Clients are the backbone of every service-based business — web design freelancers and agencies included. After all, without clients, there are no booked projects and no steady income.
While there are quite a few ways to market yourself as a web designer, the best place to start is with an attractive website and online portfolio that shows potential clients what you have to offer and the value of working with you.
Portfolios are how potential clients can get a feel for your design aesthetic. They can also see which past projects of yours are similar to theirs, and decide whether or not you’re the right designer to bring their ideas to life. In other words, your portfolio shows off your web design skills and helps you eliminate prospects that don’t fit your ideal client profile.
Today, we’ll cover how Jetpack can help to showcase your web design skills with a Portfolio.
Enable the Portfolio Custom Content Type
The Portfolio Custom Content Type can be enabled in your dashboard by going to Jetpack > Settings > Writing. Scroll down and toggle Portfolios “on” under Custom Content Types.
With Portfolios enabled, you can add projects to your portfolio in the same way that you might add new posts and pages. Try linking to your portfolio within your navigation menu by adding a custom link that points to something like: yourawesomeurl.com/portfolio.
You can also display your portfolio on any existing site page by using the [portfolio] shortcode, which allows you to add extra parameters that control which details are shown, the number of columns and projects that are displayed, and more.
When creating a portfolio page on your Jetpack site, there are a few key points to keep in mind.
Share your best work: Your portfolio is not the place to convey your evolution as a designer; after all, you want to make great first impressions. Instead of sharing every project that you ever completed, limit your portfolio to your best work.
Keep your portfolio updated: Make sure that you regularly update your portfolio with new projects. It’s easy to forget this step when you’re busy with work, but if your latest portfolio piece is already a few years old, potential clients might be inclined to think that you no longer provide web design services.
Contextualize your portfolio: Be sure to include details about the examples included within your portfolio (rather than just sharing an image). By explaining your design process and what went into it, potential clients will get a clearer picture of what it’s like to work with you.
Be creative with your presentation: While a featured image looks great on a portfolio page, feel free to add more images within individual project pages. To really stand out, you can even add videos that depict brief presentations of your finished projects. Don’t be afraid to get creative with the ways that you feature each one.
Tips for making your portfolio stand out
The primary purpose of your online portfolio is to build trust in potential clients and encourage them to hire you. As such, make sure that your portfolio stands out from the competition by following these five tips:
1. Establish a goal
The most important part of the portfolio design process might be to establish its purpose. Are you trying to attract more clients? Or, do you want to showcase your creativity and how you approach certain projects?
Once you’ve decided on a clear, attainable goal, design your portfolio with that in mind.
2. Make it cohesive
As a designer, you’ve likely worked on a variety of project types in the past. However, your portfolio will look more aesthetically pleasing if you make sure that each project is shown in a cohesive manner. For examples of portfolio cohesion, look for items grouped together by color, or design style.
3. Include a call to action
If you want potential clients to hire you, your individual portfolio pages should include calls to action. Think about the questions that potential clients might pose as they’re browsing through your site, and then encourage them to take the next logical step.
It’s a good idea to include a link back to your “Contact” page so that interested parties can get in touch with you. Or, consider inviting them to schedule free introductory phone calls to discuss their project ideas.
4. Promote your portfolio
Don’t be afraid to promote your portfolio pieces and pages on social media. Make use of visual platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest on top of Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. You can also capitalize on the popularity of live streaming by presenting your design process on YouTube or Facebook.
5. Include testimonials on your portfolio pages
Lastly, consider including testimonials from past clients on their corresponding portfolio pages and projects. This further builds trust with potential clients, as it shows that others have been satisfied with your services in the past.
Win more clients with Jetpack’s help
Your website will often be the first point of contact that a potential client has with you and your web design services. Make use of the Portfolio feature to engage your audience, establish trust and credibility, and draw in more repeat visitors that ultimately become clients.
Do you use Portfolios to attract new business? How does yours stand out from the crowd? Let us know in the comments below, we’d love to hear from you!