If you are trying to build business, then you should act like that and have your own business site. If you are just interested to be freelancer, then portfolio might be enough. Of course you should have portfolio as part of your business site to show what you have done before.
Yes I would, if the developer has specific skills that I need. However I prefer using developer who has clear business site with pricing information, ordering process etc. so that I do not need to waste time contacting the developer.
Maybe it is different in the Netherlands, but in the U.S., if you have one person, strong work-ethic, a good idea, and maybe $5, then that is all you need to start a business - especially something like web design.
Either you are in or you aren’t.
If you have true abilities, then why not consider starting a small business?
The proof in the pudding is having a body of work. That is where you need to focus for now.
That’s your problem - you need to decide what you want to do and then commit.
I understand what you’re trying to get at here, and personally I’ve taken a stance in the middle. I consider my website to be more of my identity as an individual developer, than strictly a business or portfolio site. It offer’s some flexibility between the two as I can keep it personal if I end up joining a team, or expand if I see fit, as it will operate under my principles either way.
I hardly did anything professional yet to start it up, I simply began designing and building the site around a central concept that I wanted for it (being a single page site), came up with a name that I felt was fitting, set up a gmail account to handle all of my work through clients apart from my personal email, and currently I am actually still developing it. It’s a bit of a project in itself for me at this point really. Either a portfolio site or business site is very restrictive from what I have seen done. Either it’s very simple with the sole purpose of being an online resume with no real interactivity, or it’s a impersonal system focused on conducting business.
At the moment it’s just a space for me, I’ve built a simple blog system, I have a section for demoing code samples and current projects, and an about page. The home page is a welcome screen where you can go to a business page with prices for services, but it’s not built yet.
As for how to specifically do this? I can’t admit to being a ‘growth hacker’ so can’t help with that, but I can list off all the normal factors. Get your name out there, SEO, network, the typical answers to make it really “successful.”
Sorry I’m a little late here! I’m a business owner who does simple websites and have developed our own brand quite strongly over 4 years, you can check my site through my profile, I dont want to link it for fear of appearing as spam.
You mention already that you have a small business. Regardless of the way you want to be perceived, your website needs a portfolio - the only difference will be the angle in which you convey your service on your own website ie are you a freelance individual who focuses on the art and skill of design vs a business with a professional and commercial focus. In my experience, having the appearance of a business makes you appear to be more reputable and professional to deal with especially as you will be dealing with other small businesses.
Having frequently asked questions and pricing information can help minimise repetitive queries and help you appear to be organised and professional. Calls to action are important no matter how you convey yourself, they are simply ways to entice people to enquire.