Technology has opened up numerous job opportunities. Now that there are more flexible ways to make a living, many people choose to freelance as a long-term career path. But with such a huge pool of talent vying for the same job, how can a freelancer like you gain the upper hand?
Here, your digital presence is key. You need to impress potential clients with your professionalism and skill set. The way you do this varies.
For many freelancers, a key point of contact with a potential client is your website. This guide will walk you through how to create an effective landing page that converts prospects into leads. Here are some tips to help get you started.
7 Tips to Creating an Effective Freelancer Landing Page
1. Define your audience & your USP
Most famous writers are associated with a genre. For example, Stephen King is known for his horror stories, Enid Blyton for children’s fantasy stories, and Ernest Hemingway for fictional short stories.
People like to know what they can expect from an author. It’s the same thing with freelance writing. If you want to make your mark, it’s a good idea to pick a niche and become a specialist.
You might think that niching down is a limitation, but quite the opposite.
You reduce the number of competitors by specializing in a niche. Moreover, by picking a niche, you can also gain expertise and topical knowledge. That expertise will help you become a better writer and better able to serve your clients.
Hopefully, I’ve made it clear why the first thing you should do is define your niche.
The second thing to do is define your offering. Think about what makes your service special. For example, why should a person be interested in what you have to say?
Finally, you need to think about who you are targeting.
An audience persona can help here.
Audience personas are semi-fictional representations of your target audience. They are semi-fictional because while their names are not real, their traits are. An audience persona looks something like this:
Source: Content Rewired
You then need to put all of this information together.
Let me give you a nice example.
Mark is a freelance writer who works for clients in the SaaS niche. The headline for his homepage calls out to his target audience – SaaS and marketing brands.
Mark has thought about who he is targeting. Everything above the fold fits the typical website design trends for conversions. So you have a headline, sub-headline, and the CTA.
Below the fold, he shares examples of the type of sites he’s written for. People who are in the SaaS space will recognize many of these brands.
His homepage is a nice example of a landing page where the niche, service offering, and customer persona are well defined. If you can get that combination right, you’re well on the way to generate fresh leads for your business.
2. Use your headline to grab attention.
A study found that you have at least 50 milliseconds to make a good impression on a website. So if your landing page doesn’t grab your audience’s attention, the chances of booking the job become extremely thin.
Your headline is one of the first things a site visitor sees upon clicking your link. In just a few words, you need to convey your product or service offering.
Take this headline from ProBlogger. The headline is direct and appeals to the target audience; Become a ProBlogger.
Underneath the headline is a Call To Action. The CTA explains what is offered through the site. That sets expectations for the person arriving on the site. Below the sub-headline, you have two buttons.
If you want to be a blogger, you will find that headline and text appealing. Your goal should be to create that impression with your target audience.
3. Focus on site speed
In the online world, speed is the name of the game. According to Infront Webworks, increased website loading speed can prevent the loss of 7% in possible conversions. Adobe’s Brand Content Survey also found that half of the visitors abandon content of all types when it takes too long to load.
There are other best practices you can follow to help your landing page load quickly. Here are some of them, according to Unbounce:
- Clean up your code.
- Upgrade your web host.
- Compress your image files.
You can test your page load speed using a tool like Google PageSpeed Insights. The tool provides an overview of your current page speed and a list of suggestions on how to improve page load times. Many of the best page builders are already optimized for page speed.
4. Create a strong CTA
If you want to convert a visitor, you need a strong CTA. Your CTA, after all, is what will get visitors to act. In this case, your desired action is for them to avail of your services.
Having a unique, personalized CTA can do the trick. Let’s discuss how to create a CTA with an example from TurnerInk.
At the bottom of the homepage, TurnerInk has three CTAs.
The options are:
- Make an inquiry
- Review the portfolio
- Visit the blog
TurnerInk has mapped out the customer journey. They have tried to predict the actions visitors might want to take. If they are convinced about the service, they could inquire immediately. Alternatively, they could review the portfolio and then inquire. Finally, they could visit the blog.
You need to have a clear CTA on your landing page that will turn prospects into leads.
5. Include a link to your portfolio
Before you make a purchase, you want to see what you’re getting. Employers will want to see your previous works to discern if your writing style fits their brand. There are two ways to convince potential clients that you’re the best person for the project.
One of the best options is to provide a link to your portfolio.
Source: Nick Darlington
You should feature your best work in the portfolio section, just like what freelance blogger Nick Darlington does. You may also showcase your educational background and previous clients.
Alongside examples of your work, you should share testimonials from previous clients. Social proof, in the form of testimonials, will help convince people you are the right person for the project.
6. Make it SEO-friendly
You should make your landing page visible to people who try to find answers to their queries using a search engine, too. As a freelance writer, that means trying to get your landing page to rank for relevant keywords on the first page of Google.
That is where Search Engine Optimization (SEO) comes to play.
SEO is the process of trying to improve the rankings for your content on search engines. The higher your rankings, the easier it is for people to learn about you.
So, how can you get more people to your landing page?
Below are common SEO practices you should utilize:
- Conduct keyword research and incorporate relevant terms in your copy
- Try to get content published on industry-relevant websites
- Create blog content targeting relevant keywords
SEO is a long-term investment. It’s worth the effort, though. When you get content to rank on Google, you will have leads coming to you.
7. Avoid typical sales keywords.
There was a time when sugary copy was enough to get you a sale. In these highly competitive times, though, brevity and conciseness are a writer’s strongest weapon.
As a freelancer creating a landing page, avoid sales fluff. They only lengthen your copy and bury your message.
Here’s a list of some of those words you need to avoid:
- Once in a lifetime
- The best
- At the end of the day
- Give 110%
So what words should you use instead?
Just be simple and straightforward. For example, instead of saying “once in a lifetime,” why not say “exceptional”? “Life-changing” is the same as “transformative.” Instead of “the best,” you can use the word “finest.”
Think of other alternatives to those words that are simpler and, well, less used. That way, you can still get your point across without sounding like you’re just like all the other freelancers out there.
Your landing page is often the first point of contact between you and a potential client. Therefore, you need to create a good first impression. Hopefully, people will be so impressed by that first impression that they will inquire about your services.
This guide walked you through how to create a landing page that will convert prospects into clients. Before you start designing your landing page, consider your target audience, define your USP, and create a customer persona. Once you’ve done this, you’ll be ready to create your landing page.
The most important element of your landing page is what appears above the fold. You need an enticing headline and sub, headline, and a clear CTA. To convince people your the right freelance writer for the job, include social proof and a link to your portfolio on the page.
About the author
Ian Loew is a web entrepreneur and inbound marketing expert, and the Owner & Head of Business Development of Lform Design. After four years of helping Fortune 500 companies with MGT Design, Ian embarked on his freelance career before establishing Lform Design in 2005. He leads a team of creative professionals to deliver inspired online experiences via modern, responsive websites that reflect his clients’ core values. When not at the helm, Ian can be found mountain biking with friends or spending time with his family.