9 Things Every Good Project (Portfolio) Page Needs

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You’re probably losing out on clients just because your portfolio doesn’t give them all of the information they need. Based on what we’ve learned from running AwesomeWeb, this is what clients look for most.

portfolio_needs

In the same way that a logo represents a brand, your portfolio represents your personal brand. If you get it right, you can have clients forever.

As a freelancer, your biggest struggle is finding good, consistent clients. But very few freelancers take the time to craft their portfolio or even consider, “what do clients want to know about me?”

When working on your portfolio site design, think about the elements your future client should be able to find. Many designers make the mistake of designing a creative portfolio page, but forget to answer important questions their client will have, when he considers hiring the designer.

Today we’re going to look at the lessons we have learned from analyzing member profiles on the AwesomeWeb job search site. We know these improvements will get more eyeballs to your project page, because we see which designers get most client inquiries and why. Let’s start and take a look at some graphic web design portfolio tips.

Oh, and stay tuned for a special announcement at the end.

Live Chat - A Design for Help Desk & Support by AwesomeWeb member Masum Rana

Live Chat – A Design for Help Desk & Support page by AwesomeWeb member Masum Rana

1. Make Visuals Not Only Beautiful, But Detailed

A picture says more than a thousand words. In the design world, visuals are especially important. Clients will see the visuals first and if he likes what he sees, he will continue digging for more details. Make sure you build that interest in clients with a beautiful presentation of your project.

Different designers and developers have different specialties – your task is to find a way to represent your skills the best way possible. If you are a logo designer – ensure you add a high quality picture of logo and add black and white variations. Put that logo on business cards or packaging designs to show you are a professional.

If you are a developer, find a way to showcase your expertise. If what you have built cannot be presented well in picture, make sure you explain in the page the importance for the client to check live website and keep explaining your expertise on the rest of the page.

Tip: If you are building websites, don’t just include a beautiful header with a nice image in the background. Create a high quality snapshot of the whole website, so client can immediately see the details. Only header snapshot doesn’t give enough information about your design skills to the client.

These are the details you should have under each project. Example by AwesomeWeb member Hussain Lemonwala

These are the details you should have under each project. Example by AwesomeWeb member Hussain Lemonwala

2. How Much Time It Took To Finish a Project?

Clients want to know how quickly you will be able to finish the work for them, they want to know exactly what to expect. Most designers and developers don’t even give approximate completion time, because they say it always depends on the project.

But you need to look from the client’s perspective – your client wants to know approximate details as fast as possible. Maybe he needs to sell his project idea to his partners or his boss. Your client needs to know how much time it will take and how much it will cost. You must compromise and give estimates very early, because your client wants everything done yesterday.

Club BevMo Mobile App project page by AwesomeWeb member Larry Sawyer is a great example how to present your work and include useful details.

Club BevMo Mobile App project page by AwesomeWeb member Larry Sawyer is a great example how to present your work and include useful details.

3. How Much Project You Created Cost?

I would say that your client’s main criteria will be these three points. Do they like what they see, how much time it will take and how much will it cost? It’s up to you how you price your services, there are different clients for different designers, but be clear about your pricing.

Clients want to know the answers to these three questions as fast as they can and you will do a great service to them if you do that clearly. This way you will attract the perfect client and will not waste time compromising or answering the same questions over and over again.

Marcus Handa shares some details about the project when doing the redesign.

Marcus Handa shares some details about the project when doing the redesign.

4. What Are Some Challenges You Solved? What Did You Improve?

Okay, so the first three points were cake, everything else is the icing on the cake. And we all know how much we enjoy the icing, but it’s still not the cake. Before you move on, make sure you answer these three questions very well on your portfolio page.

Now, when the client has got the answers to his most immediate questions, he will want to dig deeper and get more details.

Explain what were the biggest challenges you solved in the project? What was the process you went through to come up with the finished result? When you share your ideas, you show your expertise (or lack of it) and build trust.

BeHappy Co. links to the finished website as everybody should on his portfolio page.

BeHappy Co. links to the finished website as everybody should on his portfolio page.

5. Give A Link To A Finished, Live Website

Why, oh, why so many creatives don’t share a link to a live website – a place where your work is used? If you cannot show the live example, the client will think in his head – “Is this a real project?”.

Just do it – if you are a logo designer, include a link to website where logo is used, if you are icon designer – include a link where your icons are used.

Matt Woodart shares how his client approached him and what steps he followed to finish the project. Writeup doesnt need to be fancy!

Matt Woodart shares how his client approached him and what steps he followed to finish the project. Writeup doesnt need to be fancy!

6. Do A Creative Writeup About Each Project

Share the history how this project came to life. Maybe you have an interesting story to share how many revisions you did, how the client found you, how you worked for several nights and days for a project just to get it out on time. Give more details, share short, fun stories and show your personality. Clients are humans with emotions, they will relate to you better if you open up first.

Taher Noorani clearly explains his role in the project - lead designer.

Taher Noorani clearly explains his role in the project – lead designer.

7. What Exactly Was Your Role In The Project?

If you didn’t complete the whole project on your own, explain what it is exactly you did. When you add the role, you allow your client to understand if it’s possible for him to find one person, who will complete the whole project or he needs to hire somebody else as well.

Clients will have more trust in a designer, who knows his strengths and weaknesses. Less is more.

If you were partnering up with another developer to complete a project, share that as well. You might both get hired.

Make it easy for clients to find you by sharing the skills you have.

Make it easy for clients to find you by sharing the skills you have. Check AwesomeWeb skills directory.

8. What Skills Did You Use When Working On The Project? What Industry Was It?

This is where you can share more technical terms for tech savvy clients, who know that they need to find a Ruby on Rails developer or a UI expert. Explain what programming languages or software you used on the project.

As a side note, include what industry the project you completed was involved in. Your client is more likely to hire you if you have already done a similar kind of work for another client in the same industry. They will know then, that you understand more about the industry than any other designer the client would hire.

Share your skills to make it easier for clients to find you wherever you are.

AwesomeWeb drives traffic to your profile allowing you to focus on what you do best.

9. Lastly..Do You Drive Traffic To Your Portfolio Page?

I congratulate you if you have taken into consideration all of these things in your portfolio page! You are definitely standing out from the crowd right now (if your work is good)! But why so many brilliant designers and developers still aren’t getting enough clients?

There is no way clients can hire you, if they cannot find you!

There is no point of having a great portfolio page if nobody is going to visit it. You must drive traffic to it and that’s where AwesomeWeb comes in place. On AwesomeWeb we work hard to make sure we help designers and developers to improve their member profile pages so they show up on search results, for clients who are most likely to hire them.

We are responsible for driving traffic to your member profile as you are responsible for answering possible questions the client might have when he finds you. Driving traffic to your portfolio site is a time consuming task and that’s why we suggest you to join AwesomeWeb. You are a great designer or developer, we are great in marketing. We connect great clients with great designers.

Portfolio Search is Here!

At the beginning of the article, I told you we have a special announcement from AwesomeWeb. Today we are releasing portfolio search, which will help clients find you even better. If you have great visuals – if you are a graphical, web designer you will love portfolio search.

This is how it looks:

But hey, go ahead and check it for yourself! Get some inspiration or do some competitive analysis!

But hey, go ahead and check it for yourself! Get some inspiration or do some competitive analysis!

As a freelancer, portfolio search will also be a great source of inspiration.

See what other great freelancers are charging and how much time it took to complete. Find these 9 questions answered on all project pages. This is great for freelancers who struggle to get clients and price their services.

Go ahead – try portfolio search right now! Learn more about other freelancers and tell me what you think!

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AwesomeWeb is Awesome!

Andreas W.

Submitted 9:02 AM .Oct 16, 2014

Hi Nick. If you have work that needs to be done, send me an email. I am glad to help out. AwesomeWeb already helped me to earn an awesome 3,700 dollars since the start.;) ... yeah farewell Elance!

Comments

  1. Andrew S

    Now that is exactly what I needed! Thank you so much for this piece of content that was like pure joy to my eyes.

    I would like to add a bit, if you don’t mind:

    Actually landing pages matter as hell in today’s world of web design and may inspire much more. Simplicity is what people want today, and that may be applied way beyond just landing pages.

    “It is the center of your site, the starting point of many journeys users will make towards orders, purchases, subscriptions or whatever else your interest is in. While this is noted you are always to consider following three things before and while planning web design» © – http://today.qarea.com/web-design-tricks-for-small-businesses/

  2. Nice Write-up.
    I am still in the redesign process of my own site & this article surely helps in going about the same. Hope, I can implement some of it.
    Thanks a lot.

  3. All your recommendations will definitely will give the improved results. Of course content of the website is as important as design, as mentioned in your first point because at the end user will be more concerned with the information.

  4. Allison Logan

    Seriously these are some great design and tips for portfolio building. Thanks for sharing this post.

  5. Nice, thanks for this, just what I have been looking for! Have saved and bookmarked this page. For a web designer this is very important as too many designers out there for these important things when designing a page. Will try to create Portfolio Pages in mind :)

  6. Laurel

    Last year, I set up a WordPress portfolio for my beau (a mobile dev, but he can be a bit lazy with stuff as basic as this). I wish I read these tips back then! I focused too much on what the programmer did, versus the stuff that clients may be interested to know about, such as the project costs and timeframe that was mentioned above. Tagging portfolios by skills is a terrific idea, too! Will be implementing these the next time I got around to revamping his site.

  7. I’m sharing this one on facebook. So many people ask for portfolio website information and this one can’t be anymore clear.

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