Suppose you are a media or advertising professional in a creative field such as art, design, interior designing, photography, fashion, and writing. In that case, you need an online portfolio to attract new clients. These are all fields where your body of work speaks louder than your resume. Presented in an aesthetic, well-organised way in the form of a portfolio, your work speaks not only of your talent but also of your personality and professionalism.
Having a portfolio online makes it more accessible and easy to browse. It can help you land clients anywhere in the world. You don’t have to wait for a face-to-face meeting where you are lugging along a large binder, in which your client has to tediously flip through pages to find relevant work for them. In an online portfolio, your work can be divided into different categories, making it easier for clients to find what they want.
So, how can you create an online portfolio that showcases your work and voice in the best possible way while ensuring that it attracts your dream clients?
Here are important steps to start creating your online portfolio:
4 Reliable Steps to Create Your Online Portfolio
Secure a Suitable Domain Name
You may not think much of it, but the domain name you use for your online portfolio is your first impression on any visitor.
While there’s nothing wrong with a traditional domain extension, there are several new extensions to choose from, each one perfect for niche or generic use. For instance, a creative professional may benefit from a .Space extension. Think norascreative.space or aaronswriting.space. Not only are these personal, but they also let the user know what the site is at first glance.
Other new domain extensions that work great for online and personal portfolios include .Online, .Site, and .Tech. The last one is perfect for anyone with a career or interest in tech.
Choose the Right Platform
Choosing an online portfolio website builder is a more cost-efficient and time-saving way to showcase your work online, especially if you don’t have a tech background.
Fortunately, there is a wide variety of platforms to choose from that suit your budget, skill level, and needs. There are free platforms where you only need to create an account and upload your work. These are great for entry-level creators.
For more well-established creators, some platforms charge a premium but offer varying levels of customization and services, which can help you make a portfolio that reflects your personality and suits your niche.
Optimise Your Online Portfolio
A robust online portfolio optimised for search engines is a must-have if you wish to attract your dream clients. Always remember that you are not the only great artist in your field. But with a brilliant portfolio, you can put yourself ahead of your competition and keep them interested so that they don’t need to search for more.
Choosing the right platform and customising it to showcase your work while linking it to a domain name that is memorable and keyword-rich is the first step towards attracting the right clients. Once they land on your website, your online portfolio’s design and experience can convert visitors into clients.
Here are a few things to remember when building your online portfolio:
1. Make sure your online portfolio has a responsive design
Nowadays, people access the internet using various devices with different screen sizes. Your online portfolio should offer a high-quality experience no matter how it is viewed, whether on a desktop monitor or a smartphone.
Use a platform that provides a responsive design, i.e., the design adapts itself to the device or browser on which it is being viewed.
2.Use the correct image file type
Uploading heavy image files can slow down your website’s speed, which can be a massive turn-off for web users. However, compressing them can lead to a loss of quality, which can also be detrimental to landing clients.
File formats like JPEG and PNG can compress images without significantly losing quality, so make sure to convert your image files to these formats before uploading.
3. Use alt descriptions
For an image-heavy online portfolio, be sure to add alt descriptions to all your images. An alt description is the read-only version of an image. It appears when an image fails to upload and can be read to a visually-impaired visitor.
Apart from enhancing the accessibility of your online portfolio, alt descriptions allow search engines to “read” your images and work behind the scenes to make your website more SEO-friendly.
4. Make your online portfolio easy to browse
Your online portfolio should have a user-friendly and aesthetically-pleasing design, as this creates the right first impression and encourages visitors to take you on as a collaborator.
Divide your work into well-defined categories to make it easier for people to find what they want. The most common categories are genres and clients. For instance, if you are a photographer, you can organise your work into genres such as travel, wedding, portraits, and so on.
If you have worked with important clients and wish to highlight that aspect of your work, you can create separate categories for each client you want to showcase. A sleek, on-brand design will speak to your clients of your artistic sensibilities.
Create an About Me Page
Even professional relationships are built on emotional and intellectual connections. That is just part of being human. For instance, if you were to hire a real estate agent to help you buy your first home, your decision will likely be based as much on the properties they are showing you as on their overall personality.
We all gravitate toward warm, kind, empathetic, and confident people. If you want to find clients who can help you grow your business by working with you long-term and recommending you to others, you must let them in on the person behind the scenes.
An About Me page is the way to do so. This page should be treated not as your resume but as an introduction to the person you are. This is also your chance to tell the story behind your work, your methodology, and what inspires you and helps people understand you better professionally.
When writing your introduction, use a tone of language that is true to you, one that you would use when talking to a friend and comes naturally to you. Don’t shy away from throwing in any personal details or anecdotes to make yourself more relatable and approachable.
Even though your work may speak for itself, it is essential to have your own picture on your About Me page. Pick an actual photograph that gives people a peek into your personality.
Showcase Your Work with Your Own Portfolio
Technology has made the creative fields highly competitive. A neat, beautiful online portfolio with well-defined categories, a user-friendly design, and a domain name that’s just right for you is the key to standing out from the crowd.
It can compel potential clients to decide in your favour and help you advance your professional growth and network. Create your own portfolio today!
Rebecca Scott is a Sr. Content Marketing Specialist at Radix Web Services. A marketing enthusiast, she describes her role as one part creative explorer and one part strategic alchemist. Her contributions feature in publications related to social media and online marketing.