How to Create a Portfolio That Wins You Clients: Part 1: Choosing Your Medium

4 Comments

With the ongoing jovoto Portfolio Awards 2016, we thought that now would be a great time to put together a guide to help you create a portfolio that actually wins you clients!

When it comes to creating an awesome portfolio, how you present it can often be as important as the content within. Creative work presented beautifully can be the key to landing that dream project/job.

There are a number of options available when it comes to presenting your portfolio. It’s important to think carefully about who you are going to show your portfolio to and under what circumstances. For example – are you going to a face to face meeting or interview? Are you emailing a CV? Are you pitching for a new project? Do you want to share work with friends or colleagues? It might even be worth having your portfolio available in a couple of different formats so you can choose depending on the situation.

Here are 6 options for presenting your portfolio:

Physical Portfolio

shutterstock_207560665

This is the most traditional way of presenting a portfolio. If you have done any kind of creative degree, you have probably created a portfolio like this. This type of portfolio is perfect for taking to a job interview or meeting. It’s much more interactive and tactile than sitting in front of a screen and gives you an opportunity to show off a bit of personality.

Pros

  • Complete flexibility as to how you lay out your work
  • Can be very striking to have a physical portfolio at meetings and interviews
  • People love tactile things

Cons

  • Not very portable
  • Have to be physically there in person (unless you have a huge print budget for making copies!)
  • Will need to be in additional to a digital portfolio

Behance

Behance

Behance is an online platform owned by Adobe for people to showcase their creative work. It’s great for building a portfolio quickly and simply. Many companies use Behance as a way of finding creative talent – so it can lead to great exposure. There is also an active community on the platform, so if you are looking for feedback from other creatives, it’s a great place to get that.

Pros

  • Free to use
  • Simple interface for setting up your portfolio
  • Social functionality for sharing your work across the web
  • Well known platform for displaying work
  • Potential opportunities from companies looking for creative talent on the platform

Cons

  • Limited visual customisation
  • No custom URL or branding (though there is an option to upgrade to Prosite, their custom portfolio builder)

Dribbble

Dribble

Dribbble is a social platform that has similarities to Behance. The concept of Dribbble is a place for creatives to show “What they are working on right now”. For uploading work and creating an online portfolio, Dribbble is a closed network – the only way to join is to get an invite from someone you know that is already on the platform. In this way, it’s seen as pretty prestigious to own a Dribbble account at all. Similarly to Behance, companies use Dribbble as a way of finding new creative talent.

Pros

  • Free to use
  • Simple interface for setting up your portfolio
  • Prestigious platform for displaying work
  • Potential opportunities from companies looking for creative talent on the platform

Cons

  • You need an invite to use it
  • Limited visual customisation
  • No custom URL
  • No custom branding

Instagram

Instagram Portfolio

Owned by Facebook, Instagram is a social network that is all about sharing images. Images that you post show up in your followers’ stream. As well as that though, you get a page which shows all of your posts in date order in a grid layout. This may be an unexpected choice, however if you are wanting to make a quick, easy to view portfolio to keep track of your work and share it with friends and family, Instagram is a great option. It’s also a great way to build a following of people who want to stay up to date with your latest work.

Pros

  • Free to use
  • Easy and fast to setup
  • Familiar interface for people browsing your portfolio
  • Easy to market your work by being active and engaging with people

Cons

  • Not the most professional platform to use
  • No custom URL
  • No custom branding

Cargo Collective

Cargo Collective

Cargo Collective brings a different angle – offering something that is halfway between a social portfolio and a custom professional portfolio. You have to apply to be part of their network, as they want to ensure that the quality of work is kept high. That said, once accepted you have the opportunity to build your portfolio from a wide range of temple options. You are also able to use a custom domain which is great. Additional exposure can be gained from being featured in the “Cargo Gallery”.

Pros

  • Free to use (upgrades available)
  • Simple interface for setting up your portfolio
  • Lots of different templates available
  • Potential opportunities from companies looking for creative talent on the platform

Cons

  • You must apply for an account
  • Limited visual customisation

WordPress

Wordpress

WordPress is a platform for building your own website. There are two versions; WordPress.com which is a fully hosted version and WordPress.org which is self-hosted. This means that you will need your own hosting provider to use WordPress.org. That said, WordPress.org is the most powerful version and the one I would recommend.

With WordPress there are various themes available which you can customise to make your portfolio website. There are 1000’s of portfolio themes available from various places online.

WordPress is probably about as flexible and customized as you can get if you want to create a professional portfolio to show to potential clients and employers.

Pros

  • Complete flexibility on the look and feel of your portfolio
  • Your own domain
  • Thousands of plugins to add various functionality to your website

Cons

  • For the most flexible version of WordPress you will need your own hosting
  • If you want to customise your website very specifically you may need html/css skills
  • Will take more time and knowledge to setup than other options

Squarespace

Squarespace

If you are wanting to setup a portfolio website where you have the flexibility to be creative with the layout, Squarespace is a great option. Though it is less powerful than a platform like WordPress, it is also a lot simpler to use and setup with it’s drag and drop interface. This is another great platform for creating a portfolio for professional use.

Pros

  • Choose your website layout
  • Your own domain
  • Easy to use site-builder

Cons

  • Not as flexible as other website platforms
  • Monthly fee

jovoto

jovoto.com

Of course, it is entirely possible to build yourself a portfolio here on jovoto. By submitting ideas in our various Crowdstorms, you can fill your jovoto portfolio with real projects for top global brands such as Coca-Cola, Audi, Greenpeace, Unicef and many more. You can also get feedback on your ideas from a professional community of graphic designers, illustrators, service designers, product developers etc. Plus, you can win any of our many prizes such as the Community Award, Feedback Award or Collaboration Award. Or best of all. Have your idea licensed by the client and see it become a reality by a global brand. At the moment we are running our annual jovoto Portfolio Awards – why not get started with your portfolio on jovoto today?

Summary

In summary, the kind of portfolio you choose is entirely up to you. My suggestion would be to have 2 or 3 of the options above to cover multiple bases. Personally, I like to have:

1) A professional portfolio for clients & employers

2) A social portfolio for connecting with other creatives and getting feedback

3) A physical portfolio to impress clients and employers at meetings and interviews

I hope that this post has been helpful. As always if you have any questions or tips, feel free to leave them in the comments below.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
James Brooks

Based in the UK, James specialises in branding and online growth for start-ups. You can read more of his articles on Medium.

Tags

4 Comments

    thx james for this wonderful substantial deep insighting overview … mike

    Hey Mike – glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for reading.

    I didn´t know about Dribbble and the Behance importance in the business, great article!

    Thanks, Juan – hope it was helpful!

newsletter
Follow 70k creatives and receive our monthly boost of creativity. Directly in your inbox.