Top 10 Ways to Make your Online Photography Portfolio Stand Out

An online portfolio is the modern day calling card. It’s how many customers first see your photography and a first impression is as important as ever. Take these important steps now to get established online, showcase your work and help your photos reach the right people - and the right clients.

1. Give Yourself An Online Makeover

For a seasoned pro, it may be time to take a fresh look at your photography business and analyze what has been successful or not in the past. Stay up to date with tech and web advances, find new tools that can help your bottom line, and give your business an online makeover.

Ask yourself: is my website helping me achieve my business and marketing goals? Ask friends or colleagues to give you an honest review and change things. Good custom portfolio website builders offer things like search engine optimization (SEO), ecommerce capabilities and beautiful, customizable photo galleries.

2. Know Your Forte & Share Your Knowledge

It could be time to scale back and really find your niche. Decide what it is and then get busy telling everyone about it. Use your portfolio website to become known as an expert by writing articles and your work will be the back up evidence. Writing informative industry pieces specific to the kind of work you do will make you easy to find for clients looking for exactly what you provide.

3. Show Your Best Stuff

With so many images floating around, how do you select which photographs to showcase on your website? This might be your biggest obstacle. Again, you can ask a trusted friend or colleague for help. Select your best images to show off - potential clients don’t need to see everything you’ve ever shot.

Then take the stress out of how to make it all look professional by using an online portfolio service. There are many to choose from and a company for every budget. Portfolio building sites help you optimize all aspects of your website - from SEO and responsive photo galleries to ecommerce - so your photography looks and sells best.

5. Soup Up Your SEO

If clients can’t locate you in a search, they can’t hire you. This is where SEO comes in. For best results, select an online portfolio service that doesn’t use Flash. HTML based sites (versus Flash) allow you to create a best-practices optimized site, with search engine friendly URLs, crawlable content, and unique meta tags. These techniques make it possible to drive traffic to specific places on your site and build links to more than just the homepage.
6. Social Media Works

Be sure to enlist the help of social media sites - Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram. Stay active and advertise any promotions or events you have on the calendar. Also make comments and engage where your clients are. Comments on other pages and sharing things that are relevant to you and your business keep you top of mind for your fans and followers and help drive traffic to your site. It’s also nice to be nice, so any promotion you give to other sites and businesses will likely be returned in kind.

And if the majority of your business is local, Google+ is a priority social media site. Local search engine rankings are vital for smaller businesses, and a well optimized Google+ business page linked to your website is the place to begin.

7. Tell People What To Do

Once a prospective client arrives at your online portfolio, be sure there is a clear goal for them to complete. Maybe you want them to sign up for your newsletter, or complete a contact form. No matter the task, it should be openly stated and easy to do online.

8. Review and Be Reviewed

Review sites for business and services offer unbiased reviews of everything under the sun and consumers rely heavily on the information they provide. Get in the mix by writing your own reviews or comment on a beautiful image you come across. Sites like these allow you to create a descriptive user profile which can point directly to your website.

9. Give Client Love

And they will love you back. You can quickly and easily remind former clients of the great work you did for them and get them talking about you again. Identify your top clients and send them a note asking for a little mention - something as quick and easy as a Like on Facebook. Social media is how many people communicate and pick up references most commonly.

10. Circle Back

Link back to yourself as often as possible and make your online presence known. If you read up on industry matters, create a member profile with that publication and comment so other readers and commenters see your name and business. Make link exchanges with friendly colleagues or other local businesses so your name and site appears as everywhere possible.

Author Bio

Julian Dormon is the Founder of BigBlackBag, specializing in professionally designed online portfolio websites perfect for photographers, artists, and other creative professionals. He's an amateur photographer and professional entrepreneur with a passion for all things beautiful.

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