Maintaining an online portfolio can significantly help you attract new clients who can eventually be your tickets to success. It is essential to publish your most compelling work samples as these can be invaluable promotional tools to help you expand your professional opportunities. This is the reason why a portfolio website has become the go-to solution for online freelancers and service providers to promote themselves.
Regardless of your profession or field of expertise, similar principles apply. Building your own portfolio website will establish your credibility and expand your professional network.
The Importance of Having a Website
These days, anyone can get access to a lot of information in a few clicks. Typing some keywords on Google, for instance, will direct you to several good results. Any service professional or company would naturally want to appear in search results, and the easiest way to achieve this is to have a website.
As professionals, we should be able to represent our best foot forward through the website, in order to entice more people to hire us.
Any business owner or individual service provider knows that online marketing and advertising have become the best and most convenient way to promote a product, service, or brand. Apart from hard-selling yourself through face-to-face meetings and client proposals, having a website makes it convenient for you to connect with your target clients.
In the case of service providers and freelancers, a portfolio website showcases a person’s best work. By maintaining a functional and beautifully designed portfolio website, it shouldn’t be a surprise if a lot of clients would send you messages in the hopes of hiring you.
Essentials in Creating an Outstanding Portfolio Website
Here are some tips on some pieces of content that need to appear on your portfolio website:
Information to impress
Provide impressive information about you – your experience, specialization, affiliations, citations, and awards. Let your prospective clients know who you are and how long have you been operating in the profession.
Be sure to include names of significant clients that you have worked with. More importantly, don’t forget to leave your contact details.
It is fine to brag about your expertise. In the first place, you need to present yourself in a way that people will trust and see you as an expert in your chosen field.
Choose a logo and/or a tagline that will best represent your brand. This will allow people to recognize you more.
Samples of Your Best Work
From all your previous works, choose the best pieces that truly stand out – the ones that make you hire-worthy. If you’ve worked in a variety of niches in the past, choose a few stunning samples where people can be instantly impressed.
Some clients may be impressed when they realize that you have worked in different fields or niches. However, you need to be careful not to become a “jack of all trades” kind of guy. Sure, it may sound good to have a lot of experience on your belt, but be sure to have expertise on a few select fields. That way, you can streamline your business and attract specific niche markets.
Make use of eye-catching images that will turn heads and provide a short story about your work. A good portfolio website makes use of clickable images to show more detailed information on a popup or a separate page. You may choose from various window modal plugins for these.
Be watchful of using in-page carousels. They may look amusing at first, but it may not be as user-friendly as you might think it is. When site visitors try to read a description on an image in a carousel, and then it suddenly shifts to the next image, they may feel dismayed and just leave the website.
Behind the Scenes
Each design has a story of its own, and people would definitely want to know how you were able to create the design for that specific work.
You may also include information regarding the people who helped you make the project successful, and the process that you went through with your clients. Adding your client’s testimonial to the work you have done can be of great value as well.
It is also important to choose the right design for your portfolio website. The design itself should make viewers feel drawn to the site, to the point that they will be engaged enough to browse through the whole website and consider hiring you.
These days, you have the option to choose from different website template services like Weebly, WordPress.com, SquareSpace, and Wix. All of these platforms enable you to put up a portfolio website by using templates. What makes them more convenient to use is that they offer web hosting as well, which means one less worry in terms of website requirements.
If you are skilled in web development (or if you know someone who is), a self-hosted website is a better option. You can customize the design of your portfolio website to your liking, and make your site stand out from the rest.
You need to make your website more than just aesthetically pleasing. Your portfolio website should be easy to navigate, and should provide a seamless experience to your viewers and potential clients.
Fast Loading Site
“I want to wait for this page to load,” said no one ever. Your website needs to load fast, so that your potential customers won’t get discouraged by having to wait for your pages to show up.
Here are some tips on how to improve the speed of your portfolio website:
- Resize images before uploading them to the website. Excessively large images take some time to load. Remember that a page that takes more than 10 seconds to load has a high risk of driving away potential clients.
- Carefully choose the plugins that you will install on your site. Too many plugins will slow down page loading time.
- Pick a web host that has positive reviews. Cheap web hosts lets you share web space and resources with other websites, thereby reducing load speed.
- Limit your use of text graphics. You might as well just use plain text with a good font face.
Simple but Effective Words
The overall content of your portfolio website should make people understand what you are trying to say, rather than them checking the dictionary every time they encounter some uncommon words.
Never forget to promote your website across different social media platforms, in order to have access to a wider stream of opportunities.
It is important to note that having a portfolio website involves more than merely throwing a bunch of images on a page. Your professionalism and experience should instantly project from your website, so that more clients will consider asking about your services.