Get seen — creating your own website
Creating a website can be a great way to share information with clients and look very professional. Below are some tips on how to do it.
We’d recommend that you set up even a simple website, as prospective clients will always google you, and if you have a professional website they’ll have more confidence, and likely be willing to pay more. If you have a large personal network that you plan to use to get clients, you may not need a website, but we’d still recommend it as best practice.
Depending on your business you may also want to create a social media presence. If you’re a graphic designer an Instagram account is a great idea, for a digital marketer a Facebook page makes sense, but we’d recommend have a website that these direct to as it’ll make you look more professional.
Pro tip: When making the website, create a brand. Clients are generally willing to pay more when they think they’re contracting with a company, even if it’s just you, rather than an individual.
Once you decide on your name, you need to buy the ‘domain’. The domain is essentially the name of the website and website address. We recommend doing it through Google, which will normally cost $12 a year. Once you buy the domain, you can set up custom emails through GSuite, which costs $6 per user per month for the basic edition and $12 per user for the business edition.
It is worth putting time in to make sure you’re happy with the domain name you pick, as you will want to keep it as long as you’re doing business. You will want it to be distinctive, memorable and as short as possible. This free name creator may help if you’re stuck. It is best if you can have the same domain name as your registered company, as otherwise you’ll forever be telling clients the difference between your ‘brand’ and your bank account.
Pro tip: To make your business look larger than it is, we recommend creating a fewer dummy emails, like email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. It’s easier to chase an invoice from your ‘finance department’ than from your personal domain email.
If you’re selling products, the easiest platform to use is Shopify. The basic plan costs $29 per month + 2.9% on sold items + $0.3 per transaction. So not the cheapest but definitely the fastest way to get your site up and running.
If you’re creating a website as more of a brand builder, we recommend:
This platform is the easiest to use with a bunch of pre-made templates. Given that you probably won’t be listing products, the cost is $5 per month. If you want to remove ads, it will be $12 per month.
SquareSpace has beautiful designs to leverage to build your website that is also mobile-optimized. The cost for a site without transactions is $12 per month.
Building your own website will typically take 4–6 hours for people who have not done so before. If you’re looking for great, legal images and icons, we would recommend using Unsplash.
When building your website, there are a few key aspects to include:
- About us (again use us to make yourself seem larger than you are!)
Generally, what do you offer? Where are you based? What is your unique offering?
- Our offerings
What packages of products or services do you offer? If standardized pricing, how much does each cost? If not, what services are you offering?
- Clients review
Show the logos of clients you’ve worked for. Include quotes with pictures of clients sharing how amazing you are to work with.
- Blog or gallery (if relevant)
If you have a body of work or have written pieces to show you’re an expert, make sure you show it on the website!
- Contact information
Clients need to be able to get in contact with you! Make sure to include your email, phone number, and social media handles.
Final pro tip: Clients LOVE photos — so the more compelling photos and simple language used — the better! Simple language means something a 9 year old can understand.