By: Prateek Patel

Who Doesn’t Need a Portfolio Nowadays? 
Everyone, regardless of a profession. With the high level of competition in every field, every professional wants to have a portfolio; and if the field is creative and related to arts, it becomes even more important to have a portfolio, because it is a showcase of your talent.

What Is a Portfolio?
A portfolio is a set of work samples created by a professional as a showcase of their skills. It could be a set of photos displaying the skills of the model, the photographer, or the fashion designer; or a set of drawings displaying the range of an artist; set of notes/articles written by an aspiring writer. With the advancing technologies resulting in the virtual shrinking of the world, it is not possible to send physical samples to the prospective clients or employers, and hence the need for a portfolio website.
 
 
Using a portfolio you can regularly add and edit and revise your samples to match your ever-growing skill set. And all you should do is send the link to your prospective client or employer, they can assess your skill set with just a click of a mouse or a tap of a finger. No need for postage or missing out on dates of submission.
 
It is important to understand that your portfolio website is your virtual image. It represents you, and that’s why you should ensure that your website fulfils the following criteria:
 
COMMUNICATION
  • When you build your portfolio, it is of utmost importance that you clearly list all the services you provide, without beating around the bush. You must also remember to not sound boastful in your portfolio. Use a matter-of-factly tone to state your skills and services.
  • Also no matter the profession, there is not just one skill; there is always a range of skills. And it can get rather confusing for a client to understand your abilities. That’s why it is important to not just state your skills, but also describe them concisely.
SHOW YOURSELF
  • It is rather ironical that while many professionals include a portfolio website containing all the details of their work profile, not many of them add a photo there. Adding a photo to your portfolio website adds that personal touch to your prospective audience. It also adds a tinge of authenticity to your portfolio. Virtualization adds a risk to authenticity but adding that photo of you makes you a real person and beats that risk.
  • Introduce yourself with a personalized message; a personal message goes a long way in establishing connect with prospective employer or client. Another piece of information you may want to consider including in your portfolio website are your prices. But this is a risky path to take, you may end up underquoting for a big project or losing out on a client because of a quote too high. That’s why you can add a link requesting to contact you to discuss further pricing for the project.
  • Last but not the least, you can use your portfolio website to show your availability for work.
SAMPLES OF YOUR WORK
  • If you have had a varied work experience in your profession then you must display your work, advertise it. Also, make sure you don’t display all your work on your portfolio, but only your best work. 
  • If you have received appreciation and laurels on a piece of work, then show it off. 
  • Make sure you have the proper permissions for displaying the work, for sometimes your best work may be confidential and not really appropriate for public viewing.
TESTIMONIALS
  • With great experience come satisfied clients. If you have a set of regular clients and have worked with a lot of big names, then make sure you display them on your portfolio. This applies even to those clients which are not very popular, because it lets your audience know that you have a wide range and are passionate about your work.
  • Encourage your past clients to post in testimonials about their experience of working with you and post those testimonials on your portfolio website. Reading about others’ experience will definitely help your prospective clients make a positive decision towards working with you.
CONTACT DETAILS AND SOCIAL PRESENCE
  • Do not forget to include your contact details, from email address and phone numbers to links to your social profiles like LinkedIn, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and so on.  
  • You can also add a contact form in your website, which a prospective client can fill in details such as the type of project they want from you, the timeframe, budget, and a space to enter any other details if they’d like. 
  • This helps you make a better decision on how to go about with the proposed project and schedule it to meet the deadlines.
MINIMAL APPROACH
  • Minimalism is the in thing now when it comes to web design and development. Cluttering your website with too many details and colours – even if you are a graphic designer – can work against you. 
  • Include only relevant information regarding your work and your contact details.
VISIBILITY
  • No matter how impressive your portfolio is, it is of no use if it doesn’t have the necessary visibility. To be able increase the targeted traffic to your portfolio website, you can enlist your portfolio website in online galleries. 
  • These galleries list many portfolios of your counterpart professionals, therefore not only attracting prospective clients, but also allowing you to connect with other professionals.
  • Another method you can use to increase traffic to your portfolio is by maintaining a blog, and include the blog link in your portfolio and the portfolio link in your blog. If you are a regular blogger, then you are sure to attract a lot of target traffic to your portfolio website.
 
You know you are the best at what you do, now it is the time for you to display your abilities. By adding these features to your portfolio website, you are definitely on the right track towards managing your freelance streak in a very smart manner.

 

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