Do freelance development consultants need a website? (plus free website creation cheatsheet)
This blog post was written in a collaboration with Loksan Harley and Molly Morrison at Impact Consulting Hub.
To get straight to the point - yes, we probably should have a website for our consulting services. This article tells you why and how to create one.
Why should I have a website?
At its core, "marketing" or "business development" for freelance consultants in the social impact space is the same as it is for any professional service. You need to curate a portfolio of work that demonstrates what you can do and then showcase this portfolio to potential clients.
In that respect, a website can play a key role as a platform on which you develop your portfolio. It's an online "business card" and your "home" on the 'net, which you can direct potential clients to so they can get to know you better (as we've said many times at the IC-Hub, people will want to work with you if they know, like and trust you). You can use it as a platform to share updates about you, as well as to host content that you create (and can then share with potential clients).
A website also distinguishes you from the competition. There are many "consultants" out there who merely update their LinkedIn title to "independent consultant" while in between jobs. Having a website shows that you're invested in being a professional freelancer.
Finally, a well-optimised website combined with a content creation strategy can generate consulting work, by allowing potential clients to find you if your expertise or service offering is Google-able.
What to include on your website?
You can check out our websites (Gabriella's website, Loksan's website and Molly's website). We're not saying they're perfect and you'll see that Molly and Gabriella's eye for aesthetics means their websites are much better presented than Loksan's! We've included the following elements:
Quick tips to get started
Use an easy-to-use website builder. We've used Wix to build our professional websites (including this one!) but Squarespace provides a similar offering. WordPress is another option but not as easy-to-use for less tech-savvy folks (like Loksan & Molly)! All have cheap starter packages designed for freelancers. Wix's Combo package at €10/month suffices for most freelancers (you use your own domain and remove Wix ads).
Find inspiration (check out the websites below, including from our IC-Hubbers!)
Don't forget the legal aspects: GDPR consent and privacy statements may be required depending on the location of your audience and the data that you will manage.
Download the IC-Hub Website Creation Cheatsheet below!
Here are a few other websites that you may wish to draw inspiration from (including from our very own IC-Hubbers!):
Gabriella Mikiewicz, Migration & Intercultural Communications Specialist
Friederike Leona Keyl, Consultant for international cooperation
O Thiago Mattos, International relations professional and political scientist
Download the cheatsheet [provided by ICHub], develop your website, and share it (IC-Hubbers can share via the Facebook and Google groups). Alternatively, you can outsource the whole process to Gabriella, who offers a package (discounted for IC-Hubbers).
Are you interested in a new website for yourself or your business? I can help! Check out my website portfolio here and reach out to me here. Special discount is offered for members of the Impact Consulting Hub!