How to Create an Online Portfolio for a Strong Online Presence

How to Create an Online Portfolio for a Strong Online Presence

Having a strong online portfolio is extremely important in current times, given how everything around us is marked by a powerful digital presence – be it an individual or a brand.

This is especially true if you’re doing an online job hunt or looking for potential clients for your freelancing business. Your online portfolio represents you in the digital platform and gives your employers a reason to hire you.

That’s why it’s important for your portfolio to be impressive enough to be able to grab your employer’s attention instantly.

Here are some of the most effective ways to create a great online portfolio that can help you create a strong online presence.

Pay Attention to Your Design

The first thing that people will notice about your online portfolio is its design. The better it looks the more professional you are considered to be.

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Just like a business is judged by its website, your work and professionalism is judged by the way your portfolio appears. So make sure you have a powerful and catchy design for your online portfolio.

If you’re not that good with designs, you might want to hire a professional designer who can help you create a great look for your portfolio.

But sometimes, you may not want to invest too much by hiring a designer. In that case, you can look for pre-built portfolio templates that can save you both time and money. You’ll find different templates depending on the platform (WordPress, Magento, Wix, etc.) you’re using. It’s the easiest way to make your portfolio look super sleek and professional.

Showcase Your Best Work with a Story

Storytelling is a powerful way of capturing people’s attention. And you can use this opportunity to hook your employers by telling them the story of your best work.

You don’t have to do that for all your projects. Just pick the ones you like best or the ones that have received the best results. Now tie some stories related to these projects. You can talk about how it started, what it was about, how you were able to achieve results for it, etc.

To make it more interesting, you can add some images or videos that better describe the project and your involvement with it. This will not just engage your clients but will also give them a reason to see how creative you are.

Add Solid Samples of Your Work

It’s not possible to create a story for all your work. You can do that for one or two of your best projects. But that’s not enough for your clients to know your caliber.

Some of them might want to check out more of such result-oriented work samples. So make sure you have a section that lists some of the best work samples for your clients to peruse. You might also want to include samples that display your skills in different areas.

For example, if you’re a freelance writer, you might want to include samples of blog posts, case studies, eBooks, etc., to give them a better idea of the skills you have.

Validate Your Work with Testimonials

The next important thing that can quickly make your portfolio shine are testimonials from clients you have already worked with. Testimonials act like feedback on the work that you’ve done, and they are extremely important for landing more clients.

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It supports your credibility and the level of your expertise. By adding testimonials to your portfolio, you can strengthen your reputation too. That’s because, through these testimonials, your clients are expressing their trust in you and your business.

It’s a great way of adding value to your skills and making it more believable for people who are exploring your portfolio for the first time.

If you don’t have a testimonial yet, don’t worry. Just reach out to your clients through a polite email and ask them to write one for you. They’ll surely do it without any hesitation.

You can even link your social profiles to your portfolio to give them a glimpse of your latest work. This will also encourage your clients to follow your latest projects for more information. Plugins like Smash Balloon can help you integrate your social profiles to your portfolio without writing a single code.

Write a Great About Me Page

Your portfolio is incomplete without a great ‘About Me’ page. It’s the one page that tells your client everything they need to know about you. So talk about yourself, the skills you have, how you’re different from your competitors, etc.

But in doing so, don’t go overboard and talk just about yourself. When a client is hiring you they want to know how you can add value to their business and help them get results.

So instead of going on about yourself, get a little creative in the way you put things across. Try to strike a balance between not appearing too self-centered and not being too bland about what you can do.

Give Them a Way to Get in Touch

Now, you’ve done everything you need to make your portfolio shine. But your client can’t find a way to get in touch with you. Can anything be worse than that?

If you don’t want that to happen, add a contact form to your portfolio through which your clients can reach out to you. You don’t need to design a contact form from scratch. There are tools and plugins that can help you add a form to your portfolio with just a few clicks of the mouse.

One such option is the WPForms plugin.

This drag and drop form builder plugin is the perfect solution for adding any kind of form to your website on a budget.

Building a portfolio is easy. But creating a portfolio that makes an impression isn’t that easy. By following the above points, you can come up with a portfolio that stands out and helps you mark a strong online presence.

Syed Balkhi is an award-winning entrepreneur and online marketing expert. He is the co-founder of OptinMonster, WPBeginner, MonsterInsights, and WPForms.

How to develop a strong social media linking strategy? – [Case Study]

Since the first Facebook post, Tweet and Instagram upload, social media has brought about something of a technological and social revolution. Social media is a part of most people’s everyday lives as we share information, pictures ad stories online with friends, family and wider audiences. Whilst social media might provide entertainment and help us keep in touch with people, for businesses it is a highly competitive environment where thousands of businesses of all sizes are competing for the attention of potential customers.

Social media is important because it builds trust in a brand, allows people to share reviews online and gives businesses an opportunity to develop more meaningful relationships with its customers. Because there is so much competition and so many businesses all wanting to talk to targeted groups of potential customers, effective use of social media is about more than just posting some interesting content.

Developing a linking strategy which helps to promote your brand is an essential part of any digital marketing activity, but every social media platform that you use needs a different approach which reflects and recognises the particular nuances of each platform. This activity also needs to consider the users for each platform and the reason that you are using that platform in the first place. It’s also important to have a method for monitoring impact and engagement with social media.

Done well a linking strategy will; help to optimise links, increase website traffic, improve brand awareness and enhance visibility on search engine results pages.

On Twitter

The recent pilot to increase Tweets from 140 to 280 characters has delivered an increase in the number of tweets but has seen no real difference in the length of tweets! Twitter works really well for linking content. Over 90% of all Twitter content is focussed around clickable links. To make the most of this opportunity, here are some tips:

  • Make sure tweets are brief and succinct
  • Make sure links are clear, and that your bio also features links to your website
  • Twitter offers a ‘pretty links’ PlugIn – make sure you’re using it to help make your tweets more noticeable
  • Use a tool such as Hootsuite to schedule Tweets – you might be busy during the daytime when your customers might be looking at Twitter, so use a solution that keeps your business engaged when it matters to your customers

On Facebook:

Facebook offers a number of promotional opportunities from creating a page through to PPC advertising targeted at specific demographics. Increasingly Facebook has repositioned itself as a platform for sharing between friends and has downplayed the commercial aspects of the site. This means that linking is even more important. So, when you’re putting content of Facebook always make sure:

  • Links are visible so people can see them – this is known to deliver increased click-throughs
  • People have limited attention spans, especially when scrolling through their updates, so keep descriptions brief
  • Images and videos are always going to capture people’s interest (and Facebook likes this sort of content as well)!
  • At least occasionally that you offer information and content for free
  • And don’t forget to promote competitions and freebies to get people through to your site

On Instagram

Although less focussed on linking content, Instagram is proven to help with business engagement – and business that use the platform well benefit form much higher engagement rates than Facebook! Remember that Instagram won’t allow you to put links on your posts, so there are other ways to maximise your use of Instagram:

  • Adding a pretty link to a biography is really helpful to encourage engagement
  • Adding a deep link to your website to take people into a specific part of the site is often more effective on Instagram than simply linking to your home page
  • As Instagram is an image led platform, high quality images are absolutely essential. Creating a photo library of high quality imagery will help maximise the impact of Instagram.

So remember, Facebook and Twitter are great for links, but effective linking on Instagram is likely to have a far more impactful result when it comes to customer engagement!

8 Retail Tips to Boost Sales and Help You Finish the Year Strong

8 Retail Tips to Boost Sales and Help You Finish the Year Strong

If you work in retail, you may be feeling the pressure to finish the year strong with a major sales boost. However, success in retail selling doesn’t happen on its own. It requires creativity, hard work, and some killer retail sales strategies.

But did you know that there are some simple sales tips and tricks that can help you achieve your goals quicker than ever? It’s easier than you think.

When it comes to marketing any type of product or service to an audience, it’s all about the perceived value, call to action, and the marketing strategy put in place. This is what makes the online marketing space so amazing. Not only is it easy to go live with a new ad campaign, but it’s also easy to split test and target your exact audience in the process.

Keep reading for eight must-know retail tips that will help boost your sales and finish the year on a high note. Let’s dive in!

1. Focus on Making a Positive First Impression

If you work in retail, then you know that first impressions can make or break your sales. But did you know that forming a first impression can take as little as a tenth of a second?

It may sound shocking, but it’s true. Although this impression is solely based on facial appearance, it matters. Whether it’s fair or not, it plays a huge part in how others treat us.

If you’re working on boosting your sales, keep this fact in mind. You can create positive first impressions by maintaining a pleasant facial expression and proper grooming habits.

2. Re-familiarize Yourself with Your Products

If you’ve worked in retail selling for a while, it’s important to keep your relationship with the products you’re selling fresh. After all, if you’re excited about them, others will be, too.

Take some time to reconsider each and every item. What’s special and unique about them? What can they offer people?

Allow the answers to these questions to inspire you and reinvigorate you as a salesperson. Passion and enthusiasm are at the core of how to be successful in retail sales.

3. Create Tangible Sales Incentives

A great retail sales technique to boost your end-of-year sales is to entice potential buyers with some alluring sales incentives. Let’s explore some effective options.

– Discounts

Discounts are a surefire way to catch the attention of retail shoppers. Use the upcoming holidays to your advantage and create stellar deals that buyers won’t be able to turn down.

– Added Bonuses

If you don’t like the idea of discounting your items, consider adding bonuses to your customer’s purchases. Partner with other local brands who would like to spread the good word about their products. They may be willing to give you products or samples to pass onto your clients for free.

– Free Shipping

If you’re using e-commerce to boost your holiday sales, offering free shipping is a great incentive for buyers. You can even encourage higher purchases by giving free shipping to those who buy over a certain price point.

– Competitions

To conjure up some buzz around your products, create a giveaway competition. For the best results, make sure that you’re giving away an item with a high price point. This is a great way to get ahold of potential customer’s information for marketing purposes as well.

Guarantee the Quality of Your Products

If possible and appropriate, provide your customers with a guarantee of quality for your products. This will instill confidence in potential buyers and boost your sales.

4. Treat Everyone Like a Friend

Sales success is all about persistence. However, there’s a fine line between not giving up and being pushy.

Keep yourself in check by remembering to treat everyone like they’re your friend. This will create a pleasant, welcoming demeanor that will attract people to you and your products.

5. Aim for Open Body Language

In addition to treating everyone in a friendly manner, focus on your body language as well. And this doesn’t just mean smiling. Here’s how to keep your body language open and engaging:

  • Keep your back straight, but your body relaxed.
  • Maintain steady eye contact, but break away once in a while to keep things casual.
  • Lean in toward someone while they speak to communicate interest.
  • Avoid crossing your arms.
  • Try to project confidence at all times.
  • Give a firm (but not painfully firm) handshake when you meet someone new.
  • Keep the tone of your voice even and calm.
  • Study others’ body language and learn how to spot when they are uncomfortable or annoyed.
  • Get to know your own habits when you’re excited, unhappy, nervous, etc. Keep your habits in check while working in retail and stay neutral.

6. Use Management Software for More Retail Tips and Assistance

If you feel that you need some extra help managing things, try a retail management software program. These programs provide a streamlined, clear way to manage all aspects of your retail operation.

Many also offer easy-to-use-apps that don’t require training. In these apps, you can communicate with team members, access information about each of your retail locations, and share photos, files, and documents.

7. Offer Customers Fewer Options

When trying to boost your retail sales, it can be tempting to offer potential customers tons of options to choose from. However, it’s important to resist this temptation.

Instead of appreciating the selection, consumers tend to become overwhelmed when presented with a lot of choices. Keep things simple to make shoppers more comfortable.

8. Learn from Your Mistakes

As a salesperson, your education never ends. It’s important to continue learning from both your successes and your mistakes as you grow.

So, whenever you make or break a sale, ask yourself why. Use each and every outcome as an opportunity for further learning.

The Bottom Line

If you want to boost your sales and finish the year on a high note, simply follow the eight simple retail tips above. These tricks will not only help you meet your end-of-year goals, but they will also help you to become a stronger salesperson for the remainder of your career.

For the best results, remember to focus on your body language at all times and to treat everyone like a friend. Refamiliarize yourself with your products and streamline your inventory wherever possible.

And if you make a mistake, don’t worry. Take it as an opportunity for learning and growth instead!

Do you have any questions or comments? Don’t hesitate to reach out.