Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Now is the Time to Re-Vamp Your Freelancer Portfolio

@Flux

Updating an online presence is not always easy.  We know that technology changes as well as the need for good visuals.  Ten years ago, it was rare to see character animations used in a promotional video with a small budget.  Nowadays, it's not only the norm but most apps make it easy to create quality videos on any device for almost nothing.

These days, the online portfolio acts as the traditional resume but with better readability.  This means that objects should be easy to navigate and links to external pages should be fresh.  While many portfolios have unique qualities, not all are functional.  Using a blog format is okay but you should be cautious when it comes to layout and visibility.

For instance, I've been called out for using white fonts against a black background in my professional portfolio because it leads to eyestrain.  It may also hurt my chances of being found in a search engine.  While the latter isn't my concern, I do want prospects to feel comfortable and get the information they are seeking.  However, I just learned that I've been doing two things very wrong despite being able to land jobs with this powerful tool.

The first is not selling my services.

While my online blog portfolio is neat, clean, and consistent, the call to action was near the footer in the form of a 30-second video.  Over time, I'd add a small text column mentioning my writing services. Although these two things can work in promotion, it was the placement of objects and the content that may have killed certain opportunities.

Placing the video near the top grabs a lot more attention than the side or the bottom of the screen.  Although I love making short videos, it's hard to be objective when you want to show off your creative skills.  Yes, we learn as we grow.

The other issue was the copy used in my content.  It's not cool to say outright 'buy my services and I'll solve all of your problems' but specify what can be done.  Why should a prospect go with your service?  Try using a 10-second elevator pitch on your main page and in any promotional tools like your social network pages.

Addressing problems directly, as opposed to making general statements, gives clients something to think about.  Are you offering a fresh take based on certain industry factors?  Does your service offer convenience or save time?  What benefit will the prospective client experience while using your service?

Looking at different portfolios can lead to some inspiring ideas for creating something that's unique and memorable in a good way.  Here's an assortment of online portfolios for various job titles.  It also helps to start with an outline instead of relying heavily on pre-installed templates that hosting companies offer.  While some of these are not bad, it may help to use a little HTML coding or hire a designer to make it pop.

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