“I have a writer website, so why aren’t clients knocking down my door *begging* to work with me?”
That’s a valid question.
You knew you needed a writer website, so you eagerly built up your little corner of the Internet. Yet…nothing.
It’s frustrating. Like, I-give-up-and-I’m-just-going-to-to-hide-in-the-corner-now frustrating.
But fear not. It’s possible.
How do I know? Because I’ve done it. And I’ve watched other writers do it, too.
Want to know their secrets? Take a look at these 9 tips for landing clients with your writer website from bloggers who have done it.
1. Write a killer About page
“Your about page isn’t about you…it’s about the client. Find a way to show how you can help clients by talking about yourself.” –Elna Cain
Apart from your home page, your about page is the second most visited page on your site. As Neil Patel points out on Hubspot, “Remember, most people aren’t just looking for more information; they’re seeking a deeper level of engagement.”
Elna’s advice directly reflects that. Use your about page to sell your services. Don’t talk about why you got into writing. Show why you’re great at it! Focus on the client and how you can help them.
Let’s take Elna’s about page as an example:Elna immediately connects with prospects.
Are you running your business alone? Do you find you don’t have enough hours in the day to get everything done?
Then she shows why she’s the solution.
I’m Elna Cain, a freelance writer for hire. I add color to your content…
Elna goes on to highlight her professional experience and interests all while infusing personality into her content and showing why she’s unique.
I’m an easy going person with a lot of passion in me. I know how precious time can be now that I have twins!
Finally, she ends with a clear call-to-action: “Contact me today.”\
2. Feature a blog on your site
“Having a great blog yourself is super important, particularly on the topic or similar to what you’d like to focus on!” –Williesha Morris
Williesha knows exactly how beneficial a blog on your writer website can be. In 2015, her blog My Freelance Life was named one of the top 100 blogs for writers by The Write Life.
Having a blog on your site does a couple of things for you:
- It helps with search engine optimization.
- It boosts your site’s reach to new readers across social media.
- It shows clients what you’re capable of.
While you’ll find many writers blogging about freelance writing on their site, you don’t have to stick with that niche!
It can be equally beneficial to write about topics you want to be hired for. For example, if you want clients in the pet industry, start a pet blog!
If you feel your blog and writer website don’t mesh well together, you can always keep them separate and include a “Hire Me” link from your blog to your writer website and vice versa.
3. Publish your rates
“Publish your rates. Nothing has worked better for me than this. Before doing so, I was being contacted by clients I didn’t want to work with. Low-ball offers, loads of negotiations, and more often than not, it all fell apart at the end. I was losing hours every week and getting frustrated with the whole process.
Once I decided to publish my rates online, my business grew and I no longer have the problems I had. Folks who contact me are willing to pay my rates because they’ve already seen them. No more haggling or wasting time or extended email exchanges.” –Samar Owais
Deciding to publish your rates is a tough call to make. Some writers say you should; others advise against it. But as Samar Owais proves, publishing your rates on your writer website can be the key to landing your ideal client.
How does this help?
- It shows you’re confident in your work.
- It gives prospects an idea of what to expect and how much to budget.
- It keeps people who aren’t your ideal client from contacting you.
Here’s a quick look at how Samar has outlined her blogging rates. One thing you’ll notice is that she outlines exactly what clients get for the price, including images, click-to-tweet links, and promotion.
4. Balance professionalism and friendliness
“Have a good balance between professionalism and warmth/friendliness. You want to impress prospects with your skills, but you also want to create a connection with them. Your content should be purposefully designed to give an impression of your self, your personality – you want prospects to feel like they know you and can trust you before they even get in touch with you. Especially for those who haven’t worked with freelance writers before, you want them to feel confident that they can work with you.” –KeriLynn Engel
You’re a business owner, so of course your site should demonstrate your professionalism, but you also have a voice, and that voice can be the deciding factor when it comes to hiring you over someone else.
Keri accomplishes this by sticking to what her clients need to know while talking with them casually. “Hi, I’m KeriLynn Engel—call me Keri!” She even throws in a smiley face every now and then.
Talk to your clients as you would in conversation, and don’t be afraid to infuse a bit of your unique personality into your copy. Maintaining this balance can be tough, so ask a friend to look over your copy, and ask them what vibe they get from it.
5. Develop a “hook” and position yourself toward your target client
“My biggest tip is to be sure you have a good “hook” and position yourself for your target client.” –Ashley Gainer
The “hook” on your writer website can be a number of things, from a smart tagline to a unique fact about yourself or even a thought-provoking question that draws prospects into your copy.
The key is to be unique and be memorable.
Ashley accomplishes this “hook” on several levels. First, her tagline isn’t the typical “Freelance Writer” you might see on many websites. Instead, she positions herself as a “Content Champion.” How many other people do you see with that tagline? Not many, and it makes her unique.
As you head further down her page, you can see she’s taking care with her second bit of advice: position yourself toward your client. At the same time, she’s hooking them and making them want to read further.
Here, she’s telling prospects exactly what she offers so she can capture their attention from the beginning.
To find your “hook,” consider what sets you apart from other freelance writers—even if it’s not writing related. For example, Bree Brouwer plays up her geeky side. Through this tactic, she makes an impression and even uniquely positions herself to write for businesses and blogs specializing in geeky content.
6. Make it easy to contact you
“One tip that I think is really important is to include ways for the client to connect with you. They can’t hire you if they can’t get in touch with you. That tip may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many writer sites make it hard for the reader to contact the writer.
On my site, I’ve made sure there are multiple ways to reach me. First of all, there’s a Hire Me page with a contact form. I also feature a prominent link to my LinkedIn profile on my home page. My Google+ profile is in my bio at the bottom of each post. Other methods of connecting with me are sprinkled throughout my site.” –Laura Spencer
Laura’s advice is spot-on. Her LinkedIn information is right in her header, making it readily available on every page of the site.
And if a client wants to hire her, they can easily visit her Hire Me page and fill out her contact form.
Your avenues of contact will all depend on your preferences. Some writers include their phone numbers while others (like me) choose to keep their phone number private and offer an email address instead. You can also promote contact by keeping social profile links visible in your header or sidebar, and don’t forget to add your contact information to your author bio if you run on a blog on your site.
A common practice is to place a contact form in a “Contact Me” or “Hire Me” page that’s easily accessible from your main navigation bar. Try to keep your contact information available on most pages on your site, whether that means in your header, sidebar, or footer. That way, people don’t have to shuffle through your site to figure out how to hire you!
7. Walk in your prospective client’s shoes
“Understanding what clients are looking for helps you create blog content that answers their questions and create service descriptions that show the value of what you offer for them. Show how they can benefit (without a hard sell) and they will be more inclined to work with you.” –Sharon Hurley Hall
Too often writers build their websites for themselves, forgetting that their website is truly a communication avenue for connecting with prospects.
Picture that you’re looking for a freelance blogger. What would you want to know first? Where would you want the blogger’s calls-to-action to lead you? How would you want to navigate the site? How would you want the blogger to speak to you?
Once you put yourself in this scenario, you’ll be on your way to building a website that will lead to client contracts.
A quality example of this is Sharon’s services and rates page. Here, she shows exactly what she offers and at what rates along with client testimonials from clients who have used each service. Furthermore, her copy is focused on the client.
Here’s an example of one service she offers and how she takes her clients through what they need to know:
8. Brag about your accomplishments
“You can never have too many testimonials. Let the words of those who have experienced working with you sell you… Brag about who you’ve written for… Have a portfolio page. And make sure your best work is up there. Not most recent. Your best. The stuff you’re most proud of. The stuff you get the most compliments on.” –Tiffany Jansen
Clients aren’t just buying your services. They’re paying for your expertise. Don’t be afraid to show them why you’re worth hiring through a bit of humble bragging.
Have past clients raved about your services? Share their testimonials on your site.
Have you won writing awards or earned a crazy number of shares on a guest post? Maybe you have a master’s degree in marketing. Let people know about it.
Tiffany does a bit of bragging on her home page:
My writing has appeared in more than 20 regional and national publications, 15 blogs, and on numerous websites.
By highlighting her experience like this, prospects can put trust in her services.
9. Focus on your clients’ needs
“Make sure you focus on explaining how your services will benefit your clients, rather than just outlining what you do. Think more “I can help you get more clients and save you time by writing content for your website” rather than “I’m a writer who will produce great content for your website”.” –Joe Fylan
Joe’s advice can get you pretty far in converting prospects to clients. People are inherently selfish. They don’t want to know why you became a writer. They want to know one thing:
Can your services help them reach their goals?
Of course, if the answer to this question is “yes,” you can prove you’re the person for the job by highlighting your experience as Tiffany suggested above. But if you go this route, be sure to position it in a way that shows prospects why it matters to them.
To follow Joe’s advice, use “you” language over “I” language. Here’s an example from Joe’s home page:
My name is Joe and I am a freelance writer available for hire. I can offer you excellent written content for your online projects that can help them get the attention they deserve.
He could have said “I write content for online projects,” but instead he used terms like “you” and “your” to connect with prospects. He also adds the bit on how he can “help them get the attention they deserve,” which answers the question of whether or not he can help prospects meet their goals. Hint: He can!
As these bloggers show, landing clients through your writer website is not impossible. It just takes a bit of thought to position yourself in a way that makes prospects say, “I need to hire this blogger.” Start with these tips to get your writer website headed in the right direction.
Which tip will you start with, and how will it change your site? Let us know in the comment section.