Blogging has already been too much announced these days, but if we hear about getting an online portfolio, we knew that it refers to a more professional end such as designers and web developers.
Having an online portfolio can be easy now especially with the help of pre-built themes and powerful CMS, but to maintain and sell one is another story.
What makes an online portfolio truly successful? Let’s review some key manifestations of a working portfolio: strong word-of-mouth from clients of a selected field or niche, people pass your contact details from one company to another, your webpage (online portfolio) is always swarmed with a real amount of good traffic, you have great sales if you have a product such as an e-book, you see your works being posted by bloggers and net-thusiasts, and of course, you earn like a lot, lot of money.
While many are always working on bringing out the best works to put into an online collage, there’re still a lot of things to be worked upon if you want to create a successful story out of your portfolio. Below listed are some essential tips shared by experts to help you achieve your goal.
1. The ‘Who’ of the PortfolioThe first question you must ask yourself like everytime you make an attempt into building an online presence is that, who are you? What are you? Are you a graphic designer? A user experience master? A web developer?
Yet, this may not be enough also. You need to trim down what you do into a real specific niche or field. If you are a web developer, ask yourself if in what programming language are you most efficient at.
If you are a designer, ask if you are a Photoshop or Illustrator expert, or if you are good in animations and creating motion graphics. Knowing the ‘who’ of your brand will give you an exceptional edge already, rather than trying to be the ‘jack of all trades.’
You may check out our "Examples of Inspirational About Me Pages" article.
2. Set a target basket
After knowing who you are and what you do, you cannot always expect to work on all kinds of companies from all kinds of fields and interests. How about you work first on dealing with travel agencies, for example? Or how about you offer solutions for hotels and resorts? It is better to be known very well by a selected few from a singular field or niche than trying to be another random candidate for all other sorts of interests.
3. Get straightforward and easy
Since you are about to build an online portfolio, you must not work too much on modifying your website too much that you forget to emphasize what you want to showcase: your works.
Remember that your works are your digital representations of who you are and what you do, so stop telling too much about yourself and go straight to the showcase.
Provide an easy website wherein potential clients can immediately see how good you are. Of course, you need a good design, but that design must all aid the viewers and guide them into viewing what are expected to be viewed.
Let the webpage design do the directions, while your works do the marketing.
4. Show only what you want to do
A very common mistake to online portfolios is that, they wanted to show off as much skills as possible.
I’m not saying that this is wrong, but you have to consider if the works you posted are some of the works you’d love to do in the future.
If you are uncomfortable dealing with Python and Bootstrap, don’t include them. If you are not fine with using GIMP or Dreamweaver, don’t indicate them. That’s easy.
5. Show only your best foot
Yes, you’ve got a lot of fantastic work ready to make an album of its own, but clients won’t look at each of them detail by detail.
Clients want to look at what you can do at your best, so show only the best of your best works.
Sometimes, three items in your portfolio is enough, as long as they are good enough to make yourself and your skills exceptionally identifiable from the rest.
6. Tell stories and build relationship
No, clients don’t really just look at the pictures or demonstrations of your working sites that you proudly designed. How about you make a timeline for each of the works you posted online?
Clients would love to see how such a piece of artwork is done from scratch.
Clients want to see how you collaborate with your team, what kind of workspace you have, and how loaded your calendar is. Put some photos of them along on the said timeline.
7. Make contextual teaser introductions or narratives
Start each timeline with a short introduction of what the work is all about. No, you don’t have to pour in all the details.
Remember the keyword: short. A couple of lines or paragraphs will do, and let the clients read between the lines.
8. Make your contact details bold
Get it straight ahead: put your contact details not on a separate page but on the same page. No other turnarounds.
9. An about page that keeps the talk going
Don’t make your About page too simple and serious; make it look like you are always ready to talk and even play a joke. This might not be your personality, but at least let them hear how you love this tool, what your plans or, or anything that might help them relate to you.