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Many freelancers designers rely on their portfolio to land them new client work, so it’s of high importance to make sure you’re providing enough information about yourself and capturing the interest of your potential customers. Here’s an overview of clever features designers are currently implementing on their sites that you might consider for your own portfolio.
What do you offer?
There’s a massive range of skills that spread across the web design industry. Are you a front end designer, a coder, a programmer? It’s hard enough for designers and developers to decide what job description fits each skill, so we can only imagine how confusing it can be for clients. Matt Imling presents his skills in a graph on his website, allowing him to clearly show his strengths.
Who are you?
The Internet is becoming more and more social, but it’s surprising how many people still don’t show their faces on their portfolio websites. A simple photograph can immediately give a personal connection between you and your clients that helps generate trust and authenticity of your services. Gilles Munten shows a large photograph of himself as a focal point on his website. He even adds a touch of humour with a silly message which further establishes an insight to his personality.
Who have you worked for?
If you’re a veteran designer who has a number of high profile clients under your best, flaunt these on your website. Having the logos of companies you’ve worked for (even if not household names) will give you extra cred that will help persuade any potential client to hire you. Joey Rabbitt lists a collection of client logos in his sidebar under the title “I’ve worked with…”.
How did you produce your work?
The typical approach to most portfolios is to simply attach a single screenshot, but there’s so much more you can do to really present your work and give an insight into your design process. Elliot Jay Stocks writes a short paragraph explaining the nature of the project and backs up the final design with his initial sketches and detail shots to show just how much work went into the piece.
Are you blogging yet?
I always cite how a blog is one of the most crucial features of any designer portfolio website. A basic portfolio will end up gathering dust in the corner of the Internet, but a consistently updated blog will help you fly up the search engines and boost your exposure. Tyler Galpin uses his blog to give behind the scenes insight into the making of his brand and website.
Are you asking the right questions?
It’s too easy just to ask for a potential client’s name and email address, then struggle to generate an estimate or quote for their project. Make sure you’re collecting the vital details such as their budget and timeframe along with the finer details of their project to help you put together a concise quotation. Dave Ruiz from Foundation Six collects this information as part of the website’s contact form.
Are you available?
A simple addition to your portfolio website that can really help manage your daily emails is an availability status notice. If you find yourself having to constantly turn down clients due to being fully booked a notice stating your availability will help weed out those clients wanting a quick fix. Any clients who continue to get in touch will be comfortable with the expected delay. Simon Collison describes his limited availability in 2011 as a message above his contact form.
Where else can I find you?
We’ve already mentioned how social the web now is. If you’re an active user of networks such as Dribbble, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn you should direct your viewers to connect. Not only will this help boost your friend and follower count, but it will also give potential clients further opportunities to check out your work, hobbies and interests. Nathan Hornby links to his social profiles with icons at the bottom of his portfolio, with an invite to be friends.