8 Tips for Creating an Impressive Online Portfolio

In today’s world, everything is online. The days of super thick binders filled with laminated photos of our work are over.

Well, over half a million websites are created every day, most by independent users, so you can either join or get left behind.

Luckily, creating an online portfolio has never been easier. Let’s talk about some helpful tips so you can get started with yours!

Creating an Online Portfolio #1. Quality

Is there any work you’ve done that you felt could have been done better? Then congratulations, you’re a human being.

Display some of your finest pieces first, at the top of the list, or for the cover when viewers have to click on them.

Remember, quality is always more important than quantity. Any hiring manager would rather see 10 great pieces of work than 1,000 mediocre ones. Only add if you think it would serve well as a first impression.

First Impressions Matter

The first impression of the cover of each section when you click it, and the first impression after it’s been clicked is equally as important.

Ask yourself with everything you put on there: “If this was the first thing I saw, what would I think?”

If you’re a writer, make sure the articles on display not only look neat and have eye-catching imagery to entice the reader, but make sure the first thing they read when they open it gives a good first impression. A killer intro will do that.

The captions on your photo may be the first thing they read. Everything in the portfolio should be treated as if it’s the decision-making factor. Remember, a first impression is made in under 30 seconds! Make it count!

#2. Have a Website

The best way to create an online portfolio is to have it on your own website.

Having your own website shows professionalism. You went the extra mile to display your work, rather than just sending a Google Doc or a Powerpoint presentation. This really shows you have enough confidence in your work that you’re willing to display it to the world.

Not everybody knows how to create an online portfolio, and that’s okay! We all have different skills.

Anybody can create a basic website, and readers know when it’s a DIY. Make yours stand out by hiring professional web design.

#3. Focus On the Customer

If there’s a job or a client that you particularly want to impress with your work, it never hurts to change up the layout or display pattern of your portfolio.

For example, if you’re a tattoo artist and you’re used to doing American traditional, having a section to display your portrait skills might just impress this customer who’s paying top dollar for a good portrait tattoo.

Having tabs available for each area of focus will also help specific clients get a better idea of your translatable skills to the jobs at hand.

#4. Organize

The word “organize” should be ringing over and over again in your head right now. Having tabs and multiple pages for different styles is a great start, but that’s far from all you can do.

Having your work organized by style, dates, client types, and more will make it a lot easier to navigate. 

Making every area of the website as user-friendly as possible shows that this portfolio was meant to be read, and that you’re a serious master of your craft.

#5. Get Noticed

If you’re hiring a professional web designer, check out their SEO services, too. This will help your website appear on relevant web searches so people can find you organically, which will lead to more sales!

Sending your portfolio link to clients you want every time will help, sure. However, advertising is important to get noticed, and the more organic traffic you can get to your site, the more calls you’ll be getting.

Organic traffic, things people clicked on after searching for themselves rather than being showed an ad for, accounts for over 68% of trackable traffic.

#6. List Your Contact Information 

Again, you want people to find your site before you have a chance to reach out to them. If you can manage this, then they need a way to contact you.

Make sure that if you get an email with your domain, you use it. If not, get a professional email that you actually use. Don’t even think about giving that silly email address with 6 numbers at the end that you made back in middle school!

Something like a Gmail account is totally fine as long as it’s just your name or your brand on there. 

#7. Think of It as Another Design Project

If you’re a graphic designer, you better have some solid graphic design in your portfolio! Your portfolio should be visually appealing and functional, just like your craft!

Regardless of your craft, this is another art project. If you aren’t up for the challenge, get some outside help so you look as professional as possible.

#8. Be Honest

Only show your own work, what you can do, and really give a solid demonstration of the kinds of services you offer. Also, be sure to give credit where credit is due.

A simple caption saying you “couldn’t have done this without your team at XYZ” shows honesty and authenticity in your work.

Be humble, too. Assuming you’re showing quality work, nobody will hate a piece of your work just because you say “while this took me longer than intended-” or “while this didn’t come out the way I expected, I was still happy I was able to please-“. 

We’re all human. People understand that and often appreciate demonstrations of it from time to time.

Build It Today!

If you’re creating an online portfolio for the first time, why wait? Get it up and running and let it do the work for you from there! There’s no time like now to get ahead of your competition.

Stay up to date on the latest marketing news by checking out the rest of our website, and keep showing off those masterpieces!