I love my website.
It’s where I get 99% of my leads and clients.
I can’t imagine a world without my website, to be frank.
At the same time, I didn’t enjoy success with my freelance site overnight. I worked on it by creating content that my target audience would enjoy. I also invested in tools and services to help build what it is today.
As a writer, I have little interest in web design and SEO when I was starting out a decade ago. However, both have become an intrinsic part of my success as a freelancer.
Both helped me create a site that I can be proud of and that generates leads on a consistent basis!
It’s probably the biggest reason why I have built a good rapport with my target audience!
Don’t get me wrong – my site is not perfect. There are things I still need to do to drive traffic and acquire leads from it.
And that’s the beauty of it all – there’s always room to make my site better.
For now, I’ll start with you some of the things I’ve implemented on my site that you can copy so you can also build a good rapport with people so you can convert them into clients.
1. Engage with your audience
One of the reasons people turn to blogs to establish their personal brand online as a freelancer or a creative professional.
However, communication should never be a one-way street. You need to reply to all their comments and chat with them on social media and other platforms. You can even take the relationship deeper by asking them to subscribe to your email list!
Doing so will give your brand credibility. It will also establish your blog as a platform where you and your audience can communicate. To more people you engage with, the more chances they will become repeat visitors of your blog, if not followers already!
2. Show your vulnerable side
Believe it or not, creating useful content to your audience won’t cut it anymore
There will be times that call for you to show a different side of yourself.
Most people – 92% of Americans, for instance – clamor to learn about the person behind the brand.
Therefore, you should add some personal content and talk about your past failures and current success.
I have done this with my post on how I started as a freelance writer. It was a difficult writing about it because I had to relive the hardships I went through before getting to where I am right now.
At the same time, it’s a different kind of content that shows to my readers who I am as a person and why I do what I do online.
3. Find out what your readers want to talk about with you
It is crucial to hit the right tone when writing for a particular niche.
You need to learn to speak their “language” so they feel like you are directly talking to them through your blog posts and social media pages.
One of the best ways of finding out about how and what your readers are thinking is tapping into their mind through social media groups, blogs, and forums. You can also visit question and answer sites like Quora and seek feedback.
Regular surveys and questionnaires will also tell you a lot about their preferences and the most urgent questions they need answering.
4. Establish a relationship
People buy from people, not companies. Therefore, you must establish a relationship first before readers or clients will come running to your blog or hire your services.
If you have a new blog, you will need to go out there and engage with your target market through social media and other platforms. Don’t try to sell them your services; help them out and provide them advice first.
There are several things you can do to build rapport and get people to connect with your personal brand on a personal level. Make sure that you are responsive, helpful, and positive in every online communication.
5. Provide value
It is crucial that you provide value for your readers when you set up your blog. The more you can showcase your talent as a freelance writer, the better chance you will have to increase your sales.
Educate your customers and make sure that you are backing up your statements with testimonials, case studies, and statistics, so they know that you really know what you are talking about.
While blogs are there to provide information for your readers, you should not forget about another aspect: entertainment.
There are plenty of ways you can make your content engaging; add short videos, break down text with some powerful images, and use infographics as an educational and marketing tool.
This will not only help you get your message across but also increase your social follower base, as infographics are very easy to share and distribute.
7. Create a consistent brand message
It is crucial that you focus on the consistency of your brand messages in your blog, on your site, and your social media platforms.
You don’t want to confuse your prospective clients with different logos, color schemes, and value statements.
Before you start your blog, sit down and brainstorm your mission and vision statement, write down the values that are the most important for you, and create a brand image. This will help you stay on track and attract the right customers to your freelance business.
8. Perfect your niche as a freelancer
Sit down and try to develop your unique selling proposition and value proposition, so you can tell your potential clients why they should order your services and not someone else’s. Your USP will help you stand out from the crowd and build up your competitive advantage.
In my experience, I never got lots of clients when I promoted myself as a freelance writer.
Being a “freelance writer” is a generic title. Clients don’t care if you’re a freelancer.
What they care about is the kind of writing you produce.
In my case, I specialize in writing blog posts about digital marketing to my clients.
Therefore, my target audience is marketing agencies who need content for their clients.
I also get jobs from entrepreneurs who build niche blogs and require help with content research and creation.
It also helps that I write posts on different publication sites about SEO, content marketing, and others!
I just don’t tell to people my niche and specialty as a writer. I show it to them!
9. Provide insider information
If you would like to get people to trust you online, you need to show it to them that you are indeed trustworthy.
You can start by creating behind-the-scene videos that will engage with your readers on a personal level.
The videos you will create depend on your specialization. If you’re a web designer, then you need to address the burning question about being a web designer.
And don’t share basic information that people can search online. You need to create exclusive content that only you can provide.
In my case, I used my experience in guest posting to create a course about it here. I offer the course for free and I’ve shown the exact process on how people develop a sustainable guest blogging strategy that will help them increase the influence and reach of their brand.
10. Stay in touch
Turning blog visitors into subscribers is only the first step.
Once they are part of your email list, you will need to stay in touch with them in a personal way.
Instead of just sending out notices automatically that you have updated your blog, send them emails about your day that is related to your specialization. As much as possible, connect your experiences to your new offers and services.
This will make them feel like insiders to your business and a respected member of your online community.
11. Manage safety and reputation
One of the things most freelancers forget about is safety and reputation.
Your website design is important, but you also have to monitor its performance, If you are not able to connect with people, your theme is not loading, or your content is scattered around the page, your brand image will be damaged.
Site security and SSL encryption are also important to safeguard your members’ data and personal information. Invest in a backup software that will allow you to restore your site and content in case something goes wrong or you suffer an online attack. This will ensure that you have a continuity in your business.
Wrapping it up
As a freelancer, you might find it hard to get your first customers and get leads in your business. To stand out from the competition, you will need to focus on providing value and clearly articulating your unique selling proposition. Engage with your readers on a personal level, learn to speak their language, educate and entertain them, and you can improve your conversion rates.