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How to Build Your Portfolio to Fit Your Brand

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An online portfolio is the digital face you present to the world - it can either make you or break you when marketing to potential clients and customers. Obviously, you want to put the best face on your portfolio that you can. This is your chance to show the world what you’re capable of and what you specialize in.

Design and Marketing is a competitive field. There are approximately 350,000 designers who are trained in communications in the United States alone. Some of these designers also work in marketing, so it is difficult to estimate exact numbers. The takeaway, though, is that there is a lot of competition, so making sure that your portfolio stands out from the thousands of other portfolios online is a must.

The Building Blocks of a Successful Portfolio

Building your portfolio so that it reflects your overall branding is a smart way to keep your business in the consumer’s mind. A lot of the design process of a portfolio falls to the message you want to convey to consumers. With branding and attracting the most attention possible in mind, there are five things you should consider when building your portfolio:

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1. Analyze Your Work

Even though you might wish to include every project you’ve worked on, you can’t include hundreds of examples in your portfolio. Take the time to really analyze your previous work so you can narrow it down to your best — you may even want to consult with a third party to figure out which works show off your talent the most. Once you’ve selected about a dozen, whittle it down even more by choosing only those items you are proudest of.

It is a good idea to do some additional testing to see how people react to different pieces within your portfolio. If you can’t decide between example A and example B, do some split testing to see which converts better with site visitors. This can help you choose between one project to highlight and another.

2. Put Things in Context

Once you’ve chosen the pieces you want to share with site visitors, you need to put those items into some type of context for the reader. Just putting up a screenshot of a website you designed doesn’t tell the reader very much; however, putting up that screenshot along with an explanation of how you made the site unique or how it has been successful for your client has a much stronger impact on the reader.

There are a couple of ways you can add detail. You can keep the focus on the image and just add a caption under. Another option is to use the image on the left or right and align it with text that goes in-depth into the story behind the project. You could also use a mix of the two styles, captioning some and telling a full story on others.

3. Make It About the Story

People naturally relate better to you when they know your story and feel as though they understand you as a person. Take the time to share how you got into your business and how you grew from the beginning to now.

A story needs to have natural arcs to keep the reader’s interest. You should have a beginning, middle, and an end. Although, in this case, you should focus on where you are headed in the future). You should also share big moments, such as your biggest success and what you’ve learned from your failures.

4. Declutter the Page

When a potential client visits your portfolio, they should be able to easily see what you have to offer. If you create too much clutter on the page, they may feel overwhelmed and bounce away to a competitor’s site.

Instead, allow a good balance between white space and content. Images should have some space between them. There should also be some space between images and text. Take the time to view your page through the eyes of a client. Can you easily find what you need to find?

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5. Call to Action

Around 70% of small business websites don’t contain a call to action (CTA) at all, yet CTAs can increase conversions. A CTA is simply a way of asking your site visitor to take action. For example, a button on your page that says “Get a Free Quote” can encourage site visitors to contact you.

You can also utilize your CTA to gain sign-ups for your newsletter, giving you a direct mailing list to promote specials and seek new clients. Just make sure your CTA matches the overall tone and branding message of your company. If you have a fun and light tone, don’t make your CTA heavy and formal, and vice versa.

A brand portfolio needs to line up with your goals as a company. If your goal is to gain new clients, then your portfolio should appeal to the typical client you are trying to attract. Get as much feedback as possible from colleagues, friends, and other professionals to ensure that your portfolio will perfectly reflect your brand and the message you wish to share with viewers.

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P.S. Just to make sure that you get personal portfolio template in the right place.

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