What is one thing in common among many lucrative freelancers? Well, a personal brand and a powerful portfolio website! Being in the business of web development, design and content writing can prove to be highly profitable provided you know how to grab new clients or jobs.
With the ever-growing competition in the market, you need to stand out from the rest to get the attention of clients around the world. Setting up a professional LinkedIn profile is a good way to get started, but if you are actually planning to get more attention, you have to establish a portfolio website to market yourself.
A portfolio website is more like a LinkedIn page but with a lot more room to boast of your skills and expertise. Every freelance career may have different expertise and skills to display but all have one thing in common – to market themselves to their prospects and a portfolio website is a great way to do exactly that.
When you know you are best at what you do and have something to back it up, you are in a much better position to set your own rates, work schedule and work load.
So if you have decided to build a portfolio website that will help you get more jobs or clients, we are here to help. In today’s post, we are going to discuss how can you get more clients using your portfolio website.
Let’s get started!
- Customize your website according to your personality
The portfolio website is about you and your work and thus it’s imperative to tailor it as per your personality. Your portfolio website should be your equivalent, add character to it while keeping a professional tone. For example, if you are hesitant in using your own photo, you can introduce yourself using a cartoon character.
Also, make your website fun-loving or simple or hyperactive or sporty or anything else, if that’s what describes you best.
A portfolio site gives your clients to know you better and if it’s nothing like you, you are basically cheating on your prospects.
- Your specialty
Well, this is kind of obvious. It’s your portfolio so you are supposed to add what you do and what’s your specialty. However, these are not the things you are most experienced with. A portfolio website gives you the freedom to shape your profile or what you would want people to recognize you for – even if you are recognized with it yet. Be it logo designer, content marketer, or social media expert, be specific about your specialty. This also saves you from getting involved with irrelevant propositions for work you may not be interested in or unable to perform.
- Easy to find contact information
The main motive of establishing a portfolio website is to enable prospects to contact you for their projects. Thus it’s extremely important to add easy to find contact information including email address, phone number, Twitter URL, and LinkedIn profile URL. Apart from your contact information, make sure other details are also easily accessible including Portfolio, About, Services and more.
- A strong Call to Action
The main goal of your portfolio website is to get a client to hire you. So of course, you have to make it easy for them. Aside from your ‘contact me’ page, you should have at least one or two calls to action on your homepage or skills or expertise page such as fill out a form, hire me, click for contact info, request a free quote etc.
As a matter of fact, if you are not using a call to action on your website, you are certainly missing out a significant opportunity to gather leads and convert your casual visitors to loyal customers. A well-planned CTA button can help you direct clients and get them to perform a particular action (which in your case is to hire you).
There are basically four important considerations when designing a CTA for your portfolio site:
- Text: Is your CTA clear and concise? Does it show a sense of exigency? Does it communicate value?
- Size: Is your CTA easily accessible? Is it too small that it is difficult to notice? Is it mobile-friendly? Is it easily recognizable as a CTA button?
- Color: Does your CTA aesthetically stand out from the rest of the page? Is it surrounded by enough white space? Have you considered the psychology of colors for your call-to-action?
- Placement: Is your CTA above the fold? Is it able to grab the attention of your visitors? Is it placed in a such a way that it persuades users to take action?
Keeping all the above considerations in mind, you will definitely come up with a great CTA for your website that would generate tons of leads for you.
- Provide relevant context
Design and content go hand-in-hand when it comes to setting up a website. So come up with thought-out descriptions of your personality, work, skills and expertise. In addition, make sure you use simple and clear language to describe everything.
I personally like pages which are divided into further sections with relevant sub-headings such as:
- What do I do?
- What projects I have worked on?
- What type of clients I’ve worked with?
This is now easily readable and enables a prospect to better skim and keep a note of the information they are more interested in.
- The power of Testimonials
If you have a huge database of satisfied clients, you can leverage this opportunity and ask them to leave a testimonial on your website. Testimonials improve your website’s credibility and legitimacy. They don’t have to be lengthy, just 2-3 lines would be enough. However, make sure you have placed your testimonials in the best place possible such as footer, sidebar or below your services.
And you do not necessarily need your previous clients to leave testimonials for you. You can get in touch with your co-workers, friends or anyone who has something nice to say about you and your work.
The usage of smartphones has only increased over the time and a majority of your prospects or potential clients access the internet using their mobile phones. Not having a mobile-friendly portfolio website will hinder you from grabbing some of the most valuable clients. Instead of just setting up a desktop website, put extra efforts to build a website that fits every screen size and device available out there to ensure you don’t miss out on an opportunity to find the best possible clients that value your work and skills.
Some great examples of personal portfolio websites:
Developer portfolio examples:
Keith Clark is a front-end developer who is really good with CSS3 and HTML. The homepage showcases his best HTML and CSS3 work along with the link to his latest articles, contact information and Twitter profile URL.
Tamerlan Soziev is not as fancy as the above one, but still a worth checking portfolio site.
Designer Portfolio examples:
Robby Leonardi’s portfolio website is one great example of designing portfolio that features two different options for you to choose. Upon choosing an interactive resume, you are presented with a video game resume where he has used parallax scrolling in the most interactive way possible.
Heraldur Thorliefsson is a single page portfolio website that uses parallax scrolling effect. The designer takes the opportunity to introduce himself along with the companies he has worked with.
Being a freelancer, a portfolio website is an asset. And you’ll get what you put into it. So, invest your time and effort to build a well-planned, and aesthetically appealing website that should leave your visitors awestruck.