Do I need a website if I want to become a freelancer? Why is it important to have a portfolio website as a freelancer when I already have my Upwork and Linkedin profile?
I always receive these kinds of questions from aspiring and newbie freelancers. Well, honestly, having a website is not a requirement if you want to work online. However, there are a lot of advantages if you have your own portfolio website. Here are some of them:
Showcase All Your Work in One Place
There are times when a client will ask you to send them samples of your work. Instead of sending them individual files, you can just send them the link of the portfolio page on your website. That way, you don’t need to go through your files to send samples to the client, and you’ll save time as well. It’s important to keep your website updated so that the client can see your most recent work.
Have More Credibility
Having your own website increases your credibility. In what way, you ask? Aside from your portfolio, you can also create a page about yourself and a page with testimonials from your previous clients. Through this, your prospect clients will be able to know you better. Don’t forget to list down your skills so that the clients will have a grasp of what you’re capable of doing. I remember, there's a client who was talking to me on Skype, she said “Actually, I don’t have any questions for you because everything I wanted to know is already on your website. I just wanted to meet you and then we can start working together.” See? Let your website do the talking.
Get Direct Clients
There are a lot of freelancing platforms out there where you can get clients but the competition is really tough. Although I get most of my clients from Upwork, the fees are quite high. You know, Upwork deducts 20% from the freelancer’s first $500 earnings. Anyway, the best thing that happened to me ever since I created my website is that I get more direct clients. They say, “Hey Kaila, I found you on Google and I thought it would be great if you can work for us.” Sometimes, even if they don’t say it, I know the clients came from my site because they send direct inquiries to my professional email. And mostly, these direct clients are the high-paying ones.
Okay, now that you know these advantages, maybe you want to ask “How can I create my own portfolio website? I am not a web designer or developer.” Don’t worry because there are a lot of free themes and templates on WordPress that you can easily use. To start, get your own domain and hosting that is cheap and reliable. I personally use Coffeemags hosting which costs only $1 per month and the domain is $10 per year. That’s just $22 or around PhP 1100 per year. Read my full review here.
So what are you waiting for? Start building your portfolio website now. Believe me, it’s something that you will never regret.