How to create online portfolios that win clients
Want to discover an easy, powerful way to win new business and clients? One of the best things you can do is create winning online portfolios that showcase your work. If you are in the design, photography, video, or writing business—or any other in which your potential clients will want to see samples of your work—then you cannot afford to miss this strategy. Online portfolios can work for you in two ways. One, they can help convince a potential client that they want to work with you. And, two, they can help you get discovered on sites dedicated to bringing together portfolios of specific types of professionals. Personally, I’ve received many job opportunities thanks to my online portfolios, which include:
- a dedicated business portfolio website
- a one-page portfolio on my blog
- portfolio links on my social profiles
- portfolios on networks for freelance writers and journalists
And although it’s not perfect, you can even create a portfolio on Twitter by taking advantage of the Photos and Videos box on your profile. Just share photo or video examples of your work in tweets, and it will show up like Media Novak’s work. Be sure to include a link to that work sample or your portfolio in the tweet so people who click on the media from the box can get to the rest of your work samples. ### Portfolio 4: Create a video portfolio If your business creates video, helps people create video, or has work that can be showcased through video, then you definitely want to create a portfolio on sites like YouTube and Vimeo. GoAnimate, a service that helps you easily create animated videos, has sections of featured videos and tutorials, all demonstrating the power of their tool. Photographers like Mike Olbinski, who also create timelapses, showcase their work on Vimeo. You may have even seen some of his work in blockbuster movies like Thor and the newest Lamborghini commercial—all thanks to being discovered online. Considering that networks like YouTube get a billion unique visitors monthly, it makes them a sure shot for getting your work discovered. ### Portfolio 5: Create a portfolio with presentations Speakers and B2B businesses especially should look into turning their work samples into presentations. For speakers, this would simply be their awesome speaking slides, with some video mixed in. For other businesses, this could be an introduction to your business along with samples of your work, much like Manius Designs has done in this presentation. By doing this, you can tap into networks like Slideshare, which has a huge B2B audience. It can also come in handy for those occasions when you need to present your work at a formal meeting. As an additional bonus, if you sign up as a Pro member on Slideshare, you can incorporate a lead generation form into your slides. This will give potential customers the ability to easily contact you about your work. ### Portfolio 6: Create a portfolio on a professional network Last, but not least, there are lots of professional networks that help connect freelancers, consultants, and businesses with their ideal customers. There are lots of them out there, so your first job will be to make sure the network is right for your business. Here are some things to use as qualifiers before adding your portfolio to the mix._About the Author:_ Kristi Hines is a freelance writer, professional blogger, and social media enthusiast. Follow her on Twitter and Google+. ### More great ideas to grow your business Discover **9 great ways to find freelance jobs**. Learn **how to use SEO to draw traffic to your website**. Find out **how to dramatically increase your online visibility with directory listings**. ###
- **Pricing**: while most networks are free to those offering services (and then charge the people who want to hire), there are some networks that will charge you certain fees to join or to get you leads. If possible, aim for networks that allow you to link to your website, or have a free-to-use contact form.
- **Listed Rates**: if a network lists rates, and yours are considerably higher than other businesses on the site, then you might want to skip it. If everyone else only charges $50 on a logo design, and you charge $500, you’re probably not going to get a lot of business.
- **Quality**: do the other portfolios on a site stack up to yours in a quality test? If a network is well known for not having great work, you don’t want your name to be listed there.
- **Popularity**: if a network allows companies to leave ratings, testimonials, etc. on those they have hired, look to see how many people actually have feedback on their portfolios. If there are a ton of portfolios, but no feedback, the network may be attracting more portfolio submissions than people who are looking to hire. That’s not so bad for a free site, but it’s not great if you’re paying for your portfolio listing.
- Snapknot—allows wedding photographers to create a portfolio including their work, rates, description, and links to their website and social networks. Premium membership is required.
- Sortfolio—allows web designers to create a portfolio including their work, rates, description, and links to their website and email. Free and premium memberships available.
- 99designs—allows designers to submit work to potential clients to win a prize (monetary amount set by the client). Designers can create portfolios including their work, description, and link to their website in the description.
- Carbonmade—allows designers to create a portfolio including their work, description, specialties, and email address. Free and premium memberships available.
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