Tips to Build an Effective Portfolio Website
This is a guest post by Tara Hornor, if you want to guest post on this blog, please contact us.
You’ve got the experience, the talent, and the capabilities of growth. Single page portfolio websites have risen in popularity and many of the principles we will discuss in this article apply to both single and multi-page designs. If you find your page getting crowded with too much information, too many web pages or brochures you’ve created, then a multi-page design is very much acceptable, despite the popular single-page trend.
Whether you end up using a template or design your own portfolio website from scratch, the tips below will make sure that you get your capabilities communicated clearly to customers. It doesn’t take much to get it right, but a few missteps can send a potential customer off to check out your competition.
Customers often come to you for help with their brand, so you had better do a good job of projecting your own. If you have a logo or other branding elements, make sure this is part of the first thing that your customer sees. Don’t be shy; going over-the-top is far better than trying to be subtle. Designers and photographers alike should have about a strong logo presence on their portfolio pages, so think big and make sure you flaunt your skills with your branding.
Jakub Krcmar, a Czech designer, does an excellent job of keeping the brand front and center.
One of the first links your clients will want to visit is your actual portfolio page to view the quality of your work. One of the best ways to help your customers is to organize the various kinds of work you do into logical categories. Logos, website headers, action photography, landscape photography — these are all different kinds of visual art. Your customer likely has a specific kind of project they want you to create, so make it easy for them to find examples of the exact work for which they will be hiring you.
GregOne, a Belgium designer, puts the services right on the front page with a clearly organized portfolio.
Your Contact Info
Make sure your contact information is ALWAYS available. People are generally much more comfortable with email for an initial introduction, so an email address or contact form is a must. If you really want to add credibility to your portfolio website, consider adding a phone number and mailing address. This makes you look much more established.
Greg Wallis, an Irish designer, not only has a contact form, email, phone, and physical address, but a vcard is even available.
Your Social Media
One of the best ways to promote your portfolio website post-launch is through social media, but you should also incorporate Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and any other socia media links you feel are relevant. Remember that your customers are probably not going to be designers. Marketing managers and small business owners are going to be the folks who reach out to you. Make it easy for these groups to find and follow you on sites like LinkedIn.
Leigh Taylor from Britain puts social media links right on the front page.
Your Other Stuff
Other portfolio website features to consider include:
- Call to Action — messages like “Call Today” or “Shoot me an email right now!” create a sense of urgency and make customers more comfortable reaching out to you.
- Tagline — a single sentence that communicates your mission, strengths, or focus help visitors understand who it is they’re dealing with.
- Blog — a great way to generate interest is through blogging, which can be easily managed separately from your portfolio website using WordPress or other blog platforms with an easy learning curve.
What other pieces are needed for a killer portfolio website? Anything missing from this list?
About the Author!
Tara Hornor has a degree in English and has found her niche writing about marketing, advertising, branding, graphic design, and desktop publishing. She writes for PrintPlace.com, an online printing company that offers postcards, posters, brochure printing, postcard printing, and more printed marketing media. In addition to her writing career, Tara also enjoys spending time with her husband and two children.