The Call to Action on Your Web Portfolio
Thomas James | Escape from Illustration Island
In previous parts of this series, we’ve focused on how to approach the design of your website, image gallery, and About page. We’ve shown a proven record of successful projects, given them the opportunity to dig a little deeper with a blog, and even educated them on how we work. So how do you get them to take the most crucial step of all?
The Call to Action
We’re going to assume for the purpose of this post that you’ve maximized the potential of your portfolio website and instilled in your visitor at least a faint interest in contacting you. The best way to throw it all away is to leave out any means of doing so. This may sound silly, but I really have seen some Illustrators fail to have their contact info in a prominent location on their site.
It’s important to remember that up to this point the potential client has been operating in a mostly passive state, taking things in and looking for reasons that they should not contact you. Once you’ve gotten their attention you need to make it as easy as possible for them to switch to the more active state that is required to initiate contact. That is the only thing that will move you towards your goal of closing the deal.
The least you should do is make your contact information visible. This part is easy, but you can do so much more to inspire action, such as create a contact page and link to it from the other pages of your site.
The Importance of a Contact Page
It’s a wise business move to have your contact info on every page of your site, as long as you’re not being obnoxious by throwing it in front of your visitor’s face. One thing to keep in mind, however is that people are conditioned to look for a contact page, especially Art Directors who look at a lot of online portfolios every day.
Another great reason to use a contact page is to have a place to post multiple means of contacting you. If you are active on social media sites, for example, you can include links to your profiles elsewhere online. The benefit of this is that different people are more comfortable with different forms of communication. Also, a potential client may not be ready to hire you right away, but they may want to connect with you through social networking to initiate a relationship and keep you on their radar.
Here are the forms of contact that I list on my contact page:
• Phone • Email • Twitter • Facebook • LinkedIn • design:related • Biznik
If I posted all of these on every page of my site, it would have a negative effect on my overall design. The contact page, however, is made just for that purpose.
The Contact Form
The absolute best thing that you can do to increase the chances of your visitor contacting you is to include a contact form on your site. People live busy lives in this day and age, and by inviting a potential client to fill out a form right then and there instead of having to login to their email account, you are making it as quick and easy as you possibly can for them to start a dialogue, which is the point of all the effort that you’ve put into your website.
There is nothing in this post that is rocket science, but by providing an easy path to initiating contact, you are increasing your chances of connecting with your visitor on a human level and potentially landing a project and building a lasting relationship with a new client. The small steps outlined here can have a big impact on the effectiveness of your site.
The Effective Portfolio Website
The goal of this 7 part series has been to help you to maximize the potential of your portfolio website. After putting so much time, energy, and hard work into your beautiful Illustrations, you deserve to show them off in a flattering light. Your website should be something that you are proud to lead people to, and that gives you the best possible opportunity to reach your target audience.
I hope that these articles have encouraged you to revisit your approach to your marketing efforts. Thank you for taking the time to read them. Please tell me what you think about this series in the comments below. It will help me in my efforts to provide useful content in the future.
This article is part 7 of the series entitled 7 Elements of an Effective Portfolio Website, which aims to encourage Illustrators to consider some crucial features when building or refining their portfolio websites.
You can find the rest of the series here.
More From EFII