Before the advent of the dot com boom, photographers & creative artists used to rely on printed portfolios. Distributing their portfolios among close friends, family and relatives, they hoped to get assignments through ‘word-of-mouth marketing. With the rapid growth in the internet & online marketing, creative artists all over the world have witnessed this metamorphosis of those dull, printed portfolio books into online portfolio websites. Whether you’re a photographer, videographer, or any creative artist, having your own portfolio website is so imperative that without having one, you cannot expect leads to come directly over to your doorsteps. As the world gets digital at this unprecedented rate, having an online portfolio website that stands out from the crowd can definitely earn you an edge over the competitors!
In this post, I have compiled the 10 best ways to help you build a killer portfolio website that roars and stand out from the crowd.
Tip #1: Put forward your best work first
"Curate your best work first" is the most common advice you would be given over the web. Nobody tells why you should display only your best work on the front page of your portfolio website.
According to data researched by Tony Haile of Chartbeat, an average reader spends just 15 seconds on your online portfolio website to decide either Yay OR Nay! Yeah, those first 15 seconds are so crucial to make a strong positive impact that it can either make or break the deal.
To help you understand it better, please let me draw a simple analogy for you. Suppose that you have been given just 45 seconds to tell why you are the best fit for a particular post in a job interview. Guess, what would you say? Exactly! You would be highlighting and putting forward the best of yourself and your achievements so far, that make you qualify for that particular post.
The same goes for online portfolio websites. You need to showcase your best pieces of art on the landing page. Accentuate it, flaunt it, do whatever it takes to capture that short attention span of your readers.
Tip #2 Segment your work into clearly defined categories
Given the 15 seconds time frame to arrest the attention of an average reader, you've to make sure that your online portfolio is easy to navigate for their convenience. The point here is to segment and classify your work into well-defined categories so that your first-time readers don't end up closing the browser tab in disappointment. For example, rather than showing your random photoshoots, you should try segmenting your work into categories like portrait, landscape, nature, wedding, family, event, and the like. This not only helps your readers with better navigation and a superior user experience but also helps increase the time they spend on your portfolio website.
Tip #3: Choose the Best Online Portfolio Website Builder
For creative artists with little to no coding know-how, building a website using ready-made templates that offer an easy drag and drop facility is definitely one of the best options out there. With access to easily drag and drop modules, it just needs your creative imagination to build the portfolio website of your dreams!
You'll find a number of online portfolio builders on the internet, some free and some paid. Shortlisting the best portfolio builder will depend upon a number of factors like pricing, affordability, ease of use and the quality of customer support. Pixpa stands out as the best amongst all. We offer you the best features at amazingly affordable plans starting at just $6/month.
Tip #4: Buy your own domain name
Buying your own domain name is the first step to branding & marketing in the digital world. You should also focus on creating a marketing portfolio , this is a way to really highlight your skills . Buying a custom domain name adds to your identity as a professional photographer and creative artist. It gives an impression that you are passionate about your e-business, which goes a long way in building the required trust, authority & credibility. Godaddy & NameCheap are the two most popular destinations to start with your domain registration campaign.
Tip #5: Optimize your portfolio website for Search Engines
I’ve seen many brilliant pieces of work going unnoticed because people simply can’t find them online. Given the domination of the online search market by Google & the billions of search queries executed on the search giant every day, today you can’t expect much attention & business if you can’t get Google to love your website.
Most of the reputed website builders that I’ve already mentioned in point no. 3 above offer inbuilt SEO functions in their templates, where you have the convenience to easily add title tags, meta descriptions, keywords and alt-tags to your images for better search visibility.
Bonus tip – Make use of web-cache technology to enable faster loading of images and decreasing your overall website load time for a better user experience.
Tip #6: Go High Definition!
Even when your portfolio website is online, you never know if you may need to have some portfolio prints with you to show to a prospective client who may have no internet connectivity. Going HD will not only help encourage shares on social media, but also it will enable you to take marvellous quality prints to wow all prospective clients!
Tip #7: Keep it simple
The use of too much flash, animated content and funky color schemes will not only make your portfolio website look silly and immature, but also it will discourage potential clients from keep exploring it further. As a general rule of thumb, make sure that you abide by these guidelines while building your online portfolio website –
- Use light-coloured website backgrounds (preferably white).
- Make sure that your content/image blocks flow smoothly in uniform patterns.
- Avoid using funky color schemes & font families – keep it simple and easy on the eyes! .
Tip #8: Keep it fresh & updated
We understand that in the backdrop of your busy routine with loads of assignments in the queue, it’s easy to forget about your portfolio website. But it’s important that you keep it updated. If you don’t find time on weekdays, atleast spare a few hours in the weekends to update your portfolio with your best recent works. This will apprise your clients of the progress you’re making, and will further help you in gaining more traffic & attention!
Tip #9: Include a blog section
You must be living under a rock if you still do not acknowledge the power of blogging in branding and traffic acquisition in this digital world. Most of the photographers and creative designers ignore this part and end up creating an online portfolio that's nothing more than a bunch of photoshoots dancing within a slideshow slider. That's a terrible idea, indeed. While it's essential to showcase your best work to your clients, it also pays to educate them with your knowledge and experience in the domain. Blogging also opens up your channel to content marketing, which helps you gain potential clients in the long run.
Tip #10: Go Social
Include social media buttons at prominent locations on your online portfolio to facilitate easy sharing of your masterpieces. Further, it's important to build connections and grow your network. Make your presence on popular social media websites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Include follow buttons on your website to make it easy for your clients and fans to follow your updates on social media.