How to Create a Portfolio That Wins You Clients: Part 2
With the ongoing jovoto Portfolio Awards 2016, we thought that now would be a great time to put together an in-depth guide to help you create a portfolio that actually wins you clients!
In our previous post in this series, we explored a number of different options for displaying your portfolio. You can read more about that in part 1.
How to Create a Portfolio That Actually Wins You Clients
Once you have decided who you are going to be showing your portfolio to, and what medium/s you will be using, the next task is to start curating and designing your portfolio.
Whether you have been in the industry for years and have lots of past work to show, or you are relatively new and have only a small amount of projects to display, you are able to (and should) build a portfolio to help you land some great clients!
Curating the content for your portfolio can be a daunting task – but it really doesn't have to be. Sure, there are various things to consider when putting your portfolio together, but try not to make it a stressful experience. It can be fun – and of course, as the new projects start coming in, extremely rewarding!
I have put together a list of my top 5 tips when it comes to curating your portfolio:
1 – Tell Your Story
When employers and clients are hiring, they are not looking for commodities, they are looking for people! This is especially true when it comes to creatives.
As a creative, over time you will start developing your own unique style. This is what will really show off your personality and set you apart from the competition!
People love stories. Is there a way you can tell your story through your portfolio pieces? Tell it!
When it comes to your portfolio, make sure that you embrace your style and personality in the work that you show. It will help clients to really understand who you are and what you have to offer.
2 – Show Only Your Best Work
This may seem an obvious one, but the real key here is that less is more. You will have a gut feeling as to whether a piece of work is worthy of your portfolio – so follow your instinct!
It is much better to have a leaner portfolio that has top quality work that really reflects your personality and style, than a bloated portfolio that has a lot of random projects included.
Take some time looking objectively at your projects. Think about what a potential client would want to see and be impressed by. Show your very best.
3 – Show Variety
When it comes to creating a winning portfolio, variety is key. Try to avoid showing multiple pieces of work that are very similar.
Clients don't need to see multiple variations of the same concept. As I mentioned above, you want to aim to tell a story. Take the viewer on a journey through a variety of strong pieces of work. It will definitely pay off!
A designer who does this very well is Jon Contino (who actually is the inventor of one of my favourite notebooks – The Standard Memorandum). As you will see from his Dribbble portfolio, he works a lot with lettering, yet manages to show a wide variety of different projects and styles.
4 – Show results
If your projects have been used in real life, show it off!
Perhaps a design you created was used in print, or a product you designed was manufactured for retail. Include photos of the final product!
If you have any information on the effect your work had a business, say so! Did it have an effect on sales? Share your figures. It's your time to shine!
Not only will this show viewers that you have done professional work, it's a great opportunity to show what your role was within the project and the sort of finish quality that you are able to provide. This is extremely important to potential clients and employers.
A great example of this is Designer, José Guízar's portfolio. In his portfolio you see a number of beautiful photos showing his work in use on physical products.
5 – Know When It's "Perfect Enough"
As creatives we are always growing. Always learning new things. Always developing our style.
Because of that the temptation can be to hold back when it comes to saying that our portfolio is finished and ready to be released into the wild.
Resist the temptation to delay things! Sometimes you need to say that your portfolio is "perfect enough" and get eyeballs in front of it.
After all, you can always add new work to your portfolio over time. This is especially true if you have a digital portfolio online.
I hope that these tips have been helpful. Ultimately your portfolio is your biggest tool when it comes to winning new clients!
My biggest piece of advice, is to put yourself out there! Don't wait! Get your portfolio together and start getting feedback.
One great way to do that is to take part in our jovoto Portfolio Awards. It's open to all creative fields. You will get the chance to have feedback on your work, exposure to potential clients from around the world, and even be in with a chance of winning great cash prizes.
Take the step and sign up today!
What is your top tip when it comes to curating a professional portfolio? Have a great portfolio of your own, please share it in the comments below!