How to Build a Portfolio Website

Anna Peck
6/6/2022

Want to be seen as a top creative in your digital field of choice? A portfolio website is a great way to showcase your skills and achievements. This article dives into how to build a portfolio website. 

We talk a lot about how branding is important for businesses – but what about personal branding? 

Personal branding is the process of creating a brand identity for a person and their services. It’s not just marketing; it’s about being your own marketer. 

What’s a better way to market yourself online than a website? Especially a portfolio website. 

This article will break down the importance of a portfolio website, what’s included, and most importantly, how to build a portfolio website. 

Invested in your personal brand? Hire a branding agency to get started.

What is a Portfolio Website?

If you’re interviewing for a job, you’re bringing a resume or cover letter. 

Think of a portfolio website as a resume for creatives. 

A portfolio website is a quick way to showcase design work. You’ll expect to see these for graphic designers, photographers, artists, and even web designers themselves. 

For creative services, you often have to be a spokesperson for your own work. A portfolio website makes that easy. 

How Do Portfolio Websites Help Your Brand?

Along with being a professional way to showcase your work, a portfolio website has several other benefits for personal brands. 

  • A portfolio website provides flexibility outside of traditional resume forms. 
  • A portfolio website increases your visibility online.
  • A portfolio website can leave a great first impression for future employers and clients. 

It is clear that portfolio websites can benefit content creators, but the question is how do you build a portfolio website?

This article will get you started on the right track. 

How to Build a Portfolio Website:

  1. Select Your Website Builder
  2. Register Your Domain
  3. Choose a Design that Reflects Your Personality
  4. Think About Your Portfolio’s Goal
  5.  Highlight Your Best Work
  6. Create a Strong Call to Action

1. Select Your Website Builder

To get started with your portfolio website, you need to think about what you’re trying to showcase. 

If you’re a wedding photographer, you likely want to showcase different images, package deals, and other important information. Using this knowledge will help you select your website builder. 

Depending on your budget, you can hire a web designer or you can create a portfolio website manually. 

If you’re choosing to create a portfolio website manually, website builders like WordPress or Squarespace provide templates that make it easy to showcase your work. 

Explore different options to see which website builder fits your needs. 

Additional Reading: ‘5 Wix Alternatives for Business Websites

2. Register Your Domain

A domain name is the location of your website online – it should consist of  a name (think Facebook) and an extension (like .com), and it points to a specific IP address for the site you’re deploying.

Why is this information important? Because you need to purchase and register a domain that connects directly to you. 

For example, Mia Brabham, an author and self-proclaimed creative, uses https://www.bymiabrabham.com for her website. 

register your domain

Using her full name in her site domain gives her familiarity and brand recognition with her audience. 

Register your personal domain name for your portfolio website – before it gets taken!

3. Choose a Design that Reflects Your Personality

When your potential clients are looking at your website, they want to know you are. 

Make sure your website includes an about section and other information that showcases your personality to your audience. 

Your design choices like color and typography can showcase the impression you want to leave on your clients. 

On Brabham’s portfolio website, she showcases her background with links to her articles, past experience, and social media accounts. 

design that reflects personality

The color scheme and photography also provides a fresh and seamless user experience, avoiding any clutter that can distract users. 

Your portfolio website is the perfect personal branding opportunity to show off who you are and what you do. 

4. Think About Your Portfolio’s Goal

Your portfolio website will only have a few opportunities to give your audience an insight into who you are. 

Think about what you’re trying to achieve with your portfolio website’s goal.

If you want to attract new customers, give examples of your work, showcase recommendations from past clients, and use target language that will get them to engage with your offerings. 

If you simply want an outlet to showcase your creative side, make sure your website can hold the amount of art and designs you want to show off. 

5. Highlight Your Best Work

All of your work doesn’t need to be included in your portfolio website – just the best. 

Select the work that you find yourself the most proud of, while illustrating your range of experience.

Kevin Morales, a freelance graphic designer, includes a section on his website for photography.

highlight your best work

While photography isn’t his top field of expertise, he is able to showcase a talent that might be value add to potential employers. 

For each portfolio item, it is a good idea to add a description of each project to give your site visitors deeper insight into the final result. That extra context could sell customers. 

6. Create a Strong Call to Action

Most portfolio websites contain a section like in the footer with contact information.

Be creative with this as another chance to stand out. 

On Morales’ website, he includes a separate webpage for contact  information and a straightforward CTA:

strong CTA

Allow your creativity to shine through while encouraging potential partnerships. 

Benefit Your Brand with a Portfolio Website 

Communicating your services and experience can be difficult, but building a portfolio website is the right step when it comes to showcasing your creativity to potential clients and employers.

How to build a portfolio website? Start with these six steps.

Select a website builder, and then register a web domain that connects personally to you. Choose a design that reflects you and your goal, and then choose the work you feel makes you stand out from the crowd. Lastly, make sure to leave site visitors with a clear call to action. 

If done effectively, your email will be filled with potential leads in no time. 

Hire a branding agency to help your business take off!

Additional Reading:

author

Anna Peck

Senior SEO Specialist at Clutch.co
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