This is a guest post from @IvanWalsh, a blogger and online marketer with over twenty years of IT experience who has been online since 1992 which is as early as you could BE online. He has skills in all the Internet Marketing Strategies you need to take your business or blog to the next level.
Do you rarely get asked to provide consultancy services?
If so, you need to examine your For Hire page. Look at your For Hire page and ask yourself:
- What do others think of this page?
- What do I want them to do next?
How can I improve my For Hire page so that passive browsers become active customers?
Why Set Up a For Hire Page?
Why do you need a For Hire page? Because it is one of the top three ways to earn an income from your skills and talents.
There are three ways to make money online:
So, let’s look at how to set up a For Hire or Services Offered page and attract more clients.
Before we start. What goes into the For Hire page?
What prospective customers want:
You need to break it out into five sections:
- Who you are – keep this brief, use a real name (or even a pen name) and include a photo. People like to see who they’re dealing with.
- What you offer – list three to five services you provide. Don’t write a laundry list. Keep it focussed.
- Customers – list customers you’ve worked with. If you’re new to this area, discuss who you’ve worked for in the past. If you’re totally new, highlight the sites you’ve guest posted for. It all helps.
- Credentials – highlight qualifications, endorsements and other types of social proof that position you as an ‘authority’. More on authority later.
- Contact – provide multiple ways for prospective clients to contact you. I added my telephone number recently and was surprised (read: amazed) that people started to phone instead of emailing.
These are the five areas to concentrate on. If you look at blog superstars, you’ll notice that… they DON’T do this.
Why? Because they’ve already established their authority, you know what they offer and you probably already follow them. And they’re after corporate clients. Maybe you’re not.
With that in mind, develop your For Hire page for the ‘specific’ customer profile you’re trying to attract. This is very important. Let’s look at this for a moment.
Create your For Hire page so that it matches your prospective customer’s deepest:
- Pain points
- Urgent needs
People come to your site because they have a problem.
How do you solve it?
They need to fix it now – how will you help them do this?
Design your For Hire page along these lines and you’ll get more inquiries.
How to Set Up a For Hire page
The next step is to create your services page. This will take a few drafts until you get it right, so take your time.
Don’t overwhelm readers with text. Write the page to be scanned. Use lots of H2 headings and bullet lists.
- Summary – identify what you offer in twenty words. Be ultra specific. Remove waffle. Keep it tight.
- Bio – provide a short pen portrait of who you are and link to your About Us page; include a warm, friendly photo.
- Services – bullet points for the five services you offer. Link each service to its own dedicated services pages. This gives readers the in-depth information they’re after while keeping your primary (For Hire) services page focused.
- Social Proof – this means that the reader can see who you’ve worked with, what qualifications you have (degrees, published papers, awards), who recommends you, what sites you’ve written for and anything else that reduces their anxiety, doubts, or concerns.
Your goal here is to reassure that reader that you’re a real person, that others trust you (your testimonials or recommendations) and that you’re an authority in your field.
Another way of looking at this?
The Purpose of your For Hire Page:
- Establish yourself as a definitive authority (one reason to write a book as it gives your status almost immediately)
- Show who else believes this (endorsements, guest posts etc)
- How you provide value for money
While we write for humans first, we also need to consider search engines.
- Page Title – Write a short focused keyword rich title.
- Page Description – As this will appear in the search engine results, write it as a question. For example, ‘Google Analytics? Ever wonder what they really mean? Contact us today to… ’ This will get you more visits as it addresses the reader’s pain/needs.
- Linking – Add links to this page from blog posts. I know this sounds obvious but most bloggers forget to link to their For Hire page. Don’t over do it, but do add links where it makes sense.
6 Mistakes to avoid:
I think you get the idea of what we need to cover. So, what happens if you’re not getting leads?
- Authority – have you demonstrated that you’re an expert? If not, why would someone hire you, right? How can you do this? Create very long detailed tutorials that establish you as the definitive authority on this topic. Create a suite of articles (5-7) and interlink them. Pretty soon these will become the most trafficked pages on your site. Then link from here to your For Hire page.
- Credentials – how do I trust you? Ask your colleagues, friends and others for recommendations. If you’re new to blogging, look for ways to generate goodwill (e.g. ghost write a set of posts, design graphics, setup Facebook pages for non-profits, etc). People will return the favor in time.
- Examples – link to your best work; add logos/badges of sites you’ve written for. If you don’t have any clients, then provide cheat sheets, FAQs, and presentations that demonstrate your expertise.
- Social Proof – If you have 300 followers on Twitter, it’s unlikely that others will see you as an expert. I know you can ‘buy’ followers, but try to avoid this. Instead spend 30 min every day building up your network and engaging with others. The fastest way to generate goodwill is to put others first (i.e. big up your friends) and ask for help later on.
- Contact – It’s shocking the number of bloggers that don’t include their address on their blog. I don’t mean street address but even a PO Box or telephone number. What’s the worse thing that can happen if you put your telephone number online? Now think of the best 🙂
- Drive Traffic – Find ways to drive traffic to these pages. Besides using onsite links, look for ways to create back links from other sites and social media networks. One trick is to ask others to ‘critique’ your For Hire page. You’d be surprised the number of comments you get if you do it right.
Let’s wrap up. One a scale of one to ten, how important is your For Hire page? It should be nine or ten, right?
Set aside an hour this week and review your page… through the eyes of a prospective customer. Look at other sites in your niche and see what works best. Don’t be shy about asking for help. Reach out to trusted friends and ask for their opinion.
Remember, this is the one page on your site that has to convert.
Over to you.
What’s the most important thing to put on the For Hire page? What mistakes do you see others making?
If you enjoyed this post consider following Ivan on Twitter @IvanWalsh, on Facebook and on LinkedIn. See his contact page for direct links.
HOW TO INCREASE YOUR FREELANCE INCOME:
- Why Your Blog Should Have a Hire Me Tab
- Getting Paid to Write – It’s More Than Just Writing
- Freelancers: How to Get More Freelance Work
- Paid Guest Blogging Opportunities
- 3 Keys to Getting Your Prospects to Hire You
- How @YoungPrePro 17 year old Blogger Made over $5000 Last Month
NOTE from GAIL @GrowMap: Working with someone with experience – someone who actually MAKES MONEY ALREADY and has a vast business background – are the most important attributes needed for success.
When you’re in the market for a social media marketing consultant or mentor, put Ivan on your short list.
Disclosure: Originally published 10/11/11; updated and republished 1/22/17.