There are a variety of reasons for which you’ll need a professional portfolio. Especially, if you’re in a creative field where your ability to get jobs depends upon the body of work you’ve built up. Whether you’re a freelance designer, developer, or writer, you’re going to need a portfolio that represents you and your skills.
There’s no way a potential client, or employer, is just going to “take your word for it.” By taking time to create a stellar portfolio you’ll be able to represent yourself in the best manner possible. Your portfolio can either make or break you.
Below we dive into what you need to know to make the most out of your website and your creative portfolio.
Build your online portfolio with a sleek website from HostGator.
Crucial Portfolio Website Elements
A portfolio is all about promoting you, your work, and your existing skill set. Below we highlight five different elements you’ll want to make sure that your portfolio website includes.
1. Logo and Tagline
Your logo is one of the first things a visitor will see when they land on your website. If you’re a designer, then this element is going to be even more important. This is your first chance to really wow your visitors.
Your tagline is equally important. This is how you set yourself apart from the rest of the field. You’ll use this to explain what you do, while at the same time being memorable.
2. Actual Portfolio
Since this is your portfolio site you’ll need to include an actual portfolio. Some people prefer for this to be their homepage, while others prefer to have a separate page dedicated solely to showcasing their work.
You’ll always want this page to showcase your highest quality work. It can even be helpful to add any testimonials you’ve received from the client in regards to the project you’re highlighting. It can also be helpful to spell out project goals and what you hope to accomplish.
3. Service Breakdown
Your services page will spell out in detail what you actually do. You don’t want to make your clients guess. If you make them think too hard, they’ll probably just end up clicking away.
Map out your services in as much detail as you can. Highlight your experience, and any testimonials, or blurbs you might have received.
4. Your Story
On your About page is your chance to get personal. No one wants to do business with a website that seems like it’s been created by a robot. Show some personality.
How did you get into your field? What’s your unique background? What experiences do you have that set you apart?
By sharing your story you build trust with potential clients. This will go a long way towards convincing them to work with you.
5. An Active Blog
A blog can truly make your website some alive. A lot of portfolio website end up looking like a virtual business card. By running a regular blog you’ll be able to further communicate your expertise and give people peace of mind that you actually know what you’re talking about.
Your blog can be a great way to teach people and cement your status as an expert in your field.
Portfolio Best Practices
The above steps will help you to create a fully built-out portfolio website. Below we showcase a few more things you’ll want to keep in mind as you grow out your website.
1. It’s Focused
When building your portfolio site it’s important that you keep your ideal user in mind. Who are you speaking to? What kind of person is most likely to hire you? What will they be looking for?
Speak to a specific niche, rather than trying to talk to everyone in the entire world.
2. It’s Easy to Use
Along with being focused your site will need to be incredibly easy to use. If you have clunky navigation, or a site that takes forever to load, then you won’t be doing your credibility any favors.
Pare your website down to the basics while still reflecting your unique brand and identity. Remove any elements that are out of place, or don’t actually fit into your goals of showcasing your best work, and getting you hired. Review your site to ensure you’re not making any of these common website mistakes.
Keep in mind when creating your website that it’s important to strike a balance between usability and creativity. Showcase your creativity, but don’t do it at the expense of the usability of your website.
What common online portfolio errors do you see? Share in the comments below.