One of the best ways to illustrate your abilities and experience is to add a portfolio of your best work to your website. In this article we will offer suggestions for building an online portfolio that can showcase your work, increase your visibility and drive business.
Six tips for building a powerful online portfolio
1. Remember: quality over quantity
Your website should not be an encyclopedia of everything you have ever done. Instead, use it to highlight your best work. This is your opportunity to curate a selection of your most impressive projects.
Everyone’s time is precious, so don’t waste time featuring work that isn’t your best. Potential customers don’t want to have to wade through a collection of inferior work to find the gems. A collection of the work you are most proud of will be the most memorable and impactful.
2. Keep the portfolio design simple
Avoid over-designing your portfolio. When you keep things simple and organized, your site visitors will be impressed, not overwhelmed. The focus of the page should be the work. Keep the design simple so the work will stand out.
3. Provide context for each project
People are looking at your portfolio because they want to know more about you. Good, thoughtful copy will give those browsing it a clear idea of your work, your skills, and what’s it like to work with you. Show and tell.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, “they” aren’t always right. No matter how amazing your pictures are, without explanation and context, they’re just pretty pictures.
Not sure what to say about the projects in your portfolio? Here are some topics to consider:
- Problem solving: Did the client have a particular problem you were tasked with solving? Explain what the problem was and how you went about finding the solution.
- Goal achievement: What were the goals of the project? What did you do to address the objective?
- Unanticipated hurdle: Did you run into an unexpected problem during the project? If so, explain why it happened and what you did to overcome it.
4. Include testimonials when possible
Including testimonials along with photos from your best projects helps build credibility and legitimacy. People like to work with people they trust and testimonials help build that trust.
5. Make sharing easy
When building your online portfolio, include social sharing buttons. This will make it easy for your site visitors to tell their friends about your offerings on their own social media pages.
6. Keep your portfolio up-to-date
Finally, after the portfolio goes live, be sure to revisit that section of your website on a regular basis. If you have any links that go offsite, you’ll want to check them periodically to make sure they still work.
Dead links make for a bad user experience. Your site visitors are likely to get frustrated and may never return. Additionally, too many broken links can negatively affect your search engine rankings.
Why building an online portfolio can help your business
In today’s world, where an internet service has become as necessary as electricity and running water, a strong web presence, and a website in particular, have also become de rigueur. People want to know who you are, what do you do and why they should trust you to perform a service. Your online portfolio can build that last bit of confidence someone needs to reach out to you.