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How to build an attractive digital marketing portfolio that gets you hired

April 2, 2020

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How to build an attractive digital marketing portfolio that gets you hired

Wanting to become a digital marketer is one thing – but actually getting into that space is an entirely different matter. To succeed, you have to be able to attract clients.

The best place to start? Creating a digital portfolio. 

Benefits of having an online portfolio

Your resume can only say so much about what you are capable of as a digital marketer. That’s why it’s incredibly important for marketing professionals to have a portfolio, so they can better attract potential clients. 

The beauty of having an online portfolio comes to this: professionalism, visibility, and flexibility

Having all of your work curated in one organized space is a great way to build a good first impression with potential clients. Think of it as your 24/7 salesman, showing off your best work no matter the time or place.

When your digital portfolio is helping make the sale for you, it is easier for you to find time to do learning opportunities that can help grow your career and business, and to work on deliverables for paying clients.

Also, the wide and ever-changing nature of the online world gives you lots of flexibility when it comes to how you will build your digital marketing portfolio. You don’t have to stick with just one format or style. You can update your portfolio as often as you like, while it keeps attracting prospects like clockwork.

Tips to create an online portfolio

Choose the right hosting platform

Every website starts with hosting and for those creating portfolios, two main options include a self-hosted blog or a free blog.

I recommend the former when it comes to building your own online portfolio. Going the self-hosted route gives you more flexibility and freedom when building your site. 

Use a personal domain

To be able to sell your services as well as possible, you need to find a way to separate yourself from the rest of the market. 

You already have hosting services that are personalized. Take it up a notch by customizing your own domain.

Think about it: Which one looks more professional: www.YourName.wordpress.com or www.YourName.com? 

If you’re looking for ways to get your own personal domain, Namecheap is a great tool. I appreciate the options and support from this provider. 

Have a clean looking web layout

Your domain and your host will give you more flexibility, but you’ll have to take charge of developing your website’s look. The entire point of your portfolio is to give potential clients a straightforward space to view your work. 

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That means it’s now time to design your own website

This doesn’t have to be difficult to do. StudioPress WordPress themes are a great option to consider when building a customized but clean web layout. It’s a simple but powerful tool that gives online portfolio builders a wide array of options for how they want their website to look. 

Tell your story

Finally, more than the security of a quality hosting platform and creating your own design, what makes your work unique stems from one person: you.

You have experiences that allow you to provide quality services and it is best that you tell your story based on the type of work you’ve done.

Your story is an important element in convincing prospects to work with you. Image source: Emily Banks Creative

Vizualize.me gives portfolio builders the chance to show their resume and experience in a visually striking way. You can build infographics that tell your unique story as a way to convince prospects you’re worth working with.

As an aspiring digital marketer, consider as well creating a content strategy that will attract prospects to your site, show them your expertise, and earn their trust.

Curate your best work

Of course, you want to make your portfolio as creative and as personal as possible. But at the end of the day, what convinces clients of your value is proof through the work you’ve done. 

Clients don’t have the time to view all your work, though. So, make things as easy and streamlined as possible for them by only showing off your best pieces.

Choose works that you headed or were a part of that had great results. Also consider passion projects or volunteer work you’re proud of, so prospects also get a feel for your personality and interests.

If you’ve worked with a broad set of clients, choose one per industry that perfectly encaptures the type of work that you do so any prospect that comes in can see that you have, in fact, worked with people in their industry.

Show your visitors examples that match their needs. Image source: Colorlib. blog

For visual designers, opt to use social communities like Dribbble to expand your reach. Dribble is also a space for designers to build connections with other designers and others in the marketing space. Prospects can even hire you right after discovering your work.

Include high-quality and original images

Regardless of what kind of digital marketing service you intend to offer, adding images to your portfolio can add a sense of tangibility for prospects. 

Take screenshots of articles you’ve had published, of social media posts you’ve created and curated for clients, or even photos of different campaigns you’ve put up.

Canva is a crowd favorite for creating images, posters, and infographics. You can even use its features to create a downloadable version of your portfolio for prospects who want to look over candidates before reaching out.

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Optimize your portfolio using the right keywords

Your digital portfolio website is a tool to help you be discovered by new prospects. That’s why doing a website analysis to ensure your site is optimized for the right keywords is critical. 

Things like SEO are important, and one easy thing you can start doing is using local SEO to target prospects looking for freelance marketers in their area. For example, instead of simply optimizing for “freelance digital marketer,” optimize for “freelance digital marketer in [Your City].” 

How to find the right keywords? Try checking out job postings on job boards in your industry to see what keywords prospects might be using. You can even look for actual jobs and start pitching. Be sure to include your portfolio in your pitch.

To find more relevant, targeted keywords, use a tool such as Ubersuggest to create a list of keywords you might want to rank for in your goal to optimize your portfolio for discoverability.

Include a video

Just like images, relevant video content helps drive more engagement. While videos involve more time and effort to create, the returns may be well worth it when building your online portfolio.

This digital portfolio leverages video for added engagement. Image source: itymg.com

Consider creating a simple video that introduces yourself and tells prospects exactly how you can help solve their marketing needs. If possible, include case studies of your previous work and the results you achieved.

If you’re looking to get started, Typito is an easy to use tool for creating text videos.

Add testimonials

Word of mouth and social proof matter when trying to sell your services. And what better way to sell your services than by showing off what previous clients have said about you? 

After all, people trust other people – even if it’s people they’ve never met. Ask previous and current clients to share their experience working with you. Consider providing them with guiding questions as well to help them create a winning testimonial.

Image source: Workspoke on Medium.com

Then, use a tool like Boast.io to compile all of the testimonials people have given about you. 

Make it easy to reach you

After you’ve shown off your previous work and client testimonials, your prospect might be ready to seal the deal and get in touch with you.

Make it as easy as possible for them to reach out and inquire about the next steps while providing you with the information you need to move forward. Some freelancers have an intake form that asks prospects details about their needs before they even get on a discovery call or meeting. Others use a simple contact form on their site that’s easy to find.

Don’t’ forget to be prepared to keep track of the leads you get. Using the Hubspot Free CRM, you can manage all your prospects and contacts in one easy list. You can see which clients are most engaged or which ones you might need to touch base with.

Another important tip: while you want people to be able to contact you easily, the privacy of your data matters! There may be several risks when you put up your contact information online, so read up on online privacy best practices and implement whatever you can to keep your data safe.

Key Takeaways

For an aspiring digital marketer, building your online portfolio is a great first step to make sure you’re booking clients. Use the tips above as you build your portfolio, and focus on showing off your value and services. Soon, you’ll be fending off offers from left and right.

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Kevin Payne is a content marketing consultant that helps software companies build marketing funnels and implement content marketing campaigns to increase their inbound leads. You can learn more about Kevin on his website, KevinTPayne.com.