I want you to answer a hypothetical question for me.
You’re throwing a cookout next weekend for your cousin’s 16th birthday and are looking for a DJ. You start doing research…asking around, getting some tips from friends. You’re hearing some really nice things about both, so you decide to check out their websites. Here’s what you find…
Kenny Trombo Productions…has a nice site, pictures of himself in the booth, and first thing on his homepage, starts telling you a story about when he was 5 years old and his dad gave him his first turntable.
EliteSoundz..another nice site, but this time, you see photos of people at a party having a great time, an invitation to text her (number included), and an explanation that she stays up on all the newest music, and that she specializes in Jazz, Soul, and modern and classic Hip Hop (Your cousin loves A$AP Rocky, but you want to make sure everybody gets at least a little taste of music they like.) She then starts off describing the time she’ll take to make sure you get the music right for your event, as well as how important it is to her that you’re happy with your event.
Which one would you choose?
I know you know I’m assuming you chose EliteSoundz (I made that name up btw…complete coincidence if that’s the name of your company)…what I want to talk about today, is why you chose them.
The Importance Of Messaging
I’m going to tell you flat out…it is not enough to simply offer freelance services.
If you build it, they will not come…Your services do not sell themselves…Quality is not enough…Word will not spread (well…not at first.)
If you want to be serious about this freelancing thing, you have drive people to you. And once you get their attention, you have to let them know exactly why they should listen to what you have to say. This is where messaging comes in.
I won’t go over how to develop your messaging right now (that’s what this post is about) but I do want you to understand that it should be a river that flows through everything you do as a freelancer…and that river should start on your web presence.
Messaging And Your Homepage
Not everyone needs to start with a website right out of the gate and it can actually be very helpful to start small with a profile on a bidding or freelance sourcing site to really get a feel for what you do and who will hire you as a freelancer. Don’t get it twisted though…it’s 2016 and a website should be in your near future.
Regardless of what your freelance web presence looks like now though, it should lead with you presenting your message.. The best way to do this is in the opening paragraph of your profile (LinkedIn included) or on your homepage.
At the top.
Easy to read.
Don’t make people work.
This is because your message isn’t for you, it’s for your clients. As tempting as it might be to start talking about your passion for what you do or telling a story from when you were three, this isn’t the place. Again…2016…people are busy and you want to keep that bounce rate on your site low, so answer any worries your client might have about you being able to help them with their problem or make their lives easier. Let them know whether your niche is their niche. Tell them what you do and how it will benefit them.
Do that in a bold, simple font on a clean background. Don’t make them work to read.
This all might sound superficial, but last Website Month, I decided to change my website and replace the slider I thought was so gorgeous (they take up precious space and most people believe they just don’t help) with a simple statement of
- What I do
- Who I do it for
- What benefit it brings them
In about a week I saw new cold leads coming in. Remember…as a freelancer, you’ve got a lot of noise to compete with, so be up front and clear with your potential clients and make sure you put them at the center of everything you put out there.
P.S. Don’t stop at your homepage! Clients love a great portfolio, but sometimes, featuring your “best” work isn’t a great idea. Learn what works better in the next post in our messaging series here.