Freelancers today need a Web presence to reach the greatest number of potential contacts and clients. This presence could be a Web site, a blog, a business or social networking page or a portfolio built on a unique application. Regardless of the type of Web presence a freelance worker decides upon, every freelancer's Web presence should be an effective tool for marketing themselves and their work.
To help you evaluate your Web presence, take the questionnaire below. Answer "yes" or "no" to each question and then total your answers to find out if your freelance Web presence is effective.
Was your Web presence designed with your users in mind?
If you search your name can you easily find hits for your Web site, blog or other Web pages?
Have you selected Web addresses and/or user names that include your name or business name?
Do you include your full name, business name and contact information on each of your Web pages?
Have you listed your Web presence in online directories?
Do you offer a mailing list or RSS ("Really Simple Syndication") feed from your Web presence?
Do you regularly update your Web presence and check for broken links?
Do you advertise your Web presence on your stationery, business cards and in your email signature?
Does your Web presence load quickly and correctly?
If you sell directly on the Web, do you offer multiple payment options and appropriate e-commerce security?
Do you advertise awards you have won or your professional accreditations on your Web presence?
Do you offer users the option to "bookmark" or "share" your Web presence directly with others?
Your Web Presence as a Freelancer
The number of positive answers will give you an indication of where you're at and what you can do to improve. Take a look below and see how your fared in the questionnaire.
One to Four 'Yes' Answers
If you answered "yes" to between one and four questions then your Web presence may not be effective. Think about what you want from your Web presence and who you would like it to reach. Consider how your Web presence fits into your overall sales and/or marketing strategy. Is there a way that you could employ or barter with Web designers to help upgrade your Web presence? Could you branch out to create a larger Web presence that would reach a wider audience? Just remember though, whatever you decide to do online could be seen by potential clients so keep your Web interactions appropriate at all times.
Five to Eight 'Yes' Answers
If you answered "yes" to between five and eight questions then your Web presence most likely could be more effective. You've got a solid foundation on which to build, so think about a future plan for reaching more potential contacts and clients. Consider asking for help, reading a book or even taking an online tutorial on optimising your freelance Web presence. If you haven't already, take a few hours to research the Web presences of your colleagues and decide if there are any specific items that they have or do that you would like to implement as well.
Nine or More 'Yes' Answers
If you answered "yes" to nine or more questions then your Web presence is most likely effective but you'll want to spend time evaluating your analytics and business statistics to make sure. How many people visit your Web presence? How did they get there? When they arrive, how long do they stay? How many visitors buy something directly or contact you from your Web presence? How many visitors request further information, sign up for your mailing list or take advantage of an RSS feed? If you don't have answers for these questions then getting the answers to them should be the next step you take with your Web presence. Only when you have all of this information can you make truly informed decisions about the effectiveness of your Web presence and how you can improve it in the future.