Why Every Freelance Writer Needs an Online Presence
We’ve already talked about how to create the perfect freelance writing website. As a writer, your website may be your most important business tool. It’s the hub of your online presence, but there’s more to it than that.
Your online presence includes your social media profiles, your bio and contributor pages at websites you regularly contribute to (here’s an example of one of mine), your Amazon author page, if you have one, your online portfolio, your about.me page, if you maintain one, and anywhere else you can be found online. (Those links go to the pages that make up my online presence. Notice that while they’re all doing a different job, they’re also forming a cohesive and consistent image of what I do.)
Your online presence works best when you tie everything neatly together, preferably with each bio, profile and webpage linking back to the website or blog that you’ve decided is your online hub. For me, it’s this site. You don’t have perfect control over your online presence, but there are ways to make it as tidy and streamlined as possible.
Disclosure: Links in this post (and anywhere on KarenBanes.com) may be affiliate links. Find out what that means here.
Here’s why you need a professional, consistent online presence, and how to build one.
Your Customers Search Online
When you pitch for a job, your customers will often do a quick search for you online. Having a website that has your name as the url (like, say, KarenBanes.com) is the quickest way to make sure that they come straight to a website that you control, and see what you want them to see.
Be aware that sites that are very high ranked with Google (think Facebook and Twitter) may also show up very high in the search results. So make sure your profiles there are professional AND that they link to your website.
Your Clients Will Look For Your Portfolio
As a paid writer, many of your potential clients want to see your work before they hire you. Your website can display your freelance writing portfolio. You can also make a professional looking portfolio (for free) at Contently. Here’s mine. Consider linking to your portfolio from all your social media and other online profiles, if getting new freelance clients is your main objective.
You Can Establish Credibility and Authority
In addition to being able to display writing samples, you can build credibility and authority via your website and online presence. Credibility can be established through your content, a picture of you, and testimonials (here are mine).
You can also mention any awards and recognitions you’ve received, prestigious publications that you’ve featured in, and books that you’ve published.
Your Online Presence Supports Your Brand
As a solopreneur, your personality and your brand are closely linked. So make sure the way you act and appear online is consistent, and professional. This doesn’t mean stuffy. List the words you want to apply to your brand. It’s fine if this includes words like ‘fun’, ‘informal’, or ‘upbeat’. Just keep it consistent. One of the primary buying triggers is likeability. If your website visitors and social media followers like you, they’re more likely to buy from you.
Keep your branding simple by using the same profile picture across all your bios, social media and other online platforms.
Your Online Presence Brings You Clients While You Sleep
You never know when someone will come across you online. They could follow a link to your website, find you on Facebook or stumble across your profile on Twitter, Pinterest or LinkedIn. This original contact could take place anywhere in the world, in any time zone, while you’re sleeping. Those are the great mornings that you wake up to new client emails in your inbox, or requests for more information in your direct messages.
A solid, well-managed online presence helps you attract clients on autopilot.
Quick Action Steps
- Google yourself. What comes up? Is it your website, or a social media site? Make sure whatever comes up presents the image you want to present. You can’t control Google, but you can edit things like social media profiles. If a social site shows up ahead of your website, make sure it links to your website.
- Can’t find yourself on Google at all? That’s not great, but it happens, especially if you have a very common name. Make extra sure that you include links to your site and portfolio when you contact potential and actual clients. Work on building an online presence for the future. Maybe you can name your site (and Facebook page, for example) something like Your Name, Freelance Writer. This will help people who know you’re a writer find you.
- Tidy up ALL your social media profiles. Make sure each one has the same pic and says who you are and what you do. And link to your site and/or portfolio.
- Tidy up your website and make sure you have pathways in place to take visitors and clients where you want them to go.
- Consider grabbing The Freelance Writers Success Kit (it’s half-price when you subscribe to our newsletter). It includes a great guide to help you design a client attracting freelance writing website.