Other newsletters in the A+ Portfolio series:
If you're content in your job and consider your passion 'a hobby', please feel free to skip this email.
But if you're even a tiny bit interested in doing something you ADORE for a living -- and make money from it -- stick around! I've got a personal story to share.
From 2014 to early 2015, my dream was to be a graphic designer eventhough I was studying law at the time. More specifically, I wanted to be a food illustrator, because I'm the kind of person that gets hungry just by looking at illustrations of food. 😁
I researched the industry and all the designers that I admired swore that they were able to get big projects and commissions from big clients because they had a portfolio.
And I thought, why not? Setting up a portfolio is free.
What's a portfolio?
A portfolio is a collection of your work. It shows prospective clients and customers the kind of results that you're capable of producing.
Please don't think that portfolios are only for artists and graphic designers. If you're using creativity in your passion, that means you need a portfolio.
Heck, even lawyers can have a portfolio. They can fill it with their legal opinions!
Then by that definition, wouldn't a social media profile like my Instagram be a portfolio too?
You're 50% correct. Social media profiles are an extension of your portfolio. They're wonderful for letting people find you, but not so great at showing people how great you are at your passion.
Social media platforms paint an incomplete picture because they're LIMITING.
- Twitter: Character limit
- Instagram: Only one photo at a time
- Snapchat: All posts disappear after 24 hours
- Facebook: Competing with other people's posts
And one of the biggest risks in solely relying on social media as your portfolio is that your profiles don't really belong to you. Your Instagram account is owned by Instagram and your Facebook page is owned by Facebook.
What happens when they decide to change the rules like Instagram just did? Nowadays your home feed shows your followers what Instagram thinks they care about first, not in chronological order.
To protect your work and the reputation you have built with your portfolio, consider putting your work in platforms other than social media as well.
Back to my story. I got a job offer.
I checked my email one day and saw that I received an email from a company who saw my portfolio on Behance. They offered me a job as a full-time graphic designer and invited me to come to an interview as soon as possible.
You know what's crazy? I didn't even remember I had a portfolio. Something that I created nearly two years got me a job offer TODAY.
And my portfolio only had 10 past projects. Just 10. It wasn't anything fancy. Just a collection of designs that I loved producing and that I explained a little bit on. Didn't even put in that much effort.
I didn't accept the offer because I don't plan to become a designer per se, but let's play a little 'Imagine' game here.
Imagine if I had produced one work every month for the past (nearly) 2 years and put them on my portfolio..........
Imagine if I had explained each of my projects from start to finish, showing prospective clients and bosses that how creative, organized and reliable I am..........
Imagine if I had promoted my portfolio on social media consistently and gave people the link so that they can check out my work themselves..........
Imagine if I had gotten better and better and my reputation starts to grow as a graphic designer.........
Where would I have been now? An okay-but-not-great portfolio got me a job offer, but what would a smashingly great one get me?
I want you to imagine what you can do with your great portfolio. Where you would be in one or two years from now if you start your portfolio today. The kind of job or business you could have if you took the time to build a reputation with your portfolio.
If you want to know what kind of things you should put in your portfolio to make it a great one, don't forget to open my email next Friday. 😉
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