How to make your portfolio website stand out from the crowd

If you want to be discovered for your creative abilities, the quickest and easiest way is online. A portfolio website—with assistance from social media—is the best way to show the world what you can do. In fact, it can even help attract the attention of potential clients and collaborators who will search you out.

But what if you don’t know a lot about creating a website? It can seem like a daunting task. However, these days, creating a portfolio website is pretty easy. You don’t need to know about web hosting or code; websites like Squarespace, Dunked or Behance easily give you the opportunity to build a portfolio website to showcase your work.

But is it enough to simply drag and drop your work online? What can you do to make sure that your work stands out from the countless other portfolios websites?

To help you stand out from the crowd and proudly promote your work, read up on the following seven tips. You’ll learn about why you need to be branded, why your portfolio website needs to be mobile friendly and more. And if you require assistance with your portfolio before it goes online, check out 10 tips to improve it.

Capture audiences with a striking logo

Ensure you have proper branding on your portfolio website

Creating a personal brand begins with the logo. It’s the first thing users will see and it’ll be the image that they’ll associate with you and your work. When creating a personal logo, consider that it needs to represent you and who you are as an artist/designer. It doesn’t have to be complex—it can be as simple as your signature. If you already have one, note that your logo should be placed in the top left corner of your portfolio website; in western society, people’s eyes are trained to read from left to right and will look there first.

Always choose quality over quantity

Don’t crowd your portfolio website by including every piece of work you’ve ever done (this includes your offline portfolio as well). Instead, focus on choosing your best work; this should be the projects that illustrate your full set of skills and abilities. Exclude anything you’re not proud of or you don’t think is your best work. Your online portfolio has to be the most impressive and representative work you have to offer; the work needs to instantly impress and draw in the interest of potential clients.

Some of the best design portfolios only display one creation at a time, then going deeper into the project with the trend moving towards image heavy websites. Always include a short description with each project and the skills you used to complete it. Your portfolio website needs to answer these questions like:

  • Who was the client?
  • What was the design?
  • What was the purpose of the website?
  • Did the design compliment the purpose? 

By providing information about a portfolio piece, it will fill prospective employer in on the details. It also allows them to appreciate it on an aesthetic level and on a practical client/project level.

Humanize your website

Work is great, but a prospective client will also want to know more about the person behind the art. Put them at ease by adding some info about yourself. An About page is a great solution to tell people about yourself. It only needs to be a description of you as a person; include your likes and dislikes. And don’t be camera shy. A nice picture of yourself will give clients piece of mind seeing who they’re dealing with—and it adds trust.

If you have social network links (which you should), they’re also a great representation of you as a person. However, be cautious of what you post online, because once it’s up it’s there forever for everyone to see.

Consider a landing page for your portfolio website

One way to introduce yourself and your brand to new visitors is with a beautiful landing page. From providing a quick glimpse at your newest photographs or previewing your latest video, a landing page is your chance to grab the attention of visitors before pointing them to other areas of your portfolio website.

You need to be responsive

Make sure your portfolio website is mobile friendly

With more people consuming online content on the go, it’s not good enough to have a portfolio website that’s only optimized for larger screens. Therefore, it’s essential to ensure your website is responsive and that it functions quick and pretty for mobile devices. This way your visitors are guaranteed a pleasant website experience, wherever they may be accessing it on.

Add a blog

Having a regularly updated blog is one of the best ways to keep visitors coming back. Set yourself a goal like updating your blog every 2-3 days for 100 days. You can write about projects you’ve worked on, your thoughts about art and design trends, your favourite tools, or even write tips to make your portfolio website stand out from the crowd. And while it may seem a pain to have to find something new to post every couple days, in the long run you’ll thank yourself. Google loves a well-structured, regularly updated website that’s stuffed with great content.

Keep your portfolio updated

Once you have created a stunning portfolio website, the hard part will be regularly updating it with new work. You can have the fanciest site in the world, but if it was last updated five years ago, it’d be useless for people to visit. Yet, for many designers, their busy work schedules prevent them from doing this. But, as difficult as this may be, it’s important to try to find the time.

Promote your portfolio website

You’ve built a portfolio website, made it responsive, written blog posts and kept it updated, but still no one is visiting. This is where social media comes in: Be active on Facebook, Twitter,  Google+, and for if your looking for a prospective employer, LinkedIn. Deploy your portfolio pieces on websites like Behance, Flickr, Dribbble and deviantART. Aggregate artwork into a slideshow and share it on Slideshare or Visme. Put together a PDF brochure and upload it to Scribd. Hell, film yourself working and put the video on YouTube.

Use social media and sites like Behance to link to your portfolio website

The more places you share your content, the more you’ll drive people towards you and your portfolio website.

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