Life of an artist has never been easy. They work hard to the bone, stay steady on subject they are working and come up with creative things that most people are going to appreciate. But even after dedicating their life on art, fame and fortune rarely knock on their doors. Take the example of the famous painter Pablo Picasso, the world recognized his talents only after he departs. Don’t let that happen to you.
It is sad that in most cases, the life of a web designer starts with a client’s project and ends with another client’s project. Since they always remain busy with different projects of clients, they hardly get time to promote personal web pages with web design portfolios. So, their portfolios remain there for years neglected until one fine morning they suddenly realize that they have no project to work on. Then the chaos begins. They start frantically looking for projects but getting new projects is always tough. As you are aware, competition has stiffened over the years in this field. Only if you have promoted your web designing portfolio a little bit, you might not have to face this consequence. But thankfully, it is never too late.
Here, we are going to give you some practical and doable tips that you might give a try if you wish to promote web design portfolio like a pro.
Try the Easiest Way – Social Media Sharing
Well, we are not asking you to scream on social media sites that you have no projects and, therefore, somebody should hire you, so that you can pay your bills. Nope, no matter how much tempting the idea may sound, it rarely works. But if you can do it politely, you may never know the trick might work. However, the best approach would be to share the link of your web design portfolio on different social media sites and then asking your friends to link the links, retweet it or whatever they can do to spread the message.
Not sure how or where to start it? Well then start with the biggest social networking site – Facebook. It is sweet and simple to use and you find everybody there [almost everybody]. Just ask your friend to Like and Share whatever you have shared on your Wall and hopefully a prospective customer will find your post on his Facebook feed.
If it does not work, try Google Plus. However, there is a small problem. You would not find many there. But still it makes sense to try to promote your portfolio there. All it will take – a couple of words.
Now, you are left with Twitter. Try promotional tweet, if your budget allows. If not, don’t worry; just use your connection to your advantage. People mostly don’t care about retweeting a tweet unless it is horrendous. So, give it a try.
Once you are done with the big three, you may consider Pinterest or LinkedIn. Maybe you should be focusing on some social networking sites that that put more focus on the visual front like Instagram. Here you will get the opportunity to showcase your works and you would not have to struggle with words to describe it.
It does not make any sense, right? Yup. You already have a portfolio and it looks just fine. Then why on earth, you need to create accounts in portfolio sites? Valid question as it might seem but the portfolio sites hold an advantage that your personal portfolio does not. They are well established and unlike your portfolio which is crying for some attention, these portfolio sites are drawing large number of visitors all around the world [maybe some potential customers as well].
Behance and Dribbble are undoubtedly the two most popular web design portfolio sites available in the market. These sites are frequented by prospective customers in search of new talents. The icing on the cake is that most of these portfolio sites have job sections. Take a look around them. Try to post your best works on those platforms and keep them active because these sites always gets replenished by new artworks and that means to stay at the top and to get maximum visibility, you have to update your profile every now and then.
Here are some more tips to create a knockout online portfolio on these platforms –
Describe the back-story. Tell us how you have designed a great infographic or more about your creative inspiration.
Don’t cram up the available space with fancy elements rather help the audience to keep the focus on your works.
Make it easy for people to share your works.
Don’t forget to include the awards that you have won in your web design career.
Prove your experience as a web designer by including links to external sources. Just words would not help you win the trust of the audience.
Don’t forget to ask people for feedbacks and always respond to the comments.
Add a link to your actual portfolio website in case; people want to know more about you and your work.
These are small things, but they can help you immensely to grab more eyeballs for your portfolio.
Contact Web Design Blogs
Since you are a web designer, you need to build a good relation with some top web design blogs out there. Contact the webmasters personally and ask them if they would be interested in showing your creative words on their websites. In most cases, they would happily agree with your proposal. As these blogs are visited by hundreds of people, if you can manage to showcase your works on them, your chances of coming in contact with new clients will increase dramatically.
Ask these webmasters to include a link to your web design portfolio as well. People who might be interested in your work may contact you via that link.
Don’t make the presentation look boring. Describe in detail why you have created it, how long it takes to complete the project and the source of the inspiration. Share some nice personal details if possible.
Spend Some Money and Buy Some Ads
Hate it or love it, Advertisement is not going anywhere. It is still the most effective way to promote your works and gain more exposure. And by advertisement, we are not only talking about online advertisement. Offline advertisement still works. You can buy an ad in a magazine, newspaper and even on radio channels. Now, if you prefer local clients, you might want to place your ads on local newspapers or local radio channels.
But before you set out to start your advertising campaign, you need to make sure that you have done enough research to ensure that not a single-advertising dollar is going to get wasted.
People like free things. So, if you can manage some time to create some cool designing elements say some textures, cool color palette or some stunning icons, and then make them available for free on your portfolio site, you will be able to drive a large number of visitors from different sources. Chances will be high that your website will get loads of natural links from different high-quality websites.
However, you can always ask people a favor in return. To do this, try these following tactics:
Use Pay with a Tweet button to spread the message across on Twitter. This button does a really simple thing. It lets people access the product or the content once they post or tweet about it.
Ask them to add a link to the original source whenever possible. If 1% of them listen to your ‘request,’ you will see a surge in the number of visitors and ranking in the SERP.
Create Something Fancy
The idea may sound a bit intimidating, but the truth is totally different. Creating something catchy and captivating is not that difficult. Say, for example, you can create an alternative version of World Cup Football Mascot. Or you can offer some suggestions to Mark Zuckerberg about a radically new version of Facebook. People in general like different and startling ideas and so, if you manage to offer something that defies the existing standards, your portfolio is going to hog a lot of attention.
Participate in a Contest
‘An award-winning web designer’ – how this sound? Well, of course, it sounds cool. But to be able to promote web design portfolio and name yourself as an award-winning web designer, you need to win some awards, right? This is the reason why you need to participate in some contest. Even if you fail to win the contest, people to get to have a look at your marvelous piece of works. No matter which contest you are participating, you need to make sure that have read the rules and regulations carefully otherwise you will get disqualified at the very first stage.
Keep Your Blog Alive
Your blog is your best friend and therefore, you never ignore it no matter what. Try to keep it alive with a weekly post. If that too much for you, you should be updating it with the latest projects that you have done. This will not take much of your time.
The best way to drive traffic to your web design blog is by writing some tutorials. Add some cool tutorials on subjects that are quite popular as CSS3 or HTML5 and maybe this could help your blog gain attention.
However, it would be great if you can post some topics that are hot and trendy because it will help you drive huge traffic. You wouldn’t have to spend hours for that as well. You can start by taking a look at Google Trends and if you ever find any topic that coincides with your web design skills, just take note of that and write a blog on that topic. It will help you drive tonne of traffic to your website.
Do Some Networking
Yes, you need to go out in the real world and face it as it is. Participate in different design meetups in your locality and be a keynote speaker. Don’t be shy. Share your business cards with people you meet and please don’t forget to mention your portfolio in that business card. Networking is the best way to promote your works without making it look ridiculous.
Just don’t stand there and then come back home with some sketches and notes. Nope, your objective is to meet new people, share your ideas and promote yourself.
So, promoting your web design portfolio might sound like a bit daunting at the first place but it is not that tough. All you have to do is to keep trying and be persistent in your attempt and believe me, soon or later, you will bump on a client who will be genuinely interested in your work.