Happy new year, everyone! Anyone else spend the end of the year gearing up for a new year of freelance? I dove back into freelance writing and finally got an official website up for my business! I had an old blog site up before, and Jenn built a portfolio page into it, but it didn’t have a services page or many details. Plus, it had my old blog name, which was super confusing to visitors. I was so ready to properly brand myself as a creative copywriter.
Now I’m finally sharing the finished website along with tips for all you wondering how to design a website with your ideal client in mind. But before you even jump into the design, make sure you really think about who that client is. Since I’d spent the last few years working with so many different businesses, I had a good sense of who I wanted to spend my time writing for. Once I had that in mind, I was able to think about how I could make my website appeal to that person or business.
Once I had the idea to rebrand myself as a “conscious copywriter”, I worked with Jessica of Post Design Co to revamp my personal branding. I chose this tagline because it speaks to businesses who are environmentally and socially conscious, whether it’s an eco-friendly product line or a creative freelancer who helps empower women through her work. Past clients like Lisa of Mien Studios and videographer Amelia Damplo inspired me to direct my content toward more mindful women like them!
Tip 1: Get help with branding! I didn’t have the budget for full branding and web design, so I enlisted Jessica to help me with the branding portion, and I took on the design myself. Ideally you’d collaborate with a professional on anything that’s not your expertise. I’m so happy I was able to work with Jessica on my logos and color palette. It really brought my brand together and gave me something to go off of for the design. When working with a designer, usually they’ll send you a Q/A or schedule a call to learn all about your business. My tip here is to give them as much info as possible. Don’t assume they have the information–be sure to paint a detailed picture of your work and dream client.
I sent Jessica a rough moodboard I’d created and directed her to my Pinterest. I have a pretty curated Pinterest and more than any of my other accounts, I feel like it’s the perfect marriage of my personal AND professional aesthetic. The image above represents the final colors we chose. And if you are working on a personal brand, I think it’s important to find a happy medium between what you’re naturally drawn to and what’s “professional”.
Tip 2: Choose the colors you gravitate toward, then polish them from there. It’s so easy to get caught up in trends, but sticking to colors and details you naturally love makes it more authentic. I love dusty pastels, earthy neutrals, and sunset-inspired colors. So we went with those but darkened it a bit more to give it a polished and unique feel.
Tip 3: Create a logo that represents your business. The logo was the most fun part of the branding process for me. I loved all of the options Jessica designed, but I didn’t feel particularly connected to some of the symbols. Then she sent me a rough design that involved a hand and a pen. She had this idea to have a flower coming out of it, since so much of my Pinterest has flowers! We decided to go with that idea, except make the floral aspect more of a botanical/leaf symbol coming out of the pen. This felt like a meaningful representation of my work–both with mindfulness in writing and being mindful of the businesses I collaborate with. So whether you are creating the logo yourself or bringing in a professional, think of how it represents the words that speak to your business. It’s easy to overthink it, but I found that after a little back-and-forth, these values emerged.
Tip 4: When branding your freelance business, spend time on the copy. You need branded copy to go along with your design, or else it will feel incomplete. Make sure your titles, taglines, and other descriptions are thoughtful representations of what you do. This is actually one of the things I help clients with the most–making sure their mission comes through in their site copy. It doesn’t always come easy! Whether you bring on a copywriter or tackle it yourself, keeping that ideal client in mind will help you maintain an organic voice. Not only does it help them connect with you, it weeds out inquiries for projects that you wouldn’t want to take on anyway.
It can be scary to choose a niche for your business–you certainly don’t want to pass up opportunities just because the language of your site isn’t all-inclusive. At the same time, do you really want to work with people who don’t align with your business mission or values? Probably not. So make sure to find a balance with your copy that represents your brand and the clients you want to attract, but doesn’t feel cold or closed-off.
Tip 5: Add as much information is necessary, but nothing more. The screenshot below is of my portfolio page. It’s super simple and each block includes a small description and link to content I wrote or edited. Personally, I don’t think it’s necessary to put a full resume on your site. I suggest having enough information to give readers a feel for what you do, then, make it easy for them to contact you for more info. I have a resume, additional writing samples, stats, and details ready in the event it’s requested, but I don’t put it all right there for everyone to see.
Lastly… Tip #6: How to design your website. When you have your dream client in mind, branding finished, and information ready to upload, it’s time to design your website and build it out. I won’t go into the specifics because that’s for you and your graphic designer + web developer, but I will say to keep 3 things in mind: 1) navigation, 2) information, and 3) contact. Make sure your website is easy for potential clients to click around on, and has plenty that will keep them interested in your site. Be sure to upload all the information I mentioned above in a way that’s easily digestible and draws readers in–especially when it comes to your homepage, services, and bio. Lastly, make it easy for readers to contact you! I suggest adding a “contact me” type call to action at the bottom of each individual page, even if it just links to your contact form.
Whew! That was a lot of info! Feel free to contact me (see what I did there?) for more information on copywriting for your website, and check out Jessica of Post Design Co and of course Jenn who built my site on WordPress. They’re the best! Does your website speak to your ideal client? How so?