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Having an online portfolio is a great way to showcase accomplishments and work – whether you are an individual or business. Creating a portfolio on your site lets you present your work and can illustrate you and/or your firm’s capabilities.  The old saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” applies here.  Why just tell people about what you can offer — show them.

An online portfolio typically includes samples of your best work.  Take the time to look at all of your work and carefully choose the right pieces for your portfolio. You should choose projects that can demonstrate the breadth of your work, but also be selective. Don’t put everything you’ve ever done in your portfolio, because that will overwhelm visitors. It is better to have a portfolio of a few projects that are eye-catching than dozens of projects where some of them are just okay. The gallery should present your image and capabilities in the best light. And be sure to showcase the type of work you want to be doing in the future.

Make your portfolio focused on your target market.  Design the portfolio you think your clients want to see. If you’re speaking to a specific audience it allows you to become a recognized expert in the field easier. Targeting your market can differentiate your services. For example if you specialize in designing websites for law firms or e-commerce – have a section with numerous successful law firm websites and/or e-commerce sites.  It will make it easier a potential law firm or online retailer to choose you over another designer or design agency.

Keep the website design simple, and let the work take center stage. This means simple navigation and the fewest number of website sections necessary.  Simplicity in the interface and visual design of your website will push your work to the forefront, where it should be.

Some portfolios share the back story.  You might consider showing an early version of a project, the final version and the various iterations in between, to reveal the story of how the project was accomplished. A good rule of thumb is to present the whole piece first, followed by more detailed shots to show the precision of your craft.  You want this to be quick reading — you need to be able to glance at it and understand what it’s about. The title, a short paragraph, and first image should be engaging enough to make people want to look at the entire project

So remember find your best work and present it in the best and most simplistic light. A successful portfolio offers a perfect blend of your personality, prominence of work, simplicity, and ease of use that makes your portfolio stand out from the crowd and achieve your goals.

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