Simple solutions are great–especially when it comes to building a freelance website that brings in business while you sleep. One of my favorites involves pretending to be a client.
It can be difficult to step out of your own head when it comes to building an online freelance presence, but if there’s anything you should remember about your website, it’s that it’s not for you, it’s for them.
When this first really started to sink in for me, it got me paying attention to exactly how people were moving through my site (thank you Google Analytics.) That’s when I noticed that people were quick to hit my Services page.
This made me nervous (at first) because frankly, my page looked just like every other business writer’s…a list of prices of blog posts, newsletters, and other services. After talking with some experienced writers, I learned that I was missing out on an easy opportunity to connect with clients, and that was by tying my messaging into how I presented the services I offered.
(If you’re new around here and want to learn more about incorporating your messaging into your site from the start, you can start at the beginning of this series here.)
What Your Services Page Is
Your services page is a chance to start solidifying a potential client’s vision.
I know that sounds like a tall order for a list of services and some prices, but anyone looking to hire a freelancer has a specific problem. Their vision is to get that problem solved, which is why they’ve come to you.
Your services page is an opportunity to not only show the specific ways in which you can solve their problem, but possibly even give them a preview into all the other ways in which you can help them with business challenges. I’ll show you what I mean by that in just a second, because my guess is you’re still thinking that a flat list of prices is enough.
Not only does it give you zero advantage over other freelancers, it gives your visitors exactly no information as to what you really do, whether you can help people like them, and most importantly, whether you can help solve their problems.
A traditional services page is like that off-brand cereal on the store shelf…no, not the store brand (no shade on store brands though…I’ll eat Publix bran flakes in a heartbeat)…not even the one that’s a knockoff of Kellogg’s. I’m talking about the brand that says “Cereal.” That’s all…just “Cereal.”
Don’t be “Cereal.”
How To Build A Services Page That Answers Questions
So what do you do?
Especially if you’re a new freelancer, I know you’re probably thinking that you don’t do anything special enough to convey a message. Well, just like with cereal, sometimes it’s all about packaging.
When I started out, I targeted startups. (This was before I realized they were mostly all broke, but that’s a story for another day.) As I talked to clients and looked through Upwork, I noticed that a lot of people were trying to get their online presences started and off the ground, so I did something simple (again, this is why people need to stop bashing Upwork…it’s very popular so it gives you a high-level view of what’s in demand in the freelance world.)
I listed the services I offered at the time—blogs, articles, newsletters, ghostwriting, and social media post creation—in your typical list format, but before that, I added a package.
It was a simple starter package that conveyed my message, which at the time, was that I helped businesses new to my industry get off the ground. That package communicated that I understood a challenge visitors to my site probably had, and it did that in a straightforward way.
That format has changed with my rates and the types of businesses I work with, but I still work by the same principle…know my industry, know my client base, and format things simply in a way they understand.
You’ll see this principle a LOT in the grocery store and especially in the frozen food section…anytime you grab a kit that has pasta and vegetables and sauce or meat, you’re proving why this is important. Same goes for Hamburger Helper…or even Panburger Partner.
If you’ll notice though, all of that is built around understanding a specific niche and what their needs are. It also means having a finite set of services that at the very least, fit well together. So again…pick a niche. Your freelance career probably depends on it. (You know I wouldn’t leave you out there on your own to do that though, so whenever you’re ready to take your niche seriously, here’s some help to get started.)