A portfolio of work is essential in both job hunting, and for freelancers such as myself, in acquiring new clients.
Years ago, I painstakingly arranged hard copies of my work in one of those flat, zippered art display cases with clear pockets. (I still have that case and all its contents, somewhere in the basement.) The rise of the internet, however, required a digital plan.
In the late 2000s I migrated everything into a Dropbox file, with many folders containing lots and lots and LOTS of documents. It was dense and tiring to wade through. So when the first version of my website went live in 2015, I decided to up my game by downsizing the number of pieces and finding a better way to display them.
There are websites that exist solely for housing online portfolios of art, writing, marketing collateral … anything, really. After researching five or six I chose one, paid a fee – there’s always a cost involved; these are businesses providing a service, after all – and began adapting my editing, proofreading, and copy evaluation samples to the site parameters.
The end result was a pleasing presentation of 10 items. I was all set!
Five Years Later…
But the portfolio content, remaining on the third-party site, was getting long in the tooth. In 2021 I began choosing new samples, and the arduous chore of swapping out the previous ones: writing descriptive explanations, formatting, etc.
During the months-long process (doing this all myself, breaks were necessary when frustration set in), something began to bother me.
Here I was, updating my work on a site where it displayed well and was easy for potential clients to browse … but where I was paying $60 a year. That’s $300 over five years! Why would I continue paying out of pocket when I have a cool, updated website where I can showcase my skills for free?
The Grand Experiment
The first task: recreating a single entry. After a week and few different layouts I had a good template: streamlined and easy to navigate.
Migrating all 10 entries over to the website began last November, and on February 3, 2022, my brand-spanking-new Portfolio page went live.
Visitors: Please Stay and Browse
Now when directing peers and clients (potential and existing) to view my editing and proofreading samples, they won’t need to take an extra online step … they’re already on my website.
It’s smart digital marketing strategy. Housing the portfolio on my own website creates opportunities for people to stay and look around. To view my Services and Blog pages. Perhaps they’ll even use the Contact page to ask for a project quote!
What form does your own portfolio take? How do you display your own work, and why that particular way? Please share in comments section below, along with links!