That traditional 9 to 5 office job has been slowly changing over the past several years, as the modern workforce looks for new ways to achieve that coveted work-life balance. Freelancing and contract services offer an ideal solution for those who are looking for a source of income that offers freedom and mobility.
According to a 2015 survey sponsored by the Freelancers Union and Upwork, 53 million Americans (34% of the U.S. workforce) work as freelancers. This number includes independent contractors, part time freelancers, temporary workers, and more. But no matter if freelancing is a full-time role or just an additional source of cash, there is no doubt that this type of work is making it easier for Americans to earn income in a nontraditional manner.
Despite the benefits of choosing your own jobs and working from wherever you please, there are some downsides that make the profession volatile. This includes no guarantee of monthly income, lack of benefits and paid vacation time, and potential difficulty securing a mortgage or auto loan because of irregular pay. And then there’s an even bigger hurdle: competing with other freelancers to get hired for jobs and projects.
Although it can be tricky to convince potential clients that you are well worth the price of your services, doing so can be the difference between a successful and unsuccessful freelancer.
A personal website is essential for freelancers
Having a powerful online presence is one of the best ways to inspire trust with potential customers, and can be just the tool you need to secure a job or contract. A personal website can help freelancers in the following ways.
Show off your portfolio
A personal website is your best chance to show prospective clients your work and experience. Graphic designers can show off a gallery of their work, writers can maintain a personal blog, and consultants can share information about past projects.
Take advantage of organic search
While freelance websites are always a good option for connecting with potential clients, you can’t underestimate the power of a good old fashioned Google search. A website that clearly spells out your location, expertise, and skill set has a good chance of being picked up in organic search when clients are actively looking for someone with your abilities.
Use a custom domain
Not interested in creating a new website from scratch? No problem. Instead, create a custom URL that forwards to the profile of your choice. Whether it directs visitors to your LinkedIn or Upwork profile, your page on about.me, or a website made on a free website platform like Wix, it’s an easy way to create a professional image without a lot of work.