Estimated reading time: 3 mins
Whether you’re a videographer, photographer or copywriter, showcasing your skills via an online portfolio is as essential as your LinkedIn profile. But as the marketplace grows saturated with freelancers and creatives, how do you make your work stand out? These tips will help you make your online portfolio rise to the top of the pile.
Put Your Best Foot Forward
With the average time spent looking at a portfolio online sitting at around fifteen seconds, you have a very limited time in which to grab your potential client’s attention. When you look at it that way, it’s obvious that you should arrange your pieces on your portfolio so that your strongest work will be viewed first. Imagine that your portfolio is going into a job interview on your behalf: given fifteen seconds to make your case, your portfolio needs to showcase your top skills and what makes you unique in the short time available. And rather than waste those fifteen seconds on intros and philosophy statements, let your work speak for itself.
Search Engine Optimise (SEO)
Creative freelancers fall in two camps: those who get clients by reaching out to potential employers directly and emailing online portfolio link, and those who get business by attracting web traffic to their portfolio. No prizes for guessing which freelancers get hired more. While word-of-mouth and networking are great ways for creative freelancers to get their first few projects, after a while it pays to get your portfolio site optimised for search, so you start generating sales or hires that you didn’t have to go out and find for yourself. Unless you’re an SEO pro, look into using a freelancer like James Taylor.
Categorise Your Work Clearly
If your potential client is going to hang around for fifteen seconds on average, you want to make sure they aren’t wasting any of that time not being able to find what they want. The easier your site is to navigate the better. Most potential clients will come to your portfolio with a particular niche in mind and they will want to see how well suited you are for their project. Ensuring that they’re able to find what they’re looking for right away will mean they can spend more time taking in (and appreciating) your amazing work.
Own Your Domain
One of the most effective ways to show potential clients that you take yourself seriously is to own your own website domain. It shows that you’ve graduated from the free hosting stage—where you’re not sure whether your new business is going to be around for long so you’re not investing much in your online presence—to the ‘I’m the real deal’ stage. Your own domain name adds credibility and authority to your business and shows that you have faith in what you do. Head to sites like NameCheap and Godaddy to take a look at what domains are out there and register a domain that vibes with your portfolio pieces.
Gone are the days when having a portfolio meant filling a lever arch file with hard copies of your work. These days, your portfolio needs to be online if you’re going to stand a chance of attracting clients. But having your online portfolio is only the first step—these tips will help you make your portfolio shine.