There’s a great deal of competition out there; if you want to be a successful web designer, you’ll need to be equipped with an effective portfolio. With an effective portfolio, you can get to work with the kind of clients, budgets and deadlines you want. Here’s how it goes.
1. Base It On Your Target Audience
Design your entire portfolio based on your target audience. For example, if you’re targeting corporate clients, you want to keep your portfolio a little formal, but very creative, presentable and sophisticated. If your audience is tech-savvy, use sophisticated features that less tech-savvy clients may not understand. Set the tone of your site, the keywords you use, and the color and fonts based on the audience.
2. Make It SEO Friendly
Whether you’re new to the business or an old hand, keyword optimizing your online portfolio will never go wrong. Use the right keywords based on the kind of clients you want. For example, you can use the names of your city, town, country or region to make it easier for local clients to contact you. Use metatags that are descriptive and offer the entire picture, as: Corporate web designer from New York City specializing in Magento extensions’.
3. Use Realistic Thumbnails
If you’re going to put up thumbnails of artwork, make sure they’re in full and large enough for clients to see what you’ve done. Put them up so that they don’t need an extra click for the client to know the quality of the work. Don’t blur, slide or rotate your thumbnails. Don’t paste the client’s name all over them either – this makes it very difficult to see the artwork.
4. Add Personal Touches
Be sure to include a good picture of yourself along with a brief profile. You can include a few lines about the kind of person you are, such as that you’re enthusiastic, willing, cheerful and hard-working. Clients prefer to work with presentable, cheerful and enthusiastic service providers. Talk about your hobbies, your passions and your lifestyle, so that clients get a picture of the person behind the portfolio.
5. Display Only Your Best
Even if you’ve done a 100 projects, be stern with your selection and pick up a few of your very, very best. Showcase them to best effect, with great copy, client names and URLs for reference. If a site has been changed after you handed it over to the client, be sure to mention that.
6. Don’t Use Too Many Jazzy Elements
It’s important to stay away from over-designing your portfolio. Stick to a simple visual style, and let clients see your value from the work you’ve done. Potential clients will not appreciate if they’re made to wait while flashy presentations are executed.
7. Keep The Navigate Simple
Clients browse a number of portfolios; they want to quickly grasp an understanding of your expertise, experience and design range. Prevent client frustration by keeping your online portfolio’s navigation free of hindrances. Forget jazzy animated navigations and keep it simple.
8. Avoid Passing Design Trends
As with any domain, trends come and go in web designing as well. Clients may or may not be aware of trends, so if your site has various trendy slider scripts, light boxes and cute vectors, you might give them the wrong impression. For one thing, trend-aware clients will spot outdated trends on your site and be less impressed. For another, unaware clients might want you use those on their designs, and you know what won’t be right.
9. Use Creative Typography
Use a presentable, very viewable and create typography that’ll impress clients. Be sure not to use fonts that can irritate serious clients – unless you’re designing sites for pop stars. Focus on good, strong fonts, especially ones that are popular on the kinds of sites your client audience is likely to visit. Do try to stand out from the crowd with create typography, but not for the wrong reasons.
10. Enable Easy Contact
Make sure you enable potential clients to contact you easily. Avoid placing weird gimmicks, captchas or other hindrances in your contact page. Provide multiple ways to contact you – via chat, social media, phone, email, Skype and so on. Avoid long contact forms as well – you can collect all the info you want later on.
Photo Credit: Flickr/brandon schauer