Online Portfolio Tips

Well I’ve been told that a good portfolio can lead to some good jobs. So that’s what I’m shooting for. I’ve been working on my portfolio website the past few days and I feel like it’s really coming along. Elizabeth stressed the importance of having a web portfolio in her post on building portfolios and I also want something I can be proud to refer potential clients to. So here are some of the big questions I had to ask myself (and Google) that you should also be taking into consideration when building an online portfolio:

What work should I include? Only your best work should be represented. The pieces that you are most attached to might not even be your best work. Poll your friends and professors and see what they react to best. Make sure you only show work that you are willing to do again. Your portfolio is not to show ALL the different things you can do, it exists to display the things that you are most skilled at, enjoy doing, and are willing to sell.

How will my portfolio be organized? Will I break it down into sections? If, so what should those sections be? If you are not using an online platform such as Behance, DeviantArt, or Facebook to host your portfolio and are instead creating your own website, try drafting out various layout options on paper to see what would work best. It’s best to know what you want and then make it work. Absolutely make sure your website is super easy to navigate! Make your services clear and visible. This is especially important if you are marketing yourself as a generalist who does a bit of everything.

What information should I include? Typically, an artist’s webpage includes an artist’s statement and an artist’s bio. The artist’s statement is always written in the first person. It’s an opportunity to tell people what you do and what you’re all about. The artist’s bio is generally written in the third person, but some artists consider this to be too impersonal and will opt to write this in the first person as well. An artist’s bio includes where you’re from, where you studied, relevant experience, goals, etc.

How will people contact me? Choose what information to include. How do you prefer people to contact you? It’s probably not a good idea to include your phone number if you’re not going to answer your phone. It’s best to include your e-mail even if you have a contact form on your site. Some people have form-o-phobia and prefer to e-mail you directly.

Should I price things? This was a tough question to answer. Multiple online searches have lead me to believe that this is a personal choice. Though if you do decide to price things, it would be a good idea to make sure there’s something on your site for everyone. This means including items ranging from low to high prices. First time buyers are more likely to start small and come back for the big ticket items if you prove to be a reliable seller.

You can check out my progress on my homepage here. Feel free to share some links of your own too in the comments section below! There is so much more that goes into the creation of a good portfolio website. What issues or questions have you encountered while building your online portfolio?

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