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.
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.
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.
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.
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