So, you’re a business looking to source new contacts, or a freelancer looking for some employment opportunities and have heard that getting an online portfolio is the best place to start. Well, you heard correctly, having an online presence is pivotal if you want to achieve either.
However, you’re probably worried about how much this will cost. You’ve probably heard that it can cost a substantial amount of money to have a website designed. Well, this does not have to be the case. Modern tools mean you can create your portfolio websites affordably, quickly, and effortlessly.
Why is an Online Portfolio so Important?
Millions (if not billions) of people access the internet each day. By having an online presence, you’re opening yourself up to a huge global audience. Some of those people might even want what you can offer. Whether you work full time but want to make money in your spare time, have a business you want to promote, or work freelance and need help to get projects, an online portfolio is a must.
It gives you a central location where people can view your products or services, look at past work, get to know more about your background, or get in touch with you. How would anyone know you or your business even exist if you did not have a website?
Another great thing about portfolio websites is that you customise how you want to showcase your talents, skills, experience, and background. You can add to it on the fly and really build it up so that impresses anyone that views it.
Where to Build a Portfolio Website?
Nowadays, while you can still go down that route if you can afford it, you have another option. You can use website building platforms such as Wix and WordPress. The beauty of these is that just about anyone can build a website quickly, affordably, and effortlessly.
These platforms allow you to drag-and-drop elements such as images, text, widgets, and more into thousands of different templates. You can add payment portals, set up hosting, and even get the advice and support of professionals. While you might still opt to get a website built from scratch one day, these platforms allow you to get a feel for the design, style, and functionality that you like.
How to Build a Portfolio Website?
While website building platforms make the process a lot easier, you still need to have a plan if you want to create an online portfolio. Your website should make it easier for any visitor to quickly find what they want. For that reason, your portfolio’s structure should be:
- Intro (tell a bit about yourself)
- Showcase your projects
- The services you offer
- Contact information
People want to see the quality of your work quickly. They do not want to have to go through pages of text. Bore them, and they will go find somebody else. Therefore, the intro should be short and sweet, but with enough information to make people want to continue to your previous work. Adding a photo of yourself for the introduction is also a great idea. It allows your clients to see who they might work with. Obviously, choose a professional-looking photograph, and not one of you on a beach somewhere!
Next, you have the showcasing stage. This is the most important of all. Do not just cram it full of every project you have created. Stick to showcasing your best work only. Describe each project by mentioning the steps you took to achieve your goals.
Anyone that clicks through to your services at this point is definitely interested in what you can offer. Of course, overprice yourself and that interest fades quickly. List your services, explaining each in detail so that your potential clients can see what they’re getting. As a last step, you could consider adding testimonials, your education, and even your previous employment.
Finally, the contact page is just that. This is where you give potential clients methods they can use to contact you. You could add a phone number, email address, Skype address, or links to some of your social media accounts. Whatever you do, make it easy for them to get in touch. Leave them hanging too long and they will look elsewhere.
That concludes our short little guide to building your own online portfolio. You should now understand the importance of an online portfolio and how you can go about building one yourself. While website builders offer you a quick and easy route, I still recommend taking your time, and even tweaking it once it is live, to analyse results.