people who work for themselves, sadly the site was quite neglected and didn’t receive many visitors but at the time I was focused on client work and simply didn’t have the time to dedicate to it.
Fast-forward to September 2018 and I gained an extra day a week to work on my business as my youngest started school. Networking, professional photography and my website were at the top of my planning list for this year. I see them all as intertwined. As I look to raise my profile and grow my network, I need to have a site that I am happy to direct people to for more information about my products and services.
Sophie Carefull did my brand photoshoot, I had come across her during the Small and Mighty stories challenge earlier in the year and love her soulful portraits and thoughtful posts, not to mention her stock photography boutique also.
I chose to sign up to the Girl Tribe Gang Thame network for several reasons. Firstly Fiona who runs this group is a PR legend who I can learn a lot from. Secondly the meetings are all in the evening so don’t encroach on client time or school runs. Lastly they are informal and female only. This will enable me to build a local network of other women who are working for themselves to share in the trials and victories of freelance life.
After researching options on what platform to build my website on I decided to stick with WordPress but move to a self-hosted solution. Nicola from the WordPress Workspace was someone I followed on Instagram after a recommendation from Amy at Social Cactus.
I signed up to Nicola’s DIY WordPress Mentorship course and received a daily email with tips and tasks for preparing for launch. In addition (and I think this is where the value lies) the course includes 4 calls with Nicola to iron out any niggles and provide more support.
Website refresh – what I have I learned?
Firstly, I am now quite happy navigating the back end of a WordPress CMS and have added elements that I wanted. This list includes more focus on growing my mailing list, a slicker looking more responsive site and a pricing page.
I have also learned to ask for help in areas that are not my skillset, both from Nicola and others, particularly on the visual elements. I spent hours trying to do it myself in the past. I realise now this is not cost-effective when trying to run a business at the same time, not to mention raise two children!
My tips are similar to my business blogging post.
- Know your audience and who you are trying to address through your website. This way you can ensure you include all the information that your ideal client may be searching for.
- Use high quality images where possible to show of your website to its best effect. If you want your website to stand out from the competition, its worth investing in its visual identity. Ideally this should include branding, photography and the general consistent look and feel.
- Tell people about it – I must admit I really want to hide under a log right now. However, I am going to go and tell as many people about the website as possible. I have been very fortunate to be able to work freelance and fit this business around the family so far. However, its essential that to continue to step outside of my comfort zone. The only way to grow my business is by talking about what I can offer to support potential clients.
Take advantage of my website re-launch offer
To celebrate the launch of the website, I have a special offer too. If you book a Content Marketing 1-2-1 workshop before the end of the year, I will add in an extra hour of post-workshop support. Perfect timing to help you fine-tune your plans ready for 2019. If you have been thinking about your content marketing but haven’t got started or feel like you could do with some guidance, I would love to hear from you.