What is a portfolio website, and why you need one
As a creative, a portfolio website is the fastest, easiest way to showcase your work and get the attention of clients or a potential employer. Even if you have a physical portfolio, a portfolio website is a must in today’s’ market.
Although you probably have a lot to offer as a creative, how will anyone know about you without a website? There has to be somewhere people can ‘find’ you. Your portfolio site will give you a place of freedom to be completely you, build a personal brand, and showcase your work. And more importantly, your site will provide you with an online presence of which you can be proud.
If you’re tech-savvy and the idea of building a website isn’t daunting at all, that’s great. But if you need some help creating the ultimate portfolio website, we’re here for you. Following are 10 tips to make your portfolio site the best it can be.
1 Be yourself
We know everyone says ‘be yourself,’ but a portfolio that looks like everyone else’s is useless to you. You can only stand out if your portfolio site shows off what is uniquely you. Let this be where you shine and make your site memorable to those who visit. It isn’t just about your work. Your site is about your bright and wonderful personality showing through each page.
2 Put your best foot forward
As potential employers and clients have many portfolios to peruse at any given time, it stands to reason that there won’t be much time spend on any one site. So don’t bury your best stuff – go for quality over quantity. Objectively look at your work and only showcase the very best. If you include some of your less stellar work, your best may get overlooked. Make sure your best content catches the eye of your visitors.
If you’re wondering which of your best work to show, ask yourself what you want to do more? That’s what you should exhibit.
3 Use a logo
Create a logo, with help or on your own that demonstrates your style. It will be one of the first things your site visitors will see, so take care to make a good impression. The logo doesn’t have to be elaborate; even your name in a decorative font can be beautiful.
Remember to link your homepage to your logo so that visitors can quickly get back there when they’re ready. It will make navigating your site easier.
4 Add a tagline
Along with creating a logo, consider coming up with a unique and concise tagline. The tagline should say what you do or how you’re different from the rest.
One example is from a designer whose tagline says, ‘Let’s build something amazing together.’
5 State clearly what you offer
This one seems obvious, but haven’t you ever visited a website, and after some time of searching, you still weren’t sure of what they did? I have. Don’t leave your visitors in the dark. State clearly what services you provide in a prominent place on your site, like right on your homepage. Also, consider adding a tab for ‘Services’ and create a separate page for each of your services.
6 Include an About Me section
It may be tempting to neglect this section because of the amount of time it will take, but invest the time. You won’t regret it. This section will give potential employers or clients a way to know more about you. This section is another opportunity to make yourself stand out from your competition.
Add a short video or picture of yourself, and be brief. Concisely share your accomplishments and why you do what you do.
7 Make contact easy
Let your contact info be easily found on your site. Don’t make visitors to your site have to search for it. More than having a prominent ‘Contact Me’ tab on your homepage, consider posting your contact info in other places on your site. Make it apparent and easy to find.
In addition to finding you on your site, you can also add the social media platforms you’re on – including LinkedIn. Of course, ensure that your social media pages are not full of inappropriate pics or posts.
8 Add a blog
To demonstrate yourself as an expert in your field, consider adding a blog to your portfolio site. A blog will also help search engines find your site if your content is appropriately SEO-optimized. Enable comments on your blog entries so you can interact and engage with your readers.
Finally, if you add a blog, make sure that you upload new content frequently. It can be frustrating for your readers to keep checking your site and rarely finding new content.
9 Name drop
Yet another way to position yourself as an expert in your field is by showing off your clients. Displaying who your current or past clients are will go a long way in establishing trust with new clients. Who has hired you in the past will prove your skills and the quality of your work.
10 Include awards and recommendations
Right up there with name dropping is displaying client recommendations or testimonials. You’ll establish trust and reassurance by letting past clients say how great you are.
This is also true of any awards or certifications you’ve earned. Display them so visitors can know that you are knowledgeable in your field.
Related: Blog Post Ideas: A Beginner’s Guide
A well-built, creatively designed portfolio website will go a long way in establishing you in your industry. It will showcase your best work, demonstrate your expertise and proven track record, and allow potential clients to know you. If you do it right, it can be just the thing to send your career in the right direction and cause it to soar.