What Makes A Client-Converting Portfolio?
A year ago I wrote an article on why every freelancer should have a website where I shared the 5 top reasons why I decided to have an online portfolio as a fulltime freelancer. One year later, my principle has not changed. In fact, I believe that the importance of online presence is an element that every business owner should embrace. Why? Because this time, my online portfolio brings in almost 90% of my clientele with at least 2 to 3 enquiries a week, that’s a total of 12 enquiries a month.
Imagine converting 25% of those enquiries into confirmed business opportunities – that would be about 3 projects a month. What more can a freelancer ask for? My 20-month fulltime freelance career has been fueled by clients who found me online, recommendations from online communities and my online portfolio. My online presence has become the platform where I receive business leads that eventually are converted into actual business deals!
How do I do it? By sharing my portfolio online. And it’s more than just pasting my work on a website and screaming for the world to have a look. Rather, it’s strategically displaying my work and leading potential clients to contact me. I achieve this by ensuring that I make the most of my portfolio by including the following essential elements into my portfolio website.
A Landing Page. I make sure that the audience does not land in a page of portfolio albums and getting lost in it without knowing what the website is all about. I ensure that they will land on the landing page where I display a summary of who I am, what I do and snippets of my projects. This way, they have a better idea of what they are looking at and I can guide them along the pages.
Organized Portfolio. Make sure to categorize your work into various sections so that it is easier for the readers to browse, especially when they already know specifically what they are looking for. For example, if potential clients are looking for graphic design services, they can click on ‘DESIGN’ and view all related work instead of browsing through your entire portfolio to find them. Make it easy for them.
Social Media Links. It’s not all about how good you are. It’s about how you carry yourself and how you interact with others. It’s about your soft skills and management skills. So include your social media links on your online portfolio as it gives potential clients a chance to know you better as a person. Give them a sneak peak into your life (and you better have nothing to hide) so that they can relate to you as a person, not just a stranger they found online.
Testimonials. After they have a brief idea of who you are and the services you offer, it would be great to convince them through testimonials from your current clientele. Recommendations from other business owners always make a difference. It oozes confidence into potential clients to take that step forward and contact you.
Contact Form. This is the most important element that would help you seal the deal. Once you have entice them and get them all excited to want to hire you, make sure you provide a way for them to contact you. Make it easy and simple for them to be in touch with you. It’s the business lead that you’re seeking after. After the first point of contact, you can follow up in other ways that can help you close the deal!
I hope these simple tips help you to create an impactful client-converting portfolio. You can check out my online portfolio by clicking here. Do feel free to share your online portfolio with me when you’re done. There is so much that we can learn from each other. All the best!
Originally written by Gina Yap Lai Yoong © 2011