Now let’s turn our attention to why it is important to have a website and portfolio created before you “open for business.”
Why do you think people visit a website? What are they seeking? They are looking for information! So what kind of information can a website provide? Well, let’s dive in…
Your website gives you an internet presence, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year from any where in the world. If you use the data generated from your site, you can learn who visits your site, how often, from where, which page is most often visited, and so on. These analytics can be used in future marketing campaigns. What this means to you is you can generate clients from outside your local area any time of day or night.
Having an internet presence makes promoting your business less expensive and more convenient for potential clients to learn about you and what you can offer them. Your website makes a powerful first impression. The more informative your site is, the more traffic it will drive, and the larger the potential becomes for more clients – sales.
A well designed website is memorable and encourages exploration beyond just the home page. It provides an opportunity for current clients and potential clients to communicate with you. It should clearly and concisely reflect your business values and provide an opportunity to showcase your ideas through your portfolio or blogs.
So let’s turn our attention to your portfolio. A portfolio is a great way to show what your business can do for potential clients. It should contain a variety of work samples. The sample itself may be a single screenshot of a facilitator guide, or several slides from an elearning module, or a section of video showing you facilitating a training session. Not only should it showcase the actual sample, but it should also include a snippet about the project, such as: a description of the client, the objective of the project, whether you worked with a team or did it all yourself, and the tool(s) you used to develop the project. Having that portfolio of work can make the difference in converting a potential client to an actual client. Because you won’t have full length samples of your work in your public portfolio, you should make another portfolio that has full length samples of your work. This second portfolio can be on a hidden partition on your site. Use the links to these samples to send to potential clients. Be sure to include with the link additional information such as what toll or tolls were used, how many hours the project took from start to finish, if you used custom graphics, alpha channel video or regular video, Graphic Designer, Videographer, Project Manager, and any other information specific to that project. This helps clients set expectations for their budget, and ultimately, will help close the sale.
Finally, it is important that you purchase your domain name and use a legitimate hosting service for your website. Don’t use a free service. You could wake up one day only to discover that your website is no longer. If a potential client can’t find you online, they can’t hire you!
In conclusion, your website needs to contain information about what you can do for someone. It should not be a copy of your business brochure simply posted online. It should not be your LinkedIn site. Your website should be a well thought out site that informs, engages, and converts the visitor to a client. Your website is a powerful sales tool that can gain you clients – or not – because it can assuage any concerns the clients may have about you being able to do what the client needs and wants you to do for their project. Your website should build your clients’ confidence in you and your brand.