Recently, we’ve been writing extensively about personal branding and the importance of having a dedicated site. Regardless of your career path and the industry you’re entering, when pursuing your freelancing career, this is the first step you need to take. A personal site may serve as your online portfolio, a gallery, or even a resume. And, unlike your LinkedIn profile that is uniform, your site is highly personalized.
It gives you a unique opportunity to present your skills, knowledge, and experience however you want. You can write about the stuff you’re passionate about, experiment with different types of content, and customize every single detail, from background photos to fonts. You’re the one tailoring your site to your needs and this is where your personality and authority can shine through.
By giving your potential clients the opportunity to meet YOU – a person that stands behind all these projects and content, you’re actually building trust among them. This is one of the most powerful ways to create and nourish strong, more personal relationships with your target audience and create a consistent brand that stands out.
Most importantly, every word you write, every case study you do, every photo you post, and every file you share belongs to you. Simply put, having a dedicated site is what sets you apart from the sea of your competitors.
Now, when creating personal sites, many people choose single-page sites over their multi-page counterparts.
- One-page sites allow you to control the flow of information. Instead of clicking through the website pages on their own, your visitors observe your site in a linear manner. This means that you’re the one guiding them through the information on your site in a predetermined order, the one you created before.
- Instead of hitting your pages and links passively, your target audience needs to actively scroll down in order to find the information they’re looking for.
- This is a great way to leverage interactive design and visuals to grab your prospects’ attention and engage them with your content.
- It gives you more space to unleash your creativity and tell your story in a unique way.
Precisely because of this, crafting a gorgeous one-page site is not as simple as it may sound.
Actually, it may be even more complicated than creating a multi-page site.
With a one-pager, all the details and information you want your visitors to access are presented on a single page. When building your site, you need to make sure that everything you add to it is relevant and has a purpose. In order not to hurt the overall harmony, you need to make sure your site simple and, at the same time, informative enough.
As a web designer and developer, Christian Broderick understands the potential of building an online brand through a perfectly optimized, single-page website. This is why he created christianb.me, as a perfect example of how these sites should look like.
Make Sure Your One-Pager Is User-Friendly
When you’re a web designer and developer, your entire site is your portfolio. Once your potential clients land on it, they will take a long, hard look at a bunch of details, such as the site’s navigation, speed, or visual appeal that indicate how trusted you actually are. After all, if you’re not able to optimize your own website, how will you optimize theirs? So, let’s first check what the key elements that make a user-friendly one-pager are.
Have a Navigation Bar
Probably the first thing you will notice once you land on christianb.me is the navigation bar placed at the top of the site, consisting of the following sections:
- About Christian Broderick
- My Works
But, why add a navigation bar to a one-pager?
Well, even though they consist of only one page, these sites are not always easy-to-navigate, especially if they consist of numerous lengthy sections.
Remember, the user experience is your top priority and no one likes to scroll endlessly from beginning to end of your site.
By adding anchor links, Broderick lets his visitors choose how they will explore it. They can either scroll down to see all its content or simply hit the link and jump to the category they’re interested in. This way, he controls their browsing journey and allows them to find the information faster and more efficiently.
Give Your Site a Logical Layout
To maximize user experience, you need to conceptualize how you want to present your content. Make sure you divide your content into logical sections, so users can easily find what they’re looking for.
For example, Broderick started with some generic and yet important information and placed it at the top of the site, such as the “About Me” section. Then, he drilled down to some more specific, supporting information, such as his projects or contact form.
He separates the sections by using:
- Individual headers for each section
- A lot of white space between sections
- Horizontal lines to separate the sections
Help Them Get in Touch with You Easily
Keep in mind that your visitors don’t want to look for your contact details for ages. Even on a one-page website, not making your contact details easy-to-spot may drive them off.
This is exactly what Christian Broderick had in mind.
On his “About Me” page, his visitors can see big social media icons that add a “human” touch to his personal brand. This way, they can check his social media profiles instantly and learn more about a person behind the website.
And, to help his prospects reach out to them effortlessly, he also added a simple contact form. You can get to it either through the “Contact” link in the navigation bar or through the CTA button placed at the bottom of the page.
Introduce Yourself Effectively
Christian Broderick is a successful web developer, designer, and digital marketer. For now, he’s worked with numerous call centers, non-profit organizations, photographers, and small businesses on various projects. He has a lot of experience in coding and a solid knowledge of HTML, CSS, JS, ReactJS, NodeJS, and AngularJS.
Ok, the guy obviously rocks. But, how do we know so much about him? Well, that’s obvious. He’s written it all in his “About Christian Broderick” section. In just a few sentences, he managed to highlight the most important facts about himself. Namely, he wrote about the major companies he worked for, the niches he worked in, his experience, and skills. He even made a list of his skills and ranked them, based on the level of his experience:
- HTML 100%
- CSS 80%
- JS 65%
- ReactJS, NodeJS, AngularJS 35%
What gives him a competitive edge is his site’s transparency. By being honest with his clients, he lets them know what they can expect from him and, in this way, creates relationships based on trust and loyalty.
Always keep in mind that your potential clients visit you for one reason – to learn more about you. When they land on your site, they want to find out who you are, what it is that you actually do, and how you are different from the sea of your competitors out there.
Prove Your Credibility
Today, everyone can make a claim. And, your clients are aware of that. It’s highly unlikely they would hire you before seeing some proof that everything you’re saying is true. In other words, you need to show that you know how to do your job.
That’s exactly what Christian Broderick did with his “My Works” section. This is a sort of a gallery, where he included the most prominent projects he worked on. Of course, there is a link to each of these sites, as the validation of his work and knowledge.
For now, he has only three projects published on his site. Here, he teaches us an incredibly important lesson. Make your site a source of your best works, not a repository of every project you’ve ever done.
You need to separate the wheat from the chaff and include only those projects you’re most proud of. We will once again remind you that your personal website gives you the opportunity to choose what information to highlight and control how your visitors see you.
Keep It Simple
The visual appeal is critical to creating a powerful one-page site. You need to set your goals in advance and shape your website around them. One-pagers don’t give you too much space to elaborate on your story. Instead, you need to simplify your design and content, making sure that they are placed in a logical order and easy-to-understand.
Christianb.me show us that, to communicate your message clearly to your target audience, you need to prioritize.
Here is how he does that:
- His website design is clean, with a lot of white space between the sections.
- He eliminates marginal and unnecessary content, focusing on the key information about himself only.
- This minimalist approach to design is also reflected in his choice of website colors. He uses a bright, soft background and contrasts it with simple, black letters.
- Every information on the site is cohesive and relates to the site’s overall topic.
Over to You
One of the greatest challenges freelancers face is putting themselves in front of the right people.
This is where your one-page personal website shines. It gives you the opportunity to introduce yourself to your target audience effectively, highlight your most significant skills and projects, and position yourself as someone who is highly knowledgeable and authoritative. Most importantly, it helps you predict your visitors’ moves and provide them with the ultimate user experience.
Now that you know what the basics of a good one-pager are, it’s time you start branding yourself. To boost your visibility, you should consider using your own name as your domain name. This way, once someone googles your name, your site will be the first thing they see in Google’s SERPs. This is exactly what Christian Broderick did.
Here at Domain.me, we would be proud to be an online home to numerous awesome personal websites worldwide. Our unique, memorable, and sweet. ME domain will help you create a recognizable brand and stand out from the crowd.
Most importantly, you can always count on us to promote your work on our blog and social networks. Check if your .ME domain is available – become a part of our wide online community today!