Anticipation of needs is a vital skill for customer service, and for setting up a WordPress page. This is also an important task for those who are setting up online portfolios. What does your target audience want to know?
I want to say that I am prepared for every possibility and occasion when I lead, or participate in, different trips. Be it for work, for fun, for visiting family or whatever, I want to be prepared. I want the people I am going on trips with to be prepared. It’s not crazy uncommon for people to join in on trips I am leading, without a lot of knowledge of what they are signing up for. As such, I try to make it clear initially: This is a trip to a campground, and there will be hiking. Setting up portfolios has the same piece! Put up some good front pictures, or a snippet of your talents to get them interested, but then introduce them to what your art, or business, is about. If you run a coffee shop that is perfect as a place to work, emphasize pictures of professionals with coffee in hand, working diligently! If you write, put a solid quote from one of your best pieces front and center. Emphasize what you are about, and leave no room for doubt: This is who you are, and what you do.
For a seven day trip in the Summer, I still advice for people to pack extra sets of clothes in case of rain, a jacket, and other such needs. Why? It’s simple, I don’t want clothes to be an issue for any reason. The chance of rain aren’t significant, and likely we will be indoors anyway. Still, I do this for two reasons: I want them to prepare and think through what is worth packing for themselves, but I also want them to realize I have taken time to consider possible unexpected needs, and that there is a history to these decisions.
If you have room and ability on your pages, create a tab that includes a story of what and who you are. Introduce yourself! Why are you in the field you are in, and who have you served that can speak to your reputation? If you don’t have a testimonial story, go with what you seek to accomplish in your work. That can range from ‘making good coffee’ or ‘providing a peaceful spot to recharge in the city’, to ‘building dynamic new worlds in writing’ or ‘celebrating the projects my customers have built’.
However, no matter how much preparation I make, I end up missing something. It may be misplaced forms, it may be supplies that I wasn’t informed was needed, it may be a thermometer to see if someone is running a fever. On occasion, I have had to contact families back home for emergency reasons.
On your page, it is incredibly important to have a clear way to contact you or your business. It should be referenced on every page, but also create a page that is related directly to the various means of contacting you. This page doesn’t need to be flashy, it can be minimalistic. Whatever ways you list however, you must make sure to stay on top of. A failed contact is likely the end of business.
As I plan and prepare for trips, my goal is to not simply bring the same group every year, but for the group to grow! With that goal in mind, I encourage people to take pictures, share stories, favorite memories, and to invite their friends for next time. To be perfectly honest, it works. People see the pictures and talk about them, laugh and the goofy stories, and appreciate honest evaluation of what is being considered.
Make sure your portfolio has a page that gives a sampling of your work. Take the cream of the crop, and the pieces that are most distinctly you. The ones that make you proud! For businesses, this is a great place to put positive customer reviews, or celebrate success stories. Depending on the kind of work you do, you could consider featuring positive stories and feedback on your page here, either of your returning, regular customers, or of projects that have gone spectacularly. Either way, give those who are seeking to engage with you ideas of your product!
My goal with presenting information to those preparing for a trip is that they have enough knowledge to know exactly what they are getting into, as well as generally what to expect, and how to contact me. I try to be upfront about costs, but also am direct about how these may change. My hope is that I provide them with enough information that they can begin to ask questions that are specific to what they want, as opposed to having to spend time fielding questions of ‘what exactly is this?’ Which, by the way, is a great test! Find people who know you, but don’t know your work extremely well, and have them view your page. Then ask them questions like “Do you know what this business does?” or “What questions do you have?” or even “Where do I work?” If you find that a question is recurring, it might be worth addressing, or including in a FAQ page. This does not mean you need to tailor your entire page to an individual’s assessment, but if you get a few people to look at it, who are close to your target demographic, it is worth trying to jump ahead of their questions.
Another tip worth considering is if you had to summarize the message you wanted your webpage to convey in a sentence, what would it be? Then, build your website off of that idea. The pieces that are not relevant or don’t belong, scrap them or condense them. Emphasize the parts that do! With Sprout Invoices we try to make it clear that we are about helping businesses grow in their efficiency through WordPress, with tips and our invoicing software! If you get a minute, feel free to check out how our page is structured for ideas on how to build your own portfolio!