How to Create a Portfolio Website for Your Small Business
A portfolio website is a great option for freelancers who don’t need a full website but want a place to showcase their creative work and services. When you have a portfolio site, you can share it with others who are interested in your products. This is far more effective than handing out a business card or even a physical portfolio that isn’t updated often.
Let’s learn more about what a portfolio site is and how to create one for your freelance business.
What is a Portfolio Website?
A portfolio site is an extension of your company’s resume. It’s a great place to share your best work and provide some information on who you are and what you offer. Most people who have a portfolio website do so to generate more leads. When designing this type of site, you’ll want to keep this in mind. What information would prospective clients want to know about you?
Some reasons to have a portfolio website are:
- Showcase your work in a professional manner
- Make a great first impression to clients and employers
- Increase your visibility and online presence
- Update your portfolio with your most recent work
- Create new content to set yourself apart from others
Tips for Building a Portfolio Site
Now that you know more on how a portfolio site can help you grow your freelance business, let’s cover some tips for launching a site of your own.
Start with a Portfolio Theme
When you make the decision to build a portfolio site, you have two options. You can build one yourself using a portfolio website theme or you can hire a web developer to build one for you. Since freelancers are often on a budget, some choose to build their own site on WordPress or something similar. These platforms are user-friendly and you don’t need a background in coding to use them.
However, do be aware that “free” website builders aren’t usually free. We often recommend upgrading to a Premium theme and paying for a custom domain. You’ll also be responsible for making all the updates to your website to keep it safe, secure and optimized. To save time and focus your attention on your trade, you might find it best to pay someone to build and maintain your site.
Know What to Include
Once you have your theme, it’s time to pick the things that you want in your portfolio. This can be difficult as you probably have a lot of great work to share! At the same time, you don’t want to overwhelm visitors, so it’s best to narrow things down. Here are some recommendations on what to include:
- A wide range of photos that illustrate your strengths and talents
- Best or most recent work first and last (this is what people remember most)
- Verbal context such as written testimonials or a description of your work
- Your best pictures – use good lighting, a modern smartphone and an editing app
- Categories so visitors can explore them individually
- Calls to action for people to get in touch with you
- A professional headshot
- Homepage or About Us page that shares who you are, your background and experience and why you do what you do
Keep Your Site Updated
One of the things about portfolio sites is that they have to be updated often. For instance, if you own a landscaping company, you’ll want to post pictures that are relevant to the season and show off some of your bigger, newer projects. If people keep coming back to the same photos, they won’t know the full spectrum of your work and the types of projects you can do. Freelancers are always learning!
So, make sure you have some sort of the system in place that gets you updating your portfolio site often. When you do upload new photos and testimonials, be sure to look over the rest of your site as well. Are you taking time off for the holidays? Are your hours changing over the summer or winter? Communicate with prospective clients so they know what to expect when they contact you.
Who Should Have a Portfolio Website?
Portfolio sites are most popular for freelancers. However, anyone who has work or projects they want to share can benefit from having this type of site. A home remodeling company, for example, might have a full website and a tab for their online portfolio.
Yakima Branding most commonly builds portfolio sites for:
- Content writers
- Fashion designers
- Home remodelers
- Sign makers
How to Get Started with a Portfolio Site
If you’re ready to create your own portfolio site, you can start with a DIY web builder or contact Yakima Branding for a free quote. We build optimized, affordable websites that help our clients grow their online presence. And with a professionally designed website, you can expect better rankings and improved search visibility. We can also maintain your site, track analytics, provide updates and more to ensure your site is always working for you!
To learn more about designing a portfolio site for your freelance business, contact Yakima Branding today at 509-901-9735 or [email protected]