In many ways, your project portfolio is like a resume. It sets you apart from the competition, and prospects use it to verify that should they ‘recruit’ you for your services, they will enjoy a significant return on their investment. Properly displayed, your company project portfolio will facilitate lead generation and help you turn prospects into qualified leads.
As your company project portfolio is unique to your company, you will enjoy a significant amount of play in how you choose to present it. However, there is a basic set of guiding principles to which your project portfolio must adhere in order to be successful. Let’s examine those principles.
Conduct an honest appraisal of your work and display only the projects in which you take the most pride. Better that you should display five blue-ribbon projects than twenty runners up. Display at least five projects to give your viewers a feel for your range of specialties. Consider the type of project for which you wish to generate a clientele and ensure that examples of such projects dominate your portfolio.
Tell a Story
Pictures speak louder than words. When displaying your projects, imagine that your audience is onsite. What would they see first? How would you explain it? It is always a good idea to lead in with generalities and follow up with specifics. Perhaps you designed a house. Display the house from all angles. Each .jpg should include a brief explanation of the project and the significance your involvement brought to bear on its development. Conclude with images of each room, likewise with explanations.
Keep Your Web Design Simple
Your work should be the center of attention. The only way to make this happen is to keep your web design simplistic. If you are presenting complex interfaces that mixes numerous JPEGs with outdated flash banners, this is only going to draw on a users bandwidth. This will no doubt annoy them as your portfolio will take an eternity to download. And, as we know, Internet users are an impatient bunch so don’t expect them to hang around. Instead, a simple interface will force your images to stand out, which is exactly what you need them to do.
Create a Bio
As a designer, you have been afforded flexibility in your approach. Include a bio explaining your take on the industry at large. In fact, you should ask yourself the following:
- Why have you chosen to incorporate certain design strategies into your work?
- Were you influenced by designers in another country or another time?
- Are your strategies projected to change the industry in any way? If so, how?
Addressing these questions in your bio will set you apart from your competitors, and will facilitate lead generation by allowing you to build connections with those who share the same views. Include the names of your current professional connections in your bio and link to their profiles on request.
As you establish yourself as a leader in your particular industry, experience may influence your approach. Update your project portfolio as the need arises. Ensure that it represents your most current views, initiatives and attributions and invite feedback. Use ‘Like’ and ‘Share’ buttons to facilitate redistribution and improve your page ranking, and reach out to your professional connections on a regular basis.
By using one or more of these principles you will certainly create an effective and lead generating project portfolio. However, I’d now like to open this conversation to you and ask you to share your strategies on how to create a great online project portfolio. Share them (along with any links!) in the comments section below!