Great article, I am a freelance web designer writing my own copy for my website redesign, so this hits home. I have been trying to implement these techniques based on what I thought, but hearing it from someone else has instilled some more confidence in my strategy. Thanks!
5 Ways to Build a Better Website
Your business website positions you as an authoritative and skilled freelancer in your field. It captures leads into an automated email service or customer relations management software.
It provides information to visitors who may be interested in hiring you. It answers their basic questions, so you don’t have to do it yourself. It acts like your sales representative, working 24/7 to get you more leads and prospects.
But how do you make your website better, so it can accomplish all these things more efficiently and effectively?
That’s what I’m going to tackle in this blog post.
A Copywriting Approach
Now there are many ways to build a better website. You can look at it in terms of code–how to program it so your site loads fast, is search engine optimized, and is safe from hackers. You can look at it in terms of having the best content management system, themes, and plugins.
In this post, we’re answering this question in terms of copywriting. You know, the words that go into your website.
Of course, you want your website to look nice and to work properly. But it’s also extremely important that your site has the content you need to attract more leads and turn them into clients.
That’s why copywriting is important.
So from a copywriting point of view, here are my tips for building a better website.
1. Begin with Proper Preparation
Borrow this step from advertisers and prepare a creative brief for your website. A creative brief is a document that lays out the basic marketing considerations for your site. At the very least, it should contain:
- the goals and objectives of your website
- who your target clients are
- what your target clients’ main problems, predicaments, and pains are
- what products, programs and services you offer
- your core marketing message, including your unique selling proposition
Once you have all this down on paper, the rest of your marketing will be much easier and more effective. You can use the same creative brief to develop your business cards, brochure, ads, and other promotional materials.
2. Make It About Them
The biggest copywriting mistake of most freelancing websites is they’re all about the freelancer or the company. It’s all “I,” “my,” or “we.”
Prospective clients don’t want to read about you, even if they are on your website. They’re only interested in you to the extent that you can help THEM reach THEIR goals.
So write your website copy in terms of them. Make it about them. Even when you’re writing about your skills, expertise, and experiences, bring it back to how all that serves them. Remember the radio station everyone is tuned to: WIIFM (What’s In It For Me).
3. Go Beyond the Features
I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it again and again: go beyond talking about the features of your services (i.e., how fast you are, what you can produce, how much you charge) and dig deeper into the benefits of working with you, such as:
- What results do you get from your clients?
- How do you make your clients’ lives easier?
- How do you contribute to their bottom line?
- What can you do for their image and reputation?
- How will their personal and business lives improve by hiring you?
These benefits appeal to your prospects’ emotions, which ultimately is how human beings make decisions (no matter how much we argue for our rationality).
4. Address Their 3Ps
Jeanna Pool, author of Marketing for Solos, says our marketing should stem from our target clients’ 3Ps: pain, problem, and predicament.
Identifying and writing to address our prospects’ 3Ps is the easiest way to accomplish a client-oriented website. Everything on your freelancing site should position your and your services as the best solution to their 3Ps. With this in mind, you’ll also be able to identify which pages, articles or freebies should be on your site.
5. Have a Call to Action
Put a call to action on each and every page on your website. A call to action is simply what you want your website readers to do next. Do you want them to call you for a free consultation? Do you want them to sign up for your free special report or other buzz piece? Whatever it is you want them to do, be specific and direct about it. Don’t assume your website visitors know what you want them to do with the information on the site.
On Your Way To Better Copy
These are just a few of the ways you can make the copy on your website much more engaging, relevant, and effective. The key is to truly understand your ideal clients and create a website just for them.
Did this post inspire you to make changes in your freelancing website? If so, what?
Tell us about it in the comments below.
Image by Holger Zscheyge
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October 11th, 2011 at 9:05 am
October 11th, 2011 at 9:09 am
October 11th, 2011 at 10:16 am
All great tips Lexi, in my opinion you should have everything planned and sketched out before you start.
October 11th, 2011 at 5:26 pm
Very informative tips for everyone especially for a freelancer. As a Freelancer I can say this post is just very great suggested.
October 11th, 2011 at 5:26 pm
This is very interesting without doubt you’re very skilled writer. Very particularly informative and efficiently post I’m really satisfied after reading this post. Keep up the good job.
October 11th, 2011 at 6:31 pm
That’s a fine content strategy. Don’t forget though to implement decent IA and and usability, otherwise your site will suck if the quality content is buried by bad design/usability.
October 12th, 2011 at 2:45 am
pain, problem, and predicament.. Nice idea.
Very interesting post too.
October 12th, 2011 at 3:21 am
That’s exactly what I need for my website. Great advice, thanks!
October 12th, 2011 at 8:34 am
Nice write up Lexi. I consult with small business owners and freelancers who are building their online brands and the very first thing I cover is the same as your #1 spot above. I call mine “The Seven Ps of Life”…Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance.
Doubly true in building a website;)
October 17th, 2011 at 12:08 am
Great article, I believe in having great copy too. No matter how fab the website’s design is, if the copy stinks, everything goes stinking with it. Its good to address the target audiences 3 P’s too so they find a connection between one’s website and the reason why they’re visiting you in the first place.
April 9th, 2013 at 11:46 am
To tell the truth it was an incredible advanced write-up nevertheless like all great freelance writers there are many points that may be worked about. Nevertheless never the particular a smaller amount it turned out intriguing.
November 21st, 2013 at 1:47 am
Particularly instructive, looking forth to visiting
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