by Preston Lee . August 18th, 2011
If you’re a designer and don’t have an online portfolio, you’re missing out on some serious potential for business. Online design portfolios are the quickest and most reliable way to convert potential clients into actual paying clients.
But having a portfolio online isn’t enough in and of itself. In order to make the most of your design portfolio, you’ll want to include these client-converting elements.
The contact form is the single most important element of a client-converting design portfolio. Make it easy to use and quick to fill out. You can get all the information you need from your client later.
Make it simple by only asking for Name, Contact Information (email or phone or both), and a brief description of what kind of work they need done.
You can have a million forms on your site, but if you don’t give potential clients a reason to fill them out, they won’t do you any good. That’s why you should also create a series of landing pages.
Landing pages are pages that encourage conversion (in this case, encourage users to fill out your contact form).
In your landing page, include sample work, testimonials, and reasons why site visitors should contact you for hire. Give them multiple reasons to hire you and also offer multiple forms in various places.
In the world of social recommendations in which we live, potential clients want to know what your past clients have to say about your work.
Include testimonials and words of praise from clients with whom you have had good experiences. It’s great to have a testimonials page that stands alone but to also have testimonials on your landing pages (see paragraph above).
If your site visitors feel like they are able to connect with a real person through social media, they will be more likely to contact you, because they feel a human connection behind your work.
No designer should include every piece or work in their portfolio. Every time I add a new piece of work to my design portfolio, I make a point to delete any old work that isn’t as good as my new work.
Use big pictures, bright colors, and bold photography to show off your design work. The more impressive upon first impression, the more likely potential clients will be to click through and fill out your contact form.
Nothing is more frustrating for a potential client than not feeling comfortable when browsing a designer’s site. Make sure your layout is easy to understand, easy to use, and doesn’t frustrate users.
Use friends and colleagues to test the layout of the site. Watch them browse it, ask for their honest feedback, and make changes accordingly.
There’s nothing more gratifying that knowing that a potential client found your site, looked around, and decided to hire you for their next project.
With these tips on designing a client-converting design portfolio, you’re bound to see your leads increase significantly. Good luck!