A first professional portfoliocan open many doors for you in the workplace, so you should go for creating the most amazing one of all. That way, you will be able to position yourself above the competition and your potential clients. Now, how to do it?
Through media and web portals, you will have the possibility to create digital portfolios of your dreams. Currently, technology is constantly advancing, which has helped many people in the world have greater access to potential employment opportunities, if they know how to take advantage of the tools that are available to them.
While the most used social networks (such as Facebook or Instagram) can be a good place to expose your artwork, they are not the most professional way in the world.that’s why Crehana’s creative team has put together a guide to the best sites for creating digital portfolios; a must-have for creatives who are just starting to make their way into the job market.
And, in case you still don’t know what a digital portfolio is, here we will tell you what it is and how you can create yours. And if you already know this term, you can go to point 6 to take note of the pages to make professional portfolios, which you can not miss. Join us!
what is a professional portfolio?
A professional portfolio is a collection of projects or documents, which function as a sample of the quality of a person’s work. It is a selection (well thought out) of the most important or best produced work, presented on a personal website or on one of the various portfolio sites.
Generally, a digital portfolio or professional portfolio is usually organized in 2 ways:
Although it is strongly related to the world of art and design, it is not a tool exclusive to artists, illustrators or graphic designers (although it may seem so). Nowadays, its use has spread to other areas and professions.
If you already know what it’s all about, there’s no need to tell you why it’s a good idea to create a digital portfolio, especially if your area of specialization allows you to work on your own.
Benefits of a digital portfolio
Now, what advantages do you think having a professional portfolio can offer you? Having your work compiled can be a great advantage over your competitors, and we explain why.
Some of the benefits of a digital portfolio are the following:
Ithelps you showcase your expertise to the public: this way, you have a better chance of being discovered by an agency or company.
Promotes your professional development: Do you want to build a personal brand? With a digital portfolio you can do it.
Helps you make contacts: with greater professional links and relationships, you have the possibility to make effective networking and be part of a community.
It is more economical than the physical format: if you wish, you have the option of paying for hosting, which allows you to host the web portal with your professional portfolio and hire a professional to do the design. If you do not want any of these options, you can do it for free on your own.
It is easy to update: keeping a digital portfolio hosted on a website is simple and you can edit it to your liking without much effort.
did you see how many advantages you can find inside a professional portfolio? Of course, you can’t just fill your portfolio with any element, you have to know what to add in it.
You keep your personal file organized: you have at your fingertips all the important material you have done in your professional career, organized in the way you prefer.
what to put in the portfolio?
This depends on your profession or the work you do. For example, a graphic designer’s portfolio has to include the best designs or illustrations. On the other hand, if you are a creative copywriter, you cannot fail to put the best articles and texts you have written in your life.
That is why it is so important that, before creating a professional portfolio, you have a personal archive of your projects. If you don’t have one, what are you waiting for?
what else can you put in your digital portfolio? Some elements that you can insert are the following:
Videos produced or edited
Screenshots (in good quality)
Printed texts (scanned), PDF’s
Projects for which you have received awards or some kind of recognition
The general idea is that you attract the attention of people who may be interested in your work, so you should strive to highlight all the attractive things you have in a professional portfolio.
Don’t worry if you still don’t know how to create a digital portfolio, that’s what we’re here for. In less than you think the job offers will start pouring in.
how to make a professional portfolio?
To make your digital portfolio, regardless of your profession, follow these steps:
Create a folder and collect all your projects or work so far: you may find it useful to export a web version of each one. Now, if it is a printed document, scan it and convert it into an image or PDF.
Organize your projects chronologically: this way you will keep a better record of the valuable material you have done in your professional career.
Select the most outstanding: or those that are the best produced.
Define categories: it is likely that you may not work in only one area. For example, if you are an illustrator, but you are also a photographer, there are two categories for your professional portfolio.
Don’t forget to ask your friends (experts in your field) for their opinion: this way you will have a different perspective from your own and they will help you in the process of creating a digital portfolio.
Make a brief summary of each one (brief, really): remember that this is not a three-page CV (one is enough).
Open an account on one of the portfolio sites: although, later on, we will talk in detail about which web portals you can use.
Upload your content: now, everything is ready, all that’s left is… make yourself known!
what types of portfolios are there?
Keep in mind that digital portfolios should not be built in the same way. They vary depending on your specialty. Here are some types of portfolios and the content you can include in them.
1. Drawing, Illustration and Digital Art Portfolio
This type of professional portfolio is characterized, mainly, by containing images. Now, if you are a person who works in different fields, it is important that you create a different portfolio for each discipline. Whether you work in:
Having several professional portfolios is a good way to organize your projects and the person who will evaluate you will have better criteria about your specialty.
2. Copywriter Portfolio
We know that, if you are a copywriter, you have been asked to show what you write. A professional portfolio containing your organized articles or texts is a great way to showcase your work. In addition, there are different online platforms that will help you store your texts in an attractive way.
Perhaps for copywriters the professional portfolio is not as visual as for other artistic areas, however, it is important that you show your skills with an online exhibition of your best work.
3. Animation and Video Portfolio
If your work is focused on 2D or 3D animation, video editing or cinematography, the best option to show your work is not a digital portfolio, but an audiovisual reel or demo reel.
An audiovisual reel, as its name suggests, is the letter of introduction of your projects through a clip containing audio and video. The idea of making a reel is that you extract fragments of your most important projects and compile them in a single piece.
Remember that your professional portfolio should be accompanied by a good resume that also certifies the skills you have.
Pages to make portfolios
Nowadays, there are several sites to make portfolios for free. In this article, we have selected the best sites to create digital portfolios in different styles. Choose the one that suits you best.
One of the most popular sites to make portfolios
you want to have your portfolio! And no wonder, Behance is a platform of Adobe itself, the brand that gave birth to the programs with which you make your projects (if you use Corel or other, please excuse us for the omission).
Within the whole range of websites to have a portfolio, Behance is one of the most accessible and easy to use.
So, how to make a portfolio on Behance? Just create an Adobe account with your email address and Behance will open its doors for you.
Having a professional portfolio on Behance is essential for freelancers who work in graphic design.
2. Carbonmade, among the most kawaii portfolio making sites
Don’t panic if you enter Carbonmade and the style seems childish or too colorful to have a formal professional portfolio, don’t let appearances deceive you. Although Carbonmade’s presentation is very different from Behance’s, creating your site here will be very simple, free and functional.
don’t worry, your professional portfolio won’t look like unicorns and rainbows (unless you want it to), Carbonmade allows you to choose a minimalist style template, which will make it easy for you to upload your work. Take a look at this portfolio example, can’t you see the unicorns?
3. Dribbble, good as Behance, nice as Carbonmade
This is one of the digital portfolio sites that has the best of Behance and Carbonmade (or as we would say, the best of both worlds). Besides, having options is always great, because a professional portfolio should also reflect the personality of a creative.
So, to create your professional portfolio, it’s best to choose the site you feel most comfortable with, both visually and functionally.
Dribbble is a community for designers, illustrators, typographers and all the graphic design professionals you can imagine. As in Behance, you will have the possibility to interact with other creatives from different parts of the world, evaluate their work and find inspiration in the projects of others. This makes it an ideal place to create a graphic design portfolio.
However, at first your digital portfolio will not be visible to the Dribbble community, as you need an invitation from another member to be part of the social life of the platform. In the meantime, you can upload your work, as you can still share the link to your portfolio with potential employers or clients.
Getting the invitation is not that difficult, the website itself puts you on a list of prospects so that other members can register your application. Just be patient.
4. DeviantArt, the site for creating a graphic design portfolio
It is one of the largest artistic communities on the Internet, and it is as popular as Behance. Before creating a digital portfolio on DevianArt, you should know that it offers two versions: free and paid.
But don’t worry, because with the first option you will be able to open a very pro digital portfolio, this version will allow you to have a domain with your name: yourname.daportfolio.com. As you may have noticed, this is not the standard version of DevianArt (similar to the sites for uploading drawings).
On this website, you will not only be able to create your digital portfolio, you will also be able to get inspired with good examples of professional portfolios according to your style; it’s just a matter of spending some time researching to get a reference you like.
5. ArtStation, the 3D modeling community
ArtStation is a platform aimed at any type of designers, but its largest volume of content is related to 3D modeling and character animations for movies or video games.
Here, you will be able to create your digital portfolio of 3D modeling and you will have the option to segment your projects by categories to give your profile a hierarchy.
One of the great advantages of ArtStation is that, in addition to being able to create a digital portfolio, you’ll be able to create a professional profile and attach your work experience, very similar to the LinkedIn style.
You will also have access to a section of courses related to 3D design, downloadable resources, a podcast section and even a blog. ArtStation, beyond being a platform, is a community.
So, if you are a 3D modeler and want to create not only a digital portfolio but also a professional profile, ArtStation is a very good option for your resume. You can easily create an account with your Facebook profile.
6. Clippings.me, professional portfolios for copywriters and bloggers
If you are a copywriter and you want a website that allows you to compile your best texts, Clippings.me is everything you were looking for. Clippings.me is, practically, a social network where it is possible to perform actions such as:
Create portfolios for copywriters with multiple customization options
Add a short bio about yourself
Customize your profile
Choose the template that best suits your style
You will be able to attach your articles published online or if you prefer, attach PDF or multimedia files.
The only disadvantage is that its free version allows you to publish only 10 texts in your profile, so you will have to choose the most outstanding of your experience.
But, if you want to have total freedom of publication, the paid version costs $9.99 USD per month, where you will have access to a lot of tools that will help you optimize your professional portfolio.
7. Wix, a website that is not bad as a digital portfolio
At this point, we have jumped the barrier that separates the sites to upload your work and the most complete editors. We are referring to those that you can create from the ground up, how do you want your professional portfolio to look? On these platforms you can modify the structure of your site, among many other options.
With Wix, you have the option to create your first website for free (although with a somewhat uncomfortable advertising bar), modify its appearance and decide where you will place your work. Maybe by categories, because a creative is always someone with a lot of resources. Thus, you could make known, not only your ability in a certain area, but you could give visibility to your other projects through a digital portfolio.
how to make a professional portfolio on Wix? To get started on Wix, you just need to register with your basic data. The rest is to learn how to use the platform, which has tutorials that will help you step by step as you navigate through its interface.
Keep in mind that when creating a digital portfolio on Wix you have more customization options, but the level of exposure that your professional portfolio has may decrease because it is not published within a community dedicated to your area.
8. WordPress.org, not .com: create a digital portfolio with your own domain name
You have reached the last level of websites where you could create a digital portfolio. WordPress.org is more than just a website, it allows you to create your own platform with the help of its interface.
This type of website requires more experience to implement, but if you want to go all out, we recommend buying your own domain, renting a hosting and installing a free template.
On the other hand, the most accessible version of WordPress is the one that ends in .com (there are 2 wordpress, in case you didn’t notice), which is similar to Wix, so it won’t be complicated to start with your first professional portfolio on this website, which will serve as hosting for your work.
Both Wix and WordPress (in its two versions) have free templates with a grid or “portfolio” format. It is the closest thing to a photo album.
9. Contently, among the pages to create a portfolio that every copywriter must use
If storytelling and writing inspiring articles is your thing, then show off your best writing. And what better way to do it than through a digital portfolio like Contently. it’s free!
Unlike other digital portfolio sites, Contently is not limited to freelance writers, as it’s also ideal for designers, photographers, videographers and illustrators.
In fact, this online portfolio site has launched a new update, where you can take advantage of your writing skills and write directly for Contently’s clients.
10. Jimdo, the favorite digital portfolio for artists and creatives
are you a graphic designer with a rockstar soul? If so, this digital portfolio site is ideal for you. Jimdo allows you to have an original portfolio for free.
On this website, you can make any kind of professional portfolio in a matter of minutes. Likewise, it also has many customization options for you to adapt it to your preference.
Undoubtedly, a great online portfolio to share your talent with the professionals around you. play it and show your best skills!
With this website there is no chance that your digital portfolio will get lost in the depths of the Internet because, in addition to everything we mentioned, it has an automatic SEO function to help you position yourself in the Google search engine.
List of the 8 best digital portfolios
One of the things you should do before creating your digital portfolio, is to check all possible references. Here are 8 examples of successful professional and digital portfolios.
TwoPoints.Net: a portfolio that brings together musicians, photographers, software developers and writers.
Jing Zhang: the portfolio of a Chinese illustrator that you have to see right now.
Momkai: simplicity is still in trend.
ToyFight: a mix of minimalism and color.
Sean Halpin: the portfolio of a web designer with a world of his own.
Legwork Studio: the interactive portfolio of a Denver-based studio.
Chuck U: a portfolio with order, simplicity and incredible illustrations.
Also: an interactive portfolio with illustrations, editorial design, stop motion, etc.
After exploring these digital portfolios, we can say that the trend is focused on minimalism, animation and interaction. Keep in mind that a professional portfolio is an opportunity to show your skills, creativity and personality. make the most of it!
Tips for a professional portfolio
As you can see, putting together a professional portfolio is not a titanic or excessively complex task. It is enough to have a good eye to select the material in the best possible way, and to understand the importance of such a work.
Even so, you should also pay attention to several important details, which will be very useful to build your professional portfolio. And, thinking of you, we have prepared some tips and recommendations, with which you will make the best possible collection of work.
do you want to see some effective tips when building your professional portfolio? join us!
1. Keep in mind your target audience, potential clients and target market
Many times, freelance work implies that we must take the reins of our business. And that means being aware of aspects such as the following:
The type of profile of our clients
The market niche to which we are oriented
The place where the potential customers operate
If you are not clear about these elements, you should rethink them within your marketing strategy, because it is vital information to develop as a freelancer, no matter what profession you have. Start with something simple and basic, such as answering which person or entity may be interested in receiving my services.
Once you have this answer, you need to know where this group of potential clients is and go directly to them. And, of course, your professional portfolio should emphasize the points relevant to the industry in which you will be working.
The idea of creating the professional portfolio is that users will be interested and read your compilation of work and, if it is of quality and contains the essence of what they are looking for, you will be able to get the work you want.
2. Give relevance to the projects you want to get
have you already delimited your activity in a specific sector? Good, but you can always be more specific. It is normal that you have a preference when choosing a particular project, so that should be highlighted within what will be your professional portfolio.
If you want to get a specific job, make sure the client understands what kind of projects you are passionate about and what motivates you. The best way is to present similar jobs to the one you expect to get, making sure that the quality has been optimal, so that the user will consider you as their first choice.
3. Highlight your strengths
If we must differentiate between a resume and a professional portfolio, it is precisely at this point. what do we mean?
When preparing a resume, we explain what we know how to do. You can even exaggerate about your real virtues, without any inconvenience (we have all done it at some time or another), but the same does not happen when making a portfolio.
On the other hand, in a professional portfolio you must demonstrate (through real and proven examples) that the information you say you are great at in your CV is true. Therefore, you should not hesitate to highlight your skills.
To do this, you can rely on resources such as social networks, through recommendations or professional validations (something in which LinkedIn is very effective).
4. Company references
do you remember when we mentioned that you should include, within your professional portfolio, the different projects in which you got recognition? Well, this can be your best strategy if you apply it properly.
Within a niche market, the most important companies within this sector are known. If you have been able to develop a quality work for any of these companies… this is your chance to stand out!
For this specific case, you should include a detailed sample of this work in your professional portfolio. Now, if you have not yet worked for this type of companies, don’t worry: add detailed information of projects done for companies in the same market.
This way, you will be aiming for some of the large corporations to look at your work, thanks to your professional portfolio.
5. Include only relevant information
We have already made this point clear and mentioned it superficially, but we will go deeper into it, since it is key when creating your professional portfolio.
It is common that, when designing your portfolio (or even when creating your CV), you add projects and jobs that neither fulfilled you professionally nor add anything to your current professional profile. You are only adding information to have an extensive portfolio so that clients can see that you have had an endless number of projects done.
However, when designing a professional portfolio, you must keep in mind a fundamental notion: sometimes, less is more. If you have few works but they show quality just by looking at them, you will be better off than someone with a thousand works, but most of them mediocre.
6. Give it a structure
The job of creating a professional portfolio (and, basically, no portfolio for that matter) shouldn’t boil down to adding content just because you think it’s relevant and that’s it. When designing this project, you must make sure to give a defined structure to your best work.
The main thing is that you make a delimitation of where a project begins and where it ends. Try to maintain a visual order in your work, since this type of aspect is noticeable, even if you don’t believe it.
7. Adjust it as you grow as a professional
If you get hired for a new job, congratulations! However, this does not mean that you should throw away your professional portfolio, having achieved the goal you set out to achieve at the beginning.
The idea is that you constantly renew the material contained in your digital portfolio. This way, you will keep your compilation as updated as possible and adjusted to the new trends that are constantly emerging. And don’t think that getting a client or being accepted in a company means a secure job for a long time. Keep your professional portfolio updated and you will see that it was the right decision.
As your professional portfolio is your cover letter, you should make sure it is as impressive as possible. And 1000 normal jobs are never better than 100 masterpieces, so keep that in mind.
With these tips and recommendations you will have paved the way, not only to design a quality professional portfolio, but to start moving within the circles of clients you hope to get. It’s a win-win.
Bonus track: free resources for designing your digital portfolio
do you want to customize your website to turn it into a professional portfolio? Here are two elements that will help you a lot:
1. Responsive Template
In case you are not feeling at your most creative day or want to speed up the process of inserting elements in your portal, this resource is perfect to create and customize your website/responsive.
responsive template here
If you are looking for more web design options, we leave you another free template. Thanks to Dronezone, you can have the best designs and have a website at the height of what your professional portfolio deserves.
Remember that if you want to create your digital portfolio on a website, you will need to know how one works. At Crehana, we can help you develop your digital side and increase your portfolio of services.