Before technology and the Internet, the success of a creative person was solely based on word-of-mouth. Next came the era of social media when designers started posting things online for people to see. At least for the very talented ones and those with a good strategy, the reach became incredibly wide. In this article, you’ll see 7 things to remember to include in your website design.
Today, this is not enough. If you’re a designer creating in today’s world, you should know that most of your prospective customers will want to see some examples of your work before they hire you. It’s up to you where and how you place those examples, but the truth is, your reach will be much wider if you put more effort into it – and go broader.
If you haven’t done this already, your career’s next step is to create a design website.
Why You Need a Design Website
It used to be that great work was discovered by one person who then shared the knowledge with several others, and so on. These days, your content is not only expected – it’s demanded. How many times has a client requested your portfolio before hiring you?
A website eliminates the barrier between you and your clients. With the right marketing strategy and examples, you can reach thousands of people all at once. This is your chance to show that you are masterful in using the interior design trends 2021, following your customers’ wishes, and basically – great at what you do.
Things to include on your design website
Creating a website is not at all hard. Thanks to simple platforms like WordPress, this can be done without any particular experience. However, a website requires effort in terms of maintaining and content creation. That being said, today is the perfect day to plan for your new site. Here are the 7 main things that your site should include.
1. Unique and creative domain name – Remember to include it on your design website
Websites all begin with a domain name. Without it, no one can find your site. Since this isn’t something that you can sleep on and change after a couple of months, you need to make a long-lasting decision.
Think of a unique, creative name that you’d like to use for your site, but also your brand as a designer. A quality name will give your business an extra edge and help you create an image.
2. Create a quality portfolio
Your portfolio might not be the first thing people land on, but it’s your best asset for attracting customers. Even if people land on your articles, they’ll be tempted to jump to your portfolio and see what you’ve done before they hire you.
This makes your portfolio the strongest tool for getting more clients. As such, you should spend most of your time working on it – and continuously.
First of all, make sure to organize it properly. People don’t like to drag on pages trying to figure out what goes where. Your portfolio should be as easy to navigate as possible. To achieve this, divide your work into segments and categories.
Create different options for browsing between your projects, especially if you have a lot to show. First impressions are crucial in this business. If you leave people stranded on a disorganized website, they might not even look at your best creations.
Extra Features to include on your design website
Secondly, you need to be selective about your work. Don’t just throw every project you ever made on the website. Those first projects you did might not have been as great as the ones you’re working on now. With time, your skills as a designer have grown. Some of your work is better and more successful than others.
It can be hard to pick and choose between your creations due to the effort you’ve put into making them. If you need help choosing, ask your friends or family to take a look and help you. Choose the most successful projects based on your clients’ satisfaction, return rate, etc.
Once you prioritize your best work, but it first. Your best projects should be the first thing people see when they open your portfolio. Research shows that you have less than 3 minutes to impress people with your portfolio. You better make it the best it can be to make this work!
Lastly, be detailed. You can’t just toss things onto a page hoping that people will figure out what it is. Details are crucial. Tell people what you created, what you were asked and expected to do, how long it took, etc.
3. Introduce yourself
People will want to get the results your portfolio shows, but building more personal connections with them is never a bad idea. In addition to introducing your work, introduce yourself. Provide some background information about your experience, education, skills, and accomplishments.
Knowing more about the person you hire makes you more confident about their skillset. People will want to know who you are. This helps you build credibility, which is why you should have an About Me section on your website.
Some tips and notes in your portfolio that demonstrate your personal opinions and goals can’t hurt, either.
4. Embrace SEO – Remember to include on your design website
SEO or Search Engine Optimization is one of the strongest tools of website owners and bloggers today. It’s what makes your site visible on search engines. Unless you have your site optimized to show in engines, it doesn’t matter how great your portfolio or content is.
A portfolio site with poor SEO is a waste of resources or time. Learn some SEO strategies and start implementing them from the very first day. This is how you get your name out there.
5. Provide content – and regularly
Websites that contain an About Me page and a portfolio that’s updated now and then are not SEO optimized. They are barely active, which is what makes them bad. If you want your site to work, you need to work on it regularly. This is done by providing the content.
Content comes in different sizes and types. You can create blog posts where you share your expertise and give people advice on designing. You can tell them about your projects and update them on the progress. Discussing trends in the industry can attract many people to see your work.
In addition to blog posts, you can create videos. Your videos will demonstrate your projects and your methods to people who might need your services. Creating a good portfolio means much more than putting up some images these days. Fresh content is crucial for the success of your website.
6. Use feedback to impress
Do you have recommendations or comments from people who hired you before? It would be great to add this feedback to the portfolio and projects you chose to present. Clients can post directly on your site when you complete a project for them, but you can also use the testimonials you received on social media and via email.
Whenever possible, prompt your clients to give you some feedback. Put it on display – this is something to be proud of. People are much more likely to trust you if they see how happy others were with your work. Word of mouth is still the strongest tool of a designer. It’s only the means of spreading the word of mouth that changed.
7. Don’t dismiss social media – Remember to include it on your design website
Your social media profiles should not replace a website. They should complement the quality site that you proudly show to your prospects.
Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Behance, and Flickr are not enough. Such sites can help promote your designs, discuss things with customers, get feedback, etc. You shouldn’t eliminate them from your strategy, but a website stands right in the middle of them all.
If you really want to grow your network – you need all of it. You need a website to stand in your marketing strategy’s backbone and help you establish your brand. But, you also need active social media channels that you’ll use to attract more people to your portfolio and your website. It all goes in a circle. The more you work on your online presence, the higher your chances of attracting more clients.
People love to spend time on social media. In fact, there will be many of them who will find you there. So, make sure to be active on different platforms. Post photos, videos, links to your website, etc. Also, don’t forget to communicate with your prospects, visit forums, and showcase yourself as an expert in the world of design.
Remember to include it on your design website – Ending thoughts
Creating a designer website is a smart move these days. Clients will be far more impressed if they get to see a professionally designed website with a creative portfolio rather than scouring social media posts. You shouldn’t dismiss social media, but your website should stand right at the top of your marketing strategy. An excellent website makes all the difference between establishing yourself as a decent designer and an outstanding one.