Good web design skills are highly prized these days. A business’s online success is based on how user-friendly its website is. With more and more businesses embracing the online medium, the demand for skilled web designers has never been higher.
One of the things that businesses look for when hiring a web designer is their website portfolio, and therefore, the role of an impressive portfolio cannot be overstated. It is what businesses use to gauge your ability as a web designer or web design company. This is why it is important to make sure that you have a strong portfolio, because it will essentially sell your services to potential clients. Here are a few tips that will help you build an effective portfolio.
Create a stunning website of your own
As a designer, you must have your own website and it ought to be an impressive piece of work. Your website is your business. It is how you showcase your expertise and promote your services.
Your website should be crisp, easily navigable, aesthetically appealing, and free of technical errors. Make it a work you can be proud of. Potential clients are not going to be so much swayed by what you tell them as they will be by what you show them.
They will refer to the website to assess your ability, which is why you should put a lot of thought and care in creating it.
- Have a logo on your website. This will give your services a sense of legitimacy.
- Have a tag line to go with the logo and make sure that it’s catchy. Avoid sounding cheesy.
- Demonstrate your creativity. You can also provide a brief description of what you do. Lay out your skills and services for potential clients. Make sure that when people see your website, they get interested in what you can do for them.
- Create a website that is user-friendly and attractive. People shouldn’t have to struggle when navigating through your website.
- You can have a portfolio page on your website. This will give prospects a chance to look at your work in various ways.
Create personal projects
Even if you don’t have a full-fledged job or are just starting out as a designer, you can and must still create your own web projects. This is an excellent way to sharpen your skills. Projects don’t necessarily have to earn you money. Do something for the fun of it. Through these projects, you can portray your skills, display your professionalism, as well as market your expertise. When a potential client sees a creative personal web project, they will be impressed. Creating something passionately even if you are not getting anything out of it says a lot about you as a professional.
Modify existing templates
You can find a lot of templates online, which people use to build free websites. Find a way to improve on these templates. That would be a great way to exhibit your design prowess. Do not, however, modify a template so much that you lose the original concept. Just add a few of your ideas and include the modified templates in your portfolio.
Include customer reviews and testimonials
Never forget to highlight testimonials from previous clients. People are highly influenced by positive reviews of former or existing clients. Some may even hire you based on the strength of these reviews.
Talk about yourself
Make use of the About me/us section to inform people about yourself and your company. Be descriptive but don’t be boring. Spell out your skills, your interests, and your experience.
Be active on social media
This is an extremely important and useful tool to use to market yourself. Integrate social media into your portfolio. Provide easy navigation to your profiles on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+. But first, zero in on the networks you find the most relevant for your line of work and use them regularly.
This will provide a lot of exposure to your work. You can even invite friends to share your portfolio on their pages. However, make sure your social media profiles are professional, and do not drown them in personal discussions.
Pay attention to content
The content in your portfolio should be relevant and precise. Don’t swamp people with information, but at the same time don’t come across as reluctant to say more. Make sure you describe all the services you offer, and convey it in a concise and professional manner.
Link to websites you have worked on in order to strengthen your point (wherever applicable).
Provide the latest contact information
Always remember to include the latest contact information in your portfolio. Provide all the information that is needed, from mobile numbers to email addresses and fax addresses. You must also ensure that you are available on all the numbers and addresses you provide.
These are just some ways in which you can create a professional portfolio, and attract business through it. When showcasing your work, choose the very best. You do not necessarily have to show all of it, but rather that which is representative of the services you provide and which highlight your skills as a designer.