If you are within the creative industry or have been a freelancer without a website, then you will know just how important your portfolio is. Your portfolio is essentially a way to sell yourself and show future clients the type of work you have done in the past. It’s a powerful tool that if done well, can land you some big jobs that will help further develop your career. When it comes to how to make a great portfolio site on WordPress, there are a few important things to factor in.
With technology and the way we use the internet advancing continually, portfolio websites have never been so important. No matter your industry, a portfolio website can be created to sell your services and clients can access it anywhere on any device. Having a portfolio site is also a way to attract new clients who are searching for your services on the web, without necessarily knowing you, or you having pitched for the job initially.
If you are looking to create a portfolio site to sell your services, below are eight things to consider when creating a great portfolio site on WordPress.
Make Your Portfolio Site Personal
When it comes to how to make a great portfolio site on WordPress, you need to ensure it s personal.The idea of a portfolio site is to promote yourself and the services you offer as an expert in your field. When designing your portfolio, it is important that you get your character across to the audience. Make them get a feel for who you are as a person; consider adding images of yourself as this introduces who you are. Try and make your photos come across in a certain way that compliments you as a person, instead of using the standard business person in a suit. You can always add some text next to your image to add some context.
Understand Who Your Audience Are
By knowing who your audience is, you can target your site to match their needs. The last thing you want to do is misrepresent yourself and find people click off your site as they don’t feel you can help them, when in reality you are the perfect person. If you specialise in the luxury sector, then use a certain colour to represent this and give your reader a feel of luxury when reading your profile. If you are in a more creative sector, then make your website creative and be clever with it.
If you know that your audience will be looking for a certain criteria that they have to tick off in order to get in touch with you, then make sure you apply these steps into your thinking when designing your site.
You should never underestimate how important the text on your site is. Your text tells a story, explains to them who you are and sells your services. If done incorrectly, you’ll find your visitors don’t understand your offering, therefore not getting in contact with you. There is no excuse for bad grammar on a website! Make sure you get your friends and family members to look over it and confirm it makes sense to them. If you don’t feel confident in writing the text yourself, then make sure you set aside a certain budget to get a copywriter to write it for you.
If you are writing your text, make sure you think about the key messages that you want to portray before writing them. As a freelancer, there may be key skills that you know you can offer that others don’t which is why it’s important your reader know of these. You can always download a plugin like YOAST Seo and use this to give you a readability score on your website text. Another program you can use to check your spelling and grammar is grammarly.
Testimonials are important for any WordPress portfolio site. If you have worked with a particularly big client, then shout about it. Try and get a quote from someone high up in the company and use this on your site. The more quotes you can get the better as this shows that you haven’t only worked with one big client, but several. Along with the testimonials, ask them if you can use their logo on your site as well. You could create a banner with all the key brand’s logos that you have worked with. When a company is on your site, they will hopefully be impressed purely on the fact that you have a portfolio full of highly established brands.
Call To Actions
Don’t overdo call to actions but make sure they are dotted around your site. A call to action is always useful to have, it gives your potential client a little motivation to get in touch if they have any questions about how you can help them. Having a “Let’s Talk” button in your menu that is different to the rest of the menu is eye-catching and will hopefully have the client clicking on it once they have viewed your site. You may want to add a “contact me” banner at the bottom of the page so it gives them a call to action to get in touch if they like what they have seen.
Make sure you include key information on your contact form. If there are certain things you need to know like budget, the company, or the industry they are in, make sure these are on the form. When getting back in touch with them, you will already be prepared with a little information that you can research before the conversation.
Present Your Work In Its Best Form
When thinking of how to make a great portfolio site on WordPress, remember you will be presenting some of your best work. When putting your work together, make sure you do it justice and present it in the best way possible. As a designer, don’t just show the business cards you have created, instead, put a nice background behind it and make it 3d – essentially put together something that makes it stand out from the rest. You don’t need to show all your work on the homepage, but make sure you show a selection of your best work. Make sure it’s varied and covers all your different skill sets.
Have a clear offering
Try to make your portfolio website as easy to follow as possible. Make sure your offerings are clear and concise. You want your audience to know exactly what they are going to get when working with you. You don’t necessarily have to give them a price, but a breakdown of what to expect when working with you. Once they get in touch with you, is when you can start quoting them on the job. When writing your text, try not to make it confusing, bullet point things if you have to, or ask them to give you a call to ask any questions. If applicable, you could always add an FAQ’s section to clear up and commonly asked questions which you get asked a lot.
Show Live Examples Of Your Work
Depending on your profession this could be extremely beneficial. When showing your work in your portfolio, try to show examples of live work; work that can actually be accessed, instead of being a print screen or a photo example. If for example, you are a website developer, show the live website that you have created and send them to it to explore. If you are a copywriter send them to the website that displays your copy. By doing so it’s a little more interactive and brings a certain level of additional trust before hiring you and it shows that your work is recent. If you do show live work, make sure you are checking it every now and then as you don’t want a potential client clicking on the link for it to show a 404 error.
As a portfolio site, the most important thing is to make sure your services are clear and the site is easy to navigate. You want a potential client to be able to easily identify how you can help and get in touch instantly. Once the site is done it’s important you get a couple of friends or family members to look over it and check they understand that the site achieves what you want it to.
Once the site is live you can install tracking software to know how many people are visiting your site and a heat map to know where they are clicking and if there is any confusion. And remember your site is never the final picture. You can always update it to improve it to make it better, or update sections like your portfolio with your latest work.
Have you recently launched a portfolio site? What things did you consider when getting it designed? What worked well for you and didn’t? What do you think of our guide on how to make a great portfolio site on WordPress? Please drop us a comment to help our other readers, we would love to hear from you.