Keeping an updated portfolio is an important part of an effective online presence for any creative professional. Your portfolio is your showroom for existing, new and prospective clientele. Keeping the work that is within your portfolio current is important, but how often should you update your portfolio and what work should you be showcasing within it?
The most important part about your portfolio is its relevancy to your work and your clientele. It’s good practice to put yourself in your client’s shoes and think what they would want to see on your site. Let’s use a Wedding Photographer as an example. Populating your portfolio with photos that aren’t wedding related will make it difficult for potential clients to relate to your work. You want to show your site’s visitors what you can do within your creative discipline.
Something to keep in mind when organizing your portfolio is the foremost projects will get the most traffic. Few visitors to your site will navigate the back of your portfolio and work their way forward from there. We’ve found in our portfolio that the top 3-4 projects get almost all of the traffic. So pick your strongest, most current work and showcase it right up front.
It’s also a good idea to showcase projects that you’re proud of. Prospects will ask you about the work you have on display within your portfolio. Make sure they’re projects that you get excited about – this will show when you’re communicating with potential clients.
Keeping an up-to-date portfolio will help with your site’s search engine ranking. Search engines favour current and relevant site content. There’s nothing more relevant to what you do than your portfolio of work. Site visitors tend to spend more time on sites that have current content. The longer a visitor is on your site, the more information they retain and the better the chances are they will make contact.
Current content shows activity. It communicates to prospective clients that you are current within your field of expertise. How often you add new projects to your portfolio will ultimately depend on the length of your projects. The longer the scope of your projects the less frequently you will be able to update your portfolio. Architects generally will have less frequent portfolio updates than graphic designers. If your industry tends to have a long turn around time on projects, you might want to consider keeping a blog. A blog can be used to chronicle projects that are in progress or other industry related topics.
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