The Portfolio website will help you find work
3 reasons you need to take care of your portfolio website right away
We designers, illustrators, graphic artists and photographers are all the same in one point: we love pictures.
And if you are self-employed, you cannot avoid having your own website. A designer's website differs very clearly in one point from a normal Internet presence: Here, the focus is not on the texts, but on the images.
This is why creative people (almost) always have a subpage on which the work samples are collected and lovingly presented. The portfolio is the heart of the website. This is why this type of website is also called a portfolio website.
As a designer, the portfolio is your decisive marketing tool
With the many different styles and focuses that exist in design, the portfolio is your first and most important business card on the Internet. Here you can show what you do and where your particular strengths lie. Potential clients around the world can find your work and look at it.
You introduce your personality and what defines your designs. Instead of just saying which services you offer, you can use specific examples to explain what you do and which customers you work for.
3 reasons why your portfolio website is so important to you
A neglected or completely outdated portfolio always makes an unprofessional impression. You are also giving up a good chance to present your latest projects and ideas to website visitors.
Now you are probably thinking: “I would update my portfolio. But I can't because I have to do a thousand other things instead ... " I know. I know the feeling. I feel like that often enough myself. And according to this infographic, not just me and you. 😉
But it's really important for your design business that you take this time. So let's take a closer look at why you have to take care of your portfolio immediately.
# 1 - Show off your very best work and find exactly the right client
You put your heart and soul into each of your designs. And that's what you should see when you look at your portfolio website. So present your work in the best possible way.
It starts with the right selection of work samples. Do you want to show as many works as possible or do you prefer to highlight a very specific area? In any case, you should sample the work according to topics such as "Web design", "Illustration" or "Graphic design" sort by. This makes it easier to recognize your focus and to look specifically for suitable examples.
You are not an individual who posts pictures on the Internet as a hobby. You are a professional designer, a private label, so to speak. That is why your entire appearance must also exude this professionalism. Use your corporate font, certain image elements and your highlighting color in the portfolio. A high recognition value is important so that clients can recognize you quickly and easily. You are convinced of your designs and you should see that immediately when you visit your portfolio website.
Your perfect target customer
What do you want to be known for? What is your focus As an illustrator for children's books, you will present your work differently than when you design presentations for lawyers.
Internalize your target customers and imagine exactly how they should be addressed.
- To use the informal or the formal "you?
- Loose writing style or very formal? With a lot of descriptive text or very little?
- Do you show the entire office equipment at a glance so that you can see how you are implementing a corporate design? Or an illustration and lots of small detail shots of it to illustrate the diversity?
The moment you focus your best work precisely on your inquirers, they will also feel addressed. He will feel "at home" in your portfolio.
If a potential client looks at your portfolio website and immediately understands which services you offer and what is special about your style, then they also know that you are the right designer for their project.
This creates a long-term collaboration between you as a designer and your client, which is satisfactory for both parties. Clients don't want faceless and interchangeable creatives to implement their design projects. You are looking for a reliable partner who suits you exactly and with whom you can trustfully work together over a long period of time.
# 2 - Get to know your visitors and find out what they like
If you take care of your portfolio website regularly, you can learn a lot about your visitors. Which designs are particularly looked at? What is not at all exciting for your visitors? And is what the visitors of your website are particularly interested in what you would like to offer as a designer?
The easiest way to learn more about your visitors is with the free tool "Google Analytics". After you have registered your portfolio website there, you can see exactly how often and for how long your pages are viewed. It shows which topics and pages are particularly popular with your readers. This is a huge advantage for you because you can respond so much better to the wishes of your clients. Maybe you have a treasure in your portfolio that is called up again and again, even though you do not have this work in mind.
Social media and comments
The direct feedback from your website visitors will also help you. This can be via your contact form, the social media channels or via the comments directly on your website. Which designs and pages are most often commented on or shared? Are there any questions about your work that your clients keep asking you? Then you can adapt the text accompanying your presented designs accordingly. This supports your professionalism and shows your expert status.
# 3 - Make your portfolio website the center of attention
Facebook, Twitter, tutorials, YouTube, the blog, exhibitions, fairs and conferences - there are countless ways to make your designs better known. That is why it is important that there is a basis for all of the many marketing routes.
Your portfolio website is that focal point. Here you can point out all promotions, collect all guest posts and anchor your social media channels. Your clients will find all the information they need to know about you and your designs here. Make it easy for customers to find out about your work.
You also have another big advantage: you have full control over all content and information. You can tell your stories very specifically and according to your ideas. If you only rely on social media and Facebook is taken off the market tomorrow 😉, then all of your marketing would be gone.
Tip: This is also the reason why you should always refer to your website and not to a specific social media channel.
Your portfolio website is much more than a mere presentation space for your work. You can show what is important to you, tell your own story and welcome new contacts. Show your skills with beautiful examples and convince clients of your designs.
In any case, it is a wonderful business strategy to find exactly the right customer with your beloved designs and to build a relationship that is always evolving and mutually satisfactory.
The article was last updated in May 2015.
Photo credit cover picture: Gudrun Wegener
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