Freelancers, Coaches, Consultants: Your Website Stinks

I'm just being honest with you. Yes, you can shoot the messenger – but before you do, take a minute to think about your website. What is the purpose of your website? Have you ever really considered it before?

Are you trying to get yourself noticed? Are you trying to find clients? Are you trying to generate sales?

Now, think about whether your website, in its current form, really serves this purpose.

Your bounce rate is the number of people who visit a single page on your website – like the home page, perhaps – and then leave without clicking on anything else. Average bounce rates vary depending on many factors, such as industry, type of page, and brand credibility. The overall average bounce rate across industries, according to Kissmetrics, is 40 percent.

Your ideal clients could be saying goodbye before you even have a chance to say hello!

I'm not criticizing your DIY website, but if you want a customer to spend money with you, your website can't look like something from the '90s. It needs to be fresh and modern – but that doesn't mean you need to shell out thousands on web design.

There's a much simpler solution:

Add an Opt-In

An "opt-in" is a highly focused webpage built with the intention of getting visitors to take a specific action, like downloading a free guide, signing up for an offer, registering for a webinar, or even buying a product or service.

No, the action can't be signing up for your newsletter. That's boring, and few people sign up for such newsletters these days. Instead, you need to offer something of real value – something that people would be willing to pay for.

For example, on my website, I offer my book for free. I could make you pay for it on Amazon, but this is my opt-in:

Building a Sales Pipeline for Your Freelance Business

For your opt-in to really work, you need to consider how you are driving people to your website in the first place.

Being a freelancer is no easy feat. You can be the best at what you do, but unless you are willing to also learn how to be a great salesperson, you'll have a hobby, not a business. To really have a successful freelance business, you need to build a strong sales pipeline. Your website is a critical part of that pipeline.

Getting clients is not easy, as you and I both know. This is especially true if you're still following the old-school approach of chasing after clients by applying for roles and contracts. Once you land that role or contract, you find yourself knee-deep in work. You stop promoting yourself so you can focus on the project at hand. The problem is this behavior leads to long dry spells between gigs.

What you want to do instead is keep that sales pipeline going 24/7. To do that, you can't be invisible. You need to have an engaging presence and a highly visible brand online.

It's time to get smart about how you promote your freelance business. There are hundreds of companies online to which you can turn for help with your landing page and opt-in form. (Personally, I use Leadpages.)

Do I hear a sigh? Are you think, "Oh my gosh – this is getting complicated!" Maybe so, but so is having no clients! Not knowing how to do something is no excuse for not doing it. Do you want a hobby, or a business? If you're aiming for the latter, you will need to learn how to build yourself a great landing page. (Or you could outsource it to someone who knows how to do it already – but that will cost you.)

So, take a look at your website. If you are not communicating with your audience, engaging them with valuable offers, and getting them to communicate back, then you're making it really hard for yourself to get hired.

Susan Burke is an award-winning global careers coach. You can connect with Susan via LinkedIn and grab a complimentary copy of her book, Get Companies Chasing You, directly from her website.