If no one can find you, no one can hire you.
That’s why online visibility is essential for the majority of freelance writers. On Elance, visibility means ranking higher in the search results, which depends on a range of performance factors, including your earnings, activity levels, and client satisfaction rates.
Off Elance, being visible means having a Google-optimized web presence. The competition is fierce, and it’s easy to get lost in the crowd, but these five free tools can help get your name and talents in front of more potential clients. Best of all, they’re fast and easy to implement, and completely free.
Try these five new ways to get noticed online…
Crushpath bills itself as “the world’s easiest way to market and grow your business”, but it’s really a free service that allows you to quickly create a great-looking, one-page website. Upload a big, beautiful image—a photo of you or a portfolio piece, for example—add your pitch, link to relevant social networks and voila. You’ve got a professional presence on the web.
Crushpath also offers performance metrics for your pitch page, so you can see the number of page views, the conversion rate, and other details.
If you offer different services for different types of clients, Crushpath could really help you hone your message. For example, you might set up one page that pitches your direct-mail skills to nonprofit organizations and another page that promotes blog-writing packages for small businesses wanting to outsource their company blog content.
Crushpath also offers some great tips on building a compelling pitch page to help you get started.
Bottom line: A quick way to set up your own great-looking web page or supplement your existing website with a range of tailored, focused pitch pages.
About.me is even more ruthlessly streamlined than Crushpath, consisting of a single graphic, a short blurb, and links to all the places you can be found on the web (Twitter, LinkedIn, your own website, etc.).
While Crushpath is designed to help you hone your pitch and generate more interest in your services, About.me is a way to centralize your online presence and provide a concise, visually appealing single point of entry.
If you don’t have a website, you can use your About.me page as a professional-looking substitute. And it’s incredibly quick and easy. You don’t need to bother about securing a URL, writing code, paying for hosting, or any of the other hassles associated with launching a website.
Bottom line: If you want a quick, easy way to look good on the web, About.me is the perfect choice.
Vizualize.me takes a different approach, allowing you to turn your LinkedIn information into a colorful, appealing infographic. Your work experience, skills, interests, awards, recommendations, and interesting stats are transformed into bold, full-color maps, charts, and icons, and you can customize the fonts, color palette, and other elements to reflect your preferences or brand.
On its own, it won’t replace a dedicated web page, but it’s a great way to complement a Crushpath or About.me page. Link to your vizualize.me page to showcase your career trajectory and accomplishments in a new and visually sophisticated way. You can see my vizualize.me page here.
Bottom line: A new twist on the old-fashioned resume, Vizualize.me helps you showcase your skills and experience with polish and flair.
Enthuse.me is the newest player in the field. With a lot more white space and smaller graphics, it doesn’t pack the visual punch of About.me and crushpath, but if you want to include more text-based details about yourself, your background, and the services you offer, the more traditional, resume-style format may be ideal for you.
In addition to featuring links to your social media profiles (Twitter, blogs, etc.), you can also upload work samples from anywhere on the web. If you have copy samples on your hard drive, you can link to them from Dropbox to make them available on your Enthuse page.
I tried out the service and found it a little glitchy: images sometimes uploaded and sometimes didn’t, and links to my URL, location, and email address keep disappearing. However, it’s worth reserving your enthuse.me URL now so you can build on it in future. You can see my Enthuse page here.
Bottom line: Less visually dazzling than some, Enthuse is still a good choice for writers who want to add in-depth, resume-style information about themselves and their services.
BrandYourself offers a different way to improve your visibility. This free service gives you the tips and tools you need to boost your Google search rank so when clients look for you online, you’re easier to find.
It’s particularly useful when you have a very common name or you share a name with someone who has a stronger web presence than you. For example, I share my name with a sound recordist and a structural engineer.
It’s also a good reputation-management tool: by optimizing the search-friendliness of your preferred websites, you may be able to diminish the impact of any unfair reviews or other search results that are unfavorable to your business.
Although BrandYourself offers a paid, premium membership, you can sign up and receive free search-boosting tips for up to three websites.
Bottom line: A useful reputation-management and visibility-boosting tool that can help you drive traffic to your preferred web page.
Do you use any new tools that help you stay visible and profitable online?