September 25, 2023


Move Step By Step

Find out how to: Create a Portfolio Web site

10 min read

A visitor put up by Isabelle Poirier of IP Design and the Ottawa Design Club.

In case you’re a artistic, likelihood is you could have a portfolio of some kind (bonus factors in case your portfolio lives on a web site)! A portfolio is an effective way to showcase your work, and could be a useful instrument to draw future purchasers.

That being mentioned, an awesome digital portfolio includes extra than simply throwing fairly photos up on a web site (irrespective of how proficient you’re). A standout portfolio requires context—it needs to be clear and concise, and your web site guests ought to be capable of shortly perceive who you’re, what you do, and what you must supply. Basically, a great portfolio requires a stable model technique.

Unsure the place to begin? We’re right here to assist—and we’ll make it enjoyable! Under we’ve outlined 7 strategic steps that can assist you construct your dream portfolio web site. To make it simpler, be at liberty to obtain our technique worksheets right here, or you’ll be able to kick it old fashioned with a pen and paper. For every query requested within the following train, write down something and all the pieces that involves thoughts. Consider it as a mind dump.

Prepared? Let’s get began.

How to Create a Portfolio Website - Exercise Book

Step 1. Outline who you’re — It’s your time to shine!
Whether or not you’re a freelancer, solopreneur, or artistic company, you need to let your character shine by in the way you current your self to the world. In any case, you’re most likely making an attempt to draw purchasers who align along with your values, pursuits, and general vibe. This is the reason showcasing your character in your web site is so vital. Sure, you’re promoting items or a service, however you’re additionally promoting your self.

By exploring and understanding who you’re, it’s simpler to determine your targets and aspirations, find out how to outline your viewers, and find out how to greatest show your content material to attain your required outcomes. The whole lot is interconnected.

Let’s begin by defining some traits about your self. Contemplate this your “bullet level bio”.  

Get your aforementioned pen and paper out, or observe together with our downloadable exercise worksheets.

In your first column, jot down your solutions to the next questions:

  1. The place do you reside?
  2. The place are you from?
  3. What’s your background?
  4. What’s your schooling?
  5. What’s your character like?
  6. What are a few of your life experiences?
  7. What does your skilled journey appear like?

Within the second column, let’s outline what you do (or, what your expertise are):

  1. What are your main expertise?
  2. What are your secondary expertise?
  3. What’s your work course of like?
  4. What outcomes do you present to your purchasers?

You’re doing nice. Within the third column, let’s discover your pursuits. We name this the “3 C’s”—tradition, catalysts, curiosities:

  1. What types of tradition are you drawn to? (This may be features of popular culture, subcultures, hobbies, pursuits, and many others. For instance, perhaps you’re keen on Star Wars and Neapolitan pizza.)
  2. What excites you?
  3. What are you interested by?

The fourth column is all about your dream alternatives:

  1. What corporations would you wish to work with?
  2. What market or trade do you wish to work in?
  3. The place would you wish to be featured?

Now it’s unlikely that all the pieces you wrote down will in the end make it to your web site—and that’s okay! What’s vital is that you just really feel you could have sufficient data to work with.

Check out your solutions and see what stands out to you. Are you able to make some connections between your character, expertise, pursuits, and dream alternatives? These connections will come in useful as you start to create content material on your portfolio.

Step 2. Outline your targets — Observe your desires!
Now, it would appear to be your dream alternatives are manner out of attain, however don’t fear—it’s regular to really feel this manner! It’s all about taking incremental steps with a purpose to obtain your huge targets. These incremental steps—or mini-goals, as we wish to name them—are methods to attain recognition, social proof, and/or work expertise that can assist get you to the place you wish to be.

This subsequent immediate (second web page, first column) is all about determining what your targets are—and placing them down on paper:

1. What do you wish to accomplish? (For instance, perhaps your aim is to guide artwork exhibits or to discover a new job!) Write down as many targets as you want, irrespective of how huge or small they could appear.

By defining your targets, you’ll be able to then decide a transparent path of motion to take to attain them. Success doesn’t occur in a single day (most often…), however you may get there by working incrementally and checking off mini-goals as you go.

Step 3. Outline your viewers — Who’re you speaking to?
You understand how in a film, if a personality is speaking to themselves on the road, we would get the impression that they’re appearing just a little wacky? We’ve all seen this kind of character cliché, however typically the very same factor is occurring on our web sites—with out us even noticing! We’re the wacky character speaking to ourselves on-line. In case you don’t know who you’re chatting with—in different phrases, if you happen to don’t know your viewers—you’re talking right into a void.

That’s why the subsequent few questions are so essential to reply (within the second column, web page two):

  1. Who’s your web site for?
  2. Who wants your providers?
  3. Who needs to purchase your merchandise?
  4. Who needs to observe your journey?
  5. Who’s your viewers?

The extra particular you’re when defining your viewers, the higher. Realizing who you’re chatting with will assist information the content material (particularly the copy) in your web site portfolio. Attempt to refine your model voice and tone to 1 that resonates along with your particular viewers. Simply bear in mind: You will not be for everybody, however that’s okay—which means you’ve discovered your area of interest.

How to Create a Portfolio Website - Exercise Pages

Step 4. Outline the actions you need your viewers to take — What does your web site portfolio result in?
Greater than only a easy CTA (“call-to-action”), what’s the final aim of your web site? Assume to your self: What would you like your web site guests to do after they navigate by your portfolio? Which actions would you like them to take in your web site moreover simply fairly photos?

On web page three, column one, we’re going to discover what you need your guests to really do in your web site. Listed below are some examples to get the ball rolling…

  • Is it reserving a session?
  • Is it hiring you for a job?
  • Is it shopping for your merchandise?
  • Is it filling out a questionnaire?
  • Is it shopping for tickets for a workshop?
  • Is it commissioning a bit of artwork from you?

By figuring out who you’re speaking to (throwback to the train we did in Step 3), it may be simpler to ask your viewers to take motion in your portfolio web site. You perceive your viewers’s wants, so you recognize when (and the place) to say, “I can resolve your drawback—right here’s how”.

Step 5. Outline your content material — Lastly, fairly photos! (However select properly)
Now for the enjoyable half—creating web site content material!

Check out your train sheets and evaluate your choices, targets, and viewers. Circle or spotlight all the pieces that resonates with you—what are you making an attempt to attain and entice? Search for connections that can assist information the content material you set in your web site.

When you’ve chosen and/or created your web site content material, you’ll wish to take into consideration the presentation of this content material (that is simply as vital because the content material itself). For instance, if you happen to promote items of paintings, you’ll most likely wish to {photograph} each bit in relation to different bodily objects (so the scale of the piece is well understood), have a close-up picture that exhibits element, and a picture of what the piece appears to be like like framed. And don’t overlook the logistical data: What are the scale? How do you cling up the paintings? How ought to you take care of it? That is data your viewers will count on to see.

This precept nonetheless applies even if you happen to don’t promote bodily items. In case you’re a freelancer promoting your providers, showcase your work by creating case research. These case research will present potential purchasers your thought course of, the standard of your work, and the outcomes you’ve achieved for previous purchasers. Bonus factors if you happen to add tangible information that demonstrates your success!

Likewise, in case your dream alternative is to be employed by your favorite company, showcase your work in a manner that aligns with that company’s aesthetic and/or spotlight your individual purchasers which can be much like the company’s purchasers. Along with your portfolio, you’ll be able to present—not simply inform—them why you’ll be a rockstar addition to their group.

Seize each alternative you must clarify the way you course of data, the way you resolve issues, and the way you discover options. And bear in mind, if you happen to solely showcase pictures of your work, you’re most likely leaving some huge cash on the desk—and who needs that?

Step 6. Outline your web site format — All roads result in Rome
So you could have all this fabulous content material on your web site portfolio. Now what?

Now it’s time to arrange the stream of data in your web site. A web site map is an effective way to get began with this. Principally, you wish to make it possible for discovering data in your web site is user-friendly and intuitive. By making a web site map, you’ll be able to visualize the place you need all of your content material to stay. What’s going to the principle classes—or webpages—in your web site be? What data will stay on every web page?  

When creating your web site map, draw packing containers for the entire webpages that can hyperlink out of your navigation menu (that is the header that’s usually discovered on the prime of a web site). Underneath every of those webpage packing containers, determine the varieties of content material you’ll placed on every webpage. You may also take into consideration what you’d wish to see “above the fold” on every webpage (a.ok.a. the part of a webpage you see earlier than you begin scrolling) and combine that into your plan.

This could require some critical brainstorming, however persist with us—it’s value it! Listed below are some web site map examples to get your artistic juices flowing:

Step 7. Personal your on-line house — Safe your area title
When you’re pleased along with your web site map, the web site portfolio train is full. Yay! You’re effectively in your method to making a standout portfolio web site.

One very last thing we have to contact on earlier than we go is selecting a reputation on your web site—after which securing your area title. A website title is basically your web site’s tackle—that is what folks will use to search out your portfolio web site, and it’s completely distinctive to you.

A cool factor about domains on this modern-day and age is that you just aren’t restricted to utilizing a site title that ends in .com or .ca—there are tons of different choices out there which may higher resonate along with your model. In case you’re a artistic, there’s .design or .artwork. Or perhaps, if you happen to’re a part of a collective or volunteer group, .membership is ideal for you ( is a superb instance of integrating your model title into your area title).  

The choices are limitless, so have enjoyable with it!

And right here’s an insider tip: .CLUB and .DESIGN are on sale right now at!

How to Build a Portfolio Website - Computer with Worksheets

You’re all set!
Now you could have a transparent roadmap to constructing a superb, on-brand portfolio web site. By following this strategic course of, you’ll be empowered to make good, educated choices that profit your profession. Your portfolio web site is the gateway to reaching your targets—it’s not one thing to take flippantly. Though it may be daunting, going by all these steps can prevent quite a lot of time, vitality, and typically even cash.

On the finish of the day, this train is all about implementing your model technique. You wish to stand out and supply a artistic resolution to your viewers—and following these steps will assist you do exactly that.

In regards to the Creator — Isabelle Poirier
Izzy is a model designer from Ottawa, Canada. By day, she runs IP Design, a design studio targeted on constructing group by memorable experiences. IP Design has a distinctly trendy aesthetic and gives daring, conceptual strategic options. By night time, she is the founding father of the Ottawa Design Club, a group initiative with speaker occasions, panel discussions, workshops, and zines. The membership’s mission is to convey creatives collectively by these initiatives and showcase all of the unbelievable design and artwork taking place of their communities and past.

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