You probably know that you need a personal website to help generate leads and to build your brand. You might know that this personal website ought to include a portfolio of your past work, regardless of the industry. But did you know that your small business or company website could also benefit from offering a portfolio to visitors?
There are several reasons for including a portfolio on your website, all of which contribute to future job opportunities and leads. Here are just a few:
- It acts as a digital resume, allowing potential employers or customers to see everything you’ve accomplished throughout your career.
- It can also act as social proof. This is essential for generating leads.
- It shows you’re both established and credible. Most employers and customers alike want a seasoned professional.
- Particularly if you work in a green industry — which is often tasked with demonstrating its unique utility — a portfolio is essential to conveying your value proposition.
Now that we’ve established you need a portfolio, here’s what you should aim to include in it:
Company or Personal Profile
You always want to open your portfolio with a company or personal profile. This should provide a small overview of yourself or your brand, and what you’re all about.
It’s also a great idea to include a small background of yourself or your business here, with things like its founding history, how long it — or you — have been in the industry, how many employees you have, and what ultimate purpose you serve.
Consider sharing your mission statements, personal standards or overall objectives here. See Adhemas Batista‘s personal website for an example of how to incorporate both your personal and professional background.
Education, Certification, and Credentials
Include all the credentials you’ve acquired that set you apart in your industry. It can be anything from your background or upbringing, to certifications and college degrees. If you do list college or vocational training information it’s always a good idea to include a list of relevant courses you’ve completed.
Consider following the example of The Blog of Tim Ferriss and liven up this section by including some of your more colorful accomplishments.
Products, Services and Past Employment
Here is where you’d include detailed accounts of services rendered, any past employment or products that you’re company has created. When it comes to past employment or service rendered be sure to describe the full extent of your responsibilities and what you accomplished. When possible, follow the example of Clark Contractors and include comprehensive photo galleries of your work.
Testimonials and References
Testimonials and references are absolutely essential when it comes to establishing your credibility and trustworthiness. Freelancers especially could use this to provide exemplary accounts of their previous work.
It’s always a good idea to collect feedback from a client — past or present — and include this information in your portfolio for others to see. If your client allows it, always include contact information so that potential clients may contact them to find out more about you if they so desire. Depending on the amount and type of testimonials you have, it can be a good idea to include them on a separate page. See Arrow Cattlequip for an example of how to include testimonials on your website.
Always include as much contact information for your brand — or yourself — as you have available. This can include business addresses and mailing information, telephone numbers, email addresses, a fax number, and alternate websites or URLs.
Taking that one step further, it’s an absolute must that your website include some type of contact form. This allows potential clients to email you directly from your website to request more information, a consultation or even to offer work. Digital Base does a great job of both providing their contact information (and Google Maps location) and a cleanly-designed contact box to use.
Don’t Be Afraid to Make It Your Own
Don’t be afraid to make the portfolio your own by including relevant information to your business or industry.
For instance, photographers might specifically have an images or gallery section where they showcase past content they’ve captured and produced. Freelance writers or reporters might have an entire section dedicated to published work, which lists relevant URLs and detailed descriptions of each piece.
You can also list things like personal accomplishments, personal goals you have yet to complete or those you have, client success stories and much more. You’ll want the portfolio to not only reflect your professional profile, but your individual — or brand’s — personality, as well. The freedom you have to create your portfolio largely depends on your industry, but for those in creative industries, check out Robby Leonardi‘s portfolio to get your creative juices flowing.