In this post, we will deep dive on the value a portfolio website can offer, and the things you can include yours to take your personal brand development to the next level.
For job seekers and entrepreneurs alike, a portfolio website can serve as a digital asset that speaks to your credibility, supports your goals, and showcases your personal branding to your niche target audience.
Digital Resume for Job Seekers
From the job seeker / general professional perspective, a personal website or portfolio site can serve as an extension of your resume, a showcase of your work, and even take the place of your resume. A single link that has your professional highlight reel can be used to send to potential employers during interview processes, and included on your social platforms like LinkedIn to enhance your credibility with peers and recruiters.
Personal Brand Portfolio and Business Driver for Entrepreneurs
From the business owner and entrepreneur perspective, a personal website can serve as home base for your entrepreneurial story. This includes providing people with a portfolio of your work, and the past experiences that gave you the skills and knowhow to be where you are today. This will help support your credibility with potential clients and partners.
You can also leverage your personal website to support your side hustle or business as an entrepreneur. Link to your company’s website from your personal website with a description for what it is, or include a products tab on your website where you can feature digital products you’ve created like e-books and courses, and physical products like branded merchandise.
Check out our personal branding toolkit to find out what our top pick is for a website platform to build and host your website.
Consider adding the following content to your personal brand website.
Listing your past professional experience in a resume-like fashion is one of the most basic and foundational elements of a personal website. Think about the way in which you list professional experience, and current and previous job roles on your resume or LinkedIn profile. Including a list of the jobs you’ve had, explanations of the responsibilities you held and how you performed in those jobs, key projects you’ve worked on, and other career highlights will showcase your past success and speak to your credibility.
You can add this section on the homepage of your personal website, or make it a separate page labeled “digital resume” or my “professional experience.” Giving your experience section its own page, or featuring it on the homepage of your portfolio website will give you a digital version of your resume you can use to send to potential employers and clients.
Another piece of content you can include on a portfolio website to establish your credibility is a professional bio. A short 100 word description that explains who you are, what you do, and what value you have to offer people can help to create trust among potential clients, partners, employers, and anyone else visiting your website.
A professional bio is also an opportunity to add a personal touch to your brand, and share a bit about the person behind your business or professional persona. For example, you can share a few of your hobbies, interests, and personal facts like where you are from to tell more of your unique story, and give people something to relate to.
Content to Include in Your Professional Bio
Get more tips for writing your professional bio in our personal branding guide.
A professional headshot is an important personal branding asset because it gives people something visual to associate with your brand. If you follow the advice in the personal branding tips blog post mentioned above, you’ll include a headshot that matches your brand on your social media profiles like LinkedIn and Twitter.
This same headshot can be included on your website, giving it a personal touch, and providing consistency to the image people will see on your social profiles.
You can also consider including additional photography on your website to show who you are and what you do. Including images of you at work, attending networking conferences, giving a presentation, or other photos that show you in your element are all great to further tell your story.
4. Your Brand’s Visual Style
In addition to photography, you can give your personal website a style that stands out, and matches the visual personal branding of your other digital marketing channels.
For example, if you’ve designed a logo and established a color theme for the content you create on social media channels, make your website match that design and branding. Branding is all about creating consistency and making your various marketing assets and channels immediately recognizable as your own, and visual branding can accomplish this on your website.
If you don’t have a visual style for your brand yet, a website is a great canvas to start experimenting with and establish a look you can apply to your other marketing channels. Find a color scheme, font style, and general aesthetic that you like, and that you feel best represents you and your brand.
Whether or not the main goal of your personal website is to serve as a portfolio of your work, it is a great thing to include. Showcasing examples of your work will make the experience and other characteristics you share about yourself on your website more tangible.
For designers, artists, photographers, and filmmakers, showcasing a visual collection of your works for various clients and projects is a common use case for a portfolio website. This can help to attract more clients as they either discover your portfolio through your other marketing channels, or you can share it directly as a reference as you seek new clients or job roles.
Work portfolios are not just for professionals with visual skill sets, as writers, sales and marketing professionals, business owners, and professionals of all varieties have projects and highlights to share.
For example, marketing professionals could include PDFs of marketing plans they’ve created, reports showing campaign ROI, and clippings with screenshots of marketing content they’ve created. Writers could showcase articles and books they’ve written. Sales and business professionals could include examples of business plans they’ve executed, or case studies on strategies they’ve implemented.
Include samples of your own work on your personal website to turn it into a showcase of your capabilities and past successes.
Ideas for Things to Include in Your Digital Portfolio
Taking your experience section a step further, listing skills you have expertise in, and tools you know how to use on your website will tell people what value you can offer them. Consider including this section on your experience page or homepage of your personal website.
Examples of skills to include can be both soft skills like communication, public speaking, leadership and management, etc. as well as hard skills you are proficient in, like knowing how to use various software programs, social media platforms, etc. The skills you list should align with the types of jobs you hope to have, or the types of client projects you are seeking. For example, a freelance designer looking for new clients should list the design skills they have, types of design projects they specialize in, as well as the different design software programs they are proficient in.
Check out our blog post on top digital skills for more skill ideas to include on your website.
Your website can serve as a home base for your personal brand, housing links to your other digital channels like social media profiles. Including links to your LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and any other platforms you use for personal brand development will help visitors to find more places to connect with you.
Including links on your portfolio website to the content you create will help people discover it, and give anyone who visits your site more content to explore in order to learn about what you do, and your insights on your respective industry. Try adding a list of links to your best blog posts, podcasts, or videos that you’ve created, or host your entire blog on your site as another option.
Any publications or blogs you’ve been featured in make for great credibility inducing content to add to your website. Demonstrating that 3rd parties in your industry respect you and what you say enough to feature it in their own content is a powerful message to deliver to website visitors.
Try adding an “as featured in” section to your portfolio website where you list links to blog posts you’ve been mentioned in, video interviews or podcasts you’ve participated in, social media posts you’ve been tagged in, or recordings / links to presentations you’ve given.
Similar to the way in which you can display recommendations on your LinkedIn profile, or how brands list customer testimonials on their websites, you can include testimonials from your network on your portfolio website. This will demonstrate your personal brand’s credibility.
Consider listing any recommendations you’ve received from coworkers, bosses, freelance clients, your business customers, and industry peers. Be sure to ask permission ahead of time, and also offer to return the favor by offering your own testimonial or recommendation. These testimonials can be compiled in a section on your website titled “What People Are Saying,” or something of the like.
As mentioned above, if you are an entrepreneur or business owner, you can use your personal website to promote products you sell. Link out to your company page if you have one for your business, or have a page dedicated to your products on your personal website.
You can either provide links to products that you sell on other websites or eBay,), or sell your products directly on your website using an ecommerce platform like Shopify.
Giving people a way to contact you after they’ve consumed the impressive content on your portfolio website will ensure the efforts aren’t for nothing.
To capture any inbound interest that your site generates, you can include a contact form using an email marketing tool like MailChimp or HubSpot. You can also create an email address using the domain of your website and include that in the contact info section of your website. Regardless of which method you choose, include a call to action (CTA) to prompt people to reach out.
A personal website or digital portfolio serves as a collection of personal brand highlights that demonstrate your credibility. Build your own personal website to support your professional development goals or entrepreneurial ambitions.
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