If you’re a designer or artist, attracting new customers is all about showing off your skills and flaunting your previous work. Having a wonderfully written CV may not offer much. But maintaining a stunning online portfolio does.
This is true for all creative professionals, whether you’re an interior designer, photographer, musician, or carpenter. Creatives invest a lot of time and effort into building their online portfolios. But there’s no guarantee that it’ll land you new clientele.
These are 4 things you can do to make your portfolio website stand out, and attract more customers:
1. Make Sure Your Website Looks Amazing
As in real life, first impressions are everything. So when it comes to your website, your visual design should be on point.
The first thing people notice when they arrive at your online portfolio is the aesthetic. The colors, imagery and fonts you use all set the tone, and people instinctively know if they’re into it or not.
Most website building platforms offer a variety of templates, so there’s no excuse for an ugly portfolio. It’s hard to go wrong with a premade design. But if you’re up for the challenge, you can design your site yourself, making it truly unique.
That’s just the overall look of your site, though. A good portfolio website probably has a decent amount of photos as well. Make sure your pictures are of the highest quality. If you’re in a visual profession, definitely don’t settle for mediocre images. If necessary, hire a photographer to help you out.
Selecting the right photos to present is also important. Think of what your potential customers would want to see, and ensure they get what they want.
2. Create the Right Pages for Your Portfolio Website
For people to properly navigate your website, you’ll need to have a clear page layout. This is pretty straightforward for portfolio websites. All you’ll need is 4 pages – a homepage, a portfolio page, an “about” page, and a contact page.
Your homepage is where you’ll make your first impression. It should include a bit of information about your work. But it’s just as important to ensure it draws attention.
Your portfolio page is where all the action happens. This is where you showcase your work. One of the most important parts of building a portfolio is choosing what projects to highlight. On one hand, you’ll want to show a range of talents. But on the other hand, you should make it clear what you specialize in.
The “about” section of your website will be dedicated to introducing you, as an individual and as a brand. This is where you can go in-depth on what you do, why you do it, what your values are, etc. Let your potential customers know exactly what to expect from you.
The contact page is possibly the most important part of your website. It’s where you’ll want to funnel potential customers, in order to convert them to paying clientele. Your contact information should be clear, of course, and you can add a built-in contact form to make it easier to reach you. Don’t forget to link all other pages to your contact page as well.
These are the basics for a well-built online portfolio. But if you wish to take it one step further, you can add a blog section. Blogs are great for brand building, as well as SEO purposes.
3. Optimize Your Website for Search Engines
Once you’ve built the perfect online portfolio, you’ll need to make sure people reach it. One of the most common ways to boost traffic is through SEO (search engine optimization).
Improving your website’s SEO raises its ranking on search engine results pages. So when people Google phrases related to your business, your site will show up higher in the results.
There are a few simple things you can do to improve your website’s SEO.
First, you should come up with a list of relevant keywords. These are simply phrases that people commonly Google. Do some keyword research and make a list of keywords relevant to your business.
Once you have your keywords, you can optimize meta titles and descriptions for all of your web pages. This is the text that appears on your Google listings, so it should be very precise.
Your titles should include your brand name, as well as the page name and a major keyword or two.The meta description should add some more information, and use another keyword or two.
The same can be done with images. Every single image on the internet has “alt-text”, which is there for accessibility. Without complicating things, you should use this text to describe the image, as well as incorporate some more keywords.
4. Promote Your Online Portfolio
Search engines are just one way to reach your audience. But there are more active methods you can use to seek out new customers.
Using social media is a great way to reach new audiences. You can create engaging content and interact with others to increase your brand awareness. Ultimately, you’ll be able to use these channels to drive traffic to your portfolio website, and hopefully gain new customers.
But growing your social media following may be just as hard as promoting your online portfolio. Fortunately, if you’re willing to invest, you can simply buy ads on platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Ads are a useful way to reach massive amounts of people, without investing the time and effort in growing your following.
Another great way to promote your portfolio website is to write for other blogs or publications. By writing for others you gain free exposure for your brand (or paid, depending on how you work things out). It also helps establish you as an authority in your field, which is never bad for business either…
Gaining new customers is a numbers game. To really maximize your potential and reach as many customers as possible, you should use a mix of all of these methods, and more. Marketing is all about finding creative ways to promote your business, and doing what works best for you.