If you want to launch a successful marketing career or business, you should have an effective marketing portfolio. Here are five ways to utilize it.
Creating your portfolio website can be more challenging than completing a design project. You have to create an entire site, and you need to make sure it’s optimized for search engines.
But if you do the work now, you’ll reap the benefits later on when you start getting more clients. In this article, you’ll learn how to use your portfolio website as a marketing tool.
What is a Portfolio Website as a Marketing Tool?
A portfolio website is a collection of projects that you’ve completed in the past. It’s like having a digital scrapbook where you can showcase all of your best work.
It’s also a great way to get new clients because potential clients will see what you’ve done before and know they can trust you. You can build a portfolio website using any content management system (CMS) or web-building platform.
WordPress, Squarespace, Wix, Weebly, and others are the most popular ones. You can also take advantage of free platforms such as Canva or Adobe Spark to create your own designs.
What to Include in Your Marketing Portfolio?
The purpose of your marketing portfolio is to showcase your best work in marketing. With that in mind, you should include:
1. Work samples
You might think that your outputs aren't visual enough to include in portfolios because you're in a knowledge-based industry. However, with creative thinking, you can create ways to present your marketing efforts visually.
Your portfolio needs to show the context of each piece of work, including information about who was involved in the project, why it was important, and how it helped the client achieve their goals.
You’ll want to cover:
- What was the project about?
- What were the goals of the project?
- What marketing challenges did you face?
This is the part where you'll show off the results of your work. Include screenshots of the final product, links to websites that feature the finished products, and other relevant data.
If possible, include references from people who worked on the project. These could be internal stakeholders, external partners, or anyone else who had a hand in making the project happen.
The Importance of a Portfolio Website
A portfolio website is one of the most effective ways to market yourself online. But it's not always easy to set one up. In fact, many designers don't bother creating them at all. They just stick to social media sites like LinkedIn or Facebook instead.
However, there are several reasons why you should consider building a portfolio website:
It Helps with SEO
When building a website, you're essentially creating a page on the internet. That means you need to optimize it so that Googlebot crawls through it and indexes it properly.
To do that, you need to ensure that your pages are structured correctly, load quickly, and contain keywords that match the type of work you do.
It Establishes Credibility
People often look for recommendations when hiring someone. If you've built a reputation online, it is easier for people to find out more about you.
A Good Tool for Branding
A website allows you to brand yourself. You can add logos, colours, fonts, and images to make your site unique.
Excellent Social Proof
A portfolio website allows you to share your work with friends and colleagues. It also helps you gain credibility by showing you know what you're doing.
Help with Reputation Management
Having a website will help you manage your reputation if you get into trouble with clients. People can leave reviews and feedback about your services online.
5 Ways How to Utilize Your Portfolio Website
Now that you know the importance of a portfolio website for your marketing career, here are ways to maximize the power of this tool:
1. Identify Your Target Clients
Before designing your portfolio website, you need to identify your target audience. If you're feeling indecisive, ask yourself:
- Who are your ideal customers?
- What would my potential clients want to know?
Once you figure out what your ideal customer wants to know, you can use that information to build your portfolio website.
2. Create A Clear Call-to-action (CTA)
The purpose of your portfolio website is to sell your services, so you need to state what you offer and expect from your visitors clearly.
For example, if you're offering web design services, you might write something like: "We specialize in responsive web design." Or, if you're selling photography, you might say: "Our team specializes in wedding photography."
You can also provide contact details and links to your social media profiles. This way, your visitors can easily reach you via email or phone.
3. Prioritize Clarity And Usability
Your portfolio website needs to be straightforward. Visitors shouldn't have any problems navigating around it. Don't be tempted to show off your programming skills just yet. Now isn't the right moment.
You're using this project to win projects, not just to test new computer portfolio site designs and navigation techniques.
Your audiences don't want to waste your time finding and navigating through link after link when you're trying to check out multiple tiny images of someone else's work.
4. Include Testimonials
Testimonials are an excellent way to convince prospective clients that you're worth their money. They give you a chance to showcase your expertise and demonstrate why you should be hired.
Include quotes from previous clients who were satisfied with your work. Make sure these testimonials are genuine and include specific examples of your work.
5. Add An About Page
A lot of people forget to add an “about me” section to their portfolio websites. Potential clients need to learn more about you before hiring you.
So, include a brief description of your professional background, education, experience, and awards. You can even share some personal stories about your life and career journey.
6. Put Your Best Foot Forward
Lastly, you don't need to show off every project you've ever worked on. Just pick out your best ones and place them front and centre so clients can quickly view them when they visit your portfolio site. If you're struggling to choose which pieces of work are your best, you need to be honest with yourself.
If that’s the case, choose which projects to display based on previous clients' feedback, the project’s impact on your client’s business, or any award your project has received.
Portfolio websites are great tools for showcasing your creative talents. But they aren't meant to be used solely as marketing vehicles. Instead, think of them as a means to help you land new clients. Use them to highlight your strengths and accomplishments while, at the same time, showing off what you can do for your potential clients.
Hiring a professional web design company is also a perfect solution to help you create an effective marketing portfolio. You only get one shot at striking a good first impression. And, you'll never get another opportunity to impress a potential client again. So, put all your best foot forward and create a portfolio website to help you stand out from the crowd.