Everything That a Freelancer or Agency Website Needs

7 MIN READ
Posted By Troy Dean on

Welcome to another episode of Silence in Golden where Troy and Simon give away invaluable tips for your business.

This week Simon gives us a checklist to ensure that you have everything you need on your website to win clients and stand out. We also give you the latest on the WordPress and WooCommerce updates and chat about an awesome plugin - WP Rollback and more. So here we go!

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Stuff That Happened

WordPress 4.9.4

WordPress 4.9.3 introduced a critical auto-update bug so the new version fixes that. You will need to go in and manually press update if you were using the bugged version 4.9.3 though. To find out more, click here.

WooCommerce 3.3.1

WooCommerce 3.3.1 has arrived to fix the template bug that we talked about in our last episode of Silence is Golden.

Plugin: WP Rollback

The WP Rollback plugin will quickly and easily rollback any theme or plugin from WordPress to any previous (or newer) version without any of the manual fuss.

Optimizely Sunsetting Free Plan

A/B testing platform leader Optimizely announced late last year that there will no longer be a free Starter plan from February 28, 2018.

So what are the alternatives? Troy uses ClickFunnels because doing A/B testing on WordPress is difficult unless you’re using one of the tools such as Optimizely.

Thrive Themes has just released Optimize which is their A/B split test plugin that goes along with their page builder. But there seems to be a huge gap in the market for split testing pages in WordPress. There are some decent solutions but most are very expensive. You need to use a tool that gives you conversion rates in some sort of sequence that makes sense and tells you what to optimize next.

Simon mentions that Google Optimize is a good alternative, it takes a while to set up but its free.

Amazon Polly Helps WordPress Speak

Amazon has partnered with WP Engine to be able to offer a way to convert blog posts into audio and in the future be able to publish it as a podcast. However, you don’t speak the way you write, so it will be interesting to see how this goes! Find out more here.

This Pisses Me Off

This is a new weekly section where Simon tells us what pisses him off! This week it is an article from Venture Beat which is about Optimizley's decision to ditch the free plan. The heading boldly suggests that this decision means that A/B website testing is dead. This kind of click bait articles makes Simon mad! Read the article here and as you read on you will see that A/B testing isn't actually dead at all.

Q&A

Ryan Hudson asked the Facebook group this week - What do you guys do with premium plugin licences that you've built your sites with, but then hand over for them to host and manage? Is it unheard of to remove the licences to restrict further updates?

Simon says that he usually knows what plugins and licences he is going to need with an upcoming project. There is a grey area with some of those and he will eat the cost with those ones. This is controversial because some agencies don’t do that and make sure their clients pay for all plugins. Simon bundles them all in together with support for a year's worth of licences.

Time to Dig into the Gold Nugget

This week the main topic is agency and freelancer websites. Let's talk about how to get more traffic, more leads and look like you know what you’re doing!

Simon’s Checklist for an Awesome Website:

Standout Headline

First of all, you need to capture someone’s attention with the headline. Human Made has a really nice website with an eye-catching headline. Immediately you know what they do, what tools they use, and the clients that they do it for:

 

High-Quality Design

Kickpush is a good example of a headline that is catchy with a site that is bold and stands out:


Contact Information 

Keep it easy and relevant.  Happy Kite keeps it simple with the three options on the one form.

A lot of people don’t want to add their location, however, it will build more trust if an address is on the website or at least say which location you are in. For example: “I’m based in Melbourne, Australia and service clients all over the world”

Who You Do It For

Some good template sentences are:

I/We help {customer} achieve {outcome}
I/We do {this thing} that achieves {goal}

Get a Custom Logo

Hire a graphic designer and get it done professionally, or there are plenty of cheaper online options if you can't afford to do this.

List Your Services

If you watched our Features vs Benefits episode, the same rule applies here - don’t talk about the plugins and tech side too much. Instead, describe a feature as a benefit.

Your Bad Ass Information

Tell your story, keep it short and sweet. Check out this awesome example of an about page from a company in the Netherlands -  A Friend of Mine

Also, this website is incredible, make sure you check it out!

Portfolios and Case Studies of Your Work

Unless you have a portfolio of your work (ideally related to your niche), it makes it very difficult to gain a client's trust. So if you don’t have any, then build some! You can do some for free for a friend or local charities. Build a website for one of your own projects or just make something up!

Shaan Nicol, one of our members, is a great example of having a portfolio that works for his business Chilly Bin. Check it out here.

Project Enquiry Form

You want to get some information from your leads. However, you need to make it easy for them and ensure the questions are relevant and will give you useful information. For example, ask them their budget, project goals and deadline. This helps with expectations and to weed out the wrong clients.

Blog

Your blog is your platform to be the most helpful person within your niche. It not only helps position you as the expert but it increases SEO rankings, provides a way for you to train your team as the business grows, and can be a handy resource to point your existing customers to for support.

Testimonials

One way to get testimonials is to simply ask, especially when a client tells you that you’ve done a good job. Ask as soon as you’ve completed the project so it is fresh in their minds.

A Downloadable Resource

You need to have a lead capture to get people to sign up to your email list by giving them something valuable in return.

Magic Dust is a great example, with their free industry report: 8 Things You Must Know Before Hiring a Web Design Company:

Show Your Personality

Let your personality shine through. If you try to pretend that your company is bigger than you are, it will get awkward. Be yourself and have fun!

In the live feed, one of our members, Michael, asks whether you should have your prices on the website. Simon says its a good idea to include your minimum price. For example,  "My projects start from $0" This weeds out the people that won't be suited to you and saves you both a lot of time.

Check out the full checklist from Simon here  and get your website looking schmick!

Tool of the Week

PixelSnap is Simon's latest shiny new object that he found on Product Hunt for $15 which helps you measure anything on the screen! This tool is for Mac and easy to use. You simply throw a net around the object, it wraps around and tells you the size and even the gaps between images. You can use it in a browser, desktop, Photoshop, Sketch... anywhere really! Check out the promo video below:

 

That's it for this week. Let us know if you have any questions about your website. Also, we want to know how long our show should be. Is 45 minutes too long? Comment below.

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