Can you tell me the first and foremost thing people do when they hear about a product, service or even a name? They open their favorite search engine and key in the words. Let’s say, I type in your name in Google. What will I see? Your social media web pages? That’s it? That’s all you’ve got? I am not impressed with your social media profiles. The exact same thing may be done by your employers. Social media profiles do not give you ample opportunity to showcase your talents. Hence, you give your employers a chance to reject you.
Personal branding is important in social media profiles, but when it’s comes to attracting the entire web world, you need to have a different tool. This is where online portfolio comes into play. An online portfolio is your personal website which gives a much detailed story about you. When an employer searches for your name, your online portfolio can really impact his/her decision.
Your online portfolio increases the importance of your online presence. It is much easier to create an effective personal with your online portfolio. It is simply an expanded version of your resume. While implementing personal branding in portfolio, your pages should speak about your talents, skills and qualifications for jobs, internships and other professional opportunities. By creating a portfolio, you are able to offer more than what you could show in your resume by including professional biography, video testimonials and other examples that showcase your skill set. You can add anything that you think can polish your personal brand.
While creating an online portfolio site, it is very crucial to pre-determine who your audience will be, what message you would like to convey, what elements can vouch for your brand message. Job seekers should focus on highlighting their qualifications that can sell their brand, rather than focusing on which work to showcase. A personal portfolio website is all about promoting you. You are the brand here. People will not know about your brand unless you get it out there. If you are a budding Web designer, developer, writer, gamer, then it’s very essential to have a high class portfolio with which your employers can be convinced.
An effective online portfolio filled with your personal brand can get you work (if you are a freelancer), jobs (if you are a job seeker) or enhance your business (if you are a businessperson). So let’s get started on explaining the basic elements that make up your online portfolio.
Your logo will be the first thing a visitor will see on your website. Normally visitors read from left to right and top to bottom. So, place your logo at the top left of your website so that users can immediately identify and connect with your brand.
Your logo necessarily, need not be your name. But, it would be better to use your name if you are promoting yourself online. Always link your logo to your homepage. It is a common convention for websites.
After taking a look at your logo, your visitor will definitely want to know what it is that you do. You give a succinct answer in an attractive way. Your tagline should be short, snappy and summarizing what you do.
The above tagline simply makes it clear of what the portfolio is all about.
Obviously, you need to have an interesting portfolio in your portfolio website that beautifully showcases your personal brand. This part of your website determines that whether your site is interesting or it is the same old story. People will want to see your previous work and decide whether you are good at it or not. Your portfolio should basically describe what you’ve done in the past and the results of it.
Your portfolio entirely depends on your work. A visitor should have clear accessibility to your work. Put up big, high quality images. Always include a link to the live version of the website you worked on, and link your screenshot to the live version. Give a short description for each of your project. Highlight different skills that you used on each one of them.
Get testimonials from your clients and put it in here. You can also showcase different stages of development of your work process to explain your visitors how you arrived at the final product.
Your personal branding may be confined to one service that you are a master in or it can broaden up to several services. Your tagline summarized what you do, but a visitor may want to go into more details about the service/s that you offer. You would not want a visitor to see your portfolio and then bounce back from your website. Tell them that you have a service/s to offer. Break down your services so that your visitor can order what they want.
Yes, it’s all about you. Let your readers see the person behind this website. Share your personal information. Share your background, where you came from, years of experience, your journey etc. The more details you give, the better are your chances to form a bond with your visitor and better are the chances to get a job from him.
Try to show a picture of yourself. This satisfies your readers as they get to know with whom they are dealing with. Brag about the awards and recognition that you’ve received.
This is one of the most important, but neglected elements in a portfolio website. A potential employer is all set to give you the project, but he/she cannot find a way to contact you. He will not search for “Contacts” after a maximum of 10 seconds.
Your contact information should be obvious and easy to access. Do not hide it. Use a form to make it easier for the users to contact you. Your form should ask a minimum amount of information to your readers.
Blogging is the new rage in this online world. Blog about your area of expertise, show people what you know. It will help you to promote you and will prevent your website from lying static. Provide an option to your readers to subscribe you through RSS. Personal branding is incentivized by including blogging in your portfolio.
Call to Action:
what you want to get out of your personal portfolio website?. Do you want to be hired? Attract more blog readers? Maybe you just want your readers to know who you are and what you do.
Each page should have a call to action, a “Next step.” The best way to accomplish this is with a “call to action” button that is clear and stands out from the rest of the page. Link it to your blog, portfolio or contact page, and use appropriate language (e.g. “Hire me,” “Request a quote,” “View my portfolio”).
People are interested in you and your work. Now is the right time to expand your social networking contacts. Encourage your visitors to follow you on your social networks. Make it clear on which social network they can follow you, such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.
Language and Communication:
How you convey your message to your readers is important. It’s a personal portfolio, so be personal. Be clear and precise and convey your message smoothly.
Here’s a list of the some of the best portfolio sites.
This was the process on how you can build an online portfolio website. A part of your website is called as portfolio which details your skills and your work. It shows your potential for your future employers. Your task is to build an attractive portfolio that can lure in any kind of reader. Building an online portfolio is a very easy task. A few important considerations and that’s it. But before building an online portfolio there are certain things that you should keep in mind:
Identify your audience:
Ask this question to yourself “What type of target audience should see your portfolio?” Basically, there are two types of portfolios:
- Portfolios to get hired: Your audience is your potential employers. These will definitely have a keen sense of the work that you do. The audience will be looking to see the quality of your work and level of involvement in each project. They would want to discover what value you can add to their business.
- Portfolios to get clients: There are two sub-types of audiences here: fresh business leads and existing leads.
This article is dedicated for creating a portfolio website for your potential employers. Your potential employers will surely know the workings of your skill. Try to get into the headspace of the potential employers. They are looking for the person who is a perfect fit for the organization. But also remember, they are going through hundreds and hundreds of portfolios. You will have to be unique to get recognized in the eyes of employer.
Let’s take upon those considerations which you need while creating an online portfolio aimed at your potential employer:
Get your best work up front:
Your potential employer will go through hundreds and hundreds of portfolios. He/she can quickly recognize the quality of your work. Your potential employer will probably make up his/her mind within the first few pieces that you show. Get your best work in front of your portfolio as they act as hooks. The main rule here is to take your readers quickly to your portfolio and show them your best hand.
Explain your work:
Explain each of your project on which you’ve previously worked. You need not write an essay. Just a few simple details along with the summarized explanation of the process and that’s it. This will allow your employer to appreciate your work in an aesthetic level. Make sure you take the credit for everything that you did. You want your prospective employer to know the amount of hard work that you can put in a working project.
Your prospective employer will not spend ages looking for that link that will drive him to your portfolio. If he/she will find the link easily, they will not bother to find it. They will simply click back. Make your portfolio fast, accessible and simple. Any kind of interactive activity such as forms can be used inside portfolio. Interactive and navigation should be smooth and intuitive. Include links to you the live versions of website you’ve worked upon.
The above part guarantees you a proper job. But, what about freelancers? A website portfolio can act as a marketing tool. You may get the lead from various sources, such as search engines, banner ads, etc. but your portfolio should seal the deal in every case. Consider these points to get some business leads:
If a lead is coming to your site by, searching, and advertisements or from an anonymous source, he/she will be quite uncertain about whether to hire you. Even if you have a referred lead, he/she will definitely look for reassurance to make sure that their money does not go waste. There are many things that people find re-assuring, few of which are:
- Provide Testimonials: A business lead will surely believe more in the words of his/her peers. Gather testimonials from your previous clients. Most of them are happy to give it. Just remember to keep it short and sweet.
- Who else have you worked with? Show your client list to your prospective leads. This will influence your decision. Display some of the famous client brands, if any, with which you have worked with.
- Be professional: Make sure your site looks professional. The copy should be well thought-out, provide links at required places, and have a polish design. Present your site professionally.
Unsure of their needs:
Many leads cannot find the services that they are looking for, even after you provide them. Educate your client about the services you offer, how it will benefit their business.
- List your services: Clearly and concisely, list all your services. Make them easily accessible.
- Explain your portfolio pieces and how they helped their respective clients: If you present your portfolio with explanations of what they are looking at, how the work solved the business needs of the client, and any other salient details, the viewer is much more likely to understand the value in your work.
- Say how you help business: Explain the clients what they will get with your efforts. Your leads are only interested in their own requirements. They go through your site evaluating how you will help them meet those requirements.
Your business leads are very busy people. They don’t have time to minutely go through your portfolio. Therefore, it’s a good idea to make your portfolios as painless and efficient as possible.
- Get your best work up front: As explained earlier, throw in your best work at the start of your portfolio. Do not overdo it. A small, sharp, and targeted portfolio is much better than a large, unfocused, and mediocre one.
- Make it easy to contact you: Increase the visibility of your contact information. Do not hide it in the footer. Use a short and sweet contact form that enables your leads to contact you easily.
- Make sure they have all the information: Try to give more and more information to your lead through your site. The more you provide, the quicker the decision comes.
Create a portfolio that engages your employers and helps you find prospective leads and potential employer.