A freelance website portfolio is a quick and easy way to promote your business online.
Whether you’re promoting yourself on Freelancer or setting up your own website, an online portfolio takes the hard work out of selling for you. No posting documents in the mail, sending emails or meeting clients’ in-person. All you need is a website with information about your business, the services you offer, and a page showcasing the best samples of your work.
Clients take businesses who have websites seriously. So it’s important that your site has all the information it needs to convince a potential client you’re the best freelancer for the job.
Here are some essential features everyone should have on their freelance portfolio website.
1. A Well-Presented Portfolio
Obviously you need a portfolio for your website, but how you present it may vary depending on the kind of work you do.
As a general rule of thumb, your online portfolio should be easy enough for clients to skim past, but have a backstory for those who want to learn more about the project.
Use large, eye-catching images to grab the attention of site visitors. If your line of work doesn’t involve images, like writing for example, then you can take a snapshot of the web content you’ve written or if possible, upload a PDF of print material work you’ve done.
Don’t forget to include information about each project you showcase such as a project brief, information about the client, and the outcomes you achieved by completing the project.
Testimonials are a fantastic way to build credibility and sell yourself – without actually having to use your own words to do it.
How effective are customer testimonials?
According to research by Ipsos Open Thinking Exchange (OTX), 78% of Americans report that online reviews help them decide whether they should purchase a product.
And based on research conducted by TechValidate, 54% of B2B Marketing and Sales Professionals rated content sourced from existing customers (case studies, testimonials and customer videos) as extremely effective in convincing prospects of their value proposition.
Based on these statistics, it’s clear that customers place a lot of value on the opinions of everyday people.
Use this to your advantage. Establish a dedicated testimonials page for your own website. If you have a profile on Freelancer, the testimonials section of your page will allow clients to the feedback your previous clients have given.
For your testimonials, include two-three sentences of positive feedback from clients.
Keep in mind these statements must be credible and should read naturally. If the testimonial has too much industry jargon or advertising lingo, people might think they were written by you! Also, don’t feel obligated to fix every ‘error’ or informal uses of language that a client uses, as these qualities make the testimonial more believable.
Lastly, have a picture of the person giving the testimonial, along with their full name and company title.
3. Client Showcase
A client showcase is a convenient way to tell potential customers who you’ve worked for in the past.
One of the most common ways to showcase clients is to have their brands or logos grouped together, or placed in a row that scrolls along the screen. If you’re having trouble deciding how to display your client showcase, there are many plugins, Wordpress themes and templates you can incorporate into your website.
Make sure you have permission to showcase any brand name or logo you wish to display
Cover your bases by getting written permission to showcase their brand. Some people have a clause in their contract stating they’re allowed to do this, while others simply snapshot an email exchange as proof of confirmation.
Even after you get written permission, you may want to get advice from a lawyer to avoid potential conflicts later on.
What if you don’t have direct permission to showcase a client’s brand?
One thing you can do is get your content hosted on another website or platform. For example, you could write a guest blog post for a particularly well-known website in your niche. You could also send out a press release and have news publications or magazines cover your story.
Once you’ve done this, you can display the logo of these companies on your website. The classic example of doing this is by stating, “As seen in…” etc.
Starting a blog is a great way to establish yourself as an expert and generate new leads for your business.
The loose, casual approach to writing is a refreshing change from the sales-y tone of a company website. So it’s a great opportunity to express yourself and provide insight into topics relevant to your industry.
There are many ways you can interact with your audience through blogging, some of the most popular (and proven) formats include:
· ‘How to’ articles – Use your knowledge to help your audience solve a particular problem, deal with a scenario or improve a certain aspect of their life. By giving away information without asking for anything in return, you become a reliable source of information among your industry.
· Product or Service Reviews – Share your personal thoughts on something that’s relevant to your industry. For example, if you’re a WordPress designer, you can share your thoughts on a certain plugin or template.
· Share Infographics/Statistics – Tell your audience an interesting fact or statistic they may not know about. If the data conflicts with a popular opinion or belief, or it reinforces the idea that something has proven to be effective – it will raise people’s curiosity and entice them to learn more about it.
· Write a List – List posts are very good at grabbing people’s attention. Why? Because their response usually goes like this, “I wonder how many of my ideas are on this list.” Or they’re left wondering, “Am I missing out on something by not knowing all of them?” Take advantage of people’s curiosity and challenge them to find out the answer
There are literally hundreds of blog post ideas to generate interest in your website. Experiment with different blog post ideas and take note of the ones that generate a high level of interest.
5. About Us Page
A well-written ‘About Us’ page does more than describe your company. It tells people about you as a person, your motivations for starting the business, your qualifications, and the goals you wish to achieve. You can go into detail about your life story and the journey that has led to your position today.
Don’t be afraid to inject some personality into your description too. After all, this section is about you so it’s a great way to really connect with your audience.
6. Contact Details and Call to Action
Once readers are satisfied by the content of your portfolio website – the next step is guiding them to your Call-to-Action (CTA).
What is your CTA? It’s an action you want your customers to take that leads to achieving a certain business goal. Whether it’s subscribing to a newsletter, requesting a quote, booking an appointment, making a donation, or signing-up for a free trial – always have a CTA that’s easily accessible.
You never know when a potential customer is going to take action, so have your contact details visible on every page of your website. You should also have a dedicated Contact Us page with your full details, company address and if necessary – an online enquiry form too.
By taking the time to create a freelance website portfolio that demonstrates the quality of your product or service, the credibility you’ve built among your client base, and a strong call-to-action to generate a response from your audience – you’ll increase your chances of generating more business for yourself.
Did we miss any freelancing portfolio tips? Let us know in the comments below!