6 Reasons Why Your Portfolio Doesn’t Convert into Clients

A portfolio is one of the most important things a freelancer needs in order to attract clients. With a portfolio on the go, you can attach samples of your creative work that best define your business. It is a great way to stand out from thousands of freelancers who are hunting for the same job.

As a matter of fact, just building a portfolio isn’t a guarantee of great conversion rates, it requires meeting the key elements that somehow can influence a client to decide whether you are worth a hire or not. If your portfolio hasn’t yielded any results for your business, there are great chances you are making these common mistakes that cost a whole lot of money.

1. Picking a Bad Domain Name

picking bad domain name

Before getting deep into the structure and layout, you should make sure your portfolio has a really trustable domain name. From just the domain name a client can easily describe your professionalism. Picking the right domain extension is really important.  The .com and .net extensions hold a strong reliability thus, are highly recommended. However, a having yourname.com or yourcompanyname.com can be more ideal for branding purposes. On the other corner, a bad domain name cluttered with hyphens and obscure terms can harm your business. Moreover, it is more likely to draw a wrong description of what your freelance business is about.

2. Slow Loading Time


The time your portfolio site takes to load is very important for a user experience as well. When a client decides to have a look at your portfolio you just have a few seconds to make a great first impression. If your portfolio takes more than 8 seconds to load, then get ready to always find prospective clients clicking the X button before even looking at samples of your work. Clients hate waiting; therefore you should focus on designing a great portfolio without sacrificing the loading time of your page.

3. Neglecting Social Proof

neglecting social media

Social proof is a key element that determines the conversion rate of your portfolio visitors into loyal clients. When people are in doubt of how to behave, they are more likely to follow the behavior of a large group. This is the basic fundament of social proof. If prospective clients are unsure whether to hire you or not, they will look for other people’s behavior assuming being the most correct. And the only way to take that to your advantage is by attaching testimonials that endorse your services. Testimonials are great tools you can use to prove that customers were satisfied with your work and that can help you land your next project. Therefore, you should consider attaching them on your portfolio to improve your conversion rate.

4. Lacking of Contact Information

lacking of contact information

I have noticed many freelancers making this common mistake. Some of the portfolios may have all the contact information disposed but they fail at putting in places that can be easily found. You should always provide the clients with your contact information like your e-mail, phone number or Skype account and place them strategically. Contact diversification should be always considered because there are certain clients who are more comfortable at phone calling rather than exchanging e-mails. If your portfolio lacks organization and contact details there are great chance these mistakes are killing your business.

5. Showcasing your Average Work

showcasing average work

A portfolio is meant for showcasing creative work. By displaying samples of an average work will not help you land any clients at all. There are thousands of freelancers who can deliver average services, how will you stand out from the crowd by focusing on average? No way. Compile samples of your most creative and best work, if you don’t have any, spend some time on creating such. Then, you can display on your portfolio. Remember that the first impression counts a lot.

6. Lacking of Simplicity

lacking of simplicity

Simplicity in designing a portfolio can be connected with two branches: design and message. However, if you really want to leverage your business you have to focus on both. A portfolio should be simple in lay-out and structure to impress a prospect. Make it navigable by removing all the clutter on it. Your message as well should always be persuasive and simple. It should clearly state what your business is about, so that prospects can have a clear understanding of what you can do for them.

Building a portfolio is one thing. And, building a portfolio that converts is another. You may think you’ve done everything needed in order to attract clients, however, if you are still making these common mistakes, then focusing on your portfolio is a huge waste time. Find some time to re-evaluate it, make some improvements and test updates to find what works the best for your business portfolio.

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5 Responses

  1. Sean says:

    I guess it is a combination of personality, sales tactics and talent. Great article. Thanks for sharing it.

  2. exactly right sir, I have also observed the same thing about my portfolio. I didn’t mention the proper contact information. I was just trying to work with email ID only. Thanks for mentioning other points too.. 🙂

  3. Jake says:

    Hi Waheed, very interesting article with some great tips. Shortly I will be offering services from one of my websites and will be introducing some of your tips to my portfolio. Thanks for the great read.

  4. Hi Waheed…
    You have covered most the points in very simple way. Just to add on these can also help
    1:- add a blog to build your name recognition in as clients like idea of working with well known designers
    2:-Encourage visitors to contact them for a quote or to fill out a form for more information
    3:- Add client testimonials you have worked with

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