You’ve assembled all your best work in an online portfolio, but is that site getting you noticed? Taking great pictures is not enough sometimes. Your portfolio is on line to showcase your career, it should be creatively appealing but also concise, focused and easily found through the clutter of the internet.FashionPhotographyBlog.com invited Julian Dormon, the founder of BigBlackBag to share five tips to make your online portfolio stand out.
1. Define Who You Are
Have you always been passionate about one topic, like fashion or travel, or do you dream of branching into other fields? No matter what, showcase the work that will land your next assignment. You can easily group your photos into different categories, with each project telling its own story. Choose a strong “headline” image to draw the viewer in.
It never hurts to write a short caption that explains the process and what was accomplished. Fill each category with a dozen of your best pictures, keeping in mind that clients have little time to scan through all your work. Think of it as a visual resume that explains your key skills.
2. Function Before Form
The best websites are simple, clean designs that viewers can easily navigate. There are dozens of companies that can do the heavy lifting when it comes to crafting and hosting our online portfolio, but it’s ultimately up to you to organize it. Don’t clutter your site with too many pictures and avoid high-tech functions like Flash. The biggest drain on bandwidth should be devoted to your photos, especially as more and more people are viewing on mobile devices.
Include a bio and your contact information. Also keep a close eye on your colleagues. Websites evolve quickly and what was a popular design a few years ago may look dated now. Update your portfolio with your latest and best work to keep fresh once every month or two but definitely every quarter.
3. Make Sure Your Portfolio Shows Up In Searches
Keep your online portfolio to basic HTML, which shows up more easily on search engines. You can use specific tags and keywords to put your site on top of internet searches. Again, an online portfolio company can take care of this for you.
Google remains the dominant search engine and it’s better to work with them than against them. Consider using Google My Business to help draw local traffic to your site.
4. Use All Your Social Media Voices
Gone are the days where you could just message your friends about an event or show or add a link on Facebook. Tumblr, Pinterest and Twitter are all vying for people’s attention–and more social media sites are on the way. Use each site to promote your work, making sure to list the URL for your online portfolio consistently.
5. Don’t Forget the Old Fashioned Way to Promote
Reach out to friends and clients when you have something to share. Did your photo just get published in a magazine, or were you interviewed in a local paper? Send an email, tweet or post on Facebook about the news. It may not go “viral”, but word of mouth could help you land that next gig.
Julian Dormon is the Founder of BigBlackBag, specializing in professionally designed online portfolio websites perfect for photographers, artists, and other creative professionals. He’s an amateur photographer and professional entrepreneur with a passion for all things beautiful.
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