Why Every Freelancer Should Have A Web Site
"Do I send samples, a media kit, or just the query, postcard and/or sales letter?"
As a freelancer, when you are trying to reach new clients or stay in touch with
old ones, how to approach the contact can be a sticky, confusing, discombobulating
journey. Having a web site can solve all of these situations. How?
Outlined below are four ways a web site can contribute to the bottom line success
of your business.
1. Save Postage: When prospecting for new clients, instead of sending an entire
media kit, numerous clippings, and/or writing samples, simply direct your target
to your web site.
A simple postcard can list the services you offer and/or products you sell. For
samples of your work direct prospects to your web site, which can do a better job
of selling. A web site can list client testimonials, special deals and discounts,
awards — the possibilities are endless.
In essence, you are selling a potential client on your business for just the cost
of a postcard. Of course, you can always send a sales letter instead of a postcard.
The point is, you don't have to spend a lot of money on postage up front.
If a client is interested enough from your initial postcard/letter to look at your
web site, then you have a better chance of them contacting you. One could argue, the less
you spend up front, the better. This weeds out the tire kickers from the serious buyers.
Can you do business without a web site? Yes. But, consider the following first.
2. Increase Revenue: Would you like to make money while you sleep? Essentially, a
web site allows you to do just that. Proof?
After launching a Web site, 41% of small businesses report an increase in their
sales volume, and more than half (55%) with a Web site say their sites have generated
a profit or paid for themselves. SmallBusinessComputing.com, "Internet Future Bright
for Small Businesses." January 14, 2003.
This does not mean you don't have to do all those things necessary to drive potential
customers to your site, i.e., market your site. A web site is simply another avenue,
albeit a powerful one, for you to increase your bottom line.
Providing such info as location, photos, testimonials, price, hours of operation,
et cetera, somewhat pre-qualifies clients without you ever having to meet them.
This greatly increases your chances of making a sale.
A 2001 study from Cyber Dialogue reveals that 86% of U.S. adults who were online
have either clicked on e-ads or gathered product information online and then made
an offline purchase based on the web ads or data.
3. Stay in Touch with Existing Clients: Via your web site you can alert clients to
special deals and discounts, announce new hires and promotions, advertise feedback
and company awards, showcase media outlets where your business has been featured
— the possibilities are endless.
As postage increases, adding some type of listserv* software to your site to collect
names and address of visitors is not only smart business, it's essential. Sending
announcements via email is infinitely less expensive (some studies quote as high as 90%)
than doing even a postcard mailing.
Staying in touch with your clients puts your business foremost in their minds when
it comes time for them to purchase the type of product/service you offer.
*LISTSERV is a computer program that allows you to create, manage and control
electronic mailing lists. Each list has a general (or sometimes very specific) topic
of interest. It makes sending email to groups of people fast, easy, and cost-efficient.
4. Saves Time (Hence Money): Thomas Jefferson said, "If you love life, do not waste
time, for that is what life is made of."
Remember, posting all pertinent information on your company web site — hours of
operation, location, company history, products/services offered, type of clients
served, et cetera — saves untold hours in phone time answering the same rote questions.
This is time that can be better spent servicing existing customers (hence, making more money).