When you build an online portfolio website with WordPress.com, you’re building a place where your readers — and potential customers — can get to know both you and your business. It’s a place to showcase your work and your commitment to quality so that visitors will feel encouraged to conduct business with you.
If you’re wondering whether you need an online portfolio and what goes into creating one, read on!
Online portfolios are useful tools for writers, photographers, business consultants, developers, and most online professionals. If you’re a freelancer, creative professional, service provider, or even small business owner, an online portfolio is probably a good resource to have available.
Creating a portfolio helps build trust with new business prospects even before you personally communicate with them. They’re great visual tools you can use to humanize your business while showing potential customers what they can expect after hiring you. They can also help you start conversations about your past work and qualifications, which can be an extremely powerful sales tool.
Creating a portfolio and deciding what to include in one can be daunting. To help you out, here’s a list of the components that should be included when you create an online portfolio.
1. Information about yourself
At first glance, this one probably seems obvious. But we’re not talking about the average “About Me” page here. The generic information often found on those pages won’t separate your business from anyone else’s.
There’s one thing that makes your business truly unique: you. Use your About Me page to highlight your expertise and what sets you apart from others in your industry.
You want to include your professional history and qualifications to highlight why someone would want to do business with you. But, it’s also a good idea to use a more personal tone here. Share your likes and passions to stand out and give clients an idea of what it would be like working with you.
Tip: Each item that you share should shed positive light on your work — even the light-hearted facts. For example, if you own a travel agency, include photos of yourself exploring new locations. Demonstrate how your passions influence your work.
2. Examples of your work
Now for the reason you’re creating an online portfolio in the first place: showcasing your work.
The most common mistake that service providers make with their portfolios is showcasing every project they’ve ever completed. Your visitors simply don’t have time to look through everything. It’s important to not go overboard and instead focus on your most important work.
For example, if you’re a wedding photographer, you don’t need to showcase every wedding you’ve ever photographed. Alternatively, pick only your very best, most creative shoots and feature those. Use this opportunity to tell your visitors a story rather than just bombarding them with samples.
Tip: Make sure your portfolio is easy to navigate. If you shoot family photos and baby pictures in addition to weddings, have separate pages for each category. That way, future clients can easily find the specific type of work they’re interested in.
3. Testimonials from happy customers
It’s important to highlight your talents, but showcasing your professionalism and customer-satisfaction rate is equally important. You can communicate these qualities to your visitors through testimonials.
Imagine choosing between two restaurants for a dinner party. How do you make a choice? In most cases, you probably go online and read the reviews.
The same idea applies here. Prospective customers want to read about your previous customers’ experiences. According to Conversion XL, testimonials and word of mouth referrals drive 20-50 percent of all purchasing decisions. So, feature your testimonials proudly and prominently.
Tip: Ask for your clients’ permission to include their photos along with their testimonials. This reminds people that there’s an actual person behind each claim, which will help build additional trust.