You’re a solopreneur. As many creative folk do, you run your business on your own.
Indeed, you may even have a couple of businesses—you’re a self-publishing author, let’s say, as well as a graphic designer. One of my friends has a copywriting business, as well as a bookkeeping sideline.
When I conducted an informal email poll with my students, not one felt that they were using their website to its fullest potential.
Try to avoid a major pitfall.
A solopreneur major pitfall: trying to do it all yourself
Initially, you may not have the budget to get the help you need, but as your business grows, remember that you don’t need to do it all yourself.
Not only can you hire help for your solopreneur website, you can outsource business activities. Budget for whatever you need.
Let’s look at some easy tips to make your solopreneur website work harder, so that it’s a real boost for your writing (or other) business.
1. Set goals: what do you want your solopreneur website to do for you?
In an ideal world, how you do see your website working for you? Is it a showcase, or something more? Think about intangible benefits too.
An example. Some 25 years ago, when I started my first blog, everyone told me it was a “waste of time.” Here’s the thing. I adore hitting Publish; it boosts my productivity, so blogging is never a waste of time for me.
Make a list of what you’d like your solopreneur website to do for you, tangibles (more sales), as well as intangibles. Refer to the list; add and subtract items from it as your needs change.
2. Showcase what you do: tell stories
Some solopreneurs do this amazingly well. Their website is all about them: huge photos, stories about their families, and their latest holiday.
While this may be brilliant, it can be disastrous too: remember the copywriting maxim: What’s In It For Me? (WIIFM.) Your website visitors visit your site for a reason. Make their visit worthwhile: help them.
Share insights and stories, but ensure they’re relevant.
3. Clarity! Make it clear who you are, what you do
… and for whom you do it.
As Top 5 Website Mistakes to Avoid as a Solopreneur suggests:
You don’t want visitors having to guess or wonder what it is you’re offering. Right on the homepage it should be very clear what you offer and who it’s for.
Follow advertising genius David Ogilvy’s advice, as much as you can:
Tell the truth, but make the truth fascinating.
4. Remember search engine optimization (SEO): keywords matter
In this article, Eight Critical Practices Every Solopreneur Should Follow To Maintain Their Website Forbes suggests that SEO (search engine optimization) is vital:
… ensure your website is properly optimized for your target keyword… The search engines will be the biggest source of traffic for most people…
That said, please don’t go overboard. Your website is never “done”. You can and must update it as your business grows, and the world changes.
SEO isn’t a quick fix; it’s a way to ensure your website is indexed correctly by the search engines. Would you believe that I ran one website (a couple of decades ago, but still) without using the site’s most appropriate keyword… freelance?
Yes, I created a website for creative professionals and omitted “freelance”. (Sigh.) So it’s easily done. You know who, why and what your site’s for: ensure the right words are on the site’s pages.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, follow up with contacts and prospects.
5. Follow up and stay in touch
Create an opt-in mailing list to stay in touch with your customers. If you’re a freelance writer, create a list of past and current clients, and contact them as appropriate.
For example, perhaps you’ve created a new service, or have space in next month’s project calendar.
It may (or may not) be a good idea to build a mailing list, with a lead magnet, and electronic digital marketing (EDM). Yes, a mailing list brings people back to your website, but it also eats time and energy. If you’re solely a freelancer, you’re always limited by your calendar: how many new clients can you feasibly take on? Will a mailing list offer a good return on investment (ROI)?
- What you’re selling (your services? Your books?).
- Your audience. If you’re a self-publishing author, a list really helps, so add a link to your list page in each book’s backmatter.
- The amount of effort it takes to build a large list (hint: a lot.) Your time may be better spent on other things.
When you’re a solopreneur, your website can be your biggest ally
After all, your website is available, every hour of every day, to anyone anywhere in the world.
Not only can your website help to make your business a success, it can trigger more options and opportunities for you.
Good luck with it. 🙂
Need help with your website? Check out my content services. Alternatively, if your site just isn’t working for you, contact me for a consultation.
You CAN write. It doesn’t matter why you think you can’t. You can write, and writing will become easy for you.
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Copywriter and marketing pro Angela Booth maintains a busy copywriting and ghostwriting practice. Fascinated by online marketing, she wrote one of the first business books for internet marketing, published by Allen & Unwin. She’s been an enthusiastic blogger since the late 1990s.