Last updated: September 2022
Can you relate? You have an excellent idea for a freelance business, spend some time researching and planning and, after a couple of months, you’re all ready to go and get your first customer. The “only” task left is going online. Questions start popping up: What do you have to do to have a professional online image? How do you start? Do you need a website? Where can you look for help? All at once, there are so many more questions than answers that you start having nightmares. But creating a professional online image doesn’t need to be as hard as it seems!
So what do you need to do?
- Design your main online platform.
- Build your online brand.
- Create new profiles on social media.
Step 1. Design your main online platform
>> Let me tell you some of the options that you can choose as your main platform:
- Create a website. It doesn’t have to be too complex. Just make sure you know what your website goal is:
- Virtual business card. Just a place where you can “welcome” your visitors and present yourself.
- Lead generation. The main purpose of your site is to get as many email subscribers as possible.
- E-commerce. An online shop to sell your products or services.
- Launch a blog. It’s easier and quicker to create than a website, but its “maintenance” is much higher:
- You need to update the content regularly. Whether that means once a day, a week, or a month is up to you.
- Consider your blog a newsroom to keep your community or customers updated, so you can’t just create a blog and forget about it. Well, you can, but it won’t make much sense!
- A blog is usually much more personal than a static website, so be prepared to expose yourself out there.
- Create a portfolio. This is the quickest option because it’s like an online resumé:
- Have a simple website with your portfolio.
- Join job boards and directories specialized in your branch – the more specific, the better. For example, if you’re a creative freelancer, you should upload your work to Behance.
- Upload your portfolio on freelancers’ platforms, such as About.me, Fiverr, or Upwork.
>> Ideally, you have a combination of all three options: A website that includes a blog and a portfolio page. In this case, it should at least have the following pages:
- Homepage (your welcome page).
- “About me” page, where you introduce yourself or your company.
- Portfolio page, where you can brag about everything you’ve done so far.
- Blog, perfect for attracting traffic to your website.
- Contact page, where you let your customers know how to contact you.
- Services / Work with me / Shop. It depends on the kind of product you’re offering, but you get the idea, right?
2. Build your online brand
Your online brand is the visual representation of what you and your business stand for, so you should make sure that your brand identifies with your (business) voice, identity, and personality. Whereas your brand personality is the way you want your website users to feel when they think of your business, your brand identity is the combination of the visual aspects that make your brand recognizable.
>> What are the main elements of your brand identity?
Once you are sure what your brand personality will be, the best way to approach this abstract concept of a brand is by tackling the choice of its elements one by one:
Then, make sure that your online presence consistently displays all of your brand elements, especially your logo and colors!
3. Create or update your profile on social media
Make sure you update all your social media profiles to reflect your new company.
You don’t have to be active on all social media networks, but try to block for you the most popular ones (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and TikTok). In this way, you can use them if you change your mind, AND nobody can use your name for their profiles.
Please check out this post about online reputation. It may not seem that important to you right now, but it could certainly spoil a good deal!
Planning your professional online image for your freelance business
Whether you want to create your own online presence or if you are hiring someone to do it for you, there is one thing that YOU need to design yourself: Your online branding. At least the first step. No one like you knows what you want to convey with your brand, your colors, your images, or your logo. In short, your online voice.
And once you’re done with choosing how your online presence needs to be, hiring someone to design it professionally is perfectly fine. But only when you know what you want. So my advice is this: Take your time to think it all through.
If you need more help in designing your online presence, check out the Guide to Crafting Your Online Presence in 3 Steps, where you will be able to design your hub, build your online brand, and map out your social media strategy.
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