First Impressions: Your Portfolio


An online portfolio is likely to be the first place a potential client will look in order to assess your ability as a designer. This may increase the pressure on having a good portfolio, however, this means that we can utilise this as bait for potential clients.

Your Work

Your portfolio must showcase the best of your work in order to attract as many clients as possible. Place yourself in the shoes of the client, the first thing they will look for is what you have the ability of doing and they will assess your skill level.

Try not to overcrowd the portfolio with too many samples of work and ensure that it is only the best work. You may feel guilty for not uploading an ‘average’ of what your work looks like; however, the client will most definitely be expecting the best of your work.

Aesthetics

As a designer you need to include your passion for sexy fonts in your portfolio and really illustrate your ability as a designer by making a kick-ass design for your own portfolio. When doing this keep in mind that you are trying to please a potential client and be mindful of popular demand.

An example of this is that if you are fond of dark-metal-gothic related themes, however you always get colourful-rainbowy-effeminate jobs then you may want to bare that in mind when designing your portfolio.

Use different sizes of fonts and highlight keywords. Of course titles need to be a different size but you may want to use light highlighting to communicate a large passage of text in an easier way.

Be grammatically correct with the exception of witty messages. A witty title may work better if it is not grammatically correct, for example the film “Se7en” worked better than “Seven”. You may to have sections on your site which are not conventional, like naming your “An Example of My Work” section as “My Awesome Designs: Enter and be Amazed”.

Marketing

Socially network your portfolio through Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and any other relevant socially networking websites. Add people in your own field and business people as “Friends” and be sure to always tweet and update your status with interested and catchy banter.

This leads nicely onto a blog. You may have heard many people advise you to start a blog, and you probably have, but it isn’t just about starting a blog as much as it is about what you do with it. You need to update your blog with articles which educate people or have interesting reminders (like this article). This will all lead to you creating a reader base and increasing the chances of scoring a job. The way this links with your portfolio is that you ought to link your portfolio to your blog and vice versa.

Advertise on relevant sites but do not overspend. You may end up spending more than you made and therefore making it a pointless task. An easier way of advertising is to hand out business cards with your online portfolio’s link on the card, a vital marketing tip.

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