September 5, 2022
Written By Liz Achanta

Whether you’re a student looking to start an online portfolio, or a mastered designer looking to start a side hustle, having a professional online web presence is key to show others you mean business.

1. Find out how you’re being represented online already

The easiest way to do this is a simple search by typing your name into the URL bar. For a more specific search, try typing in site: FIRSTNAME + LASTNAME (remember to do this for all your names – including maiden or nicknames). This type of search will ensure both your first and last name is listed in the websites shown, rather than just one or the other.

 Once you’ve found where your name is located online, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I like how I’m represented?

  • Can others clearly understand who I am?

  • Is my information up to date?

In some instances, like news articles or previous collaboration pieces, there’s not much you can do to change how your represented. However, this is a good time to do things like clean up your social media (what’s your privacy setting set to? Are there any accounts that you don’t want to use anymore?) and update your contact information in places where you could be listed as a contributor.

2. Make sure your contact information is available, and professional

Want people to contact you for your expertise? Making sure there’s multiple contact options is key, as it puts more communication tools in their hands. For example, if people are in a hurry and want information now, maybe they’d prefer a telephone call to get all of their questions out of the way (meaning you need to make sure your phone number is accurate). For the introverts who are just trying to information-gather, perhaps email is best.

When it comes to creating and distributing an email address, short, memorable, easy-to-spell, and descriptive is best. Things like [email protected] or [email protected] are great because they include familiar words and tell the user exactly where their email is going. [email protected], on the other hand? Not so much – and you risk your potential client from misspelling your email, causing frustration and confusion.

 3. Make sure your website showcases the best of you

Your website shouldn’t be like a basket full of every single project you’ve ever done. While it’s certainly great to see the strides you’ve made in your professional career, adding too much work can make your website look crowded and disorganized. A professional website should share your passions and your expertise, with the projects you’re most proud of being the focal points on each page.

Don’t have a professional website yet? You don’t need to know how to code to build one, anymore. Many online webhosts like GoDaddy or Wix offer free web building templates and packages to get yourself online. The best part? They both sell dot-design domains, which tells your potential clients exactly what you do!