One of the best ways to attract new clients is showing them your top projects. Your website portfolio page is your chance to highlight your expertise in specific areas. You can use it to stand out from the competition and make a strong impression so they remember you when they are ready to hire someone.
According to Internet Live Stats, there are approximately 1.86 billion websites online. However, not all are active and some park on top of other domains. Still, you’re competing with a lot of noise to get your portfolio page noticed. People have many options on where to spend their time. Make your page interesting enough that they want to devote some of their day there.
What is the secret ingredient that makes one portfolio page stand out from another? You must grab attention, showcase the wide scope of your work and instill the idea your brand is high quality all with a few photos and text. Here are the steps to achieving the perfect online presence.
1. Choose Your Best Work
Selecting only the photos highlighting the top quality work you do might seem like a no-brainer. However, it’s easy to hone in on the project you completed and not realize the photos don’t truly do it justice. Your portfolio is about more than just great projects. It must encompass great pictures to highlight your abilities.
Make sure any photos you use clearly show the before and after of your work. Take the time to invest in photo editing and excellent equipment so your images aren’t filled with shadows and poor lighting. Select only the best images.
Ronald L. Receveur, DDS offers dental implants. They showcase their best work in their “Smile Gallery.” You can scroll through the different images to see the beautiful smiles they’ve created.
Something they add to their portfolio page that works particularly well is a link to patient testimonials. Click on any video to hear more about what their service did for the person and get a glimpse of what their smile looks like in real life.
2. Add Trust Factors
When people land on your page, they have no reason to trust you. Even if a friend or family member referred them, they’ve not done business with you before. You must show them you can be trusted. You can add several trust factors to your portfolio page to show you’re honest.
In addition to reviews and testimonials, make your contact information easy to find. People want to know they can get in touch if something goes wrong after their purchase. Add any organizations you belong to, such as professional trade associations or the Better Business Bureau.
3. Utilize Case Studies
There may be times when you have a particularly challenging task to complete. Highlighting how you were able to overcome difficulties shows clients you don’t stop until you find the right solution. Case studies give you an opportunity to share photos of the finished project, but also dig deeper into the story behind the job.
Illuminated Integration shares the details of a job they did for Otterbein Church. The task was to convert a gymnasium into a church sanctuary. They had to figure out how to create a welcoming atmosphere that suited the needs of a large, modern church. The company worked on lighting, acoustics, audio, video, curtains and atmospheric controls.
4. Tell Them Who You Are
In the midst of sharing stories about your projects, make sure you show potential clients who you are. While telling customer stories, tell your own story. What do you stand for? What is at the core of why you do the work you do?
At a minimum, include a short about section and a link to more details. Your portfolio page is an excellent location to share a video about your brand story.
5. Share the Details
Your portfolio is about more than just the finished product of your hard work. People want to know you understand the steps involved in getting from Point A to Point B. You must tell a story as you share examples of your work. What was particularly challenging about the job? How is it unique from other projects of a similar nature? Show off your expertise.
Walnut Ridge Landscape Design shares their three-dimensional plan for the space next to a photograph of the finished project. By showing site visitors their concept, they prove they can come up with a plan and bring it to life.
6. Include a Call to Action (CTA)
You might not naturally place a CTA button on your portfolio page, but the goal of the page is to seek new leads. When someone views your images, the ideal result will be they want to hire you.
Make your CTA easy to find. Ideally, you’ll include a link near the top of the page offering a free consultation or quote. Some people will click the button right away and others will spend time perusing your portfolio, so you may want to add a second button under your gallery or to the side.
Try different placements until you find the one your users respond best to. Conduct split testing, adjust the wording, try different colors and keep tweaking until you’re satisfied with your conversion rates.
Quality Over Quantity
Your photos are the face of your brand online. It’s better to have a few high-quality images taken by a professional photographer than a ton of pictures with fuzzy focus or dark shadows. Ideally, you’ll choose a wide range of projects so you can showcase your abilities, but don’t be afraid to limit yourself until you have the right ones to prove your worth as a business.
Eleanor Hecks is editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. Eleanor was the creative director and occasional blog writer at a prominent digital marketing agency before becoming her own boss in 2018. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and dog, Bear.