Influencers, freelancers, and other content creators can have a tough time breaking into the digital marketplace. Learn how to leverage your experience to build an outstanding online portfolio.
First, we’ll take a brief look at the types of content you might include. We’ll also look at circumstances in which you may need a portfolio. Then, we’ll look at ways of using your past experience and obtaining additional material for your portfolio.
Content Creation: What to Include in Your Portfolio
Your portfolio is a bit like an illustrated version of the job experience section on your resume. The main difference is that you don’t have to list everything you’ve done in reverse-chronological order. Instead, you should highlight your best work and the pieces that fit best with the needs of the client or company.
In the past, portfolios were often printed hard copies that you carried with you to an interview. Today, however, portfolios are most often found online. That means that you can build a portfolio online that can be accessed from anywhere. It might include:
- Documents you’ve designed
- Digital art
- Scans of fine art
- Audio recordings
- Written content
The type of content you choose to include in your portfolio will depend on what type of work you do, what jobs you’d like to apply for, or the clients you’d like to attract.
There are lots of platforms on which you can build your portfolio. For example, Wix allows you to create a free website with photo galleries and other features. Some content creators even like to show off their Instagram feeds instead of a traditional portfolio. If you do so, be sure to remove any irregular, highly personal, or inappropriate content.
Why You Need a Creative Portfolio
You will find a creative portfolio helpful in each of the following circumstances:
- You’re applying for a job that requires specific communication, design, or technical skills.
- You’re working as a freelance writer, photographer, or graphic designer. Your clients want to see examples of your work before they hire you.
- You are building an income stream as a social media influencer, and potential brand partners wish to see promotional work you’ve done in the past.
- You decide to apply to certain awards, academic programs, or grants.
How to Build Content for Your Portfolio
If you’re just starting out, you may feel that your portfolio looks slim. Think about whether you have content files from any of the following:
- School assignments (graphic design, document layout, photography, art, or written reports/essays)
- Work assignments
- Personal projects
- Social media (Instagram photos, YouTube videos, etc.)
Consider each file carefully to determine whether its quality is sufficient for your portfolio.
You can also create content especially for your portfolio. For example, you might design a logo for a nonexistent product or company. It doesn’t matter that the work wasn’t for a “real” job – demonstrating the quality of your work is what matters.
In the same vein, you can volunteer to create content for real companies – paid or pro bono. Ask around and find out if any local businesses could use business card design. Or write an article for a blog or website.
Portfolio Maintenance Tips
It is important to check and update your creator portfolio at regular intervals. For example, you might link to websites that have published your articles. At least twice a year, click each link to make sure it is still active. Replace any broken links.
You can also avoid broken links by linking to a PDF of the document rather than a webpage. This has an added advantage – if a website deletes your linked content, it’s gone. It’s no longer available for your portfolio. But if you’ve saved an offline version of the content, you can use it indefinitely.
There are so many ways to build a creative portfolio. Your portfolio can include written content, original art, photography, graphic design, audio, or video.
When you’re first started out, you can include media created for school projects, your own personal use, or specifically for your portfolio. You can also seek out the paid and non-paid publication of your work in order to build your portfolio.
Cara Siera has been working as a freelance writer, photographer, and content creator since 2016. Her passions include food, travel, and helping others achieve the work-from-home/work from anywhere lifestyle through eCommerce.