Creating your own portfolio site is a necessary first step in getting your work seen by potential employers. But if you have never done it before, it can be an intimidating process.
With various templates and so many different sites trying to catch your attention, how do you know what to do and what not to do? Below are seven critical tips you can use to create a portfolio site that best reflects your business and brand values.
Have a Unique Domain Name
Search engines often look at your URL when deciding where to rank you. Having a unique domain name is an important first step if you want your site to come up in a Google search. And if you want to create a portfolio site, it’s even more critical that your domain stand out among other similar sites.
Be sure to pick something memorable and easy-to-pronounce or spell. Try to avoid hyphens or numbers in your domain name. A good domain name should also rank well on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook.
Showcase High-Quality Work
On your portfolio site, showcase only your best work. Potential employers don’t want to see every project you’ve ever completed. They want to see only those that you consider high-quality or relevant.
It would be best if you also let employers know a little bit about each project. Include your process, any challenges you faced, and how well it ultimately turned out.
Finally, don’t make potential employers dig for contact information on your portfolio site. Make it readily available so they can contact you if they have further questions.
Use Killer Photography
If your portfolio isn’t quite where you want it, it could be because you haven’t hired a professional photographer. Having stellar photography is key in making your work look professional and turning heads.
If you can’t afford a pro, learn how to shoot and edit your own images with a DSLR camera (digital single-lens reflex). It will allow you to create high-quality shots that showcase your work in ways others can’t.
Some tips to help you take great professional photos include:
Simplicity is Key
The last thing you want is your portfolio site design to chase away visitors from your site. Don’t distract or intimidate visitors by a flashy design or too many bells and whistles.
Aim for simplicity with a clean, easy-to-read layout that complements your work and stays out of its way. If you’re going for something more unique or personal, try picking colors that contrast with your project’s color scheme so that everything looks distinct.
Create ‘About Me’ Page
This is probably one of your most important pages. People visiting your portfolio want to know who you are. They’re going to want a lot more than just your name and contact info.
New Visitors want an understanding of what you do, why you do it, and what makes you unique. Try sharing personal stories and experiences that shaped your career choice or led you down a specific path in design.
Use links to some of your favorite sites to inspire visitors. Remember, people are trusting you with their hard-earned money. So, show them who they’re dealing with as quickly as possible.
Carefully Consider Color Scheme and Font
When choosing a color scheme for your site, it’s important to keep in mind that different colors have different psychological effects. For example, warmer colors like red and yellows encourage action and get people excited. On the other hand, cooler colors such as blue and green are more likely to inspire calmness or thoughtfulness.
When it comes to fonts, stick with easy-to-read ones like Arial. If your font is too thin or hard on the eyes, people will close your page before they even realize what you have to offer. Keep visitors around with the best impression in color, font etc.
Have a Section for Testimonials
Use your portfolio site to showcase clients who are happy with your work. Highlight how you’ve helped them, and let them do some of the talking for you. This is also a great place to put social proof.
You can showcase positive reviews and press mentions that talk about your work, both online and offline. Be sure not to ask clients for testimonials directly on your site. Always allow them to submit their own words or quotes.
Creating an excellent portfolio requires creativity, persistence, and a willingness to evolve. So instead of hoping clients will find your portfolio and reach out, create a plan to stand out by yourself. Optimize your website to show up at the top of search engine results for potential clients. This will put you in a better position to compete against bigger names with much deeper pockets than yours.