Portfolios are an essential aspect of any savvy business that wants to attract potential customers. A well-crafted portfolio is evidence of what you can do as a person or as a business. And this is the information clients and employers need to gauge your skills.
While physical portfolios are still essential in the design world, online portfolios offer an exceptional platform to reach clients. These clients are usually outside your immediate professional circle. Thus, you are in a position to establish your brand as a designer in a much larger magnitude.
Also, it goes without saying that creating a portfolio is not a pleasant affair. As a matter of fact, more often than not designers tend to criticize their work. It’s not something new, or one to get you worried over. Be that as it may, you need to invest a lot of effort in creating a compelling portfolio. After all it’s the visual charm that creates an appeal for your skills.
Below are tips on how to create the perfect portfolio site that will definitely get you hired.
1. Design a Logo
When creating a portfolio for yourself, it’s necessary to represent yourself as a brand. A brand carries a certain level of consumer expectation. This is where a logo comes in. A good logo becomes your own spokesperson, while your services continues to affirm their worth.
How do you create a good Logo?
Logos are not exactly hard to create. Rather, what proves to be the challenge is creating a blend between beauty, professionalism and what you are. As challenging as that sounds, the trick is to keep it stupidly simple. This way, you achieve a memorable and appropriate face for who you are and what you do. And if you don’t want to create one yourself, there are tons of options to find a logo for any budget.
Furthermore, a logo needs to be cohesive across different mediums, versatile and beautiful in both colour and black and white. Additionally, focus in longevity. What you don’t want is to have your current portfolio obsolete a few years down the line. Therefore, make use of symbols to create the desired effects and not pictures. In addition, symbols can be easily modified and still remain recognizable.
2. Create an Impression of What You Do
“Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.”
This saying emphasizes on the importance of dressing for the job you want and discourages the need to dress up for the job you already have. However, as vivid as that interpretation may sound, it’s not the case. In actual sense, that saying implores your readiness for success. I mean, no one really wants to stay dormant, we all want to grow. Career wise, relationship wise et cetera. Since that is the case, we should always be prepared for what we want.
Therefore, ‘dress up’ your portfolio for the job you want. In the design industry, perception is reality. Whatever kind of message that your portfolio sends that’s what people will buy. So, if you are a web designer, make sure your portfolio highlights that in detail. You can also install a web template specific to your niche, like any of these beautiful portfolio templates:
- 10 Best Portfolio Themes for WordPress
- 10+ Portfolio Themes For Joomla CMS
- 10+ Drupal Themes For Photography & Portfolio websites
The last thing you want is a client visiting your portfolio and eventually ending up not pinpointing what you do. This is bad for business. A confused client is not a client. Such a client will not reach out to you to inquire about what you do. Instead, they will move on to the next service provider.
To sum it up, focus on a specific niche that speaks to the market you are targeting. Thereby you will achieve a platform that is highly beneficial to your skills and business. Want an example? Checkout these inspirational web design portfolios to see what we’re talking about.
3. Include Your Best Work Only
Over the course of your career, you have amassed all kinds of project. There are those that you thought of as mundane just because they lacked the spark that excites you, and those you really did enjoy working on.
They all are your projects.
However, don’t include them all. Your portfolio acts as a bridge to win the confidence of clients over to you, therefore include only the best. Go through all your projects and separate the average from the exquisite designs.
When you are done selecting, make use of designs that showcase the diversity of your abilities. In simple words, feature projects from various industries (not just one) and the more recent ones. This reflects your current level of skill and experience. In addition, projects from various industries prove that you all rounded.
In case you are just starting out and you don’t have any projects to showcase, worry not. It’s pretty much okay to use mockups and personal design projects. You can also include passion projects which express your vision and creative style.
4. Keep It Professional and Creative
As a designer, there is one thing you shouldn’t forget: That a portfolio is a design project like any other. It’s your resume with a direct extension to your skills as a personal brand.
Owing to that, ensure your portfolio is worth your time and tightly wound on winning over clients.
Striking a balance between a professional and a creative look can be hard, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. The trick is use to basic rules of user interface. For example, consistency in all the page layouts, images, colour and writing styles is pretty much easy to achieve.
The idea is to keep your creative juices flowing but reign them in a bit to avoid making sudden changes from page to page (consistency is key here folks).
5. Add a Call to Action
The last thing a client wants is to fall in love with your designs and fail to reach you.
It’s annoying to clients. I mean, they went all through the trouble of going through your projects and felt you were the right person for the job. Now, they need to hire you. Don’t make their life harder by neglecting or hiding the contact information.
Make your contact information obvious and easy to access. Let people know they can contact you for a quote or a chat. There are tons of contact form plugins and social widgets to make adding your info easy.
6. Start a Blog
A lot of people don’t see the need to blog. As a matter of fact, they think it’s a waste of time and resources. What they fail to understand is that a blog opens up a new platform to showcase your expertise.
How? Blogs allow you to write in detail of what you do and to showcase that you actually know what you are talking about. Moreover, blogging regularly ensures that your portfolio doesn’t stay static. It increases the traffic to your website.
Blogging plus a good portfolio builds an unbreakable relationship with you and a potential client. Here are some blogging tips for success to get you started off on the right foot.
7. Get on Social Media
In addition, make use of social media to advertise yourself. Create a Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ accounts and regularly update them. Also, make an effort to reply to all the queries directed to you in all these accounts.
Don’t have time to keep track of all your accounts? No problem. Try one of these social media management tools. With these you can link up your accounts so you only have to remember to log into one place. Still too much for you? Use the post scheduling (which all of them offer) to automate or bulk-prep you posts.
A good portfolio is a warming factor to get clients to trust your services. Hopefully the above tips to build your portfolio will help you land your dream job. But if you have any questions or other tips to add just leave a comment below!