This post was written by TCCS member, Caitlin Wright
7 tips for creating a freelance copywriter website that attracts your dream clients
Are you new to the copywriting game?
Or have you been around for a year or two, picking up work through referrals, networking, and social media?
Either way, you’ve decided it’s time to put yourself out there.
Yep, you need your own copywriting website.
But that’s okay.
All you need to do is write up a bit of info about your business, get your brother’s best mate to put it online with a few stock images, and then wait for the work to roll in, right?
Er, not quite.
The thing is, there are a lot of copywriting websites out there. And yours needs to be pretty special to stand out from the pack.
The best copywriting websites do all the selling for you, and so when potential clients get in touch they already want to work with you.
So what makes a good freelance copywriter website?
I’ve spoken to some members of the Clever Copywriting School to find out how their websites stand out and help them land their ideal clients.
1. Think about your ideal audience
Ever heard the phrase ‘You can’t be all things to all people’?
It’s as true in life as it is in business. No business can cater for all people, so don’t even try.
Think about your ideal customers, and then make sure your website caters to those people.
What are their needs and wants?
What’s stopping them from getting in touch with you?
If you’re not sure, consider doing a bit of market research with your ideal client to find out.
Then try to provide all that information on your website.
Greer Quinn did just that when creating her communications agency website.
“When developing my website, I put myself in the shoes of my ideal client.
My ideal client favours facts over fluff, and clear communication over clutter.
A combination of minimalist graphics, original photography and purposeful rather than promotional words has meant my new Forward Communications website connects and converts with sincerity and integrity.”
2. Consider relevant keywords
There’s a lot to consider when improving the SEO of your website.
I couldn’t possibly cover it all here, so check out Kate Toon’s Recipe for SEO Success course if you want to know more about it. (I highly recommend it.)
But one thing you really want to think about is how people will search for your business.
You may have considered broad terms such as ‘freelance copywriter’.
But it’s damn hard to rank for keywords like that.
And even if you do manage to rank for it, you may get lots of traffic but few conversions because you’re not exactly what they’re looking for.
Instead, think of the smaller keyword terms that are niche to your experience.
If you’re in the top spot and you’re exactly what they need, they’ll soon be in touch.
This has certainly worked for me.
Most of the traffic I get is from less popular keywords in smaller niches because I can show I have the experience as soon as the client hits my site.
You also might want to consider including information about your local area on your contact page, particularly if you’re targeting small businesses.
It can be very helpful when you’re combining local networking with your SEO marketing.
3. Highlight what makes you different
With so many copywriters out there, it’s worth thinking about what makes you different.
Go beyond your copywriting experience and think about your working background.
Perhaps you were a social worker in a former life, which might make you an ideal copywriter for writing for health not-for-profits.
If you did a law degree, you’re probably pretty good at understanding and translating complex documents.
For Rosanne Barrett, it’s her journalism experience that helped her copywriting career.
“We’re in a competitive market, so it pays to stand out.
For me this meant highlighting my background in quality journalism and using branding to reflect that more traditional tone.”
It may not be your experience but the way you write your website that’s different from others.
Ethical copywriter Cal Chikwendu‘s playful writing style has already generated business, even though her website has only been live for a month.
“I’ve had people already tell me they chose me for the job because they want ‘crack-a-lacking content’ (my home page headline ).”
4. Explain what it’s like to work with you
Many people who are searching for your services won’t have worked with a copywriter before.
Use your website to explain how copywriting works, what it’s like to work with you, and even what they’re likely to pay.
Anything that makes them feel more at ease and more likely to get in touch with you.
That’s something that’s always worked for website copywriter and brand strategist Claudia Bouma.
“I deliberately highlight my process so clients know what to expect.
I’m transparent when it comes to pricing because nobody likes surprises.”
For TCCS member Kate Merryweather, she has a few hints about her personality throughout her site.
“One thing many clients notice is the little line in my footer where I say I’m professional (yet talkative).
I also call myself ‘rather chatty’ elsewhere.
They feel more comfortable calling me up.
I have a pretty great strike rate for calls now.”
5. Share something real about yourself
Your website shouldn’t be a copy of your LinkedIn profile.
When you’re in a service-based business such as copywriting, people are hiring a person – you.
Yes, they need to know you’re qualified.
But they also need to know a bit about you.
What’s your ‘why’?
What sort of person are you?
What’s your favourite brand of chocolate?
There are many ways to show you on your website including your About page, your blogs, and even your contact form.
Vietnam-based copywriter and wedding celebrant Leanne Summers said clients always want the backstory.
“(It’s) not very relevant, but peeps want to know about my wanderlust and need for a life sans bulls***.”
Health writer Nerissa Bentley uses her contact form to share something about herself and create a conversation starter.
“On my contact form I used to ask who was the better tennis player – Roger Federer (of course) or Rafa. Now I ask what their favourite medical drama is.
Both questions helped me develop rapport with a client, and several times, we actually had a conversation about tennis or a particular episode of a medical drama before we even started chatting about their project.
So of course we felt like we knew each other, and a beautiful client/copywriter relationship began.”
6. Share photos of yourself
It’s not just your personality you need to show. You also need to show what you look like.
I know, I know. It’s hard to put yourself out there.
But people need to know you’re an actual person and putting a picture on your site is the first step.
The Clever Copywriting School owner Kate Toon suggests being careful about the picture you choose.
Don’t put up that favourite photo of yourself taken at a wedding in 2007, or a snapshot from Christmas Day with your kids cropped out.
So what do you do?
Get some professional photos.
“If you can’t invest in a few hundred dollars to get a professional photo for your website, then I’m not sure how seriously you’re taking your business.”
And while we’re talking about photos, Kate says not to even think about typing ‘copywriter’ into a stock library and using the images that come up.
“Don’t have a hand on a keyboard or blank screens and blank pads with a coffee cup.
It’s just so cliched.
They don’t even look like your hands. I’ve seen female copywriters with furry men’s fingers.”
7. Show off who you’ve worked with before
One thing clients are looking for when they visit your site is proof that you’ve worked in their sector before.
There are a few ways to highlight your previous work.
Have a portfolio page with links to articles, blogs, and websites.
This is handy if you’ve got a large body of work and have worked across a range of industries and websites.
Clients also want to see social proof from testimonials and logos from previous clients.
This has worked for copywriter and journalist Zoe Simmons.
“It’s about showing your value. You’ve got to toot your own horn.
You need to write your copy in such a way that your reader has no doubt that you can nail this job.
I back this up with examples.
With testimonials singing my praises.
With a sturdy portfolio that clearly outlines my awesomeness.
With impressive logos from the brands I’ve worked with.
It all gives potential customers a sense of who you are, and why you are the BEST person for the job.”
Yes you are.
How about you?
What else do you think helps a freelance copywriter website stand out?
Caitlin Wright is an SEO copywriter and freelance journalist for communities and organisations that care for others.
She writes about topics ranging from baby care to aged care, and all the aspects of healthcare and education in between.
You can visit her website at Caitlin Wright and make sure she follows all the advice she gives out.