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Check Yourself: The Only Portfolio Website Checklist You’ll Ever Need

Website Checklist

It seems like there’s a day of the year to celebrate everything, but one that’s caught our attention today is October 30th – the International Checklist Day. 

Being the checklist obsessives that we are here at Zyro, we couldn’t let this momentous day pass us by without celebrating it in our own special way.

So yeah, you bet we created a checklist. 

We asked ourselves: who are checklists useful for? The answer that kept coming up was hardworking freelancers and self-employed creatives.

With so many plates spinning, these industrious workers use checklists to keep their world turning. 

We’re excited to introduce to you The Ultimate Checklist Day Checklist for creating a portfolio website.

This is the perfect checklist of creatives who need a little structure when building their new websites. 

1. Choose your platform ✅

Obviously, its designer-made portfolio website templates and easy drag-and-drop editor make Zyro the only choice for a platform with which to build your portfolio, but let’s pretend this is a competitive choice. 

The platform you choose should:

  • Include hosting and security
  • Make it easy to design your website
  • Give you access to branding tools
  • Allow you to market yourself effectively
  • Let you add all your own content and styling

2. Find a template ✅

Unless you’ve got the time and money to invest in building it from scratch, the basis of any good website is a good template.

So how do you go about finding the right one for you?

Let’s ignore the fact you could simply click on a link to Zyro’s selection of portfolio templates and choose from dozens of beautiful, designer-made templates. 

Templates not only need to look great, but also be tailored to your industry and include all the features you need.

At the same time, there should also be plenty of space for you to make it your own. 

3. Style to suit your brand ✅

Dog using laptop

The next step is to tailor your website to suit your brand.

Even as an individual or a freelancer, you should still try to create a visual identity for your brand and speak with a consistent voice. 

You’ll want to be customizing things like:

  • The images
  • The text content 
  • The color scheme 
  • The fonts 
  • The pay layouts 

Ideally, you should be using a web platform that makes all of this super easy by having drag-and-drop functionality.

Build a website with Zyro banner

4. Write a compelling biography ✅

Visitors who are looking to hire you or purchase your work want to know about the person behind the website, which is why you need to create a compelling biography. 

This is all about storytelling.

You need to communicate the hows and whys of what you do:

  • What’s your motivation and inspiration?
  • What’s your work process?
  • What kind of projects do you like to work on. 

An effective biography should humanize you in the eyes of your visitors, and help sell you and your services to potential clients. 

5. Clearly list your services ✅

You would be amazed about how many otherwise good looking and compelling portfolio websites fail to clearly lay out the services or products that they offer.

Don’t fall into the same trap.

Be sure to make it clear what you do, who you offer your services to, and how much they cost. If you have a geographical limit to where you offer your services, include this too. 

But remember: you may be able to do something that you’ve not said explicitly on your portfolio website.

That’s why it’s always a good idea to place your contact information next to your list of services, so that interested parties can get in touch and talk about additional services.

6. Add client testimonials ✅

If you were planning to hire someone to do some work for you, you’d want to hear from previous clients, wouldn’t you? 

That’s why client testimonials are helpful.

These are effectively hand-picked reviews of your services which act as social proof and help demonstrate to potential clients that you really can do what you claim. 

You are free to create an entire testimonials page or just feature pull quotes on existing pages. 

If you don’t have any testimonials yet, reach out to your previous clients to get some.

7. Link to your socials ✅

Giving visitors to your website easy access to your social media profiles is handy for a number of reasons. 

Firstly, an increasing number of internet users prefer contacting companies and services via social media.

Even if you provide an email address, phone number, or contact form on your website, people still might prefer to reach out via Facebook or Instagram. 

Moreover, if you’re in a creative industry, you might use platforms like Instagram or Pinterest to showcase your work.

Rather than constantly updating your website with new projects, directing visitors to your socials is a great way to promote your work. 

8. Create attractive calls to action ✅

Calls to action are important in all kinds of online marketing, and when you’re creating a portfolio website, you are effectively just marketing yourself. 

With this in mind, it is a good idea to place calls to action around your website, inviting visitors to contact you or book your services. 

Effective calls to action for portfolio websites should be:

  • Concise and catchy
  • Compelling, offering benefits to visitors
  • Similar in design to your overall website
  • Placed in prominent positions on important pages

9. Consider an online store ✅

While as a freelancer or self-employed creative, it’s most likely that your services and skills are what you’re selling, it’s still possible for you to monetize your website with an eCommerce store. 

You might offer merch like t-shirts or bags printed with your designs. You might offer service packages which are directly purchasable through your website, or you might sell something you make directly. 

Whatever it is you have to offer, an online store is a handy way of creating some profit on the side. 

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Written by

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Duncan is obsessed with making website building and eCommerce accessible to everyone. He explains the best tools and the latest digital marketing trends in ways that are clear and engaging. His focus is on supporting the sustainable growth of small to medium-sized enterprises. When not writing, he enjoys deep sea fishing and endurance cycling.

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