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12 Things To Remember If You Want To Create A Stunning Online Portfolio

12 Things To Remember If You Want To Create A Stunning Online Portfolio

Online portfolios are becoming more and more necessary for professionals, even ones in non-artistic fields. There are a lot of them out there, so it’s important that yours stands out from all the rest. Here are a few things to remember if you want to have a truly stunning online portfolio.

1. Keep it simple.

An attractive portfolio is almost always a simple one. One of the most important things I can tell you is to not fill your online portfolio with unnecessary clutter. Google beats Yahoo by avoiding ads and clickbait on their home page. Employ the same strategy to have an effective online portfolio.

2. Have an appropriate portfolio layout.

One of the earliest decisions you have to make with your online portfolio is what layout you’re going to use. Consider the various templates that the service you’re using offers and decide carefully which one will best display the product or service that you’re selling to potential clients. It might also help to ask for feedback from friends and colleagues so you can decide on the best layout possible.

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3. Focus on the work.

Remember why people are browsing your online portfolio in the first place. If you’re a photographer, focus on your photos. If you’re an artist, focus on your works of art. You want to promote yourself, yes, but before boring guests with your experience and life history, give them what they initially came to your online portfolio for.

4. Don’t treat your portfolio like a dump.

The point of a portfolio is to showcase you at your best. If you upload everything you’ve ever done to your online portfolio, you’re letting yourself be judged by your worst work. Viewers will appreciate ten high-quality samples more than a hundred average ones every time.

5. Write a killer bio.

The second most visited part of most websites is the ‘About’ page, so make sure the copy on yours sings. Write a relatively short bio that introduces you and explains clearly what you can do for your clients. Don’t treat the bio like a brief history of you so much as a succinct compilation of reasons why you would be a great hire.

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6. Include testimonials.

Even if it feels like bragging, make sure you have a spot for testimonials on your online portfolio. You demonstrate your skills with the samples, but you need quotes from clients and employers on your online portfolio to prove your professionalism.

7. Have a ‘Hire Me’ tab.

The ultimate goal of your online portfolio is presumably to get hired, so make it extremely easy for people to hire you! Any time someone’s looking at a great sample of yours, it should only take one click to convert them from a fan into a client.

8. Look good on mobile.

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mobile

    The internet is being browsed on phones and tablets more and more frequently, so make sure your online portfolio looks as appealing on mobile as it does on desktop. SquareSpace is one service that automatically formats the content of your website so that it looks great on any device, so I would encourage you to start there.

    9. Connect with social media.

    Social media is paramount when it comes to marketing yourself, so make sure you intertwine it with your online portfolio. Have links to your portfolio from every one of your social networks, and links to all your social networks on your portfolio.

    10. Keep updating.

    Most portfolios tend to stay stagnant, so you’ll separate yourself from the rest of the pack by keeping yours fresh and up-to-date. Show guests of your website that you continue to produce stellar work instead of expecting them to trust your abilities based on what you produced years ago. Regular updates will also aid search engine optimization (SEO), getting your online portfolio higher in the Google rankings.

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    11. Consider keeping a blog.

    Regularly writing about your career demonstrates to your clients that you really care about your work. Even if you only do it once a week or even twice a month, posting on a portfolio blog will help you gain credibility and also improves SEO.

    12. Distinguish yourself.

    The truth is that a lot of people, especially in artistic fields, already have online portfolios. What you need to do is find a way to make yours unique enough that it will be both noticed and remembered. Study other professionals’ portfolio and think about what could be done to take them to the next level. Look at all the features offered by online portfolio services and figure out which ones aren’t being taken advantage of. Most importantly, find a way to express yourself as only you can. Those are some of the keys to creating a stunning online portfolio.

    Featured photo credit: Young man working on street. A young black college student is sitting outside, working on a laptop computer, looking down, thinking. Wall Street sign in the background. via shutterstock.com

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    Matt OKeefe

    Freelance Writer, Marketer

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    Last Updated on November 19, 2018

    How to Find a Suitable Professional Mentor

    How to Find a Suitable Professional Mentor

    I went through a personal experience that acted as a catalyst for an epiphany. When I got fired from a job, I learned something important about myself and where I was headed with my freelance career. I realized that the most important aspect of that one rather small job was the influence of the company owner. I realized that I wasn’t hurt that the company and I weren’t a perfect match; I was devastated by the stark fact that I needed a mentor and I had almost found one but lost her.

    Suddenly, I felt like J.D., the main character in “Scrubs,” chasing Dr. Cox and trying to rip insight and wisdom from someone I respect. The realization that a recognized thought-leader and experienced entrepreneur severed ties with me felt crushing. But, I picked myself back up and thought about five ways to acquire a mentor without having the awkwardness of outright asking.

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    1. Remember, a professional mentorship must be mutual.

    A professional mentor must agree to engage in a mutual relationship because, as the comedy T.V. series showed us, one simply cannot force someone to tutor us. We have to prove that we are worth the time investment through persistence and dedication to the craft.

    2. You have to have common interests with your mentor.

    Even if a professional mentor appears at your job or school, realize that unless you and this person have common interests, you won’t find the relationship successful. I’ve been in situations where someone I respected had vastly different ideas about what was important in life or what one should spend his or her free time doing. If these things don’t line up, you may find the relationship won’t be as fruitful, even when the mentor knows a great deal about one industry.

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    3. Thought-leaders will respect your passion.

    One of the ways you can prove yourself worthy to a professional mentor is through your passion and your dedication. No one wants to spend time grooming and teaching another who will not take advice or put the effort in to improve. When following thought-leaders on Twitter and trying to engage with higher-ups in a work setting, realize that your actions most often speak louder than your words.

    4. Before worrying if he respects you, ask if you respect him.

    On the other side of the coin, you should seriously reflect on those common interests and make sure you respect your professional mentor. Just because someone holds a title, degree or office does not mean that person is trustworthy or honest. Don’t be swayed by appearances and take the time to find a suitable professional mentor.

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    5. Failure is often the best way to learn

    I honestly have made more mistakes than I can count. I know I’ve learned a great deal from poorly organized businesses and my own poor choices. The most important quality I’ve developed is an ability to swallow my pride and learn from my mistakes. If life knocks me down nine times, I get back up 10 times. One of the songs Megadeth wrote, “Of Mice and Men,” resonates in my mind when I pull myself up by my bootstraps and try again for a goal I’ve set: “So live your life and live it well. There’s not much left of me to tell. I just got back up each time I fell.” Hopefully, this brief post can act as a professional mentor to you in your quest to find not only a brave leader but also a trusted adviser.

    Featured photo credit: morguefile via mrg.bz

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