I work with lots of solopreneurs. If you’ve never heard that word, no worries … here’s the featured definition in Urban Dictionary:
An entrepreneur who works alone, “solo,” running their business single-handedly. They might have contractors for hire, yet have full responsibility for the running of their business.
It’s similar to being a freelancer in some ways, but rather than working under the umbrella of someone else’s company, you’re working under your own.
I, myself, am a solopreneur. And I love it. My solopreneur clients include (but aren’t limited to) artists, illustrators, consultants, lawyers, musicians, and most often, authors.
I find that authors don’t often think of themselves as solopreneurs, but they very much are, and that’s how I think about author solopreneur websites. What do they want to get out of having a website? … Book sales? Speaking engagements? A wider audience? Other things…? Being an author is their business, and we want that business to be successful.
Whether or not you’re an author, there are some common elements that should be included on all solopreneur (and freelancer) websites, and here are my recommendations:
- What you do. You would think this one would go without saying, but I can’t tell you how often I visit someone’s website and it’s not clear to me what they do/offer. And that’s a BIG PROBLEM. So make sure you clearly state what you do, and for whom. Site visitors want to know they’re in the right place and that they have a reason to stay to investigate further, so if you tell them what you do and that you can help them, you’ve got your foot in the door. And don’t assume everyone knows your speciality lingo, so make it clear to those in the know, and those who aren’t. You should list out your services / offerings completely on a page of your website, but you should also be able to quickly encapsulate what you do in a few words right up front.
- What your site visitors should do. Think of it this way, if someone came to your house for the first time, and you just opened the door and said “hi!” and then disappeared, you’d have some confused visitors. You might have a great website home page — it might be really clear about what you do, and designed in a welcoming way — but if you don’t tell your site visitors what you want them to do next, you’re not being a very good host and they might be quick to leave. If you want people to learn more about what you do, guide them to do that. If you want people to contact you, or sign up for your mailing list, or read your blog… guide them to it. It’s not enough to just put it all out there and hope for the best. These are your critical calls-to-action to move people forward into doing business with you.
- Contact information. No matter the level of contact information you want to make available on your site (phone number, email, address, social media profiles, etc..) you want it to be easy for people to get in touch with you. As a solopreneur, your business is likely driven forward by new client contact — don’t make people hunt for this information. Make it easy, and make it available everywhere.
- Examples of your successful projects. This might be books, or art, or music, or words from satisfied clients, or all of the above. It’s basically your portfolio. You want to cherry pick the best-of-the-best for the home page, but also make sure to include multiple examples and testimonials from your satisfied clients on a page of your website.
- About you. People want to know who you are if they’re going to work with you. What makes you an expert in your field? Why are you passionate about it? And bring your own voice to it — it’ll help bring you to life on the page. If you’re going to be working with someone 1:1, it’ll help if they have some idea of what they’re getting into.
If you just had these 5 elements on your solopreneur website, you’d be in pretty good shape. But you should add elements that work best for your business. If you like blogging and are committed to it, add a blog. If you sell items directly, add a shop. If you’re a Twitter superstar, add your feed. If you do events, list those. You get the idea.
If you need help creating your solopreneur website, contact me to learn more about my services. I love helping people get their dreams off the ground and onto the web!
If you’re going to need an author website in the next 3 months, send me a message and we’ll have a short conversation to figure out what kind of website you need and we can get started asap. The whole process can take anywhere from 2-4 weeks, even at the fully customized level.
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