Building Your Online Brand: How to Create Your Professional Portfolio Website
This is a sponsored article. Big thanks to Wix for sponsoring our platform.
The one thing a potential employer or client wants to see before working with you is a solid portfolio. Think of it as your train ticket – without it, you’re not getting very far.
Having an online portfolio can help you threefold:
- Attracting new clients
- Getting that interview
- Building your brand
Showcasing your design projects and products can be just as important as the project itself, and Wix has come up with a way for you to create a professional website that will help get you noticed online.
Choosing a template: make a strong first impression
This is one of the most fun parts of the process, because there is such a vast array of perfectly polished designer-made templates to choose from. By selecting your chosen field, an array of suitable templates will appear, which leaves you to concentrate on customising and content.
Whether you’re a UX designer needing to share your project flows, or a UI designer showcasing app design layouts, there’s a template that’s right for you.
You may want to display some of these projects in a gallery – a simple but effective way to showcase some of your best work. Whether you’re new to the design game or an old hand, ‘less is more’ when it comes to this section of your portfolio. Prospective employers/clients want the gourmet plate, not the whole buffet.
Was there a particular project that helped shape the designer you are today? Did one get you into a field of design you hadn’t previously considered? Did you experience any disasters along the way? Include it all! The whole point of an online presence is to show what unique features make you, you.
Customising your template: take control of the design
What I love about Wix is the ability to customize absolutely everything on your page, right down to the color of your checkboxes and shape of your ‘submit’ buttons.
As you toggle through the various sections of your Wix Editor toolbar, you’ll be presented with a plethora of features, from pre-loaded page backgrounds, to contact forms, videos, as well as a full range of apps in the Wix App Market (I found this especially helpful when it came to adding SEO tools and an interactive testimonial section).
As well as standard tools for importing images and adding text, Wix has a whole selection of features for you to implement. Here are the ones I found useful when creating my online CV:
- Interactive Box Slideshows: I particularly like the way the interactive boxes offer a combination of text and images in one neat package. It’s an effective way for visitors to flick between different elements of your portfolio without it taking up much space on your site, whilst maintaining a sleek and sharp look.
- Social: Do you have a Facebook or Instagram page you regularly upload your work to? There are a number of ways to incorporate your social media streams into your online portfolio, from like & sharing buttons to a real-time display of your latest posts.
- Contact Forms: There are a number of slick, fully customisable contact forms, to allow potential clients and employers alike to get hold of you at the click of a button. You can add/delete relevant fields and checkboxes, adjust the layout, and tweak the colors to suit your professional aesthetic.
As a writer, I wanted my words and projects for clients to stand out. Using page anchors to separate the various segments of the site, I imported a few images from my computer, typed up some text, added an extra page and created a contact box – all in under 2 hours.
The result was an efficient layout that showcased my projects in a professional and succinct way.
At the top of your screen you also have the option to view your site in ‘mobile’ view – the perfect way to see how your layout will look on a phone or tablet, and make mobile-only design adjustments before going live.
Showcasing your talent with a portfolio and blog: build your online brand
Before you start, consider the purpose of your portfolio. Asking yourself the following questions could help:
- What do I excel at/What do I enjoy doing?
- What is my niche/What sets me apart from other designers?
- What projects best showcase the work I do?
With the basics out the way, it’s time to think about the content that will give your portfolio the edge. The worst sort of website is one that’s been left to grow virtual cobwebs since its inception; keep your content fresh and your visitors informed with a blog.
Adding a blog is a good way to inject some personality into an otherwise-static portfolio, that will:
- Allow clients/recruiters to learn more about you
- Share content that helps make you discoverable
- Build up a personal brand
By this point you’ll be a fully-seasoned keyboard-wielding Wix pro, so it won’t take long to produce a high-standard blog in keeping with the rest of your professional site.
Marketing online: convert browsers into clients
Once people have reached your portfolio, it’s time to convert those viewers into clients.
-> Wix Bookings
The Wix Bookings App lets you manage your schedule, arrange appointments and accept secure payments from your clients. This is your one-stop-shop to manage your customers; view member profiles, see their booking history, and send automated reminder emails. Think of it as your super efficient, invisible secretary.
-> Email Marketing
Wix offers a great feature that allows you to create and send beautifully designed emails to your subscribers. From your Dashboard, click Marketing & SEO and select Create an Email Campaign. From here, you can send customers general updates, any special offers, or a beautifully designed newsletter.
After working hard on your respective projects, it’s only right that they should be showcased in the best light possible – and that’s the advantage of using Wix. With a plethora of fully customizable tools, the design possibilities are endless, and with a range of plans to suit your budget, it’s perfect whether you’re just starting out or if you’re already an established professional.
Create an online portfolio that looks so sleek and professional, people will think you’ve hired someone to do it for you!
To get started on your professional portfolio website, click here.